By OLINE H. COGDILL
Mystery writers are always cooking up some devious plot, nasty villain, or compelling hero or heroine.
And we hope they are not cooking up bad puns like I just used.
But some mystery writers are also good in the kitchen as two new cookbooks show.
The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook: Wickedly Good Meals and Desserts to Die For, edited by Kate White, published by Quirk Books, is now on bookshelves and reading devices.
The Cozy Cookbook from Berkley doesn’t list an editor on my advanced copy but will be coming out on April 7.
Both books are chock-full of a variety of recipes that sound terrific.
The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook is illustrated with beautiful photography with more than 100 recipes from authors whose offerings continue the mystery theme with breakfasts, entrees, desserts..., well, you get the picture. And of course there is a section on cocktails.
The offerings are quite varied.
The description alone of Alafair Burke’s Ellie Hatcher’s Rum-Soaked Nutella French Toast alone makes me hungry. Just wait until you see the photo. But Burke’s offering, like those of the other authors, also pays homage to her series character, NYPD detective Ellie Hatcher.
But nothing beats simplicity as Lee Child’s “recipe” on making a cup of coffee. Well, what do you expect from Jack Reacher, the epitome of simplicity?
One would expect authors of culinary mysteries such as Diane Mott Davidson to contribute but it also is nice to see offerings by Harlan Coben, Frankie Y. Bailey, Alison Gaylin, Greg Herren, Peter James, among others. And the editors have gotten a good range of authors, too, from the well known such as Mary Higgins Clark to authors you may not be familiar with, but should.
The authors featured in The Cozy Cookbook have each somehow written about food and include an excerpt from their novels to introduce a recipe.
Julie Hyzy, who writes about a White House chef, offers three egg recipes that go with the snippet from her novel State of the Onion, and then returns to offer recipes for entrees, side dishes, and more.
Cleo Coyle’s Murder by Mocha is the introduction for her recipes of Roasted Rock Cornish Game Hens with Rosemary and Lemon Butter and Clare’s Roasted Chicken with Rosemary and Lime for Mike.
Chicken also is on the menu for Leslie Budewitz, who uses her segment from Crime Rib to offer The World’s Best Grilled Chicken Breasts.
The Cozy Cookbook offers a list of novels by each author along with a short bio, a handy guide to end the book.
This is one time when I will say neither of these books belong on your bookshelf. Instead, both cookbooks deserve to be in the kitchen.