April is coming to an end, so it’s time for the monthly Cozy recommendations thread! I’m starting this one a bit late, so regular posts like the beginning of month and Monday posts will be pushed just a bit back!
If you read a Cozy mystery this month and want to recommend it to the rest of us, be sure to post it here! For this month, I read another frequently recommended book, the first entry in Amanda Flower’s Amish Candy Shop Mystery Series. For the reasons I want to recommend it, be sure to check out the blog entry!
So, what have you been reading that you can recommend in April? Please be sure to tell us why you liked these Cozies so much. I know we’re all always on the lookout for more particularly good Cozy Mystery authors! (If you have a lot of Cozies you think are great, please post the ones you like the most at the top of the list.)
As always, please do not tell us about the Cozy Mysteries you did not like.
What really good Cozy Mystery did you read during April 2019 that you want the rest of us to know about, and why did you enjoy it?
Here are the current recommended authors who some of you have read and recommended this past month:
Julia Buckley: Writer’s Apprentice Mystery Series
Kate Carlisle: Bibliophile Mystery Series
Vivien Chien: Noodle Shop Mystery Series
Sheila Connolly (aka Sarah Atwell): Orchard Mystery Series
Krista Davis: Pen & Ink Mystery Series
Krista Davis: Paws & Claws Mystery Series
Maddie Day (aka Edith Maxwell & Tace Baker): Cozy Capers Book Group Mystery Series
Kathleen Delaney: Mary McGill Mystery Series (Purebred Dead is the 1st book)
Amanda Flower: Amish Candy Shop Mystery Series
Eva Gates (aka Vicki Delany): Lighthouse Library Mystery Series
Daryl Wood Gerber (aka Avery Aames): Cookbook Nook Mystery Series
Elly Griffiths: The Stranger Diaries (stand-alone non-Cozy)
Lee Harris: Christine Bennett Mystery Series
Hazel Holt: Mrs. Malory Mystery Series
Leslie Karst: Sally Solari Mystery Series
Essie Lang (aka Erika Chase & Linda Wiken): Castle Bookshop Mystery Series
Alyssa Maxwell: Lady and Lady’s Maid Mystery Series
Patricia Moyes: Inspector Tibbett Mystery Series
David Rosenfelt: Andy Carpenter Mystery Series
Sofie Ryan: Second Chance Cat Mystery Series
Paige Shelton: Scottish Book Shop Mystery Series
I will list the authors and series that have been recommended, but I urge you to read the comments below so you can see the reasons other Cozy Mystery readers thought these were their best reads of the month.
♦To access more Cozy Mystery Books Recommendations, click on this link♦
P.S. I usually don’t comment on your recommendations since they speak for themselves.
Shaffer’s Hope Never Dies, I loved it and would consider it a very unique cozy mystery since the series is called The Obama/Biden Mysteries. Very tongue in cheek and humorous if you like a little political satire with your cozy mysteries 🙂 Also read 2 Carlisle Bibliophile Mysteries #4 Murder Under Cover and #5 One Book in the Grave. I love that series and highly recommend it for the book lover. The main character repairs and restores books for a living.
karen graves says
I read The Cinco de Mayo Murder by Lee Harris (the last book in the Christine Bennett Series). Although it was written several years ago, part of the plot had to do with a college scout and bribes being paid to the scout; a topic that is in the news presently. I liked this series very much and am sad that it is over.
On another note, I was happy to discover that Death of a Wedding Cake Baker by Lee Hollis and The Diva Sweetens the Pie by Krista Davis were delivered to my kindle last night. Yippee!
Danna - cozy mystery list says
Karen, I (too) love it when a Kindle book magically appears on my Kindle…
I missed last month reply so will do it now, for two months. I continued with Patricia Moyes: Death on the Agenda and Murder a la mode. Both entirely different from the first two, when inspector Tibbett and his wife Emmy were faced with a closed knit small community, here they were in Geneva for an international conference. Yes, he found the murderer as well as the ones behind a drug ring. But we also see a different side of Tibbett, as a man. Murder a-la mode takes place in London, in the world of high fashion where, again, he is faced with a closed knit group that is hiding many secrets and Tibbett has to penetrate the complicates stories of the characters.
I also followed the recommendations for Krista Davis, Color Me Murder where a body is found in a hiding place under the second floor and the question is who knew about this hole. Davis has a nice style and a rich descriptions of the characters. I followed her to the other series, about Wagtail where animals are always welcomed, everywhere. The first one, Murder She Barked, where Holly Miller meets the dog that “adopted” her was so full of love for the dog that it was difficult to put it down. Miller drove to Wagtail where her grandmother keeps a hotel and ends up solving a murder case. Yes, of course, the dog is an important detective, also in the following books: The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer and Murder Most Howl. Again, Davis has a nice style, she finishes each chapter in a “cliffhanger” which forces the reader to keep reading.
Last, I continued with Hazel Holt’s Mrs. Malory series. I like these old fashioned books, shorter than more modern ones, take place in the vacation village of Taviscombe and Mrs. Malory is not put in an immediate danger. In Mrs. Malory Wonders Why (Superfluous Death) an old lady who may be in the way of a converting her apartment building into a new housing project, is found dead. Sheila Malory starts investigating. Yes, she uncovers the unexpected murderer. In the next one – Mrs. Malory and the Only Good Lawyer – the story is complicated and it is only Sheila’s eyes that solve it. One of the characters in this story is a retired, knighted actor, thus many references to Shakespeare’s works.
Rickee D says
I’m reading a David Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpenter mystery right now called Deck the Hounds – it makes me laugh. The humor is dry – Andy is a lawyer and loves dogs; his wife is a former police officer but is now a private detective who works with Andy. The dogs’ personalities are also funny. This is not the first novel in the series so the characters are probably better described in earlier books, but they are very intriguing. There’s a little bit of language but it’s not too much (and, I really hate swearing). I’m sure I’ll want to read more of this series.
Sally Fortney says
I read Murder Lo Mein about the manager of a noodle restaurant in an Asian Village. There are several murder while they are having a cooking contest. I like that the author talks about the various shops in the village. Too bad there are no recipes because the food sounds delicious.
April Recommendations – 2019
Death Waits in the Dark – Julia Buckley
Lena London collaborates with famous mystery author Camille Graham in writing and plotting her novels. She also lives with Graham in her mansion and they have become very close.
Jane Wyland, a former resident of Blue Lak, IN comes to Ms. Grahams home and states she is going to ‘uncover’ a huge secret involving her dead husband. Of course, this unnerves Camille.
Jane is found murdered in her rented cabin. Both Lena and Camille want to find out who murdered Jane and why. This involves delving into the distant past (high school and young adult) of the people who knew her and what happened at that time. Someone attempts to kill Lena and Camille in a car accident. Lena suffers from a broken arm.
I divulged more than I usually do when describing a story. BUT, this story is a lot about introspection of several of the characters, especially Lena. It involves internal ‘mind games’ and paranoia, thus creating a very interesting aspect to the story.
This story is somewhat gripping, as the reader hurriedly turns page after page to see what happens next.
There are sideline stories, too, as the characters delve into the past of themselves and their friends. It’s a well written series with strong and intelligent characters. Buckley defines her characters especially well, making this an fascinating read.
Purebread Dead — Kathleen Delaney
This is the first book in a new series by an author new to me. Mary McGill is a very busy ‘retiree’. First of all, I have to admit I was exhausted just reading about all her activities!! This is set in a small CA community at Christmas time. Mary is the ‘go to’ person for every community activity.
For those that like stories with pets in them, this has it in spades. A retired vet is found dead in a manger by two children. Also found there is a puppy. The children saw someone running away from the manger. The first concern is for their safety because it is unknown to the culprit if the children saw him/her.
The found puppy plays a role in the story which features a puppy breeding business. There are so many twists to this story that, at times, it gets confusing. The plot is well laid out with refreshing characters and an ending that is somewhat unexpected. What’s not to like?
No Escape Claws – Sofie Ryan
This is the sixth book in a delightful series. It’s light, humorous, and a fast read.
Sarah owns the Second Chance shop in a Maine ‘touristy’ community. A senior group of ‘detectives’ (the ‘Angels’) always draw Sarah in to their investigations. All these characters are diverse, touching, and SO astute.
The daughter of an imprisoned man asks the group to help gain her father’s freedom because he was falsely convicted of the death of his wife. This investigation leads down a trail of many roads to find the correct solution. There’s another unrelated side story that isn’t easy to follow because it is rarely mentioned, except at the end when there is a resolution. I even had to say, “huh’?
There is a real ‘’family’ sense while reading this book with the heartwarming relationships. Also featured is “Elvis’, the cat! It’s really an entertaining read.
Janice G says
I didn’t read as many books as usual this month but did read several very good ones. A new series by Maddie Day starts with Murder on Cape Cod about a woman who owns a bicycle rental and repair shop on Cape Cod. When her brother is the prime suspect in the murder of a local handyman, she and the members of her cozy mystery book club decide to investigate. I liked the location plus the fact that the main character is already in an established, healthy relationship. This book is a Barnes and Noble exclusive at this time and will be available on Amazon in December.
I also read Murder Lo Mein by Vivien Chen, a series that I really enjoy. I also liked The Loch Ness Papers by Paige Shelton and Sifting Through the Clues by Daryl Wood Gerber. The new series by Essie Lang starting with Trouble on the Books also seems to be promising.
Although not a cozy mystery, I have to strongly recommend The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths. I know that a number of other readers have commented on her other books on the site. This book is described as a Modern Gothic mystery and had recommendations from many mystery writers including Louise Penny. The story is told from the viewpoint of three different women following the murder of a high school teacher in a small English town – Clare is a teacher at the same school, her teenage daughter Georgie, and Harbinder the police detective assigned to the case. Harbinder has an immediate negative reaction to Clare, who she views as a cold woman and a strong suspect in the murder. Clare discovers that someone is writing comments in her diary, likely the murderer. I don’t know that this is going to be part of a series or a stand alone but it is a very well written book.
Janice, I have that Vivien Chen series on my “must have” list. Think I’ll move them up the list a bit. Are there recipes?
Janice G says
No recipes are included which is too bad because the food described in the books sounds so good.
Bek, no recipes, although the described dishes in the stories sound yummy!
TO MJ and Janice…that’s disappointing, but STILL looking forward to the series. Bet I can google some of the recipes!
I’ve been binge-reading Sheila Connolly’s “The Orchard” series, and really enjoying it. It revolves around a young woman who’s job in investment banking suddenly goes away due to merging and redundancy. Her mother comes up with a plan for Meg to go to western Massachusetts and renovate an inherited family home and ready it for sale. Of COURSE, no sooner does she get there, than she discovers a body and is one of the prime suspects. And away we go! Meg is a delightful character, the stories are lively, the plots well-thought-out, there are a couple of engaging animals, and two or three yummy recipes in each book. I”m hooked…but there are only TWO LEFT after the one I’m reading now!
OH WHAT SHALL I DO??? Well…matter of fact, start The Tea Shop Mystery series by Laura Childs. I loved her Cackleberry Club series, so I’m looking forward to this. I WILL take a short break to read a couple of Mary Stewarts, though, just for old time’s sake.
Pat D says
You will love the Tea Shop Mysteries! I have read them all and they’re great! There’s a lot of great info about tea and Charleston. The three characters who run the shop have a really great “family” relationship and Theodosia has a great dog.
Thanks! I’m really looking forward to them. I figure I’ll get started on the series along about Tuesday or MAYBE Wednesday!
I don’t know if the Orchard series is done or not. The last book was just released last fall. However, this series has probably run its course with the 12 books. See what you think after reading ‘Nipped in the Bud’.
You may also enjoy Laura Childs’ Scrapbook series set in New Orleans.
This site gives many wonderful recommendations. A couple ‘long running’ series I would suggest (considering what you mentioned above) is Sally Goldenbaum, Katherine Hall Page, Susan Wittig Albert (China Bayles) and Jenn McKinlay (Cupcake Mysteries, Library Lovers, Hat Shoppe Mystery (all three series are good, but my favorite is Hat Shop Mystery).
I’ll give them ALL a peek, at least! I now have a kindle, so I can preview books, and see what I want in “real” books, for my shelves.
Susy S says
MJ, I got hooked on Jenn McKinlay reading her library series then her cupcake series (she actually gets the facts right about Scottsdale and Phoenix – probably because she lives here) and the hat shoppe came third.
She is doing a signing here this weekend and I am so looking forward to it!
I just finished reading Dying for a Taste. It is the first book in the Sally Solari series. Sally is a lawyer who left the law business to work in her dad’s restaurant. Her aunt Letta also owns a restaurant in the same town. When Letta is found murdered, Sally takes over the daily operations of the restaurant to keep it running while trying to figure out who killed her aunt. There are four books in the series so far. There are also recipes at the end. I enjoyed it very nuch!
Barb E says
I liked the period mystery Murderous Marriage by Alyssa Maxwell. It is the latest in the Lady and Lady’s Maid Mystery series set in the 1920s. Enjoyable, easy read.
And a fun book with good flow is Something Read, Something Dead – the latest in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series by Eva Gates.
Ellie T says
Read the Manny Rivera series by Rich Curtin. Perfect summer cozies set in Utah. The gorgeous landscape provide the backdrop for Manny solving murders under the wide skies of southern Utah. R. Curtin is an excellent storyteller and master of the Cozy.
Coyote’s Regret is the latest in the series, just out last month.
Linda S. says
I have found 2 cozy mystery series I enjoy; the first is “The Leafy Hollow” series by Rickie Blair. First book is “From Garden to Grave”. It takes place in Canada near Lake Ontario and is about a young widow who has learned her aunt has disappeared and come to Leafy hollow to find out what’s going on. The main character is Verity Hawkes who had become a recluse after the death or her husband, but soon learns to come out of her shell and make friends. The humor in it is somewhat droll; and there are a few quirky characters as well as a one-eyed cat she names General Chang. There is somewhat of a teaser at the end of each book that makes you want to start the next one. You’re not left hanging exactly, but given a bit of a clue as to what has really happened to her Aunt, who everyone thinks is dead, except Verity and her aunt neighbor.
The other series is the “Stormy Day” mysteries by Angela Pepper. It takes place in the northwestern part of the US and is also a rather humorous series and has a cat. Stormy has come back to the small town she grew up in, opened a gift shop and starts solving murders. The first book in this series is “Death of a Dapper Snowman”. I think the artist’s rendering of the front of the book is what piqued my interest in this series. And I was not disappointed. I hope whoever decides to read these enjoys them as much as I have.
Pat McGhan says
Just discovered Karen Musser Nortman’s series this week. I’very read the first 2 in the Mystery Sisters series and loved the repartee between the two older sisters as they look into solving mysteries. The two sisters , Max and Lil , are retired and take several car trips a year. They are a bit cantankerous with each other as could easily exist with siblings in their later years. I switched to Karen’s other series about trailer camping. The main characters are 2 couples in their retirement years, exploring state parks. Larry, one of the main characters is a retired policeman and brother to the wife of the second couple . The Mystery is presented from the eyes of Frann5, wife of Larry. There is one more of Karen’s series about a travel trailer that includes time travel each time a trip is taken. While I haven’t started that one, I am sure it will be as fulfilling as the others .