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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

Popular Culinary Mystery Books