Mysteries around food beautifully blend two of my favorite things in the world: food and suspense! Food is not just something that helps us live, it’s also something we turn to to cope with myriad emotions. Sometimes we eat our feelings in cupcakes, sometimes we celebrate our wins with pizza. This sub-genre of mystery novels is a great way of appreciating how crucial a role food plays in our lives, often unbeknown to us.
Today, I have penned a list of culinary cozy mysteries that are my absolute favorite. If food is something you don’t just eat to sustain yourself but also something that gives you purpose, which means you are a food connoisseur in the truest sense, this list is for you! Here, food is more than just a fuel to keep the characters carrying on from one day to the next. It’s the propelling force pushing the plot, creating intrigue, and eventually unraveling the mystery.
But make sure to curl up with enough snacks once you pick up any of the below-mentioned culinary cozy mysteries because the constant talk around scrumptious food will get you hungry! Then again, there is no better way to relax than satiating your taste buds while reading a mystery novel that is bound to make you lose track of time.
Eight Culinary Cozy Mysteries
Glazed Murder by Jessica Beck
After her divorce, Suzanne decides to pursue her passion: donuts. She opened a shop in her beloved hometown and named it Donut Hearts. But peace is not meant to last long as a dead body is dumped at her doorstep making her cozy little shop a crime scene. Before she knows it, Suzanne finds herself trying to judge the veracity of everyone’s alibis and getting more and more entangled in this murder case.
Mango, Mambo, And Murder by Raquel V. Reyes
Food anthropologist, Miriam, moves from New York to Miami. The move has taken a toll on her when her best friend comes to the rescue. She offers Miriam a job as an on-air cooking expert on a morning TV show. Just when Miriam is slowly finding her footing, a socialite dies and a series of events connects her death to Miriam’s best friend. Miriam decides to do everything she can to clear her name but what if this ultimately leads her to a fatal ending?
Aunty Lee’s Delights by Ovidia Yu
Rosie Lee throws herself into building a culinary empire after losing her husband. Her restaurant is famous for spicy Singaporean homecooked food. But then a dead body is found in one of Singapore’s tourist attractions, and when one of her guests fails to show up at a dinner party, Lee knows that something is not right. With the help of Police Commissioner Raja, she launches into a fully-fledged investigation to uncover who the culprit is.
Arsenic And Adobo by Mia P. Manansala
When Lila moves back home to recover from a breakup, she is tasked with saving her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant. But then her ex-boyfriend shows up and drops dead after a confrontation with her. Her family is already struggling to keep a roof over their head. Becoming the prime suspect in a murder case doesn’t help the situation either. Thus, Lila takes it upon herself to clear her name and also deliver her family out of the crisis.
Magic, Lies, And Deadly Pies by Misha Popp
The first time Daisy kills a man with a pie it is an accident. But now she has turned this into her one true vocation. She and her dog deliver deadly pies to men who have horribly wronged the women of her town. One day she gets a threatening letter telling her that she is being watched and it won’t be long before her secret is out in the open. How will she keep helping women if she herself is now on thin ice?
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke
Hannah is trying hard to avoid her mother’s attempts at marrying her off while simultaneously trying to run a very popular bakery. But then the beloved delivery man from the Cozy Cow Dairy is found murdered. To top it off, Hannah’s famous chocolate chip crunchies are found scattered all around him. Angered by this sudden loss, Hannah tries to snoop around and get to the bottom of this murder mystery. But if she doesn’t watch her back, her life might get wrecked too.
Catering To Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson
Catering at a wake is not really what Goldy wants to do but despite her reservations, she prepares a feast for 40 mourners. Surprisingly, her ex-father-in-law falls sick after eating food prepared by her, and as it happens, Goldy is accused of poisoning the food. Now with the law after her life, her ex-husband vouching for her guilt, and the poor reputation her business is attracting, Goldy realizes she cannot depend on the cops to help her out. She needs to rely on herself and only herself!
A Killer Cupcake by Fiona Grace
Allison wants to have her own bakery and start afresh. But it’s not going to be easy as she has a murder investigation to get through first. She wants to focus on pastry recipes and keep her bakery up and running. An orphaned dog with a penchant for solving mysteries shows up just then. Will Allison and her sidekick manage to save her future?
If you are looking to have a cozy time with mystery novels this weekend, please check out this list of even more culinary cozy mysteries! Can’t get enough of books centered around food? I’d also recommend this list featuring fantastical food fiction.