Foodie Friday Feature: A Taste for Nightshade by Martine Bailey

Title: A Taste for Nightshade
Author: Martine Bailey
Publisher: Thomas Dunne/ St Martin's
Publication Date: January 12, 2016
ISBN: 9781250056924
Number of Pages: 453
How I Got It: from publicist
Format: hardcover
Publicist's Description:
Bailey tells an exquisite tale of suspense, cooking, and revenge set in early 19th century England seasoned with authentic recipes from the time period. This is the story of two women: a naïve upper-class woman and her cunning cook, who wants her mistress’s money, identity, and life. The story begins in Manchester in 1809. When budding young criminal Mary Jebb swindles Michael Croxton's brother with a blank pound note, he chases her into the night and sets in motion a train of sinister events. Condemned to seven years of transportation to Australia, Mary sends him a 'Penny Heart'-a token of her vow of revenge. Two years later, Michael marries naïve young Grace Moore. Although initially overjoyed at the union, Grace quickly realizes that her husband is more interested in her fortune than her company. Lonely and desperate for companionship, she turns to her new cook to help mend her ailing marriage. But Mary Jebb, shipwrecked, tortured, and recently hired, has different plans for the unsuspecting owners of Delafosse Hall.

My Review:
I knew this book would be a perfect selection for my Foodie Friday feature as soon as I read about it. 
While many of the recipes aren't ones you should be preparing (Poppy Drops,) it was interesting to hear about the different foods of the time period and the combinations of herbs used for cooking (and to bring about ailments, recoveries, and emotions.) I liked how the author pressed the boundaries of privilege and society with her two main female characters and of course the detailed accounts of all the food everyone was eating!

About the Author
MARTINE BAILEY is the author of An Appetite for Violets. As an amateur cook, she won the Merchant Gourmet Recipe Challenge and was a former UK Dessert Champion, cooking at Le Meurice in Paris. Her recipes have appeared in many publications including Good Housekeeping, Olive Magazine and Green and Black's Chocolate Recipes. Martine lives in Cheshire, England.

***Disclaimer:: I was given a copy of this release in exchange for an honest review. I received no additional compensation. ***


Judy Krueger said...

Sounds wonderful. Just this morning my husband announced that he realized eating is a sacrament. But I guess it can also be a spell!

Carmen said...

Interesting take on food and poisons. I think I would enjoy this book.

Rhiannon Johnson said...

I like spells and food, too, Judy and Carmen. Another book about food and spells I enjoyed recently was the new release, The Witches of Cambridge, which I have slated for next week's Foodie Friday feature. I also enjoyed The Glass Kitchen immensely a couple years ago.