Apple Cider: The Food of THE WINE OF ANGELS by Phil Rickman

From the title of this post, you might think the story would include wine. But it doesn't. The title comes from a quote by Thomas Traherne (a real life poet who is important to the story), "Tears are the Wine of Angels and the Delight of God", and refers to the drink the fictional town is known for: cider.

The story is about Merrily Watkins and her teenaged daughter Jane, when they move to the small town of Ledwardine (in England), and it all goes to crap. The town, and church where Merrily is to be the new vicar, is centred on an apple orchard. As the story unfolds, the orchard may be haunted, the vicarage may be haunted, Merrily may be possessed, Jane may be possessed, and somehow it all has to do with a brand-new vintage of apple cider.

There is very little food mentioned in THE WINE OF ANGLES. Toast. Eggs. The scenes in this story just do not include meals. The only meal mentioned is early in the book, shortly after Merrily's and Jane's arrival in Ledwardine. The pair are enjoying a Saturday lunch at the pub where they've rented rooms until the vicarage is ready. They order traditional pub food, "a couple of ploughmans-with-cheddar". A ploughman's lunch, interestingly enough, contains "buttered bread, cheese, raw onion, and a mug of cider". You wouldn't think a mystery novel could revolve around cider, and yet, this one does.

And it's a very good mystery, at that.

(Also important to the story is a real life musician, Nick Drake. THE WINE OF ANGELS made me want to know more about Drake and Traherne.)

Read my foodless review at Urban Fantasy Land.