Books with food themes – and some with recipes!

I used to read a series of books, whose author’s name I’ve long forgotten, on a caterer who was constantly getting into trouble and then out trouble. These books were older, as in I read them close to 20 years ago. But they were fun and the recipes included in the books were ones I enjoyed trying out.

These books were available through my tiny local library, and yes we’re talking a small ATCO style trailer with limited days of availability.

Recently, I’ve noticed an increase in books that have food as a central focus. Even better many of the authors are writers I know!

For example, from this blog alone, we have Marilyn Brant and her ice cream books like:

On Any Given Sundae
and Double Dipping. In her book, A Summer In Europe, she has mention a lot of different foods according to the country they’re in. So you can taste her fiction and European flavors at the same time!


Now Misty Evans has her culinary romanticysteries – The Secret Ingredient (with bonus recipes) and The Secret Life of Cranberry Sauce – which is coming this November.

I also have it on sly that Michelle Diener’s next Regency, Banquet of Lies, has a lady hiding out at a nobleman’s residence as a chef. The inside source, one of Michelle’s CPs, says the dishes sound wonderful and the cooking directions are historically accurate!

Another writer I know, Liz Lipperman has a popular cozy series, A Clueless Cook Mystery
with book one being Liver Let Die. Book 2 in the series is Beef Stolen-Off. She includes recipes with her books too! J

I’ve thought about writing a cookbook, and actually have a family favorites in progress, but hadn’t considered going the route of the talented authors mentioned above.

What about you readers – do you like food in your fiction? It goes without saying that food WITH your fiction is perfect! Coffee cake anyone? J

About Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer writes romantic suspense, with or without paranormal elements like TUESDAY'S CHILD (2011) and now young adult books in various genres like DANGEROUS DESIGNS (2011). Writing stabilizes her in a life gone wild! The other stabilizers? Cheesecake and her four cats! Of course, she's dreaming to think she'll get a piece cheesecake once her four kids find out she's been baking!
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18 Responses to Books with food themes – and some with recipes!

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    It’s fun looking at the covers and knowing I’ve read books by all the authors – and they’re all wonderful!

    My next book will have a food theme. I’m actually not a great cook, though I do have my triumphs. But the element in this is something my mother excelled at. So it will bring back good memories. I might even ask my brothers and sisters for some of their memories.

  2. Amy R says:

    It is funny how what you read about influences your life. Well, I really get into my stories, so for me they do. For example, if I am reading about someone who is always working out, I want to start working out. If I read about someone who eats healthy, I want to eat healthy. I read Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series and I always wanted a donut or fried chicken! After reading Misty’s The Secret Ingredient I wanted chocolate all the time. I downloaded On Any Given Sundae and I am sure when I read that one I am going to want all sorts of healthy foods, right? 🙂 I like it when stories add food, animals, kids, etc. It adds to the story. I just finished Blame it on Texas and in that book the heroine made the hero a Banana and Mayo sandwich. He didn’t like it. Of course, it was used to symbolize his love later (he was willing to eat it for her even if he hated it)! I do like that if a recipe is popular in a book that the author includes it in the end. 🙂

  3. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Amy,

    Banana and mayo??? Hmmm, how deep is my love. In this case, I don’t think VERY deep 🙂 lol. I agree about becoming interested in the information in books. That’s one of the reasons I love to read philosophy, natural healing, and self help books. There always seems to be so much I can pick up and apply to my own life immediately.

    Enjoy On Any Given Sunday! You’re going to want to visit a health food store after that read! 🙂
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Blog Tour for Family Blood Ties series – Vampire in Denial and Vampire in Distress!

  4. Virna DePaul says:

    I like food in my fiction, but generally not as a major theme in story. For example, I believe Linda Howard had one book that mentioned Crispy Creme Bread pudding and she even posted the recipe somewhere. It was just enough to be tantalizing but not overpowering. Great post!

  5. You certainly have accurate sources, Dale. LOLOL. The book coming after The Emperor’s Conspiracy has a lady pretending to be a cook, yes, and I’ve personally made most of the dishes. I know Barbara O’Neal has a number of books with a food theme, as well.

  6. Cynthia Eden says:

    It was fun looking at those covers! Is it wrong that the dessert ones made me hungry? 😉
    Cynthia Eden`s last blog was …HOWL FOR IT is a USA Today Best-seller!

  7. Dale!!!!
    Thank you so much for the shout out :).
    I’m very, very fond of food in my fiction (as well as alongside it!), although, I’ll admit, my characters are frequently far better cooks than I am… Sometimes I’m inspired to learn how to bake something because of a character in another author’s story. Melissa Senate’s The Love Goddess’ Cooking School really had me craving Italian dishes.
    Very excited to hear about Misty’s and Michelle’s upcoming books!!
    Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend ;).

  8. Hey, Dale, thanks for the shout-out. the funny thing is that when I was asked to write a cozy series about food, I originally said no. All the “foodies” I’d read were about grommet food or wine, both of which I’m not a fan of. So, when the concept of a culinary reporter that can’t cook and lives on fast food came to me, I went with it. And BTW, most of the recipes in the backs of my books are right out of my personal recipe files, some even made up, and all have been personally tested.

    And my hubby eats peanut butter, banana, AND mayo sandwiches. Yuk!!

    Thanks again.

  9. Misty Evans says:

    Dale, thanks for mentioning my culinary romance. I loved writing that story and Amy Remus was the inspiration for me for writing the follow up novella coming in November, The Secret Life of Cranberry Sauce. Any time there’s food and a murder, I’m in, whether reading or writing the story.

    Last month, my library had a fun food theme featuring lots of culinary fiction authors. There were too many to read, but my favorites are always the ones that have recipes included. 🙂

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