Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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While we’re still on the topic of Cozy Mysteries —

Here at Book Riot: DELICIOUS DEATHS: 6 CULINARY MURDER MYSTERIES

Elisa Shoenberger says: I love murder mysteries and I love food. The combination? Delightful! Here’s a list of some culinary murder mysteries that center around food and death. Some of these are new arrivals while some are old classics.

Well, I’m with her on this one — I too love, or at least like, mysteries; and I definitely love food. Let’s see what Schoenberger picked out of the Cozy Crowd for this excellent combo of culinary delight mixed with murder:

DEATH BY DUMPLING BY VIVIEN CHEN

CURSES, BOILED AGAIN BY SHARI RANDALL

THREE AT WOLFE’S DOOR BY REX STOUT

THE LONG QUICHE GOODBYE BY AVERY AAMES

DEATH BY DARJEELING BY LAURA CHILDS

DEATH COMES IN THROUGH THE KITCHEN BY TERESA DOVALPAGE

Interesting selection! Glad to see Rex Stout here, and then we seem to run the gamut from Nero Wolfe to … guessing by the puns in the titles … “Cutesy” mysteries. I am instantly put off by the silliness implied by “Curses, boiled again” and “The long quiche goodbye.”

Schoenberger picked out this particular Wolfe mystery because in this particular story something unusual happens “In a rare instance, Wolfe leaves the comforts of his brownstone to attend the annual dinner of the Ten for Aristology, cooked by his personal chef Fritz.” Yes, I remember that one. Obviously Wolfe had to solve the crime immediately rather than risk either Fritz being arrested or himself being stuck away from home for any longer than absolutely necessary.

Of the others, I like the sound of Death by Dumpling:

This debut novel centers on Lana Lee, a twenty-seven-year-old who works in her parents’ noodle restaurant after quitting her job and a terrible breakup. When Mr. Feng, property owner of the mall that houses the restaurant, ends up dead after Lana delivers his lunch order, things don’t look to good. Lana decides she has to clear her name and begins sleuthing to find out who killed Mr. Feng. Lana is a delightful main character with a dog named Kikkoman! This is definitely a series I read for the characters rather than the mystery. It’s not the strongest, but it’s still fun to watch Lana do her thing.

Kudos to Schoenberger for being up front about the mystery itself not being that mysterious. That’s fine with me because I read mysteries for the setting and characters, not the mystery.

I also like the sound of Death Comes in Through the Kitchen:

In 2003, food writer Matt travels to Cuba to propose and marry his Cuban girlfriend and food blogger, Yarmila, but instead of matrimonial bliss, he finds her strangled in her bathtub. Now, he’s a person of interest and stuck in Havana until the police decide what to do with him. I liked how it tried to show Cuban day-to-day life. I also love the occasional blog posts by Yarmila about her favorite Cuban dishes as well.

Because setting is especially important to me in mysteries, this one stands out. So does its price. Good heavens, $15 on Kindle? Good way to crush your writer’s sales like a bug … Penguin/RH, I see. Somehow not surprised. Still happy to pick up a sample, but I’m not going to buy a new-to-me author at that price. Death By Dumpling is not quite as outrageous.

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