Cozy Mysteries Cookbook: Recipes from Hope Callaghan's Cozy Mystery Books by Hope Callaghan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I adore this recipe book! I admit that while I have several books by the author in my tbr and my Kindle, I haven't gotten around to reading them. That has changed. I am making it a point to include at least one this month.
I received an email from the author telling me about the cookbook. Being a cookbook hoarder and lover of all things in the kitchen, I immediately purchased the book. I figured it would have a few recipes, and then try to sell me books. It does. However, I was surprised by the number of recipes there were. Not only that but these were all recipes I would have very little issue with making! Holy cow! The recipes all look good, sound easy peasy to make, have ingredients that are relatively easy to find and they are reasonably priced ingredients. Winner, winner! Chicken Dinner! (Appropriate because there are several delicious chicken recipes in the book). Don't think that is all because it gets even better. Hard to believe but it's true. Along with the chicken recipes there are recipes to cover just about anything you can think of, including homemade dog biscuits you can feel good giving your pet. Zoey, (my shih tzu reading companion), is as exited as I am.
As if that isn't enough we come to the sales pitch. Normally I roll my eyes at the amount of advertising in books of this type. Yes, I know. The author is trying to interest you in their books. I understand that. I am just one of those readers who doesn't want to hear what publisher's or professional reviewers have to say. They are all paid or have some type of investment in the book/author. I do like to hear what everyday people, like my friends, have to say. Their investment is having a good story or feeling like the author gave them a good deal for their money. I am digressing. Sorry. Pet peeve.
The author gives an introduction to her mystery solving main characters at the beginning of the book. That was ideal for me. I liked her covers, which show these characters. They looked like fun people, so I bought the books. But I haven't read them. The introduction provided me with the information that I would like these characters. Then, instead of half a book of professional praise, the author provided snippets from her books. I have seen that in a few author cookbooks. Usually it is the first couple of pages. This author, though, provided snippets where the characters were talking about the recipes! How fun is that! I absolutely loved this idea. Not only did it get me excited about the recipe, it got me excited about the books.
I am always wary of new authors and first chapter peeks. The first chapter is the lure. Everyone dresses up their first chapter and makes certain it is the best it can be. Occasionally, though, they get lost in the middle or, even worse, the end, and lose steam. Then you have to make the dreaded decision, do I muddle through hoping the author gets back on track or do I shelf it as DNF? Or you are just angry that all was good and the ending fizzled out with no hope of redemption. Another pet peeve.
Hope Callaghan provides snippets that are likely found all over her books. They were chosen because they mention a recipe in the cookbook. This gives me a much better look at Ms. Callaghan's writing. It allows me to determine if her characters are who I thought they are. It gives me an opportunity to see if the story is truly interesting. Then, because both of those were positives for me, it got me excited about the books sitting in my tbr. So I will be making a shopping list and dedicating at least one day this month to cooking from this book while reading the books that contain the references to the recipes.
I would recommend this cookbook to everyone who enjoys cozy mysteries and likes to eat. Most of the recipes are easy enough for a beginning cook. The snippets have nothing in them to worry about a young teen reading them. It is a cookbook that is fun as well as functional. If you are thinking of getting it, I would tell you to give it a try. If you have specific dietary needs, please use the sample to see if you would find the recipes useful or easily adaptable. Otherwise, go get it.
Oh! the author does provide links, at the end, to her books on sale, to her books divided up by series and the order of them and to her newsletter where you can get free books along with information she shares with her readers.
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