Food Fights

“Food Fights” in Mystery Readers Journal: Culinary Crime I

Volume 31, Number 1–Spring, 2015

“Food Fights” comments on the role food plays in my young adult mystery, Fighting Chance. Here are the first two paragraphs:

We usually think of food as something that brings people together–families warmed by love and memories as they gather at the Thanksgiving table, friends sharing secrets as they indulge in calorie-laden desserts. And culinary mysteries often feature savory descriptions of dishes designed to whet readers’ appetites for both food and murder.

Sometimes, though, food divides people, rather than uniting them. Sometimes, it underscores differences among characters, rather than emphasizing what they have in common. Sometimes, descriptions of food make readers recoil and toss their napkins aside. That’s how I decided to use food in my soon-to-be-published young adult mystery, Fighting Chance.

The article goes on to explain how the novel uses food to underscore the tensions between the teenaged protagonist, Matt Foley, and his parents. Matt loves his parents and knows they’re good people trying hard to be good parents, but he’s unlike them in important ways and has trouble opening up to them. I hope the characters’ different tastes in food reflect family conflicts in a concrete, humorous way.  To read the full article, you can order a back issue at