If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

September Interviews

9/2 Dianne Freeman, A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder

9/9 Ellen Byron, Murder in the Bayou Boneyard

9/16 Marilyn Levinson, writing as Allison Brook, Checked Out for Murder

9/23 Rhys Bowen, The Last Mrs. Summers

9/30 Sherry Harris, From Beer To Eternity

September Guest Bloggers

9/19 Judy Alter

WWK Weekend Bloggers

9/5 V. M. Burns

9/12 Jennifer J. Chow

9/26 Kait Carson


Keenan Powell recently signed with agent Amy Collins of Talcott Notch. Congratulations, Keenan!

KM Rockwood's "Secrets To The Grave" will appear in the new SinC Chesapeake Chapter's new anthology Invitation To Murder, which will be released by Wildside Press on 10/6.

Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!

Look Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, was released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here from April 29th.

Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cozy Hazards

I have my ins and outs with cozy mysteries. The ins and outs—my waistline. Concentrating on the mystery is problematic when the main character thinks about the salient facts of the case while baking delicious treats. After eating a twelve-course dinner, described in mouth-watering detail, the marvelous “Miss Marple” returns home to stir up a pot of rich homemade cocoa along with a fudge torte for her friends who gather round the kitchen table to ponder whodunit. At least some of the authors admit to their main characters’ minor weight issues, but not enough to stop the MCs from eating whatever they desire. Isn’t fiction wonderful?

I’m unsure of the author who started this craze, but I’ll blame it on Diane Mott Davidson. Main character, Goldy, will die of a stroke before the series ends. Her best friend already has had a heart attack so no one can claim the series doesn’t have an element of reality. Goldie’s pantry ingredients would kill even the hardiest pig—pecans, butter, toffee bits, pine nuts, blue cheese, whipping cream, cream cheese…. It’s like a culinary Pandora’s Box.

Krista Davis’s The Diva Frosts a Cupcake solves a murder of a cupcake baker. I never knew the term, cupcakery, for a bakery devoted to cupcakes. It’s a longer read than I expected. If I don’t finish the book soon, I’ll whip up a batch of “Coco Loco Cupcakes.” Unfortunately, like most food cozies, the author supplies recipes. When I read Krista’s new series, I thought my waistline was safe. It’s “A Paws & Claws” mystery set at a gourmet bed and breakfast unfortunately called the Sugar Maple Inn. I’m a maple cream devotee. Luckily, there were no recipes featuring this maple delight (but perhaps I’ve given Krista ideas). I craved Cherry Strudel while reading Murder, She Barked. Both series feature recipes for humans and pets. Even the pet recipes looked good enough to eat. I’ll borrow my neighbor’s golden doodle, Berry, who will appreciate them.

Leslie Budewitz’s Death Al Dente, “A Food Lovers’ Village Mystery” features the family owned and run Mercantile, a store selling Montana-made food from huckleberry chocolates to yes, pasta. While the main character, Erin, manages the store and catches killers, her mother provides cooking demonstrations and products sold in the Merc. Leslie provides recipes for appetizers to desserts. As a carboholic, Spaghetti Carbonara, Pasta Primavera and Fettuccine à La Fresca were tempting. Lucky for me, huckleberries aren’t prevalent on the East Coast.

As a beach bum, reading Barbara Ross’s Clammed Up, “a Maine Clambake Mystery” appealed to me with her seafood recipes and coastal desserts. How could I fail to read the book and not make a batch of Clam Chowder followed by Blueberry Grunt?

Avery Aames’s new “Cheese Shop Mystery,” Days of Wine and Roquefort will be released next month. I can’t imagine the calories it will contain. Perhaps cozies should come with a calorie rating by page. 

I’m interviewing Lucy Burdette for WWK in February and increasing my gym time in the meantime. Her newest “Key West Food Critic Mystery” title is Murder with Ganache. Let me remind you that semisweet chocolate and cream are the main ingredients of ganache. Forget Valentine’s Day, eat your way through these books.

 I’m thankful to read other mystery subgenres—police procedurals, paranormal, traditional, and suspense. If there were only cozies, I’d be the size of a whale.

Is there a favorite recipe you found in a cozy?

Does anyone else encounter the cozy hazard?


Jim Jackson said...

While you’ve been reading your food cozies, getting the munchies and putting on weight, I’ve been concentrating on financial crimes. Alas, I can report that reading about people making oodles of money does not appear at all correlated with making oodles of money myself.

More’s the pity.

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

True, Jim--but doesn't it create the urge to make oodles of money? Sounds delicious to me!

Barbara Monajem said...

So true, and it's not just cozies. The historical romances I read often have descriptions of lavish banquets which make me head straight for my Mrs. Beeton's (Victoria era) cookbook to see if I can reproduce some of the culinary delights. Fortunately, I don't have the ingredients most of the time. Cozies are far more dangerous!

E. B. Davis said...

I can't imagine the ingredients used in historical times. Hasty pudding? Indian pudding? I remember Laura from the Little House series, threw molasses into snow for frozen treats. Thanks for dropping by Barbara!

carla said...

so cozies would be hard to read when on a diet. Interesting!

Shari Randall said...

I have a similar problem, except with me it's cozies about clothes - especially Juliet Blackwell's about the owner of a vintage clothing store. Reading descriptions of gorgeous clothes and jewelry makes me want to go shopping!

Gloria Alden said...

Yes, I love a sweet treat, but I quit baking quite a while ago unless I have to take something like that to some event. I don't have any favorite recipes from cozies - probably because I can't see them. However, the recipes with pictures of food in the food section has me cutting many out either to try or for my files. Most of them aren't sweets. If someone else bakes sweets and they're where I can sample them, I can't resist often eating more than I should. So living alone it doesn't make sense to bake. I'd really blow up.

Sarah Henning said...

Oh, man. Now I really, really want ALL THE CARBS.

Kara Cerise said...

It's true. Reading can be hazardous to your health and New Year's resolutions. I can't read a cozy or a romance without eating chocolate.

Leslie Budewitz said...

The number one complaint I hear about Death al Dente: "It made me hungry." I can live with that.

Dare I mention that you can always substitute blueberries for the hucks, or order huckleberry jam and syrup? No, I thought not.

Thanks for the shout out.

Michele Drier said...

This is the reason I quit putting recipes in my mysteries, I wanted to test them out first! I do bring food into my paranormal romance series, but the meals for the vampires are blood pudding, borscht and Bulls Blood, LOL. Not too appetizing.

E. B. Davis said...

No Carla--don't read these when on a diet. The fall and winter are the worst. It's cold, you stay inside, you read, then you get hungry and want to do something--like cook. It's a recipe for disaster!

Kelly Cochran said...

Your words are so true, but are you trying to kill me? I'm smack dab in the middle of a 21 day Sugar detox!

E. B. Davis said...

But, Shari. There aren't that many vintage stores selling clothes. Most of the recipes in cozies have ingredients readily available at the grocery story or in your pantry! You're lucky.

E. B. Davis said...

How sensible, Gloria. What do you do when the grandkids come?

All those carbs, Sarah, they turn to sugar in the body. It's the fat that will get you.

You and me both, Kara!

E. B. Davis said...

No, I won't entertain your suggestions, Leslie--you've done enough damage already!

Michele--those are recipes I can turn down. Maybe you'll attract vampire's who want to read cozies?

I'm so sorry Kelly. Hope you're finished before Valentine's Day! Fires on cold days to melt chocolate for smores would be a great Valentine's Day treat. Summer is better to go off sugar because more fruit is in season as a substitute. Good luck with it!

Paula Gail Benson said...

I do like Diane Mott Davidson's recipes. I've often made a muffin recipe from one of her early books. When she signed her latest at the Decatur Book Festival in August, she brought the most delicious chocolate cookies to distribute. Her husband had to make them because her arm was in a sling. We book buyers were very appreciative!

E. B. Davis said...

Great story, Paula. I bet those cookies were great, real butter! She seems like someone who'd be a terrific friend.

Leslie Budewitz said...

You like S'mores, Elaine? Wait for Crime Rib -- salads, steaks, and gourmet S'more recipes!

Banquets in Indore said...

I am sure that the informative you shared through your post is useful for people. I am impressed with the way of writing. It kept connected me all the time. Keep up the good work.

E. B. Davis said...

Leslie--I am waiting for it to come out. This spring, I'm hoping.

Banquets--Thank you. I appreciate your comments. All writers need pats on the back. I intent to keep writing for the rest of my life. Come back and visit again.

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

thanks for this post--I love this kind of mystery, and for me it also started with Diane Mott Davidson and her caterer character. And Michele hit the nail on the head--think of the poor writers who have to cook and taste these recipes until they're just right for the readers:).

look forward to visiting here soon!