Monday, February 5, 2018

Around Our Kitchen Table: Food Mystery Mentors + book #giveaway

Today we welcome you to sit and chat with us around our kitchen table. Read all the way to the bottom for the super giveaway we're offering...


Lucy Burdette: I’ve been thinking about how food has become such a major part of my character’s life—and hence my Key West food critic mystery series—that it’s hard to imagine not including it in a book. And I’m certain that writing about food and creating recipes for the series and for this blog has helped me become a better cook. It’s been life-changing...

How did I even get started down this path? I can point to Diane Mott Davidson’s series starring Goldy the caterer as a major influence. I loved reading about how Goldy cooked—so effortlessly. And then how her new cop husband took care of her by baking special treats, creating homey dinners, and making her delicious coffee. I inhaled the food in these books! Food was love, and that’s how my character Hayley Snow thinks about it, too. (And so you can imagine how thrilled I was to have a quote from Diane Mott Davidson on my first Key West book...)


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Writers, how did you get started writing culinary mysteries? Can you point to a certain influence?


Sheila Connolly: Everyone eats, right? So food--both making and consuming--is a common thread that links us all.

Diane Mott Davidson was one of the first cozy mystery writers I ever read, and when I went to a signing of hers, rather than her book I asked her to autograph one of her recipes. I watched Julia Child give a cooking demonstration in San Francisco, and I dedicated a book to Alice Waters. I've been a foodie since before the term was invented!


Then it hit me: Nero Wolfe! The main character in Rex Stout's series who was more interested the the menu for his next exquisite meal than in solving the crime at hand. I bought the Nero Wolfe Cookbook (which Stout is said to have supervised carefully so it remains true to the series) when it was released, and I have used it regularly for decades.

Oddly enough, many of the main characters that I've written don't cook, or no more than enough to keep themselves alive, but there's almost always a friend or sidekick who cooks.




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Denise Swanson: Not all of my main characters cook, but they all like to eat. In my Scumble River series, Skye has learned to cook, in my Devereaux's Dime Store series, Dev has no interest in learning, But in my new Chef-to-Go series Dani Sloan has always loved puttering around the kitchen and finally gets to fulfill her dream of becoming a chef.

I'm betting nearly all mystery writers who write culinary cozies were influenced by Diane Mott Davidson. I LOVE her books and her recipes. But I was really influenced to write a culinary mystery series by all the television cooking programs. I watch Hell's Kitchen, Iron Chef, Chopped, Top Chef, all the baking shows, and, yes, even the America's Worst Cooks. 



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LESLIE:

I'd been writing unsold mysteries for years when I shifted gears to write my first published book, Books, Crooks and Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure. After that, I didn't know what was next, but in my heart I was still a mystery writer. The culinary mystery had begun to emerge--including books by some of my friends--and I devoured them! We'd also just taken a month-long trip to France, which completely changed our relationship to eating and cooking. Krista, Daryl, and Peg were the fairy godmothers of my first published mystery, Death al Dente, reviewing the proposal and helping me find an agent and editor.

I, too, was inspired by Diane Mott Davidson's Goldie series, not just for the food, but because she recognized that the cozy could be about something serious. She incorporated social justice issues into the mystery. Later, I discovered Cleo's Coffeehouse Mysteries and saw that she did something similar, inspiring me to weave issues related to homelessness, domestic abuse, and immigration into my Spice Shop series, along with the food and fun. The cozy really can do it all!

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Linda Wiken: In case you hadn't heard, and I'm happy to share this information whenever I talk about my Dinner Club Mysteries, my character JJ Tanner and I share one very huge trait. We both love cookbooks, and magazines, especially the one with color photos. Now, if that cookbook features cooking from another country along with information on the setting and culinary culture, I'm doubly in.

That's what sparked my interest in writing a cozy culinary series. I wasn't, and still am not, a great cook. But I love reading about something new and especially, combinations of different tastes. As does, JJ. Who knows, perhaps one day we'll both shine in the kitchen.

My inspirations have been the many delicious cozy series and, like Denise, the food programs on TV. I subscribe to the Food Network and spend a portion of my daily viewing time enjoying the shows. Cooks vs Cons is a favorite. And, don't forget those magazines -- Food and Wine, Taste of Italia, and Bon Appetit to name a few.


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Daryl Wood Gerber: The foodie genre sort of picked me. My first attempt at writing a mystery was a Nancy Drew mystery, way back when. That was when I was a girl and it has since disappeared. Go figure! LOL Mom was quite discerning in regards to my baby book content. When I really applied myself, I cranked out a few standalone mysteries, but the agent who liked my work said she couldn’t sell “those.” She needed something with more of a "hook"—a series. I put together a number of proposals for her, but those didn’t satisfy her, either. Then Berkley Publishing approached her with a concept for a cheese shop mystery. She asked if I wanted to audition to write it. I'd catered. I'd run restaurants. I was a cook. I loved cheese--the basics. Sure! So I auditioned and got the job. That’s when I turned to writing cozy mysteries, writing The Cheese Shop Mysteries as Avery Aames. I immersed myself in the world of cheese and found that I wrote about cheese and food well. And so I continue to write other food themed mysteries: the Cookbook Nook Mysteries and the French Bistro Mysteries. By the way, to write about French food, I had to do a lot of TASTY research. I'm a better cook because of it. 


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Krista Davis: Hmm, which came first? The food or the mystery? Food was a big deal in my family. My parents were immigrants and I have noticed that even while they are assimilating and trying out hot dogs and apple pie, most immigrants seek out the dishes they remember from home. Anyone recall the moussaka scene in the lunchroom in My Big Fat Greek Wedding?

While I was chowing down on my mom's delicious cooking, I was addicted to mysteries. So when the idea for the Domestic Diva Mysteries arose, it seemed like a natural to me. What could be better than a mystery with food?

I have to say that writing culinary mysteries and Mystery Lovers' Kitchen have made me a much better cook. You wouldn't believe how fast you run out of your go-to and family recipes when you have to post one every week!

Like Denise, I love watching cooking shows. My mom was devoted to Julia Child, so I began watching them long before there were channels devoted solely to food. But having to come up with new recipes all the time for books and Mystery Lovers Kitchen has made me even more aware of food. I think I might be a little bit too interested in people's favorite recipes and delicious meals that I have when eating out.



Cleo Coyle: Krista, like you, I grew up in a family with strong food traditions, and I can also relate to My Big Fat Greek Wedding (Italian-style)! As for the link between food and fiction, it really began for me back in the early 1980s with the late, great author and screenwriter Nora Ephron. When I read Ms. Ephron's novel HeartburnI loved that she included recipes and food talk as part of her storytelling. Learning from Ms. Ephron, I try to do the same with my Coffeehouse Mysteries, which I write with my husband, using foods, drinks, and recipes to explore and express character, setting, and story. 

Nora’s book was published back in 1983, long before the current culinary mystery trend, but there was another work, published even earlier (1976), that also left an impression on me: Someone is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe. Do any of you remember the screwball comedy film that was based on the book? Well, that book was penned by married collaborators Nan and Ivan Lyons. A married couple writing fun, foodie fiction seemed like a delicious prospect to me, even though writing is a crazy way to make a living. I'm just lucky my future husband turned out to be a guy willing to take a wild, collaborative ride—and he turned out to be a pretty darn good cook, too! ~ Cleo

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Giveaway!
We have a fabulous giveaway to go with today's post--copies of Daryl's upcoming release PRESSING THE ISSUE (Feb 20, might take a week or so to get this), Krista's upcoming COLOR ME MURDER, and Sheila's latest release, MANY A TWIST. Plus an MLK tote bag!







Leave a comment about how you got started reading foodie mysteries to be entered in the drawing...
the winner will be announced on Friday.

72 comments:

  1. I am a big fan of food and books. I often sit and read my cookbooks but then one day I saw one of the goodie mysteries as a freebie. I was hooked. More fun to read than my cookbooks.
    seffichinchilla@outlook.com

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    1. Of course they are. There is a plot! LOL Though reading cookbooks can be so much fun. Especially the ones with history included. ~ Daryl

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  2. I got started reading foodie mysteries a few years ago, just naturally gravitating towards books that combine my love of baking/cooking and reading mysteries. EMS591@aol.com

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  3. I got started with Goldy! I remember the first time I made something from her book, cookies.
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Oh, me too! Chocolate cookies. Mine turned out like hockey pucks, but I know that was my fault, not hers!

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  4. Diane Mott Davidson also got me started on food cozies. Goldie's trials and tribulations with the Jerk drew me in as well. I confess that I have never tried any for her recipes for one simple reason - they are completely Weight Watchers unfriendly. Why can't someone write about a baker/caterer who tends to the needs of people with weight issues or who are diabetic. Then I could read a great mystery and lose weight. lol

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    1. Our own Peg Cochran wrote the gourmet de-lite series, and Denise Swanson's new series is also calorie conscious!

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  5. I bet a lot of us read Diane Mott Davidson's books way back. I remember reading Catering to Nobody and realizing that there were recipes in the book. I was amazed! What a good idea, I thought. I liked Goldy very much and the Colorado setting. I also remember reading Cleo's first coffeehouse mystery. I'm a coffee lover and it made me want to drink coffee every minute. I've told people that - be prepared, I'll say, you'll crave coffee. Enjoyed hearing about the influences for all of you!

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    1. Cleo's series is so delicious. I loved the coffee atmosphere, as well. I write often in a coffee shop. ~ Daryl

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  6. I actually got my start with Virginia Rich - pretty much the originator of the culinary mystery genre. I found her first two books at my local used bookshop and it was nonstop from there. I did enjoy Dianne Mott Davidson. I think I vaguely remember seeing that movie about the great chefs when I was young. Of course I read Nancy Drew and I love Nero Wolfe. moodiesmum(at)yahoo(dot)com.

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    1. Loved the movie about the great chefs! ~ Daryl

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  7. Sounds like we should invite Diane Mott Davidson to be a guest! Cleo, I have a copy of Someone is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe. Anyone else remember Graham Kerr's television show? He was fun to watch, but I couldn't imagine cooking any of his recipes.

    But my family always revered chefs. My grandmother (who never cooked) worked with Craig Claiborne and Dionne Lucas in the 1950s, through her job at Lipton Tea, and I think I still have the cookbooks.

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    1. Sheila, as a young wife in the early 70's I watched Graham Kerr as the Galloping Gourmet, and I still have some of his loopy recipes, written down on 3X5 cards! One was for a Danish dessert called Hangop, which is literally a kind of yogurt hung in a cloth over a basin to drain.

      He was really fun, and absolutely batty.

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  8. My first was Diane Mott Davidson. Loved the first one so much I had to read them all. I was late to the series, which is a good thing because I could binge read. Then I started listening to them on audio and it was even better. I love foodie mysteries, you go to little towns and shops and you get to know the people. But let me let you in on a secret.... I don't like cooking. LOL

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    1. Renita, I think there are a lot of our fans who don't like to cook. My character, Jenna, in the Cookbook Nook Mysteries doesn't know how to (in book 1) and starts to learn with 5-ingredient recipes. :) ~ Daryl

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  9. I, too, started with Diane Mott Davidson and devoured her books, but even as a child, I loved my cookbooks for children and mystery series like Judy Bolton and Nancy Drew, books my mother had saved from her childhood. Now I love the cozy combination of food and mystery. Mwhanzel@comcast.net

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  10. Like most everyone else, Diane Mott Davidson hooked me on culinary cozies. I loved The descriptions of the food and how effortlessly Goldy could fix a meal for her family or a feast for a hundred people. I also love looking at cookbooks and watching foodie tv...but I am not a great cook. cking78503(at)aol(dot)com

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  11. Renita and Chris--not everyone loves to cook, but we love you here as long as you love to read LOL!

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  12. My first "foodie" mystery was the first Rex Stout I ever read, and I can't remember which one it was. They ALL have food in them, and I, too, still use his cookbook.

    pjcoldren(at)tm.net

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  13. My girl crush is Ina Garten. I love her and everything about her. In fact, our new furniture has a couple of pieces very similar to hers and my old kitchen looked like the one in her house. Put that together with Lucy's series and it was a match made in heaven. Just as I need help with decorating, I need help cooking. My palate is lacking but give me one of Ina's recipes and viola. And now with our newly renovated kitchen I should be off and running but my new stove scares me! That's why I need a vacation. Seven more days and we're off to Key West. Who knows who I might bump into.

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    1. Oh, Ina -- yes! Girl crush, indeed. I just love the way she *talks* about cooking and entertaining, and how she always includes sweet comments about Jeffrey!

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  14. Like all of you mentioned, food and eating is a big part of our family's lives. I have a cook book obsession and read them like any other book. I discovered culinary cozy mysteries when I purchased an reader and upped my reading game. I first began my journey with Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensan series, Diane Mott Davidson, Cleo Coyle's Coffeehouse mysteries and I've never looked back. Now I have read too many to name and have completed complete series. Combining food and mystery has been a game changer for me and I thoroughly enjoy them.

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  15. Like so many others, I read Diane Mott Davidson for the wonderfully creative stories & discovered wonderful food ideas at the same time. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  16. I started reading more graphic mysteries and need something lighter to read before bed. The first cozy I read was the first in the Joanne Fluke series. Then I read the first in Julie Hyzy's White House Chefs series and I was hooked.

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    1. Julie's White House series is one of my favorites! ~ Daryl

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  17. Diane Mott Davidson opened a whole new world of fiction for me -- I've always loved cooking and reading cookbooks and watching cooking shows (remember The Galloping Gourmet?), so how could I resist a book about a caterer who solved mysteries while making delicious dishes and drinking lots of cappucino? And the recipies were included in the book! I remember the first recipe of hers I made was called Scout's Brownies named after the cat in her book. Then I found Cleo, Krista, Roberta, Leslie and Daryl and was in book heaven! There was another author I read, Lawrence Saunders, who wrote the Edward X. Delaney books, and Detective Delaney would make sandwiches that could only be called masterpieces and had to be eaten while hanging over the kitchen sink! Thanks so much for sharing your inspiration(s), and for the wonderful giveaway! bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

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    1. Lawrence Sanders - made the best sandwiches! I remember reading descriptions out loud of my husband. ~ Daryl

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  18. My favorite and first experience with foodie books were Ruth Reichl's books which I devoured and enjoyed greatly. True life and fascinating. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  19. I loved the Nero Wolfe books and though I didn't buy the cookbook, so wish that I had. The Rex Stout series and the Diane Mott Davidson series really satisfied a craving I didn't know I had. Have devoured many a culinary mystery since and continue to look for them.

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  20. Oops, forgot to add:
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

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  21. The novels by Stacey Ballis are mouthwatering and filled with delightful stories and food that are memorable and special. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  22. I grew up in a house of cooks/chefs. My parents had Mastering the Art of French Cooking and used it.
    I started serious cooking as soon as I could see the top of the stove.
    Cleo, we have a still from Theatre of Blood hanging in our kitchen showing Vincent Price and Diana Rigg (she unrecognizable in male makeup).
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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  23. I own about 10 of the Davidson books and have read them all. We've tried the recipes also (adjusting for a kosher home where necessary). My mother couldn't cook to save her life. Her idea of a steak or lamb chop was to cook it till it was "almost" rock hard. The idea of rare or medium rare made her shudder. I learned to cook because I knew what food should taste like having had many meals at my aunts' homes. I started collecting books of all genres when I was about 12 year old and most if not all of them are still in my collection. If I had to sort out the cozies with recipes into a separate section of my library I'd need room for about 100 books. Anything with a recipe is carefully read and the recipes scanned to my recipe file on the backup drive.

    I'd be thrilled to win the current giveaway and add them to my collection.

    NoraAdrienne (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. You scan in the recipes, Nora? Aren't you clever! ~ Daryl

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  24. I have to tell you all a funny story. I participate every summer in our local Arts Festival, which takes over the village streets for a weekend. (Like the festival I created in Crime Rib.) And every year, someone who doesn't know me or my books says "oh, are these like those books by that woman who writes about food?" I say "Diane Mott Davidson -- yes." They smile and get excited -- and usually they buy one my books -- yay! And Mr. Right stands there shaking his head. "How did you know that's who they meant?" I just shrug -- it was obvious!

    Now, after a few years, other names pop up, too, including Cleo, Krista, and Daryl, which makes me so happy! I pass out Mystery Lovers' Kitchen recipe cards and prattle on about my blog sisters.

    What a fun topic, Lucy -- thanks for bringing it up!

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  25. I picked up a Joanne Fluke book at the library. I enjoyed the cooking aspect of the stories and the recipes so I started looking for books with similar themes.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

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  26. The fun and catchy titles first caught my attention several years ago. The stories are always fun to read and I have always liked to read and collect recipes. I may not cook them all but I do still think about it. I have started baking more recently and my son and DIL are wondering why.
    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  27. Diane Mott Davidson for me, too! I always loved cooking and cookbooks, but her mysteries were so compelling and the recipes were fabulous. Who wouldn't love Nachos Schulz?! My daughter made the cutest little cookbook for me by photocopying recipes from the first several books and assembling in a little book. I still have it, and still enjoy the recipes.

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  28. Diane Mott Davidson: check.

    Galloping Gourmet: check.

    Funny, how so many of us have shared experiences, isn't it?

    Thanks for a chance at the prizes! Fingers crossed.

    k maslowski at fuse dot net

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  29. While there isn't a particular moment that I can remember, my mom has been reading & talking about food (& non-food) cozies for many years. Once I finally tried one I was hooked.
    turtle6422(at)gmail(dot)com

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  30. Yep. Diane Mott Davidson. I even have a couple of her recipes in my box. And Nero Wolf. How can it take 30 to 40 minutes to fix scrambled eggs? Oh and Lawrence Sanders had a police detective who constructed fabulous sandwiches he ate over the kitchen sink. I'm not into cooking shows these days but I did enjoy Julia Child and the Galloping Gourmet way back when.
    patdupuy@yahoo.com

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    1. Oh. And Two Fat Ladies. Loved that show.

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    2. Me, too! I watched an episode while I was writing the first Food Lovers' Village Mystery, and one of the ladies said she just loved all matter of kitchenalia, meaning gadgets -- and I loved the word so much that I stole it for the name of the village kitchen shop!

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  31. I have always loved cook books (especially with color photos). I found foodie cozies by way of a dear friend. I have always been an avid reader, but was having cognitive issues and just could not read my normal non-fiction. I tried romance, yuck, historical fiction, good, but too hard for me at the time. A dear friend kept telling me she was reading cooking mysteries, baking mysteries. I could not figure out what in the world she was talking about. Finally she gave me some names and the rest is history. I moved from foodie cozies to all of them and they make up the major portion of my reading. Thank goodness for good friends and great authors! kayt18 (at) comcast (dot) net

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    1. So glad you found our cozies exactly when you needed them Kay!

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  32. I belong to a mystery book readers group and one of the members gave a review on Diane Mott Davidson's books and this is what started me reading books with recipes and with cooking themes. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

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  33. Diane Mott Davidson was the author who got me hooked on culinary cozies.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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  34. If I remember correctly, Diane Mott Davidson was the first whose culinary cozies I ever read. I love so many of them that are out there now, I don't dare start mentioning names, because I would be sure to miss some of them even though I love them! Strangely, I HATE to cook, so I tend to just skip over the recipes or just glance at them to see what ingredients are in it.

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  35. I originally got started with cozies with The Bakeshop Mystery series by Ellie Alexander, and found I loved reading stories woven with food. Since then, I'm always interested in the ones people say are great for foodies, and after reading this blog post, now I'm itching to read my Diane Mott Davidson ones!

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  36. I also started with Diane Mott Davidson's books. I believe I have them all. I've been reading Krista Davis' Paws and Claws mysteries most recently. I love the doggie recipies and I think I will actually try making some doggie cookies!

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  37. I’m going to add to the chorus...Diane Mott Davidson was one of the first cozy writers I read before I knew there were cozies...a little later I stumbled into the Coffee House series...and I’m still enamored with cozies. Even if there aren’t recipes, so many include restaurants, tea shops, cafes, cupcake bakeries...I could go on...comfort food...comfort cozies...a good match! Lldawnjm (at) gmail (dot) com.

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  38. I'm a big foodie and cookbook reader so I was drawn to culinary cozies. I too started with Diane Mott Davidson's books. Thank you for the chance to win. Dmskrug3 at hotmail(.)com

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  39. I'm pretty sure my first was a Diane Mott Davidson book. I was in the library and I was checking the recommended reading section. It looked interesting, the cover and the blurb so I checked it out. I've been hooked ever since.

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  40. I, too, got started with Diane Mott Davidson's Goldie series. Then I found Lucy Burdette and Daryl Wood Gerber. I also read all the Julie Hyzy White House Chef series.

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  41. These are all some of my favorite series, but I'm not sure now which one came first. The Cheese Shop mysteries were a special favorite because I discovered cheeses that were new to me and the descriptions of the cheeses were nothing short of amazing.
    harbingerdc(at) gmail(dot)com

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  42. My favorite kind of cozy. In 1996 just before my wedding, my fiance and I went on a camping trip. He knew I loved to read and stopped and grabbed me a book to read at Barnes and noble. It was the Main Corpse by Diane Mott Davidson. I couldn't put it down and kept reading him the recipes. We ended up going home early, picking up the previous series books, getting ingredients at the grocery store, and making every recipe in that book the next day!! A cherry coffee cake was really good. Needless to say we were hooked, me. On the mysteries, and him on the food!!!!!

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  43. Diane Mott Davidson was the first series with recipes that got me hooked on culinary mysteries. However, before that I got hooked on the CAT WHO ... series by Lilian Jackson Braun. Though no recipes, Jim Qwilleran and his Siamese cats were gourmands for sure! Enjoyed his descriptions of his meals, and the rules for proper etiquette, and salads at the END of the meals, European style! And then there is Nigella Lawson! Love the stories in her cookbooks as much as the recipes!

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  44. I got started when I saw my first Diane Mott Davidson book at the book store. Been a collector of recipes for decades and when I saw "Recipes Included" I bought the book. I did not know about cozies, etc. I was and am a syfy fan and someone had left her book on the shelf in the syfy fiction area. Been hooked on cozies since. Della at deepotter (at) peoplepc (dot) com

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  45. I cook vicariously through these authors. I am not a great cook, but luckily I have a husband who loves to cook. I think it was Joanne Fluke books that got me hooked.

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  46. I first found Mystery Lover's Kitchen through Daryl Wood Gerber's posts. I just love all the recipes and back stories. legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

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  47. Strangely, I don’t remember when I started with cozy mysteries. I just know they’ve taken over my TBR piles! Dm _ Richards (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  48. My MIL reads several of them, and one day over at her house I was board and I picked up a book, and she saw me reading it,told me to take it home and finish it. She said it was good and how she loved the series. It was Joanna Flukes, Hannah Swanson series and I'm still reading it today. After I read the one my MIL loaned me I went out to get the earlier ones, and I found myself walking out of the store with several books all from different authors, and many of them I'm still reading today, it's been over ten years since my MIL loaned me that one book that started it all

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  49. I love to read mysteries featuring baking and cooking. I remember well reading Joanna Fluke and Diane Mott Davidson. I wish I had kept them to read again now.

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  50. I started with Nancy Drew actually as a child... does anybody remember hearts of lettuce salad and the food in The Mystery of Liliac Inn...yum and the Nancy Drew Cookbook.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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  51. Well, I love food and in the last few years I've really come around to cooking. Not just reading the back of a box, but really cooking...trying a recipe, usually exactly the first time, and then experimenting if we liked the first one and maybe REALLY experimenting if we didn't. Then, along came my desire to read as a past time and escape but I hadn't ever found books that caught me. (I was not a reader as a child at all.) The first series that really hooked me was the Magical Bakery Mysteries by Bailey Cates and it's just grown from there. I LOVE when there are recipes at the back to try and I almost always try at least one.

    This was a great round table post. I loved it! Thanks for sharing everyone!

    awilcox1182@gmail.com

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  52. I think I started with a Diane Mott Davidson' Dying for Chocolate. Then I was hooked. Before that I was just reading horror or romance books.I moved on from there with all the Joanne Fluke mysteries.

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  53. I will echo what many others have said: Diane Mott Davidson introduced me to the wonderful idea of recipes included in a mystery. But Joanne Fluke followed soon afterwards and the deal (enjoying recipes with a mystery) was sealed! bskts4unme(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  54. I love mysteries that include food - I have a stack of recipes copied from my favorite authors! I love to read about people who work in kitchens and then get caught up in mysteries. I am gluten free, so I often have to adapt recipes, but love all of them! Thanks for sharing your inspirations. I too loved Diane Mott Davidson and watch all the major Chef competition shows!ljbonkoski@yahoo.com

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  55. The cheese shop mysteries got me started - they were on display at the library as books set in Ohio, and that got me started on the whole genre!

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  56. I've been a fan of cozy mysteries since I read a "Cat Who" book by Lilian Jackson Braun in the mid-80's. I then read as many cozies as I could and found foodie mysteries. I love the recipes. What a great way to find new foods and recipes to try. I think it's because I love to cook and bake and have since I was a pre-teen and did most of the cooking, my mom hated to cook. I can't remember the first food cozy mystery series I started reading but I loved Diane Mott Davidson's Goldy Bear series.
    scarletbegonia5858(at)gmail(dot)com

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  57. I first read a book by Joanne Fluke. She is from Minnesota and writes about Minnesota in her books. I have made some of her recipes. I just like to read the cozy mysteries. Recipes add to the being cozy to me. I also can sit and read cookbooks especially the regional ones like from churches because of the history of the area.

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  58. While I was teaching, I used children's literature that included recipes as a way to interest the children in reading. As an adult, it was a pleasant surprise to discover that MANY authors include recipes in their mystery books! We've had to add bookshelves to our kitchen....and will soon need to add many more!

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