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to our Culinary Mystery Page

This page combines two of my favorite and mysteries. On this page you will find a list of reviews (when available) of numerous mystery novels that relate to cooking, and when possible, a recipe from the book. (If you have a recipe to submit from one of these books, please forward it my way!) Not all culinary mysteries contain recipes, however, those that do, are particularyly fun. This page is organized by author's last name.A link to has been provided (when possible) in case you'd like to order the book. We hope you enjoy your visit!

Leilani Devries
Owner, Cooking For Fun


  Susan Wittig Albert

Thyme of Death: A Mystery Introducing China Bayles:Eager to open up an herb shop and get closer to the earth, China Bayles leaves behind her career in corporate law and moves to Pecan Springs, Texas, but a close friend's tragic death could end her happy plans.

Hangman's Root: A China Bayles Mystery:When a prominent animal researcher is murdered, the Cat Lady, an aggressive animal rights activist and friend to China Bayles, is held for questioning, and it is up to China to find out who the true killer really is.

Rosemary Remembered: A China Bayles Mystery:In her most intriuging case yet, China Bayles discovers that business can be murder when her accountant, Rosemary Robbins, is murdered. With an abusive ex-husband and plenty of ormer clients in the picture, there's no shortage of suspects. And China must trace a crooked trail of passion and greed to discover who would profit most from murder.

Rueful Death: A China Bayles Mystery:During a supposedly relaxing retreat at a Texas convent, herbalist China Bayles and her friend Maggie, an ex-nun, investigate the seemingly accidental death of the Mother Superior and uncover a deadly conflict within the walls of the cloister.

Chile Death: A China Bayles Mystery:The latest China Bayles novel is absolutely terrific and probably is the best work to date in this wonderful series. CHILE DEATH has mainstream, mystery and romantic suspense appeal that will please fans of all genres. Susan Wittig Albert tastefully and sensitively delves into personal issues like impotence, paralysis, and depression and their impact on a relationship. While doing this with class, the author demonstrates that she still has the who-done-it touch that has earned her a reputation for her complex mysteries, turning this detective novel into a solid winner for a wide corps of readers.

Nancy Atherton

Aunt Dimity and the Duke:A compelling prequel to Aunt Dimity's Death. When avid gardener Emma Porter's longtime lover dumps her, she sets out on a summer-long driving tour of England's glorious gardens. A Dimity-contrived coincidence brings Emma to Penford Hall, where dark rumors and suspicious circumstances lead her on the path to mystery--and unexpected love.

Aunt Dimity's Death:Lori Shepherd learns that she will inherit a sizeable estate from her recently deceased Aunt Dimity, but there is a catch--Lori must first discover the secret hidden in the letters in Dimity's cottage.

Aunt Dimity's Good Deed:Thanks to her late Aunt Dimity, Lori Shepherd is financially set for life and happily married, or so she thinks. When her father-in-law disappears while on a trip to England, leaving behind a mysterious note, Lori, guided by the ghost of Aunt Dimity, searches for the elderly gentleman and becomes involved in a mission to uncover a centuries-old family secret 8-city author tour.

Aunt Dimity Digs In:The latest in this enchanting series opens in the ghostly Dimity's idyllic English cottage, where the lovable Lori Shepherd is up to her elbows in pureed carrots and formula bottles as she strives to be the perfect mother to twins. When a visiting archeologist digs up a lot more than artifacts, Dimity's magic blue notebook provides the key to buried secrets, and shows all the residents of Finch that even the darkest act can be overcome by human forgiveness.

Claudia Bishop

A Taste for Murder:A delightful new series featuring two sleuthing sisters who run the Hemlock Falls Inn. While Sarah takes care of business, her sister Meg runs the inn's kitchen. During the annual History Days festival, a mock witch stoning takes a grisly turn when a guest at the inn is substituted for the fake witch.

Murder Well Done:Hosting the wedding rehearsal dinner of ex-senator Alphonse Santini, who seeks reelection and has transformed the quiet inn at Hemlock Falls into a political battleground, sisters Sara and Meg become involved in a recipe for murder.

Marge has been very annoyed that her straightforward American cooking has been ignored in Hemlock Falls adventures.  Here is her recipe for the best chicken stew ever made. ( She says!)

One large, cheap old chicken
Two carrots, coarsely chopped
Two stalks of celery, coarsely chopped
One large onion, chopped
Two medium bay leaves
A tablespoon of garlic powder
A few pinches of salt.

Place ingredients in a large stewpot.  Cover with water. Add one-half cup soy sauce.  Simmer until chicken is tender, about an hour and half.

Remove chicken from pot.  Cool.  Debone. Replace chicken in pot. Add one package Knox herb soup, three coarsely chopped and peeled potatoes, and one ten ounce package of frozen peas. Simmer for one half hour.

Mix two cups Bisquick with one cup water. Drop the dough by large tablespoonfuls into simmering stew. It will make about fifteen dumplings. Cover and simmer for ten minutes.
Uncover and simmer for another ten minutes. Serves ten

Page 257 from A Hemlock Falls mystery Murder Well-Done by Claudia Bishop

A Dash of Death:The Quilliam sisters of Hemlock Falls Inn are in a slump, until Helena Houndswood, who has her own TV show about stylish living, checks in. But when one of the winners of a design contest sponsored by Helena's show winds up dead, the Quilliam sisters wonder how far she will go to make a statement on style.

A Pinch of Poison:The Quilliam sisters have a nose for fine food and good business. But when a nosy newspaperman goes sniffing around the local mini-mall project, Sarah and Meg begin to smell something rotten in Hemlock Falls. It's worse than corruption--it's murder. And the newsman is facing his final deadline. Includes a recipe from the Hemlock Falls Inn.

Death Dines Out:It's the perfect recipe for mystery lovers--and in this latest installment, the Quilliam sisters broaden their horizons by traveling to Palm Beach to help a wealthy socialite. But when they discover a battle brewing between Tiffany Taylor and her nasty ex-husband, they must help the couple bury the hatchet before one of them has to bury the other.

A Touch of the Grape: With upstate New York in a tourist slump, Sarah and Meg Quilliam are desperate to keep their inn running. But their only guests are "The Crafty Ladies", a group of middle-aged artists who make art out of recyclables. But their creative flow is interrupted when one of the ladies is killed in a fire at the inn--and another soon after. Now Sarah and Meg are really desperate.

Marge Schmidt's Breakfast Bake
From A Touch of the Grape, by Claudia Bishop, page 240

Flan Quilliam

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
5 cups leftover brioches, broken into one- inch pieces
2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
Raisins soaked in rum
dark rum to taste

Beat the eggs to a froth.  Add sugar and beat to a cream. Add a dash of dark rum, an eighth of a cup if you made the mortgage this mouth, or a quarter of a cup if you made payroll on top of that. Mix in the cream and the milk until the mixture is smooth and uniformly colored.  Add the raisins - two cups if you can afford it. Place the brioche in a casserole dish, add the cream/egg/raisin mixture. Bake at 350 for about thirty minutes, or until the cream is bubbling around the browned wedges of the bread.  Meg has a temper tantrum if she can't serve this with whipped cream, fresh raspberries, and a leaf or two of mint. But life's tough.


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