How many of you read books where food, mystery and lies are at the heart of the story? ‘An Appetite for Violets‘ by Martine Bailey is my latest read ATM.
Give me a cook book and I will be inspired to try recipes and create my own but give me a book set “In the dark heart of 18th Century England: a mistress, a maid, a mystery” is even better. I can transport myself back in time, imagining the kitchen and the cooking smells. Many a recipe note taken was done in the 18th century, something many of us do today.
Martine Bailey’s new book, a story intertwined with Biddy Leigh’s life as the undercook at Mawton Hall, and her journey with her new mistress to Italy. Secrets and lies soon unfold. I’m just half way through this book and I love the way it’s set out with the odd historical recipe and notes at the begging of some chapters. Many of which are recognised in today’s modern recipes. Even the recipe for Christmas Pie with it’s 24 pounds of the finest flour, six pounds of butter and the bird within a bird technique are familiar in the 21st Century.
It took me a chapter or two to get into the Biddy’s Lancashire dialect, but once understood, there was no stopping me as I journeyed, with Biddy, chapter to chapter from her life in Mawton Hall, then having to leave her sweetheart behind as she traveled with her new mistress across England and France to Italy.
My busy schedule has only prevented me from reading further, but finish it I will. I love intrigue and I love a mystery, coupled with a recipe or three, and you have the beginnings of a great read.
This feature was first published on the Clandestine Cake Club blog.
Disclaimer: This book was very kindly sent to me ~ Lynn Hill, by Hodder Publishers on behalf of Martine Bailey. The words are my own.