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In recent years, culinary mysteries have enjoyed immense popularity in Germany. Marketed to both fans of detective fiction and food aficionados, they enjoy a large crossover appeal, which at least partially explains their commercial success. Ella Danz is the author of the Georg Angermüller mystery series (started in 2006, nine books so far) set in the Northern German Lübeck area. While this series, whose main protagonist is a police inspector who likes to cook and eat, did not start out as a culinary mystery series per se, it has developed into one of the most popular manifestations of this subgenre. Especially in Danz's most recent novels, cooking and other food-related issues have been taking up more and more room. In this essay, I focus on her 2012 novel Geschmacksverwirrung [Taste Confusion]. This text centers on the death of a food critic who is force-fed goose liver pâté in the same way geese and ducks are force-fed to produce foie gras. Due to the victim's cause of death, the perpetrators appear to be a militant animal rights group, and while investigating the crime, the detective (and thus also the reader) confronts important issues like factory farming and ethical food production.

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This document was originally published in Blood on the Table: Essays on Food in International Crime Fiction by McFarland & Company, Inc. Copyright restrictions may apply.