How to Make Murder Palatable
The culinary mystery, a popular form of the traditional whodunit, combines murder, food, and humor. Cooking and eating are comforting routines that make murder more palatable, at least on the page. My forthcoming mystery, By Cook or by Crook, like many culinary mysteries, includes recipes for the dishes the sleuth makes while solving crimes. Those dishes make murder even more palatable.
When I tell people I write culinary mysteries, a fair number of them say, "Oh, I love reading those kinds of books." Others say, "I've never heard of a culinary mystery. Did you come up with that idea yourself?" Old though I am, the culinary mystery predates me. Rex Stout, who created gourmet detective Nero Wolfe, is a pioneer in the genre. His 1938 publicity tour for the fifth Nero Wolfe mystery, Too Many Cooks, included giveaways of book-shaped boxes containing recipes for 35 dishes mentioned in the mystery.
The current Buy-It-Now price on eBay for a recipe "book" signed by Rex Stout is $600. He signed the page containing this description:
Wherein vagrant tastes and fugitive flavors are sniffed to their hideouts, fingerprinted and imprisoned in savory dishes—by that celebrated Nemesis of crooks and envy of cooks, NERO WOLFE, private investigator.
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This blog, like the books and stories I write, combines mysteries, food, trivia, and a bit of humor to leaven the grim subject of crime. Sometimes random subjects intrude here .