Poison Study (Study #1), Maria V. Snyder. Pinner writes: "Yelena, sentenced to die for murder, is scheduled for the noose. However, the Commander's food taster has died and the law requires the next condemned prisoner be given the job. This is her story. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace, and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. So Yelena chooses to become a food taster."
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements—fire, water, air, and earth—to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. In the course of his journey, he discovers that the cook occupies a special place in the world, standing squarely between nature and culture.