Ruth Reichl, last editor of the now-defunct Gourmet magazine, has written a novel, Delicious! And it's a good novel. The main character appears to be based on the author and I have to think some of the other characters and experiences are closely based on her life experience.
The food magazine in the book, called Delicious, suddenly and unexpectedly ceases publication after nearly 80 years leaving the narrator almost jobless. She agrees to stay on and answer the phones of the no longer published magazine. With the help of the publication's travel writer she goes on a treasure hunt in the magazine's library and finds a set of letters written by a young girl in the midwest to James Beard, who worked briefly for Delicious before World War II.
The story is contrived, but I who read so many murder mysteries have little grounds to complain of that. The characters are not as real as I would have liked, and the plot is predictable. Reichl, whose writing about food is without peer, does not shine quite so much when she switches to fiction.
But for me this book was in the right place at the right time. I needed something that was not difficult to read and that I KNEW would end on an up note. And I always enjoy reading about food. The book is full of food - bread and salami, cheese and pasta, salads and roasts.
So this is a 3 1/2 star book that will be a treat for foodies. But it doesn't have what it would take to interest anybody who eats to live rather than the opposite.