Sleuths and Chefs

How better to unwind from prodding the dead all day than to feed living, breathing friends and relatives? Bestselling mystery author Patricia Cornwell's Food to Die For: Secrets from Kay Scarpetta's Kitchen offers favorite recipes from the intrepid medical examiner (Cornwell's series heroine), Scarpetta's colleagues Marino and Rose, niece Lucy and various restaurants. Marlene Brown, Cornwell presents dishes from her mystery titles, preceded by brief relevant excerpts from each one. Italian sausage pizza from Postmortem is followed by 28 more feasts, including Pollo al Limone (shared by Scarpetta and Wesley Benton as they tracked a New York serial killer on Christmas) and Marino's Breakfast Bagel Sandwich from Point of Origin. Sections on olive oil, pasta and tomatoes, lists of the contents of Kay's pantry and freezer and 40 full-color photographs vivify her culinary secrets. (Putnam, $27.95 230p ISBN 0-399-14799-3; Nov.)

The berries glistening from the small, shiny jacket photo only hint at the lushness of the wonders within Gordon Ramsay's Just Desserts. With writer Roz Denny, renowned British chef Ramsay, owner of the Chelsea restaurant, demystifies a dizzying array of treats sensuously brought to life in Georgia Glynn Smith's luminous photographs. Even the hardest heart will be seduced by Lemon and Honey Rum Babas, Mango and Dark Chocolate Mousse, Jasmine Tea and Lime Parfait, Fresh Lavender Ice Cream and Chocolate Truffle Tartlets. The book finishes up with a section of basic recipes and lists of ingredients, equipment and wine to accompany desserts. Anthony Bourdain's foreword pays tribute to this culinary wizard. (Advantage Publishers/Laurel Glen, $29.95 224p ISBN 1-57145-701-1; Nov.)

Prevention magazine examines the healing properties of foods in Meals That Heal: Over 150 Simple Everyday Recipes That Help Prevent & Treat Disease. Anne Egan and Regina Ragone have assembled nutrition-packed dishes that are both salutary and delicious. The easy-to-use format groups recipes by meal (including dessert) and type of food. Recipes include Pasta Salad with Shrimp and Broccoli, and Pan-Seared Red Snapper with Olive Crust. Each has a sidebar listing the health problems it helps and/or treats and its nutritional value, along with health warnings when applicable. The index lists recipes according to the health problems they ameliorate. To help stimulate the taste buds are 150 b&w photographs and 30 b&w illustrations. (Rodale, $29.95 416p ISBN 1-57954-419-3; Oct. 3)

Caring for Loved Ones

Many families have to care for an aging or ill relative at home, an undertaking that requires planning and support. In the American Medical Association Guide to Home Caregiving, Angela Perry, M.D., and the AMA draw upon the experience and advice of experts to address the emotional and practical aspects faced in home care. They cover home preparation, basic and special caregiving skills, choosing and paying a provider, long-term care, nursing home care, care for the caregiver and caring for someone who lives alone, someone with Alzheimer's disease and the terminally ill. Especially useful is a section on organizations and resources. This guide offers manageable alternatives to residential treatment. (Wiley, $14.95 paper 256p ISBN 0-471-41409-3; Oct.)

Artsy House

How can one integrate art, whether a few pieces or a large collection, into one's home and life? In House Beautiful Art: Decorating with Art at Home, design historian Judith Gura and the editors of House Beautiful showcase the many ways in which such decorative bliss can be accomplished, using scale and balance to produce harmonious environments. Whether the setting is a 17th-century Dutch castle, a small cottage in Connecticut or a stark modern manse in Arizona, amazing combinations of old and new, classic and modern, sentimental mementos and priceless objects can all contribute to a satisfying environment which surprises and excites. Two hundred superb color photographs show off the ideas and collections and inspire creative new approaches to those beloved treasures relegated to a shelf or packed away. (Hearst, $40 176p ISBN 1-58816-023-8; Nov.)

Correction: The opening sentence for Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen (Oct. 1) should have read: "Despite the slightly misleading title.... readers will be charmed…."