The Fiction of Food: Good Reads

A novel thing, novels about food? Not really, not any more.  It seems like every publisher, and every writer, is racing behind the food-as-novel bandwagon, grasping at the flying straws, straining to hop aboard before  the cart crashes.

Like all fads, trends, what-have-you crazes, some of these novels succeed, while the others appall,  so frightfully bad and boring that you can only blush with embarrassment for  the proud authors.

If you have time to laze about this summer, here’s a very brief list of food-related novels and mysteries sure to keep your appetite whetted.

The Belly of Paris, by Émile Zola

A Body to Die For, by G. A. McKevett

The Book of Salt, by Monique Truong

Butter Safe Than Sorry, by Tamar Myers

Chef: A Novel, by Jaspreet Singh

Chocolat, by Janne Harris

Chocolate to Die For, by JoAnna Carl

The Cookbook Collector, by Allegra Goodman

Cream Puff  Murder, by Joanne Fluke

Crescent, by Diana Abu-Jaber

La Cucina, by Lily Prior

The Cupcake Queen, by Heather Hepler

The Cuttlefish, by Maryline Desbiolles

Dead in the Dregs, by Peter Lewis

Death in Two Courses, by Claudia Bishop

Debt to Pleasure, by John Lanchester

The Discovery of Chocolate, by James Runcie

Fatally Flaky, by Diane Mott Davidson

Five Quarters of the Orange, by Joanne Harris

The Flounder, by Günter Grass

Gourmet Rhapsody, by Muriel Barberry

The Grave Gourmet, by Alexander Campeon

Heartburn, by Nora Ephron

High Bonnet: A Novel of Epicurean Adventures, by Idwal Jones

In the Kitchen: A Novel, by Monica Ali

Kitchen, by Bannan Yoshimoto

The Last Chinese Chef, by Nicole Mones

Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel

Mangoes and Quince, by Carol Field

Mistress of Spices, by Chitra Divakaruni

My Year of Meats, by Ruth Ozeki

Passionate Epicure, by Marcel Rouff

Pomegranate Soup: A Novel, by Marsha Mehran

St. Burl’s Obituary, by Daniel Akst

The School of Essential Ingredients, by Erica Bauermeister

A Toast to Murder, by Michele Scott

Vintage Caper, by Peter Mayle


  1. gary says:

    Jacqueline Deval’s “Reckless Appetites: A Culinary Romance” is a neat little epistolary novel, in which each letter is written by a different character.


    1. I knew I could count on you, Gary, to find something utterly delectable. Sounds right up my alley. Thanks! I’ll check it out.


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