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Add Cyanide to Taste


Loved it! 😍

A collection of delectable stories that chill your spine and pull your emotions every which way. Food and storytelling merged right.

Add Cyanide to Taste is a wonderful collection of mysterious short stories with food as their main feature. Even though I’m not much of a cook myself, I’m a big fan of culinary films, so this book really appealed to me at first glance and didn’t let me down.

It’s very well written and structured without being complicated or overanalysing the food in each story. In fact, the book leaves that for the last few pages, where you’ll find the recipes of the dishes mentioned. There are also cool drawings in the spirit of the different stories.

These themselves are easy to read and intriguing. What I enjoyed the most about Add Cyanide to Taste is the variety of themes, ranging from classic ghost stories to murder and quite unique concepts.

For example, one of my favourite stories from the collection was Dash Friend, which follows a woman starting to notice all the exclamation marks around her. And she proceeds to obsess over the idea to maddening consequences.

Another favourite of mine was Be My Guest, where a group of neighbours have another of their progressive dinners, involving each of the members hosting one of its elements, from the aperitif to the main to brandy. However, things go very wrong as their personal lives get tangled.

The most important strength of Add Cyanide to Taste is the clear enthusiasm the book exudes in mixing food and related concepts with good storytelling. This, in turn, doesn’t settle for entertainment through popular themes. Its juggling act includes stories with smart, modern, and even painful depths.

All-in-all, you can expect a journey of emotions. This collection amuses, moves, thrills, and chills in equal measure. The food, without always being front and centre or even represented as literal dishes, makes the stimulating experience that much more enjoyable.


Reviewed by

Book Breath is a literary blog where I mainly review debut works of 3-5 stars. I also rate and review books in general on Discovery, Goodreads, Amazon, and more. As a beta reader too, I just love finding new gems. Credentials: BA in English Literature, indie creative writer of 15+ years.


About the author

Karmen Špiljak is a Slovenian-Belgian writer of suspense. Her collection, 'Add Cyanide to Taste', won the 2022 IndieReader Discovery Awards. Her thriller, ‘No Such Thing as Goodbye’ received an honourable mention at 'The Black Spring Crime Fiction Prize 2020'. More on https://karmenspiljak.com/ view profile

Published on September 30, 2021

Published by

60000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Thriller & Suspense

Reviewed by