The Culinary mystery genre explained

Culinary mystery

There have been many protagonists that have used Kitchen tools as hardcore murder weapons. The art of using these tools for violence has created the Culinary Mystery genre.

There have been females using a rolling pin to smash an attacker down to protect their family. In the Netflix series “YOU” Love Quin is seen using kitchen tools to protect her family.

Love is a culinary chef and baker; she also owns a bakery in Madre Linda.

In season two, Joe Goldberg uses a meat mincing machine to get rid of the remains of a man. The culinary mystery genre can be dark and very creative, depending on how the protagonist uses the kitchen utensil.

Murders and cooking

This may contain some “YOU” spoiler, so read at your own risk.

We are all familiar with the big glass box in Mr. Moonie’s shop that Joe used to trap his murder conquests in. Mr. Moonie used the box to keep Joe in when he thought Joe needed to reflect on his behavior.

The glass box traveled everywhere with Joe, but in season three, the glass box is placed in Love’s Bakery so they would not murder someone at once; they would keep the person in the box until they decide what to do with them.

The box is hidden in the basement and can’t be easily found.

The box is used for storing flour and other bakery essentials rather than rare books in season three. Love knocks Gil out because her son gets measles from Gil’s children as he refuses to vaccine them. They then placed Gil In the glass box; although Gil did commit suicide, they technically drove him to that point.

Joe creates a master plan of pinning Natalie’s murder on him. Natalie, their neighbor who Love, also murdered. She murdered her because she was jealous that Joe had started obsessing over Natalie. To save her family from breaking down, she murders Natalie.

All the murders Love does is always to protect her family. It all starts when she protects Forty, her brother. Although Joe also shot someone to protect his mom, they both make a romantically disastrous or rather murderous couple.

The glass box is used again to contain Sherry and her husband when they figure out Love killed Natalie. It wasn’t hard to figure it out as Love screams that she killed Natalie out of the need to “protect” her family while Sherry and her husband were upstairs. However, they do manage to escape, which is a first.

In the last episode, Love roasts Chicken for Joe and herself; she figures out again that Joe is obsessed with a new girl. Earlier before leaving, Love’s mother tells Joe that Love’s ex-husband didn’t exactly die of cancer, but Love had, in fact, killed him.

While eating, Joe asks Love if this is true. He soon feels dizzy and falls to the floor paralyzed; Love had added something in his food to paralyze him.

Loves irresistible cooking skills are what she uses to trap Joe and to stop him from leaving. She paralyzes him with the roasted chicken.

Love then tells Joe that she did, in fact, also paralyze her ex-husband, and when he wanted to leave, she killed him.

Love sharpens her Kitchen knives to kill Joe, as what would be a more suitable weapon at this point?

Joe manages to save himself as he keeps the antidote with him. It takes a murderous psychopath to understand another, so Joe was aware Love would do this to him. He saw her grow a plant in their garden and knew it was used to paralyze people.

He poisons Love her last words being “We are perfect for each other.” How romantic?

Joe manages to escape; he bakes a pie, cuts his toe puts it in the pie, and runs away after setting the house on fire. He fakes his own death to put the police off his trail. Love is considered a psycho killer that baked her own husband in the news.

Joe is seen in Paris in the season finale, searching for his new obsession Marianne.

Culinary Mystery Genre

Women have long been associated with baking and cooking in mystery fiction.

In a journal article published in 2006, Beth Kalikoff, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Washington, noted that although “caterers and homicide are not so obvious a pairing as, say, police detectives and murders,” culinary mysteries are the reader’s favorite.

For example, Hannah attempts to prove her brother-in-law’s innocence after he is accused of killing a corrupt police chief in Joanna Fluke’s Fudge Cupcake Murder.

Kalikoff states that “Hannah’s detective skills are honed in her cooking classes, where visual evidence, contextual knowledge, and the art of deduction help her solve student baking problems.”

Love Quin killed all those people in the name of saving her family; she has it set in her mind that she is doing no wrong. She acts out of passion and anger. Kalikoff states that in “The 27-Ingredient Chili Con Carne Murders”, Genia “sprays [the killer] with the juice from a bottle of jalapeño.”

Love is a maternal figure even though she has her own business and cares for her baby, yet she never backs off when her maternal instincts kick in.

Kalikoff, states that these female protagonists sell their cooking as a means of gaining independence or working.

Love and sweets treat

Love shows her affection to Joe by making him delicious sweet treats; her character is depicted as a caring wife. She even brings him doughnuts from their favorite shop in season three.

She even bakes them for him; in season two, she leaves them in Joe’s locker with a note to show that she had become absolutely infatuated by him. Joe used to work for Love and his family in the past.


As Kalikoff had stated, that culinary mystery series or novels usually revolve around female protagonists. One of them happens to be Love Quin, a chef, a mom, wife, and murderer when need be.

At the end of the season, Joe is seen in a café in Paris. Let’s see what new culinary mysteries occur in season four now that Love is dead or the audience thinks she is.

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