Monday, June 2, 2014

Spotlight: Cozy Food: 128 Cozy Mystery Writers Share Their Favorite Recipes by Nancy Lynn Jarvis

I'd like to thank author Nancy Lynn Jarvis for joining us at Socrates' Book Reviews and sharing her brand new book Cozy Food:  128 Cozy Mystery Writers Share Their Favorite Recipes with us.

This is a test. Ready? Name 128 Cozy Mystery Writers.

Cozy Food started when I spotted a graphic and thought it would make a perfect cozy cookbook cover. I filed that image in my brain and got back to work finishing up The Murder House, book five in my Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries series. I started planning another book, but I’d take a peek at that graphic every once in a while and it never failed to make me smile.

I had one recipe already if I ever decided to do more than grin at that graphic. I’d created Mysterious Chocolate Chip Cookies because my protagonist sometimes bakes cookies at open houses to entice buyers, and sometimes uses the frozen cookie dough she keeps in her freezer to make emergency comfort food for friends and clients suspected of murder.

On March 27th Ellery Adams posted a recipe on Facebook and on a whim, I asked if I could use it in a cozy mystery writer cookbook. I expected she’d say no and that would be the end of my idea. Instead she said, “Of course!” My recipe had a story and Ellery’s recipe had a story…my bet was that people who read cozies would enjoy stories with their recipes.

After writing six books of my own, I “know” a fair number of cozy writers because of social media, blogs, and helpful groups like Murder Must Advertise. I just needed forty-eight more writers willing to share a recipe or two from their books or personal lives and I could pull together a cookbook—or at least a cook-pamphlet—with a great cover and recipes with stories.

Any cozy writer who’s amateur sleuth works a day job where organizing is key could have come up with the same idea and started cold calling, but like Regan, I was a Realtor for many years and coordinating transactions is in my blood—that’s internal, not the kind that occasionally winds up on the floor in my books — so I gave it a shot.

I sent out a letter as spammy as one from a Nigerian prince to writers I knew and started researching addresses of writers who had done interesting sounding cozies. I wouldn’t have had the nerve to send the letter to strangers, especially those whose writing talent impressed me, if my friends hadn’t been supportive. But they were and so I did, and the most amazing thing happened. 126 other writers agreed to be in the cookbook.

So what happens when 128 cozy mystery writers get together to do a cookbook? You get more than 220 recipes that are as varied and interesting as an amateur sleuth’s day job and a book filled with the wit, inventiveness, and adventure found in cozy mysteries. The recipes are introduced by their authors and linked to writer bios in the back of the book. You can look up a cozy writer and see which recipes are their favorites; they'll tell you what the recipe means to them. Or you can enjoy a dish and then link to the recipe's author's biography and books.

Even if you love cozies, I bet you can’t name 128 cozy authors, so either way you enjoy the cookbook, you're sure to find great new recipes to make and terrific new cozy authors to read.

Check out these links:

Amazon Link for 128 Cozy Mystery Writers 
Amazon Author Link for Nancy Lynn Jarvis


  1. Blodeuedd, It is! And fun, too.
    Yvonne, thanks for having me here today.

  2. How fun! I love finding recipes in cozy mysteries, and it'd be nice to have one big collection. Yum!


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