There are literally hundreds of delightful novels which center around food, some are mysteries, some are romance and some just good contemporary reads, too numerous to even begin to list. Several have been made into popular movies, others include actual recipes, but all reflect the writer’s passion for food, which will entertain and delight the reader. Each novel has unique aspects, rich characters, lots of food intertwined throughout the contents and totally different themes.
Here are some top rate writers and books, some of which have ongoing characters, most of which are just one time marvels (and we hunger for more):
A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
Nero Wolfe series by Rex Stout, which chronicles the fascinating and delightful detective character Nero Wolfe, highly fastidious, neurotic and demanding, and a total foodie by anyone’s standards; Wolfe lives in a NY brownstone and enjoys home cooked meals by his personal gourmet chef, while solving murders from his armchair (also an A&E TV series); considered by many as one of the best detective series of the twentieth century;
Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris, and her more notable novel Chocolat, a classic which was also made into a wonderful movie;
Fried Green Tomatoesby Fannie Flagg (also a delightful movie, it will make you want to ferret out some green tomatoes at a farmers market and prepare them at home, following Ms. Flagg’s simple recipe);
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquive, a bestseller made into a popular movie;
Diane Mott Davidson – an author in a class by herself, 17 entertaining books sequentially written (so start at the beginning), which feature the same likeable character, Goldie Schultz, who owns a catering business and is an amateur sleuth on the side, with all the dishes she whips up for her catering clients listed in the back, most of which are relatively simple and fabulous; (This author’s note: my absolute favorite foodie novelist, hands down, I’ve read them all.)
And more wonderfully fun books:
The Epicure’s Lament by Kate Christensen.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
The Belly of Paris by Emile Zola
Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
When in Doubt, Add Butter by Beth Harbison
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert
Bread Alone by Judi Hendricks
Delicious! by Ruth Reich
Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray
and for you wine fans: A Vineyard in Tuscany: A Wine Lover’s Dream, by Ferenc Maté. set in Italy where two New Yorkers try to create fine wine starting from scratch;
And there you have just a starting point. So many books, so little time.