Donis here. Shortly after I began writing the first of my Alafair Tucker mysteries, I realized that food was going to figure very large in the story. After all, any woman with ten children is always thinking about what’s for dinner. So each of my five mysteries contains a section of recipes for several of the dishes the family eats during the course of the tale.
I am not by any means the first author to have food figure large in her novels. Witness my blogmates, for instance. In fact, I could spend the next year reviewing food-centric mysteries for you, Dear Reader. These days, even books that don’t revolve around food often contain quite a bit about cooking and eating, and if you keep your eyes peeled, you can pick up some fabulous recipes from books.
I have been reading a book called What the Heart Knows, the first installment in the Milford-Haven Novels, by Mara Purl, which is a case in point. What the Heart Knows is a compelling book. Here is a blurb from Mara’s website:
Milford-Haven is a town full of characters. Escapees from San Francisco and Los Angeles, New York and Arkansas, Montreal and South Africa, have come here with their own hopes and expectations, agendas and shadowed pasts. The stakes are high: create a new life from scratch. The opportunities are dazzling: own a piece of the California dream. It’s a town of buried secrets and a dangerous mystery, quaint shops and breathtaking vistas, peaceful solitude and spontaneous conversations. What draws people here is the sense that—in their heart of hearts—they know there’s something they’ve always wanted to do. And if not now . . . when? So look for the sign to Milford-Haven, pull off Highway 1 and stop by. Come discover for yourself . . . What the Heart Knows.
Not only is WTHK an intriguing story, but as a bonus each of the Milford-Haven novels will contain recipes for some of the dishes these lucky central Californians enjoy. What the Heart Knows taught me about Joan Calvin’s Chicken Breast Marsala with Fetuccini Alfredo and Sally O’Mally’s Fabulous Gooey Sticky Cinnamon Buns as served at Sally’s Restaurant. I must warn you that neither of these spectacular dishes will help with your diet. You may die fat but you'll be happy.
Yesterday was the beginning of Mara’s Milford-Haven Novels 11-11-11 Contest at Facebook, which ends whenever the 111th copy of What the Heart Knows is purchased. You could win a free copy of the book, or a free classic Kindle. How to play? Please visit Milford-Haven Novels 11-11-11 Contest at Facebook!