We’re just about at the end of August, 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 Joan Hess’s Claire Malloy 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 August? 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 August 2019 that you want the rest of us to know about, and why did you enjoy it?
Mildred Abbott: Cozy Corgi Mystery Series (first entry Cruel Candy)
Bree Baker (aka Jacqueline Frost, Julie Chase, & Julie Anne Lindsey): Seaside Cafe Mystery Series
Judith A. Barrett: Donut Lady Mystery Series (first entry Sweet Deal Sealed)
Rita Mae Brown: Mrs. Murphy Mystery Series
Kelsey Browning and Nancy Naigle: The G Team Mystery Series (first entry In for a Penny)
Catherine Bruns: Italian Chef Mystery Series
Julia Buckley: Hungarian Tea House Mystery Series
Ellen Byron: Cajun Country Mystery Series
Eve Calder: Sugar House Mystery Series (first entry And Then There Were Crumbs)
Laurie Cass (aka Laura Alden): Bookmobile Cat Mystery Series
Vivien Chien: Noodle Shop Mystery Series
Sheila Connolly (aka Sarah Atwell): County Cork Mystery Series
Rich Curtin: Manny Rivera Mystery Series (first entry Artifacts of Death)
Krista Davis: Domestic Diva Mystery Series
Vicki Delany (aka Eva Gates): Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery Series
Elizabeth J. Duncan: Penny Brannigan Mystery Series
Carola Dunn: Daisy Dalrymple Mystery Series
P N Elrod: The Vampire Files (first entry Bloodlist)
Frances Evesham: Eveham on Sea Mystery Series (first entry Murder at the Lighthouse)
Kerry Greenwood: Phryne Fisher Mystery Series
Carolyn Haines: Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery Series
Betty Hechtman: Yarn Retreat Mystery Series
Joan Hess: Claire Malloy Mystery Series
Julianne Holmes: Clock Shop Mystery Series
Miranda James (aka Dean James, Jimmie Ruth Evans, & Honor Hartman): Cat in the Stacks Mystery Series
Gayle Leeson (aka Gayle Trent & Amanda Lee): Down South Cafe Mystery Series
Donna Leon: Guido Brunetti Mystery Series
Charlotte MacLeod (aka Alisa Craig): Peter Shandy Mystery Series
Mary Jane Maffini (aka Victoria Abbott – writing duo Mary Jane Maffini & daughter Victoria Maffini): Charlotte Adams Mystery Series
Mary Marks: Martha Rose Quilting Mystery Series
Faith Martin (aka Joyce Cato): Jenny Starling Mystery Series (first entry The Birthday Mystery)
Karen Menuhin: Country House Murder Mystery Series (first entry Murder at Melrose Court)
Patricia Moyes: Henry Tibbett Mystery Series
Delia Owens: Where the Crawdads Sing
Katherine Hall Page: Faith Fairchild Mystery Series
David Rosenfelt: Andy Carpenter Mystery Series
Alexander McCall Smith: No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
Ruth Ware: The Death of Mrs. Westaway
Nancy Warren: The Vampire Knitting Club Mystery Series (first entry The Vampire Knitting Club)
Jane Willan: Sister Agatha and Father Selwyn Mystery Series (first entry The Shadow of Death)
Ovidia Yu: Singaporean Mystery Series (first entry Auntie Lee’s Delights)
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.
Judith A Barrett has a Donut Lady Mystery Series. I have read the first 2 books recently. The first book will give you a “feel good” feeling. The back story is a little different from other cozies, the main character was just released from prison. She was accused of killing her abusive husband, and is working to get her life back together with the help of a good friend. I actually can’t wait to read the 3rd in the series, I’m kind of saving it for when I need something really good to read.
I enjoyed The G Team Mystery Book 1, In For A Penny by Kelsey Browning and Nancy Naigle.
Marie Lawlor says
Delia Owens “Where the Crawdads Sing”.
Expert in her field as a naturalist and gifted storyteller.
Ruth Ware “The Death of Mrs. Westaway. Reading another book by her now.
Neither of these are series.
Highly recommend both.
From Shannon. I am looking for an author, she writes a book about a girl that goes to Edinburough, and starts working in a bookstore. The bookstore has kind of a side business in rare books. There is the girl, the owner, an older woman and a younger man in the series.
Rita Ingersoll says
I just finished Inherit the Wool by Betty Hecthman. A yarn retreat mystery. I really enjoy these. I can really get into her story lines. I hate to put them down to work, after lunch. Or to go to bed.
I just want to say….I love receiving your emails and thank you so very much for sharing your passion with all of your subscribers!!!
Danna - cozy mystery list says
Marianna, you’re very welcome!
I read The Shadow of Death and The Hour of Death by Jane Willan. These mysteries are set at a contemporary, enlightened Anglican abbey in Wales. The protagonist is Sister Agatha, an aspiring mystery writer. She is aided in crime solving by local priest Father Selwyn, a laid back courageous guy. Sister Agatha is a great fan of Janet Evanovich and Louise Penny. I have been raving about this series to anyone who will listen. Such a treat to discover a new favorite.
Thanks! That series is on my list. Good to know someone who actually read and liked the books!
Susy S says
Bek, Saw Jane Willan at a book signing and she is a stitch. I find that amusing writers usually write enjoyable books. I have not read any of hers yet, but with 1200 printed books waiting for my attention, it may be a while.
I’m nearing the 2000 mark. So many books, so little time!
Susy S says
I don’t count my ebooks. If I did, I would probably have a heart attack!
My sweet hubby took me ‘booking’ on Sunday and I acquired another 22 books, so today he is going to buy me another bookcase (I found room for one more in my office if I move everything closer to my 12 foot ceiling).
As I tell people, the only way my vice can hurt someone is if the books fall on them, so we attach the bookcases to the walls.
I MUST find room for another bookcase…I currently have 13. I could really use another 5, but that’s just out of the question…unless I get rid of my bed…
Susy S says
This will be number 14 for me. I also have my mass market paperback double shelved. Most of the bookcases are 7 ft tall, but this new one is 8 ft since we have really thigh ceilings now. I need stool to reach the top of the 7 ft ones and I will need a small ladder to reach the top of the 8 ft one, but he bought me that a few months ago so I could reach the top of my craft closet and the cabinets in my sewing room.
Some people may think that many bookshelves a little bit much, but we know better. I only have four bookshelves, but I have a large closet packed with cases of books, and a goal of having enough shelves for all of them. Just can’t get rid of them, and they seem to be reproducing.
Same with my e-readers. Kindle doesn’t seem to have an adequate way to sort and classify them. Or else it’s the operator? Sigh.
Danna, hope we are not too far off topic here…
Susy S says
I have the same issue with my Kindle app, and it doesn’t matter whether I am using my PC or my iPad. I tried moving them to collections so I could organize that way, but it didn’t work for me.
LOL, don’t worry about it, Michael, we tend to skitter sideways here and there! And it all has to do with our love of books, so it fits right in!
One of my friends and I are in the planning stages of opening a cat sanctuary. One of the properties she has looked at has a three story home with a (GASP) library…floor to (high) ceiling shelves with on of the LADDERS! BE STILL MY HEART! Dunno what will come of it, but…it would be lovey! She collects books like we do!
Susy S says
When we were looking to buy our retirement home, one of the ones we looked at had a second story that was just a big library with lots of built-in shelving and lovely windows for creating reading nooks. Unfortunately, he had too many issues to make it a good choice for us.
Emma Hixson says
I’ve been re reading Katherine Hall Page books set on Sanpere Island and that led to re reading all the ones with Sophie Maxwell featured along with Faith Fairchild. Wonderful late summer reads! Emma H
Barb E says
I figure if I stay up until 2 a.m. to finish a book, it is worth recommending. The Diva Sweetens the Pie by Krista Davis was hard to put down. It is the latest in the Domestic Diva Mystery series. I’ve enjoyed them all. The characters are great and the writing smooth but I would recommend starting with the first in the series to fully appreciate the character relationships. Every book I hope Sophie and Mars get back together.
August Recommendations – 2019
Comments: I read two books in series I’ve recommended before. However, in both cases they just weren’t ‘up to par’ this time. I was disappointed. I really enjoy informative and descriptive detail in a story, but I CAN’T tolerate inane detail, which one of the books was loaded with from cover to cover. It appeared to me the author had a required word count and this was the only way she could reach it. Ugh!
In another book, a series often recommended on this site, there were 4 or 5 factual errors all regarding the same subject. It had nothing to do with the story, and could easily have been left out. Just a minute or two searching google would have elicited accurate info. The mystery was good, the characters enjoyable, but these errors REALLY bothered me. Another Ugh! I suppose if you’re writing fiction you can make up your own fictional facts!!
After those two books, I read some new series I was impressed with, so am excited to recommend them………………….
Live and Let Chai – Bree Baker
This is the first book in a new series – Seaside Café mystery. Bree Baker isn’t a new author, but it’s a new pseudonym. Since the copyright is to Bree Baker, I suspect the publisher owns the series.
First, there’s the ‘formula’ cozy scenario — Everly Swan has moved back to her hometown of Charm, NC, on an island in the outer banks after a breakup with her rodeo cowboy boyfriend.
She was raised in this community by her grandmother and two great aunts after her mother died. She has opened a tea shop in the lower level of a historic Charm home. Mr. Paine, town councilman, has opposed her tea shop/business opening and has been reprehensible in his confrontations with Everly.
Of course, he is the victim – found dead near her establishment and poisoned with tea.
OK……………I gave you all the ‘predicted/formula’ cozy story line info. However, since the writing is so good………it grabbed me from the start. Everly is a smart, very resourceful, and independent character. Her great aunts are delightful. And, her bestie from childhood, Amelia, is a terrific and supportive friend. Of course, there is the hunky detective (former US Marshall). There is much complexity to his character and so well developed.
There are intricacies to the storylines, which keeps the reader involved throughout the entire book. There is depth to characters and plots. I’m really excited about this new series. I think many of you will be, too.
Just a note: I also read the second book in this series, ‘No Good Tea Goes Unpunished’. I enjoyed it equally as well as the first book. I’m looking forward to the third release.
Penne Dreadful — Catherine Bruns
This too, is the first book in a new series. It’s a new to me author.
Tessa Esposito’s husband recently died in a car accident. The story takes place just 5 weeks after his death. So she is still very raw emotionally. Her cousin Gino is a policeman and informs her that her husband’s death may not have been accidental.
Tessa is determined to help find information about her husband’s car accident. In order to snoop, she takes a chef position in a pizza parlor her husband frequented.
When I started reading this book, I was unsure I’d like it. But by page 20 or so, I was absorbed with the story, quickly turning page after page. Bruns has developed Tessa’s character with introspection, depth, and a lot of spunk.
I found this story somewhat intense, but yet much of the outcome was predictable. That’s not to take away from the story, though, because there are still some surprises.
A side note: The often used cozy formula where the protagonist does something stupid, thus putting her life in danger goes on a bit too long in this story. I know they’ll be rescued because they have to come back for the next book. If the scenario is too long, I just skip those pages (chapters)……as I did in this book.
Death in a Budapest Butterfly – Julia Buckley
I’ve enjoyed several books by this author, so was excited to read this new series. Contrary to the title, this book is NOT set in Hungary, but in the Chicago area. It does involve Hungary culture (and foods), though. I knew I would enjoy it after reading just the first few pages.
Hana Keller manages a tea house with her mother and grandmother. There’s some ‘woo-woo’ (the ‘gift’) in the story, but it’s not at all ‘objectionable’. A guest is poisoned at an event held at the tea house. Hana steps in to help hunky detective Wolf solve the murder.
The characters are pitch perfect……..so uniquely enjoyable with strong individual qualities. Dialogue is also well written. It’s a well plotted story with some surprises. I, for one, found it difficult to put down….NOT because it was intense, but because it was SO entertaining!
Kudos to Buckley for another story WELL DONE!
I’ll briefly mention the 8th book in a favorite series………….
Booking the Crook — Laurie Cass
This mystery was good (as usual) with enjoyable characters we’ve grown to love. Two new characters are introduced, a new library director and a new board member. It’s set in the snowy cold winter of Michigan (many of the books in this series are set in the blizzardy winter, which we read in the hot summer!). While on her bookmobile run, Minnie finds a friend dead in her driveway.
When a couple of us discussed the previous book, ‘Wrong Side of the Paw’ a year or so ago on this blog, we commented on the strange twist the romance story line took.
In this book, Cass ignores that, and makes an effort to move forward with this ‘romance’ story line as if there wasn’t a past. It’s not a big deal, just so weird! As a result, if the reader wants to read this book without reading the previous books, you really wouldn’t be ‘confused’.
Susy S says
MJ, I love the series by Laurie Cass. I took your recommendation and picked up ‘Live and Let Chai’ by Bree Baker yesterday. Since I also like the books by Julie Chase, it should be a sure thing for me.
MJ, my sentiments regarding filling pages. I have stopped reading a couple of series because of this. Many of my favorite authors include recipes at which I at least glance. But recently two of the same author filled half chapters with talk and details on how they were going to prepare something and then… presented the recipes. I, too, have wondered whether some authors have to provide a minimum amount of words..
I’ve been rediscovering old friends this month. Looking at it, my list is incredibly diverse, but I think that’s one of the best things about cozies – there’s so many different things to choose from!
PN Elrod’s 1930’s series starring Jack Fleming – the Chicago PI with a secret. I highly recommend these!! Incredibly authentic and while not overly violent or graphic, nothing is downplayed or ‘completely’ glossed over.
The Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood. Another fabulous series set in the past. 1920’s Australia, this time, with a rich female sleuth who lives life to the fullest.
Carolyn Haines’ Sarah Booth Delaney Mysteries. Set in the modern Deep South, Sarah Booth struggles to keep her family home going whiile dealing with boyfriends, business and … Jitty – the family ‘haint’, who thinks she should settle down and have babies! Tons of fun!
The No.1 Ladies detective Agency from Alexander McCall Smith. Set in current day Africa.
I’d finished one of these and returning it to the shelf and looking for more, I saw Dorothy L. Sayers almost next to them. (Both under S.) and I couldn’t help wondering how Precious Ramotswe and Peter Wimsey would get on. Lol!
Colleagues of a sort, I think they would extremely polite to each other but both would find the other rather… unusual. It would definitely be a fun meeting. 🙂
I have discovered 2 new authors that I love!! Such a thrill to find new ” best friends” !!!
The first is Ellen Byron. Just finished Body on the Bayou and Plantation Shudders, and starting A Cajun Christmas Killing!! Lovely setting in Louisiana with gorgeous old plantations, mysteries and awesome characters !! Great humor too!!!
The second new discovery is Vicki Delaney’s Sherlock Holmes bookshop mystery series, set in my old stomping grounds on Cape Cod. Finished the first book and almost ready to start the second. Great fun, love all the Sherlock Holmes connections!!!
Also enjoyed Tessa Arlen’s second book, Death Sits Down to Dinner. Series is set in pre WW1 England, with a countess and her housekeeper solving murders.
Have you watched the Phryne Fisher series yet? The DVDs are listed as Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Phryne’s beautiful outfits are enough for me but the casting is perfect, the mysteries are engaging and the relationship with Inspector Jack Robinson keeps you wanting more. There’s nothing better than when a favorite series makes it onscreen and is everything you hope it to be.
LOL, well, I’ve spent the ENTIRE month reading the “Mrs. Murphy” series by Rita Mae and Sneaky Pie Brown. You know my penchant for collecting an entire series, then binging on it! I’ve really enjoyed this series. I like the characters, especially the animals, and the “bad guy” isn’t apparent from the start, always a good thing. Ms. Brown does get a bit political in her books, but I find that I don’t especially mind it. I’m currently ready to begin “Tall Tail,” #25 in the series, with “A Hiss Before Dying” waiting in the wings. I’ll have to wait on “Probable Claws” and “Whiskers in the Dark” until they are available on Thriftbooks.
Susy S says
Bek, My sister picked up a book from this series in some office where she had an appointment and got hooked. I was able to find the first 24 in used bookstores, often with extra discounts, so I gave her the whole set for Christmas. You would have thought I had given her a million dollars by her reaction.
By the way, check out HPB.com (half-Price Books), they often have what Thriftbooks does not, and the pricing is similar.
HA! I now have HPB bookmarked, and shall go and set up an account in a bit! THANKS FOR THAT INFORMATION! You know how I love a bargain. Anything to help with the budget!
Susy S says
We went to three of their physical stores on Sunday because they had 20% off everything in store. They also regularly have on-line coupons via e-mail, so you will want to sign up for that as well.
I nominate a rather new author for Cozy of the Month; Karen Menuhin. She has three books out, and I read all three in August; “Murder at Melrose Court”, “The Black Cat Murders”, and “The Curse of Braeburn Castle”. Her protagonist is a man (not exactly Cozy). He is an amateur detective and the stories are based in 1920’s Cotswold, England. Karen add a good amount of humor and wonderful characterizations to her books. She started writing at age 60. Google her website! 4-1/2 stars on Amazon!
No offense Michael, but while men aren’t common in Cozies for some reason, there’s no reason why they ‘can’t’ be cozy. Peter Wimsey, anyone??
(Danna, don’t you have a page somewhere for male sleuths?)
I’ve just added Karen Menhuin to my ‘Authors to look for’ list, tho, as she does sound good! Thanks for the recommend! : )
Danna - cozy mystery list says
Susan, no, I don’t have a male sleuth page. I’ve thought about it before, but I’ve always come to the conclusion it might be a bit too broad. I know male sleuths are still in the minority for Cozies, but it would still be a substantial percentage compared to most.
Susy S says
Don’t forget Charlie and Diesel from the Cat in the Stacks series by Miranda James!
Danna - cozy mystery list says
Truth, I’ve been doing this too long apparently – I’d forgotten about that page entirely! And looking at it, it needs more than a bit of an update. I’ll have to work on that.
Susan, Not offended in the least! You bring up a good point. I never really thought of Lord Wimsey as a Cozy character before. Happy reading to you!
Ginny Kayfes says
This month i have read the “Bookmobile Cat” series by Laurie Cass. I am just waiting for the latest book from the library. There is a new series started by Angela Mcrae called “The Junkin Jewelery Mysteries”. The first book is “Emeralds and Envy”. The main character scrounges local garage sales looking for old costume jewelery for repurposing into her own jewelery line. The cast of characters from the artisan colony is very ineresting.
I’ve been enjoying the Martha Rose Quilting Mystery Series by Mary Marks. I am currently reading book 5 in the series Knot What You Think.
I do not quilt (or do any handcrafts), but I admire people who do. In addition to “quilt talk” and solving a murder, it is about love and friendship and a little about Jewish culture.
Susy S says
I have recently returned to quilting after not touching any in more than ten years. I should probably check out this series. Thanks.
You might love Sally Goldenbaum’s knitting series set on the north shore of Massachusetts featuring a group of great women of all ages who gather to knit and solve crimes. The series is exceptionally well written and as cozy as it gets.
Susy S says
Thanks. I have been thinking of checking her out. Back in the day a couple of decades ago) read some romances she wrote for the ‘loveswept’ logo.
Rereading Charlotte MacLeod. Got to love her quirky characters!
Sarah H says
Ooh, I love her ! Especially the Peter Shandy and Sarah Kelling & Max Bittersohn ones.
Kathleen Kendler says
Thanks- always enjoy this column/blog.
I read Penne Dreadful and just loved it.
Looking forward to some of the other mentioned books.
Danna - cozy mystery list says
Kathleen, you’re welcome!
Rob J says
Danna: I just finished a few of the Yarn Retreat mysteries by Betty Hechtman. Really liked them and waiting for the last one Inherit the Wool. I basically got all of the other books in that series and read them all in order. Really had a blast. I shoot myself in the foot when I do that because now I have to wait till she comes out with another one!
Boy, was I dumb! Oh well. I am re-reading the Miranda James Cat in the Stacks mysteries as well. Very entertaining and I”m not a cat fan but Diesel and Charlie Harris are a great team.
Janice G says
I just finished Wonton Terror, the newest book by Vivien Chien. Lana Lee is working at the food stand her family is operating at the Asian Night Market when the food truck in the next space explodes. Lana naturally has to investigate since the family who owned the truck were friends of her parents. A visit from her mother’s sister adds an enjoyable diversion from the investigation.
Apples and Alibis is a new book in the Down South Café series by Gayle Leeson. I don’t see it on her page on this site and judging by the price and cover art, I believe it is self-published. In this book, Amy and Jackie agree to deliver food to an elderly woman but find her near death when they arrive. I enjoy this series and the colorful cast of characters who frequent the café.
I read the first in a new series – And then there were Crumbs by Eve Calder. Kate McGuire heads to Coral Cay Florida when she loses her job, her apartment, and calls off her wedding all in the same day. She is trying to find a job as a pastry chef when her car breaks down and a kind tow truck driver refers her to the Cookie House, a bakery that sells no pastries but is renowned for its bread. She’s hired to work as a clerk and soon begins to make friends with the locals and steps in to help when her boss is accused of murder. One of the important characters is Oliver, a poodle mix puppy who wants to be independent but is cared for by the whole town.
I also agree with MJ and her recommendation of Death in a Budapest Butterfly. It took me the first chapter or so to get into the story since there is a lot of necessary information about Hungarian customs and foods. I especially enjoyed that the detective is named Wolf as the wolf plays an important role in Hungarian folklore.
Thank you for doing all this work. I love cozies I read other types of mysteries but always return to the cozies, especially love seasonal, bookstores, libraries, pets and strong women. I don’t like the “hunky hunks” so formulaic and not necessary as far as I am concerned and usually get in the way of the story. Again, you do a phenomenal job, please keep it up.
Danna - cozy mystery list says
Patricia, you’re welcome! I’m glad that the site has been helpful for you.
P. Wever says
This month the books I read were:
1. The Lost Traveller by Sheila Connolly. Maura is out behind Sullivan’s on her lunch break when she sees a dead body in the ravine. She is upset that a body was dumped on her property. The pub regulars are all showing up to hear the gossip and try to figure out who the man is after the gardi can’t identify him. I love this series. I am impatiently awaiting the next County Cork Mystery.
2. The Andy Carpenter series by David Rosenfelt. These are not really cozies. I had only read two of the author’s Christmas themed books. I’ve been wanting to read this series for quite some time. There are 19 books in it. I got Bark of Night at the library. I became obsessed with this series. I love all the regular characters. Plus there is Tara the Golden retriever. I love books with dogs. This series doesn’t seem to be as violent as some series. I know we sometimes find and mention books that are not really cozies.
3. I am currently reading Mildred Abbott’s seventh book Meddlesome Money from her Cozie Corgi series. I am about halfway through it. I love all the human and animal character in this series.The books are set in Estes Park Colorado. Winifred page owns a bookstore and has a Corgi named Winston. She is another person always finding dead bodies.
Thank you Danna for your blog site and all the time you put in producing it.
Sarah H says
I`m working my way through Mary Jane Maffini`s declutter series : Charlotte Adams is an Organising Expert with two cute doggies, who keeps getting dragged into mysteries. Clever plots and very funny.
Virginia Dumas says
Nancy Warren”s Vampire Knitting Club mysteries are a current favorite.
Calla Lee says
I just finished reading Just Killing Time by Julianne Holmes, the first in the Clock Shop Mystery series (I believe there are 3 in total) and I really enjoyed it. I am looking forward to picking up the rest of the books in this series.
Sally Fortney says
I enjoyed The Marmalade Murders by Elizabeth J. Duncan. Penny, a Canadian who had been in Wales for many years now is the sleuth. This time she is involved with a fair. I love the Welsh setting, and the fair with all its rivalries sets up the murder.
I want to thank everyone because I have discovered so many new series from the recommendations. I did a binge read this month, Ellen Byron’s Plantation Shudders series. I had been thinking about it since it came out. It was on the maybe read list but Danna, your review moved it. After the first one I had to read the other 3 in the series, can’t wait for the next one.(I think it comes out this month) I also started Donna Leon’s Venice series. I am on the second in that series. It does not follow the cozy formula, hometown, amateur the main character Commissario Brunetti is a professional. I think readers who love Louise Penny would enjoy these.
I also read Ovida Yu’s 4th installment in the Aunty Lee series Meddling and Murder. Not sure why she’s not listed on the site but she would be a good addition.
Again, I just want to say thanks for the hours of wonderful reading Danna and all of you have turned me onto. Happy reading everyone
I read three books in a series new to me by Frances Evesham, Libby Forest is new to town, having been recently widowed and decided to move from London to a place where she had once had a lovely holiday. Set in a Somerset village the perfect place for a cozy mystery it’s full of local character. Libby works at a local bakery but her real passion is making specialty chocolates which she hopes to turn into a career if she can manage time between finding bodies and saving the local plod from arresting the wrong people.
I also read the latest Michael Leese, not precisely cozy, but still a good read. The author has an autistic son, and when he began writing this series he wanted to introduce an autistic character. Jonathan Roper is brilliant in his own way, but has been sidelined in his career with the Met due to his lack of people skills. However, he is too useful a detective to be wasted, so he is assigned a handler in Brian Hooley. Brian has had a long an fairly distinguished career and is just the person to manage Jonathan’s astonishingly frank comments and keep him focused on the case. These are interesting mysteries and Jonathan and Brian are an excellent team.
The Jenny Starling mysteries are by Faith Martin, author of the terrific Hillary Greene mysteries. Jenny is a traveling cook and very reluctant amateur detective. You see, she is on a one woman crusade to bring back real food and doesn’t like to have to divert her attention from achieving the perfect Dundee cake. She often baffles the police with her conclusions, yet soon gains a reputation as a woman with an uncommon ability to get to the bottom of things. I’ve read and enjoyed them all.
Ex-Superintendent Fabia Havard is trying to build a new life as an artist, but in the first book in the series by Pippa McCathie is drawn into the murder of a local girl because she not only knew her but had been trying to help her start a career as an artist herself. Well written and with interesting characters I hope this series continues for some time. There are currently two books available.
I continued with favorite two authors that I’ve recently discovered thanks to this site:
Carola Dunn’s Daisy Dalrymple series. I appreciate the time and effort that the author took to describe the background and the scenes. “Dead in the Water” takes place during a regatta and Dunn provides many details of the different boats and knots and rules. Oxford students are invites to spend the nights at the home of Daisy’s aunt and she is there too. But an arrogant student gets too much and is found dead. The end, though, is surprising.
“Rattle his bones” takes place in the British Museum of Natural Art and much details goes to the description of the galleries and the various fossils. An arrogant curator is found murdered and precious gemstones are found to be fake. Daisy and her – still – fiance Scotland Yard detective Alec Fletcher combine forces to solve the cases.
I also continued with Patricia Moyes’ Inspector Tibbett and wife Emmy. “Johnny Under Ground” revisits a WWII airfield where Emmy was a flight director and where the flight controller – with whom Emmy was in love – disappeared. But when one of the members is now murdered, Tibbett gets involved. A detailed and satisfying story.
“Death and the Dutch Uncle” is quite convoluted. A large part takes among the waterways of Holland and it is clear that Moyes has been there and provided details again, about the different boats that navigate them and the dangerous wetlands. A young acquaintance visits the Tibbetts with suspicion about an international organization. When Henry hears a comment while investigating a murder of a petty criminal, he gets interested.
Ellie T says
Once again a page-turner from Rich Curtin….Coyote’s Regret.
It’s the eighth is his Manny Rivera series. Fabulous stories from the southeastern corner of Utah.
I suggest you start with the first in the series, but they get better and better.
TERRYE ROBINS says
Just finished Lea Wait’s “Shadows on the Ivy” which is part of her “Antique Print Mystery” series. I like this series because I’m being introduced to a variety of artwork prints. In this book, several times “Currier and Ives” was mentioned and from that I started looking for museums in the USA that carry those prints. Those places have been added to my bucket list to go visit. I appreciate her style of writing which is generally clean. Sorry that Lea recently passed. She and her future writing will be missed.