'CORE' Best Lists
- Top 25 Best Mystery Books
- The Top 100 Mystery Books
- Best Mystery Audiobooks
- Best Mystery Books of 2016
- Best Mystery Books of 2015
- Best Mystery Series
- Best Mystery Stand Alones
- Best Modern Mystery Books
- Best Indie Mystery Books
- Best Classic Mystery Books
- Underrated Mystery Books
'ERA' Best Lists
'GENRE' Best Lists
- Best Legal Mystery Books
- Best Police Procedural Books
- Best Mystery Thriller Books
- Best Mystery Suspense Books
- Best Whodunit Mystery Books
- Best True Crime Books
- Best Mystery Thriller Books
- Best Amateur Detective Books
- Best Private Investigator Books
- Best Hard Boiled Mystery Books
- Best Literary Mystery Books
- Best Cozy Mystery Books
- Best Supernatural Mystery Books
- Best Historical Mystery Books
- Best Fantasy Mystery Books
- Best Science Fiction Mystery Books
- Best Romantic Mystery Books
'AUDIENCE' Best Lists
- Best Mystery Books for Women
- Best Mystery Books by Female Authors
- Best Young Adult Mystery Books
- Best Mystery Books for Children
The Culinary Mystery Genre
What is a Culinary Mystery?
This subgenre is as hot as bread straight from the oven. Now that we have cooking shows and celebrity chefs, of course, some of this love of food would spill over into the mystery genre. These books combine food, recipes, food-related professions and murder. They are typically more cozy mysteries, but they are all good fun.
Culinary Mystery Characteristics
- Level of Characterization
There tends to be an amateur sleuth detective whose character is built over the course of several novels along with his or her friends and family. This characterization is primary to what is typically a series..
- Level of Plot
The plot is well-developed and has a number of clues to point the reader in the right direction.
- Level of Mystery
Most of these books have a strong mystery element in that the murder mystery is what drives the action in the book.
- Level of Suspense
There can be some level of suspense if the characters are working against a time constraint, or if the main character is in danger, though the reader knows that the protagonist will survive to solve another crime.
- Level of Thriller
These books are rarely thrillers. Political plots and potato soup don't typically go together.
- Level of Strangeness
There can be some level of strangeness as the backdrop will be careers surrounding food and eating.
- Level of Violence
Since these are mainly cozy mysteries, the violence typically happens out of the scenes in the book.
- Level of Action
There may be some action in terms of dodging bullets and fighting bad guys, but it is limited in nature.
- Degree of Thriller, Suspense, Crime, or Mystery in this the Culinary Mystery Subgenre
These books fall firmly under the category of mystery. Most of the protagonists are young women who are amateur sleuths. There are few options for thriller, crime or suspense elements in this type of book.
Related MYSTERY Subgenres
Cozy mysteries, amateur sleuth mysteries.
Culinary Mystery isn't for you IF...
...you are on a diet, prefer Hot Pockets to fine dining
- 1 As Gouda As Dead
By Avery Ames. The main character owns a cheese shop.
- 2 Murder to Go
By Chloe Kendrick. Protagonist Maeve Kinkaid inherits a food truck business.
- 3 Too Many Cooks
By Rex Stout. Nero Wolfe is at a gourmand's convention when murder strikes.
- 4 The Chocolate Cat Caper
By Joanna Carl. The title alone of the first book can make you put on weight. The main character runs a chocolate shop.
- 5 Catering to Nobody
By Diane Mott Davidson. This very long running series features Goldy Bear, an abuse survivor who runs a catering business.
- 6 Cream Puff Murder
By Joanne Fluke. Hannah Swensen runs a small-town bakery. A long-running and funny series.
- 7 Lemon Tart
By Josi S. Kilpack. The main character does not run a business, but is an avid cook who runs into murder.
- 8 State of the Onion
By Julie Hyzy. The crimes are set against the backdrop of the White House where the main character is a White House chef.
- 9 Sugar and Iced
By Jenn McKinlay. Features a cupcake business and its two owners.
- 10 Pies and Prejudice
By Ellery Adams. A paranormal pie story where the baker has a magical effect with her pies.