When exactly did we come to use the word "binge" to refer to television watching and reading? I know that we all say things like "I binge watched " a television show, now that sometimes they come out with an entire season at a time. Yes, I have done it. And today, I am admitting that, on occasion, I am powerless in the face of the binge reading that comes with somewhat meaningless escape. And yes, this means murder mystery reading often, in my case, and sometimes such reading with themes related to food. I had such a session some time ago and am only now getting around to "confession." (All this does sound like guilt, does it not?)
As the following list of mysteries suggests, this is an arena ripe for series writing, and ripe, as well with puns. (Really, as gouda as dead?) They also include bits that make them all cozies, really, and romance is always a somewhat less than submerged theme (wedding postponed, boyfriends, and more).
Here are the guilty pleasures I read all at once, some time ago:
Fry Another Day (a biscuit bowl food truck mystery): Authored by J.J. Cook, this one was new to me. Yes, it involves a woman chef, who runs a food truck, and enters a contest of food trucks that involves a reality television show. The trucks moves from here to these across the South, followed by murders and mayhem. While I do not think I will ever want to eat a biscuit bowl, given the presumptive gluten content, the idea seems an interestingly southern take on the taco bowl. There are various entertainingly caricatured characters here, as well as a cat that travels along for the ride. J. J. Cook are, of course, Joyce and Jim, I think, and more on the series is available here.
Death Comes Quickly (A China Bayles Mystery) is by Susan Wittig Albert, an author I have reviewed before, The series moves along, though somehow the main character does not seem to age very much. This is, as the parenthetical notes, one of her herbal mysteries, and yet seems to focus more on art than herbs A quick read, an entertaining one, and not much more to be said than that!
Dangerous Dough: Donut Mystery #18 is by Jessica Beck. Yes, the main character is now married, which relieves only some of the suspense as they return from their honeymoon to find . . .. murder and suspects galore.
As Gouda as it Dead is by Avery Aames (and yes, as the title indicates, this is a Cheese Shop Mystery). This is actually a pretty memorable one -- perhaps more than the others, in large measure because I like the characters, the corpse in the high vat of milk, and the writing. But, like others, a cozy, quick read that we call can squeeze into a binge or more.
Perhaps a reading binge is a bit like an eating binge. You know when you are full, but you do not quite know what you read! So, not many comments, but I can tell you -- a truly terrific escape -- or set of escapes.