Thursday, March 8, 2012

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Kate Kulig, Author of Bloody Murder

While Bloody Murder is definitely on the cozy end of the mystery spectrum, I love how hard-boiled authors like Raymond Chandler could bring their setting into the story so well that the city feels like it's a character. When I started writing, I also wanted to evoke that strong sense of place. A good story, in my opinion, should appeal to all the senses, and I thought one of the best approaches to do so would be by involving food.

One reason why Bloody Murder is set in New Orleans (besides my love for the city itself) is it is a place chock full of sensory delights. You can see history in the architecture and museums, hear any kind of music from blues to zydeco, smell the Mississippi and all the delectable food, feel the slight give of a beignet as your mouth closes around it, just to get started.

And the tasting, oh the tasting. Peppery alligator (I prefer it fried), succulent soft-shell crab, crawfish in multiple ways. Let's talk about sandwiches, for a second. New York may have hoagies, Philly may have cheesesteak, but New Orleans has two famous sandwiches, the po-boy and the muffaletta. I like my po-boys with fried oysters, lettuce, tomato and hot sauce. Sometimes "dressed" means mayo as well. The muffaletta is simply a fabulous piece of work, which I'll get into in a moment.

An Amazon reviewed commented that they felt "strangely hungry," when they finished Bloody Murder. Our heroine, Zofia Smith, knows the way to anyone''s heart is through their stomach. If you were to stop into the Bloody Murder bookstore early in the morning, you would be not just tempted, but nearly assaulted with the rich, layered scents of chicory-laced Cafe du Monde coffee and Zofia's homemade muffins. On the Thursday morning the story opens, she is surrounded by sweet-tart raspberry streusel, in a fashion she didn't quite expect.

Nothing, Zofia comments at one point, comes between her and good food. Not even murder. She indulges in delicate pasta on her first date with a charming new gentleman at Pasta e Vino. For an indulgent lunch, she feasts on the aforementioned muffaletta. We are not just talking a sandwich with a few cold cuts here. We are talking spicy, fatty and tender cappicola ham, genoa salami and mortadella on a loaf of bread about the size of a frisbee. Top this with an olive salad--olives, pimentos garlic (garlic is everywhere in New Orleans), onions, celery, red wine vinegar, and you're back in the 1800's taking a lunch break with Italian construction workers.

Even being grazed by a bullet does not stop Zofia from enjoying a couple of foods that make southern life worth living. Good coffee, which goes just wonderfully with homemade pecan pie at Pere Antoine on St. Ann, where Zo and her friends meet several times, also working their way through a delightfully Cajun and Creole menu from crawfish cakes to garlic-laden confetti pasta with a hefty hand on the cayenne pepper.

Take a quick vacation with New Orleans and a murder! 

Bloody Murder is available in the following formats:
Kindle          Nook          Kobo          Google Book 

Thanks again for sharing your food
for thought, Kate!


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  2. Yes, you are welcome to quote/cite my posts as long as you give proper credit and link back to this page. Thanks! Shelley W.

  3. Kate Kulig has been busy since this 2012 visit to BWATE!
    She's released a sequel to Bloody Murder; follow this link for information on Book 2: