We’re just about at the end of March, so it’s time to discuss our favorite Cozies that we’ve read this month!
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 the first entry of Carlene O’Connor’s Irish Village 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 March? 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 March 2020 that you want the rest of us to know about, and why did you enjoy it?
Donna Andrews: Turing Hopper Mystery Series
Nancy Atherton: Aunt Dimity Mystery Series
Cynthia Baxter: Lickety Splits Ice Cream Shoppe Mystery Series
M. C. Beaton (aka Marion Chesney): Hamish Macbeth Mystery Series
Angela C. Blackmoore: Red Pine Falls Cozy Mysteries (first entry Hot Tea and Cold Murder)
Eve Calder: Cookie House Mystery Series (first entry And Then There Were Crumbs)
Vivien Chien: Noodle Shop Mystery Series
Peg Cochran(aka Meg London): Cranberry Cove Mystery Series
Maria DiRico (aka Ellen Byron): Catering Hall Mystery Series
J.C. Eaton: Sophie Kimball Mystery Series
Cyril Hare: Inspector Mallet Mystery Series
Anna Lee Huber: Lady Darby Mystery Series
Alanna Knight: Inspector Faro Mystery Series (first entry Enter Second Murderer)
Essie Lang (aka Linda Wiken & Erika Chase): Castle Bookshop Mystery Series
T.C. LoTempio: Purr n’ Bark Pet Shop Mystery Series
Susan Elia MacNeal: Maggie Hope Mystery Series
Jenn McKinlay (aka Josie Belle & Lucy Lawrence): Hat Shop Mystery Series
Rachel McMillan: Van Buren and DeLuca Mystery Series (first entry Murder at the Flamingo)
Lynn Messina: Beatrice Hyde-Clare Mystery Series (first entry A Brazen Curiosity)
Margaret Mizushima: Timber Creek K-9 Mystery Series (first entry Killing Trail)
Carlene O’Connor: Irish Village Mystery Series
Barbara Ross: Maine Clambake Mystery Series
Amy Stewart: Kopp Sisters Mystery Series (first entry Girl Waits With Gun)
Kirsten Weiss: Pie Town Mystery Series
R. D. Wingfield: Jack Frost 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.
Danna-You might want to correct your e-mail to indicate the end of March, not the end of April as stated in the email.
S T says
Thanks for all recommendations but we at the of March?
S T says
Pie before Guys by Kirsten Weiss was a fun, exciting and on your toe read. I was happy to catch up with the relationship between the main characters (Val & Charlene) as well as their interactions and adventure.
You mean March right?
Claire DeTorres says
I don’t know where Dana is but according to my calendar its the end almost of March NOT APRIL like she said.
Barbara Mesa says
This is the end of March not April.
The Time for Murder is Meow by T.C. Lotiempo. First in a new series, A Purr N Bark Petshop Mystery. Actress Shell McMillan inherits her aunt’s home & business, & since her tv series gets canceled, she retires from acting and moves from LA to Connecticut. Her plans to re-open the store take a backseat to clearing herself from a murder suspect list, aided & abetted by her former costar as well as new friends & a sexy police officer. Fluffy & fun.
On your recommendation I read Murder in an Irish Village. I am not sure if I commented on it already. But I really enjoyed the book. I expected it to be full of the psuedo-Irish dialog that you see in so many books, but it was refreshingly free of it. Real Irish dialog instead. I have already purchased her next book Murder at an Irish Wedding, which I will read as soon as I finish Elly Griffiths The Lantern Men.
Paul D says
I think you’re a little ahead of yourself Danna, its the end of March!
March Recommendations – 2020
Here Comes the Body – Maria DiRico (Ellen Byron)
Ordinarily I wouldn’t have picked up this book. Set in NYC – nah, mob related – nah, bordello – nah.
HOWEVER since it’s written by the very talented Ellen Byron, I did read it. Protagonist Mia Carina has returned to Queens to help her father manage an event center. She is living with her grandmother (sound familiar?). A prostitute appears at this center and accuses Mia’s father of reneging on a payment involving a matchmaking site (which he vehemently denies). At a bachelor party, she is found murdered inside the huge cake. Of course, Mia’s father is accused.
There are some ‘former’ mob ties with Mia’s family. This adds some auspicious connections within the story. It also provides several humorous moments. There are several suspects, with somewhat of an unexpected ending.
This is an excellent story, plotted and paced effectively, and very well written. There’s originality and cleverness to the story. I loved the characters, the uniqueness in them is obvious. I’m SOOOOO looking forward to the next book.
SEE BELOW: Author or fictional author, (or their publisher) Eve Calder should take note of how an acknowledgement and author page is ideally written. Kudos to this publisher (Kensington) who is not afraid to recognize a pseudonym and mention the author’s accomplishments under her other name.
And Then There Were Crumbs – Eve Calder
First of all, my diatribe/rant………………….
Who is Eve Calder? It appears this is a publisher name, because there isn’t any identity with it. On the ‘author page’, all that is stated is this author lives in Florida. I remember when the publisher made up the fictional name of Nell Hampton. It stated the author lived in VA. However, Nancy Parra wrote the books and she did NOT live in VA. She put the ‘ Nell Hampton’ information on her webpage, so we all knew who the author really was.
So when a publisher makes up a ‘fictional’ author’s name, they also make a ‘fictional’ biography. There is a twitter page…….equally bland with no identification items, whatsoever. There’s a ‘totally nothing’ webpage. There doesn’t appear to be any book signings. In addition, the ‘Acknowledgements’ in this book were all to employees of the publisher! None to family members, friends, fellow authors, etc., etc. Thus, a ‘fictional’ author doesn’t have any family or friends. So sad. 🙁
Why is this important to me? I really want to know about the person who created this literary art. When an author puts their words on a page (that I like), I want to feel a connection. It’s VERY frustrating to me that the author’s bio is totally BLANK. I’ve said this often – I never understood the reason for ‘secrecy’ unless the author is ashamed of their work. I’ve also stated this before………..what if you saw a singer you really enjoyed, but the singer was given a false name and did not have a past? You had no idea of previous work, education, etc. All the work the artist has put into accomplishing a goal is negated.
(Now on to this book’s recommendation ) 🙂
Having said ALL THAT, this is really an enjoyable story. Instead of being ashamed, the author should be proud. Of course, if she/he is in the witness protection program then the ‘secrecy’ is understandable.
After a broken engagement (of course, he was with another woman), pastry chef (CIA, nonetheless) Kate McGuire moves to this small delightful Florida coastal community to find a job and another life. The only place she can find work is as a clerk in a bread bakery. A real estate developer is trying to buy out all the downtown businesses through nefarious means. He is murdered and the owner of the bakery shop (Sam) is under suspicion for the crime. Sam is somewhat of a curmudgeon, but one with a big heart. He is in jail because of these suspicions.
A prevalent and ongoing asset to this story is the feeling of community. The characters are well developed and their interactions are so enjoyable. Kate and her next door neighbor, Maxi, have become fast friends. Maxi owns a floral shop, has three children, and a husband who is a prosecuting attorney. The book is fast paced, thus a quick read. It’s the type of story the reader wishes would go on and on because of the terrific friendships. AND, you will love ‘Oliver’ who has become the ‘town dog’.
SO, will the real Eve Calder please stand up!!!
Last Licks – Cynthia Baxter
You know, in these troubling times while we muddle through some anxiety, it‘s nice to just pick up a light and somewhat witty book for amusing entertainment. That’s what I think of Baxter’s Lickety Splits Ice Cream Shoppe series. ‘Last Licks’ is the third installment in this series set in the Hudson Valley area of NY. It’s also Halloween time.
An assistant movie director approaches Kate McKay with a lucrative offer to use her ice cream shop for a scene in an upcoming movie. Of course, Kate and her artsy/creative niece, Emma, are excited to be part of this venture. Both Kate and Emma live with Grams (love her!).
While filming takes place, the female lead takes a bite of the ice cream and is poisoned. With Kate as a suspect, both Kate and Emma take on the investigation of this murder. There are several twists to the plot, involving some complexity and several viable suspects. You’ll most likely be surprised with the ending.
There is a romance angle that I wish the author would flesh out better, though.
Some of the ice cream flavors Kate and Emma put together sure sound enticing. It’s a fun series, so sit back and enjoy!
Buried to the Brim – Jenn McKinlay
I enjoy all McKinlay’s books………….a very talented author. But the Hat Shop series is my favorite. It’s set in London with some very distinctive type characters (probably that’s why it’s my favorite!). Those of us that are fans have waited for 3 years for this installment. I will say, though, this series should be read from the beginning. It involves two cousins managing a very popular hat shop. Scarlett manages the retail side, and Viv is the creative cousin. They get involved in many ‘escapades’ while trying to solve a crime.
This story involves a dog show with Viv creating unusual dog hats. When a man has been murdered, the aunt of Scarlett’s fiancé is a suspect. The aunt is banned from the dog show, so Scarlett steps in to ‘show’ her dog in a series of events.
McKinlay always writes with great wit, which makes her books SOOOO entertaining. In this series with the unique characters, it is even more evident. Of course, it’s well written (that’s a given). An interesting character side story really adds to the enjoyment of this particular book.
However, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the last book in the series.
I have been reading Angela Blackmore’s Red Pine Falls series. This takes place in Oregon where I live and they are very fast reading. Love the characters and small town going ons.
Also reading Agatha Frost series (1st Lemonades and Lies). Again these are interesting and fast reading. Thank goodness for Amazon and Kindle – being able to order each book as I need.
I think you meant that we are near the end of MARCH! 🙂
Parker Brown-Nesbit says
Do you mean March? April isn’t here yet!
Don’t you mean it’s near the end of March?
Sally Fortney says
I read Sealed Off by Barbara Ross. I enjoy this series with its family clambake. This also envolved her boyfriend’s brother and an older mystery with a hidden room in their island mansion.
Kathie Deviny says
Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions by Amy Stewart (“Lady” Sheriff in early 20th c. New Jersey, based on a historical figure.
I liked The Kopp Sisters on the March although I was disappointed that half of the book was about a secondary character. I enjoy these quirky characters and the historical context.
This month I read M.C. Beaton’s Death of a Charming Man, A Hamish Macbeth mystery..
I totally recommend it.
Janice G says
I read and enjoyed the newest book by Vivien Chien, Egg Drop Dead. Lana is in charge of the Ho-Lee Noodle House first catering job. The owner of the Asian Village is throwing herself a birthday party when she makes a huge scene, firing her twin daughters nanny. When the nanny is found dead in the swimming pool, Lana is asked to investigate. The author notes in the preface that she is introducing a female private eye, a character that she developed for a short story while in college. Beside the interesting characters and setting, I like that the books come out about every six months so it is easy to remember the story line from book to book.
Berried in the Past by Peg Cochran is another good book in a favorite series. A woman shows up at Monica’s doorstep in the middle of a snowstorm, confused but sure that someone is trying to kill her. All that she can remember is a red door. When they go to look for the house, she realizes that it is her family home where her sister still lives. They find the sister dead in bed but is it from natural causes or murder. There is also the possibility of big changes coming with the cranberry farm that could change Monica’s life.
Death on the Page by Essie Lang (Linda Wiken) takes place in a castle on an island in upstate New York. Shelby and her aunt run bookstores in the town and in the castle. They are hosting a book signing by a famous true crime writer when she is accused of stealing the work of another writer. The next day, she is found at the bottom of a stairwell in the castle, where she had been allowed to spend the night to research her newest book. Shelby reluctantly gets involved in trying to figure out how and why she was killed.
Susan Bogush says
I have started this series and really have enjoyed it so far!
I have been reading the Bea Hyde-Clare mysteries by Lynn Messina. They are great. The first one started off a little wordy but by the end of the 5th book I was totally hooked. The best part is number 6 comes out in June!
OH THANK GOODNESS!!! It really is March. I thought for a minute I’d lost a month somewhere!
Reading…I’ve spent the entire month reading the Aunt Dimity series by Nancy Atherton from start to (almost) finish. I’m on #22 right now, and having more fun! Oddly, very few of the mysteries are murders, but they are still quite engaging! The few murders all occurred years and years and years ago. This is going to be one of my favorite authors. I have all but the newest book, and have decided that I MUST order that one very soon!
Ellie T says
Author Margaret Mizushima
Her Timber Creek series with policewoman Mattie and her K-9 cop Robo is excellent. I read the first one (Killing Trail) and have the rest on order now.
For fans of C.J. Box, Rich Curtin, J.A. Jance and Nevada Barr, these are books for you. Enjoy.
I was pleased to return to the world of Maggie Hope in The King’s Justice, by Susan Elia MacNeal. It’s now 1942, and Maggie is suffering from PTSD (which we recognize but hadn’t been “discovered” yet). She is caught up in finding a serial killer who seems determined to top the one she helped catch in the previous book. I look forward to the next in the series.
My favorite- the Jack Frost mysteries. Actually, I started with th videos first. The books and videos are faithful to each other. Good mystery with humor and move right along
I’ve actually had more time to read this month which I’m sure we are all enjoying! So this month I read, The Antonomist Wife by Anna Lee Huber, Enter Second Murderer by Alanna Knight, Murder at the Flamingo by Rachel McMillian, and Tenant for Death by Cyril Hare, and if I may say so if Danna doesn’t mind, anyone interested can see the reviews I left for these on Goodreads. Happy reading everyone, hope you are all doing well.
Danna - cozy mystery list says
Novella, I don’t mind people mentioning other sites, if that’s what you’re asking in your other post (I didn’t bother posting that one, though).
Susan Bogush says
Sounds like a great list. I am on an Ellery Adams kick right now. Working through her cozies
Susy S says
Well, I set myself a goal of reading 31 books in 31 days. Since we are retired and self-isolating, it has been relatively easy.
I just finished book 30, and though it is an older book 2002, it was very entertaining. I was ‘You’ve Got Murder’ by Donna Andrews. The ‘sleuth’ is actually an Artificial Intelligence Persona -AIP. Such a different character, who needs a couple of humans to help her with the leg work. It is an older book, so the technology is very dated, but still a really good premise/story. I am looking forward to readin the next book in the series.
John nachtigal says
Any book by Roderick Jeffries or Louise Penny.
I have been reading the Sophie Kimball Mysteries by J. C. Eaton. I have read the first two books in the series Booked 4 Murder and Ditched 4 Murder. I like the characters although the mother is really a bit annoying. What I like most is that Sophie is not deciding between two men and who she likes best. Yeah!
Susy S says
I discovered this series in February. I read the first two books then and the second two in March. I have the remaining books on order.
Yes, the mother is annoying, but having actually spent time in some retirement community, she is not all that unusual (just slightly exaggerated). The really annoying one is Aunt Ina!