Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Serving Up Murder: Culinary Mysteries

Well, now that the month of madness (called Month-of-Recipes) is over, we can move onto other things and get back to our usual once a week post. During the teeth of the Month-of-Eggs, I attended one of my favorite conferences, Left Coast Crime.

Left Coast Crime is a readers’ conference, but there are lots of authors there, too.  That’s so the readers can meet their favorite writers. The panels are geared toward a reader audience, not a writer one. As a result, as a writer, I listen to what is said and translate that into what I need to do in my books. Sometimes it is a convoluted transcription and other times it is very straight forward.

The panel I was on, “Serving Up Murder”, included five culinary mystery writers, one as moderator. I met some wonderful new-to-me authors and even featured a recipe from one during A Month-of-Eggs. I’m the one in the apron!

These are seriously good writers! If you are in the mood for some new culinary authors to read, check out:
Kathy Aarons
Ellie Alexander
Leslie Budewitz
Carlene O’Neil

Clearly Carlene and I didn’t get the memo about making your last name an early-in-the-alphabet one!

 Sorry for the poor picture quality of some. I didn't have jpegs, just the Amazon photos.

Kathy Aarons writes the chocolate shop series. She is friends with a master chocolatier who provides her recipes. Lavender truffles? Yummers!

You can find her at http://www.kathyaarons.com/

Her website says:
Kathy Aarons is the author of Death is Like a Box of Chocolates, the first in the CHOCOLATE COVERED MYSTERY series by Berkley Prime Crime.

Research for the series was such a hardship: sampling chocolate, making chocolate, sampling more chocolate, and hanging out in bookstores.

Kathy grew up in rural Pennsylvania, attended Carnegie Mellon University, and moved to New York City where she built her career in public relations and met her husband. They relocated to California where she became one of “those” moms: running the PTA, fundraising for school foundations, helping with a high school writers conference, creating costumes for youth theater, building puppets, and cheering on her daughters in hundreds of swim meets and soccer and basketball games.
She began writing when her youngest daughter attended school five days a week and pursued publishing more seriously when her oldest daughter went off to college.

She now lives in San Diego with her husband and two daughters where she wakes up far too early, and is currently obsessed with the Broadway Idiot documentary, finding the perfect cup of coffee, and Dallmann’s Sea Salt Caramels.
You can follow Kathy on Facebook or Twitter

Ellie Alexander writes the bakeshop mysteries and includes many passed down family favorite recipes in her books. Her small town locale, Ashland, Oregon, is a real place.

You can find her at http://www.bakeshopmystery.com/

Her Amazon author page says:
Ellie Alexander, author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin's Press), is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she's not coated in flour, you'll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

Find out more about Ellie and her books by visiting her here:
Blog: http://www.bakeshopmystery.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elliealexanderauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BakeshopMystery

Leslie Budewitz writes the spice shop mysteries set in Seattle’s Pike Place Market.
She says she has learned tons about herbs and spices while writing the series. Her recipes are for spice blends and recipes using spices. Also check out her other series’ books.

You can find her at http://www.lesliebudewitz.com/

Her Amazon author page says:
As the Spice Shop Mysteries continue with GUILTY AS CINNAMON (December 2015, Berkley Prime Crime/Penguin Random House), Pepper Reece knows that fiery flavors are the spice of life. But when a customer dies of a chili overdose, she finds herself in hot pursuit of a murderer...

Springtime in Seattle's Pike Place Market means tasty foods and wide-eyed tourists, and Pepper's Seattle Spice Shop is ready for the crowds. With flavorful combinations and a fresh approach, she's sure to win over the public. Even better, she's working with several local restaurants as their chief herb and spice supplier. Business is cooking, until one of Pepper's potential clients, a young chef named Tamara Langston, is found dead, her life extinguished by the dangerously hot ghost chili--a spice Pepper carries in her shop.

Now stuck in the middle of a heated police investigation, Pepper must use all her senses to find out who wanted to keep Tamara's new café from opening--before someone else gets burned...

I fell in love with Seattle's Pike Place Market as a college student, and still spends hours prowling its streets and alleys on every visit to the Emerald City. I'm also the author of the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries, set in Northwest Montana. DEATH A DENTE won the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First novel. That followed my 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction for BOOKS, CROOKS & COUNSELORS: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law & Courtroom Procedure, drawing on my thirty years as a lawyer--and making me the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction.

I'm president of Sisters in Crime, and passionate about writers helping other writers. I love to cook, eat, hike, travel, garden, and paint--not necessarily in that order. I lives in northwest Montana with my husband Don Beans, a doctor of natural medicine, and our Burmese cat Ruff, a book cover model and an avid bird watcher.

For seasonal updates, please visit my website at http://www.LeslieBudewitz.com, to sign up for emails about new releases, launch parties and other fun goings-on, and book giveaways.

Find me on Facebook as Leslie Budewitz Author.

Drop by my blog, www.LeslieBudewitz.com/blog, for ways writers of all genres can use legal issues in their fiction--undue influence, wrongful conviction, and more.

Carlene O’Neil, our moderator, provided the beverage portion of our panel with her California wine country series. No recipes provided but food is mentioned—a lot! And the wines and wine-making are well described.

You can find her at carleneoneil.com

Her Amazon author page says:
National best selling author Carlene O'Neil is a former television writer, and is currently a commercial real estate broker in the Los Angeles market. She grew up in the heart of wine country in northern California, and is accredited by the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. Currently she lives in Valencia, California. The Cypress Cove Mystery Series is set along the central California coast, and the similarities between the fictional town of Cypress Cove and the stunning town of Carmel are no accident.

One Foot in the Grape is the first in the series published by Berkley Prime Crime. Her second novel, Ripe for Murder, is scheduled for release March 2016. You can reach Carlene at her website at carleneoneil.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/CarleneONeilAuthor


  1. Such fun to meet you and chat food, drink, dessert, and MYSTERY!

    1. Leslie, your productivity is only exceeded by your winning personality. It was a delight and an honor to be on the same panel.