Mysteries and cooking are two of my favorites. So when I discovered The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook, I jumped at the opportunity to review it eager to combine two of my loves. Finding recipes from some of my favorite authors like Mary Higgins Clark and Kathy Reichs only made the adventure that much more thrilling.
Brimming with killer recipes from well-known mystery authors, each entry provides a short introduction, sharing about the novel it appeared in, the character that prepared it, or the reason it made the author’s favorite list. Mystery tidbits pepper the pages of this cookbook, sharing everything from authors’ murder weapons of choice, the meaning and/or origin of certain terms (such as red herring), and other fun information.
Here are my thoughts of a few of my favorites so far.
MYSTERY CRACKERS (Sandra Brown): This was a fun, simple recipe to toss together (literally). However, it should come with a disclaimer. They are addicting! Whether combined with cheese, cold cuts, or as is, it’s impossible to stop after one, or two, or three. If you are at all like me, you’ll find yourself popping them in your mouth like potato chips. One becomes five. Five become ten. Ten — you get the picture.
MORNING-AFTER HOTCAKES (Richard Castle): My brother enjoys Castle. He knows the show inside and out, and can quote it like nobody’s business. So of course, I had to surprise him with these. They turned out very moist and spongy, and when I asked my brother what he thought, he responded that Castle was the perfect cook. I’ll count that as a success.
BRISKET WITH APRICOT & PRUNES (Nancy J. Cohen): I made this for Passover this year and it flew off the platter, along with any hopes of leftovers. The meat turned out very tender and the sauce combined with the dried fruit gave it a slightly sweet flavor.
MISTAKEN POTATO SALAD (Mo Walsh): My grandmother passed away a few years ago, but one of my favorite things was her potato salad. This recipe tasted a lot like hers and brought back wonderful memories. It’s a simple, very refreshing dish for a hot summer’s day.
ITALIAN CHICKEN (Brad Meltzer): As a chicken fan, I’m always looking for new, tasty ways to make it. This recipe is not only delicious but extremely easy to put together. I made the Italian dressing from scratch, which required a few more minutes, but even so it didn’t take long at all and the whole family loved it. If your family is at all like mine, be generous with the mushrooms. They are heavenly after simmering in the sauce for a while in the oven.
These represent only the beginning. I can’t wait to try many other recipes like Bill Pronzini’s Nameless’s Italian Garlic Bread or Joseph Finder’s Doreen’s Apple Crumble. The pictures in this book make you feel like you’ve stepped into an Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes novel. The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook will leave you wanting to organize a murder mystery night with friends. I recommend this cookbook to anyone who enjoys food and a good mystery.
Review copy provided by publisher. Thanks!
**Originally posted on Life is Story.