Back Between the Traces

Plans A, B and Z accomplished, I’m back between the traces hauling behind me one very delayed novel. I really have to get on with it now, not least because I have a million ideas about what I want to write next. Well, a couple of ideas at any rate. That’s what holidays can do to you.

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But today’s question, thrown into the court of public opinion, is what to call this sequel to Perfect Meringues. I opened the bidding with Contains Nuts, which was quite well received by my publishers but then they got the notion that the title of such a character-led book should include the name of the protagonist. They suggested Lizzie Partridge, Three Ways.

This was a bit lost on me as I don’t have a television but it was explained as being a very popular trend on cookery shows. As in, Tripe, Three Ways, I suppose. I tried to love this idea though I wasn’t convinced. For one thing I feared people would ask, ‘what are the three ways?’ and I wouldn’t have an answer. Furthermore, I doubt whether even readers who enjoyed Perfect Meringues would remember Lizzie’s name. She was played, by the way, by Imelda Staunton, when I adapted the book for radio. Christopher Biggins played Louie, Lesley Joseph played Kim and we had a lot of  fun creating the glop and squish of an audible food fight. But that’s all a long time ago and my book still doesn’t have a title.

I, half-heartedly, offered Lizzie Partridge, Sweet and Sour. It’s being considered. But in my heart of hearts I still think we should have something off a cake-mix box. Just Add an Egg? Now with Added Calcium? Garnish Not Included? 

So now over to you, dear reader. I welcome your views and suggestions and will even convey them upstairs to the Court of Appeal.


  1. Louise Godbold on June 24, 2017 at 11:25 am

    A ‘three way’ has a very distinct meaning in the US, one that would be a better fit for a prequel to “50 Shades of Grey.” How about “Riffing with the Recipe” if the book is going on to describe Lizzie’s escape from the hollow semblance of domestic harmony to a liberated life as a divorcee. I hope the nice man who sits across from her at the hospital and says she looks “half starved” will be featured as a love interest.

  2. Jane on June 25, 2017 at 10:28 am

    I went to my favorite cooking blog for inspiration and came up with the following for your consideration:
    Freezer Friendly
    Put An Egg On It
    Weeknight Favorites
    Everyday Cakes
    Baked Not Fried
    One-Pan Dinners

    I think any of these with “Lizzie Partridge,” in front of them would be good.

  3. Helen Atkin on July 5, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    How about “With a Pinch of Salt”?

  4. Avril Silk on August 18, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    On no account look to meringue recipes for inspiration. Otherwise you will find ideas for titles that will appeal to a whole other readership.

    I don’t advise looking at game bird references, either

    Lizzie ‘Pavlova’ Partridge maintains the meringue link…

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