Three new books explore, with warmth and humor, the many things mothers teach us.
Mama Sees Stars (Midnight Ink) by Deborah Sharp is the latest in the slyly charming series about Florida small-town sleuth Mace Bauer and her indomitable mother; Mace gets a job on the local set of a cowboy movie and Mama makes trouble.
Maman's Homesick Pie: A Persian Heart in an American Kitchen (Algonquin) by Donia Bijan is a lyrical memoir by an acclaimed San Francisco chef about her childhood in Tehran, complete with such recipes as saffron yogurt rice with chicken and eggplant.
The Smartest Woman I Know (Algonquin) by Ilene Beckerman is a whimsically illustrated memoir about the author's acerbic Jewish grandmother, with nuggets like, "If there was only one way of looking at something, God wouldn't have given you two eyes."
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor