Somerville Reads is a project that promotes literacy and community by encouraging people all over the City to read and discuss books on the same theme. For our third annual program, the subject is food—local, sustainable, delicious!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Report on a Potluck with a Mystery Theme

Guest blogger and long-time Mystery Book Group member Rona Fischman has this to say about the mystery-themed potluck that took place at the Central Library on April 4th:

The Mystery Book Group, which generally meets on the first Wednesday of each month at the Central Library, joined into the spirit of Somerville Reads by reading mysteries that had food themes. We had a pot-luck for our April meeting.

There are several authors who write mysteries that include recipes. We read a few of them including A Catered Valentine’s Day by Isis Crawford and Butter Safe Than Sorry by Tamar Myers. One member made blue cheese/cranberry/rosemary cookies from Butter Safe than Sorry. We didn’t much like the book, but we loved the cookies. Another member baked a chocolate cake from The Carrot Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke. We all could die and go to heaven for the dark chocolate that was served as well!

Overall, we preferred mysteries where the food in the story was part of the story, and added to understanding the character or the setting. Among our favorite food books were the Donna Leon mysteries, where the main character, Guido Burnetti, goes home for a multi-course lunch with his family on most days. Even his coffee-break food was interesting to us. To honor the Leon mysteries, pumpkin ravioli was served at the potluck.

Other mysteries with great food are those by Louise Penny. They are set in a small town in southern Canada, where there is a to-die-for bistro and the home cooked meals are also wonderful. We won’t tell you how many people die in the bistro - you’ll have to read the books!