Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Review: The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook Anthology

The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook (Anthology) Edited by Kate White
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release Date: March 24th, 2015
The Mystery Writers of America have joined forces to deliver this superb collection of more than 100 wickedly good recipes. From Mary Higgins Clark’s Game Night Chili and Harlan Coben’s Crab Meat Dip to Scott Turow’s Innocent Frittata and Kathy Reich’s Shrimp Scampi, this cookbook offers one tasty treat after another. Complete with a glamorous art-deco design and intriguing sidebars on the surprising—and sometimes deadly—links between food and foul play, this is the ultimate cookbook for crime aficionados.
Disclaimer: I received a copy for review from the publisher. This does not affect my review in any way, nor am I being compensated for this post.

Well, here's something new and different! I'm reviewing a cookbook, with recipes from mystery writers! I don't know if you can tell by the content of my blog, but I'm not normally into mystery books/adult mystery books. I love a good Nancy Drew book, and I love suspenseful novels with a hint of mystery, but it isn't a stretch to say that I don't know very much about the mystery genre. I also don't cook. BUT. I want to learn to cook some meals before going off to college, and I loved the idea of connecting books and food, so here we are.

I love how simple and easy to follow most of the recipes are. I do wish there were some more single serving recipes, but otherwise, there's a great variety of foods and recipes, split by type: breakfast, appetizers, soups and salads, entrees, side dishes, desserts, and cocktails. Each recipe is short and concise. Each recipe also has a short summary above it explaining the dish and its importance or why the author chose to include that recipe. It was really interesting, even as someone who doesn't know much at all about mystery books, to see how these foods play a role in the stories. The book also includes some other book/food related anecdotes and explanations, ranging from using food to poison people in mystery novels to an explanation of what a red herring is.

The book is also incredibly aesthetically pleasing. The cover is even more gorgeous in real life, as are the end papers! The layout of the book/recipe is clean and crisp. There's a professional cookbook feel, while also definitely still being very much geared to a niche group--mystery book lovers. The cover pages for each new section are also really impressive and well/creatively laid out, featuring a typewriter with a short, funny, related blurb typed on the page. Also, there's a ribbon bookmark! The pictures are very well laid out as well, incorporating both the food and things associated with mystery novels. I think the biggest negative with the book is that there weren't more pictures. Maybe it doesn't bother someone who's used to cooking or using cookbooks, but for someone who's new to the whole thing, it would have been nice to have a few more pictures here and there.
The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

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