Rob Hart has firmly established himself as one of the best crime writers of his generation with his acclaimed Ash McKenna series, and in TAKE-OUT Hart has collected 16 stories of culinary crime and noir that will have you savoring every deadly bite.
In the title story, a gambler falls into debt with the enigmatic owner of a Chinatown gambling parlor, and must run odd—and sometimes dangerous—deliveries to clear his ledger.
In "How to Make the Perfect New York Bagel," the owner of one of New York City's last old-school bagel shops has to defend his storefront—in the past, from the mob, and in the present, from a bank.
In "Creampuff," a bakery with the hottest pastry in town has to hire a bouncer to control the unruly line, with tragic results.
In these stories and more, some never before published, Rob Hart explores the enticing and dangerous intersection where food and hospitality cross paths with crime and noir. Some stories are funny. Some of are dark. But each one will leaving you wanting another bite.
Hart's first story collection offers 16 winning food-themed tales, three previously unpublished. Whether his leads are operating a taco truck ("Confessions of a Taco Truck Owner") or running a family business that has lost customers to trendier competitors ("How to Make the Perfect New York Bagel"), Hart (the Ash McKenna series) brings their worlds to life through effective use of character and mood. Highlights include the grim "Butcher's Block," which presents a sadistic variant on Food Network cooking competition shows, and the satirical "Foodies," which takes an enjoyably vicious dig at food snobs, for whom dining at the latest hot place even trumps their basic humanity. In "Creampuff," someone has invented the new cronut, the Creamel , a baked French pastry with frozen ice cream inside. This latest "it" food induces people to line up at 4 a.m. to buy one, but the focus is on the bakery's bouncer, who ends up with his throat slit. The varied settings and story lines effectively showcase Hart's versatility.