We’re just about at the end of December, 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 Vivien Chien’s Noodle 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 December? 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 December 2019 that you want the rest of us to know about, and why did you enjoy it?
Isabella Alan (aka Amanda Flower): Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series
Donna Andrews: Meg Langslow Mystery Series
Bree Baker (aka Jacqueline Frost, Julie Chase, & Julie Anne Lindsey): Seaside Cafe Mystery Series
Stephanie Blackmoore: Wedding Planner Mystery Series
Alan Bradley: Flavia de Luce Mystery Series
Mollie Cox Bryan: Buttermilk Creek Mystery Series
Vivien Chien: Noodle Shop Mystery Series
Cate Conte (aka Liz Mugavero): Cat Cafe Mystery Series
Krista Davis: Paws & Claws Mystery Series
Elizabeth J. Duncan: Penny Brannigan Mystery Series
Carola Dunn: Daisy Dalrymple Mystery Series
Bella Ellis: Bronte Sisters Mystery Series (first entry The Vanished Bride)
Amanda Flower (aka Isabella Alan): Amish Candy Shop Mystery Series
Eva Gates (aka Vicki Delany): Lighthouse Library Mystery Series
Sally Goldenbaum: Seaside Knitters Mystery Series
Fiona Grace: Lacey Doyle Cozy Mystery Series (first entry Murder in the Manor)
Martha Grimes: Richard Jury Mystery Series
Tony and Anne Hillerman: Joe Leaphorn & Jim Chee Mystery Series
Jody Holford: Britton Bay Mystery Series (first entry Deadly News)
Katherine Bolger Hyde: Crime with the Classics Mystery Series
Julie Anne Lindsey (aka Jacqueline Frost, Julie Chase, & Bree Baker): Cider Shop Mystery Series
Faith Martin: Hillary Greene Mystery Series (first entry A Narrow Escape)
Jenn McKinlay (aka Josie Belle & Lucy Lawrence): Library Lover’s Mystery Series
Sara Rosett: High Society Lady Detective Mystery Series
Karen Rose Smith: Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery Series
Denise Swanson: Forever Charmed Mystery Series
Terri Thayer: Quilting Mystery Series
Charles Todd: Bess Crawford Mystery Series
Lea Wait (aka Cornelia Kidd): Mainely Needlepoint 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.
I love Fiona Grace’s Lacey Doyle series. On book 2, have book 3 waiting for me, and hoping she writes more.
Lynn Bennett says
I discovered the Britton Bay mysteries by Jody Halford. Great murder mysteries which I didn’t work out and a pleasant romance for the main protagonist. There are three books so far with another due out next year. Definitely worth a read
Cheryl M. Palmour says
I am currently reading The Vanished Bride. The author places the Bronte sisters in a murder mystery. Very interesting as she takes their lives and incorporates them into the story. I can picture the moors of Yorkshire. The events in the story allude to the books they will write. Enjoyable!!
Ana M Kurland says
I just finished Arsenic with Austen by Katherine Bolger Hyde and enjoyed it. I requested the 2nd in the series from the library. I liked the setting, most of the characters, and the premise for more mysteries.
I am currently reading the second book in Terri Thayer’s Quilting Myseries. I read the first one in this series in November. They are “Wild Goose Chase” and “Old Maid’s Puzzle” respectively. The main charachter Dewey, inherits her mother’s quit shop. Dewey is not a quilter, but is determined to make a go of the shop to honor her mother. I loved the quilting theme of this series and it is a good series to read if you are a quilter or aspire to be like I do!
Cherie M. says
l started off December with the new Martha Grimes novel The Old Success, l have read every one of her Richard Jury books and am still enjoying them immensely. I am so in love with Melrose Plant! Then l read 2 of lsabella Alans Amish Quilt Shop mysteries, Murder Served Simply, a Christmas tale, and Murder Simply Stitched. l know they are both older books but somehow l had missed them. I really like the way she writes, as Isabella Alan and Amanda Flowers (right now l am reading her Verse and Vengeance) it just flows really nicely. Oh, and also in December l got Sarah Graves new Chocolate Shop mystery Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake. I have read everything she has ever written too, l am very glad that Jacobia Tiptree and Ellie White are back together. l love reading books that are set in Maine.
Candy Kennedy says
I am enjoying Christ.as Cow Bells by Molly Cox Byran and the new holiday ones by Kathy Daley, Celtic Christmas is one. I also liked the Great Iowa Caucus Cassarole mystery
Rickee D says
I’ve been enjoying Charles Todd’s WWI mysteries about a nurse who solves crimes. This is a mother and son writing team. The stories are set in England and France
Marie Lawlor says
I am going through Faith Martin’s DI Hillary Greene series. Not as cutesy and formulaic as a lot of coseys- interesting characters.
Susy L. says
I really enjoyed this series, too! Lots of unexpected plot points. Faith Martin’s series about private chef Jenny Sterling is also very good, and a lot more traditional cozy and a lot less police procedural.
Hillary Greene is a terrific series, but so is Jenny Starling as Susy L. said. The Monica Noble books are also more traditional cozies and very good. I also enjoy the Ryder and Loveday books by Faith Martin as well.
Sally Fortney says
Although I’m not real into magical mysteries, I enjoyed A Call to Charms by Denise Swanson. Lexie Green is fired and almost kidnapped by her crazy ex before she finds her way to the magical town and inherits her great-aunt’s house and candy store. The magic is as new to her as it is to the readers. Looking forward to finding out more about the town and its people.
Janice G says
I read a number of Christmas themed books this month. Tide and Punishment by Bree Baker features a snowy holiday season in the Outer Banks where the mayor is murdered, hit over the head with a gnome. Every one works to solve the crime before Christmas day. The Mousse Wonderful Time of the Year by H.Y. Hanna features the regular characters from the tea shop snowed in at an English manor where they are catering a Christmas party. The long lost heir to the title shows up, having been declared dead many years before. He, of course, soon ends up being murdered and the group works to solve the case. I enjoyed Merry Christmas Murder by Stephanie Blackmoore not only for the story but also for the descriptions of Christmas events in Western Pennsylvania where I live.
In non-holiday books, I enjoyed Murder with Cherry Tarts by Karen Rose Smith and what sadly may be the last book by Lea Wait, Thread and Buried. I also liked Now You See Them, a new book in the Magic Men series by Elly Griffiths. This is not a cozy series but I know that there are other Griffiths fans on the site. This books picks up about a dozen years after the last book where the main characters have moved on, married, and started families. Max has returned to England to attend the funeral of another of the Magic Men and gets drawn into a case with Edward involving missing girls. This book contains much less violence than previous books and shows great character development.
I enjoy the Blackmoore wedding planner series. But realized I didn’t read the last one when I read Janice’s post. I looked for it in my library’s inventory and couldn’t find it until I realized it’s “MARRY” Christmas Murder. I’m just mentioning this in case anyone else has run into the same problem.
Diane Drummond says
Just finished “Terns of Endearment” and “Owl Be Home For Christmas” by Donna Andrews. I love this series. The characters are entertaining and the stories are fun. I’ve read all of them ;-D
Susy S says
These were both on my Christmas list and, I also read them this month. I also read the four preceding books in the Meg Langslow series. I really enjoy how the characters have developed over time and have even matured (see brother Rob). I am only sorry that I will have a long wait for the next one in the series.
I also read the latest Eva Gate, Dead and Buried and the latest from Krista Davis, The Dog who Knew Too Much. They were both thoroughly enjoyable, but would probably not be quite as good if you have not read the earlier books in the series.
OK…this isn’t exactly cozy, but it isn’t exactly not cozy either! I’ve been reading Tony HIllerman’s Leaphorn and Chee series. Although it is far more serious reading than most cozies, there is little to no cursing, no sex, and no lingering lovingly over the gore. What it is, is a fascinating look at Navajo culture and spiritualism, as well as DARNED good stories with mysteries that aren’t obvious. I have 23 of the books (by Tony, then his daughter Anne, after his death), and really had to get to the end of them. I’ve been totally fascinated by them.
In actual cozies, I read “Hitting the Books,” one of the Library Lovers Mystery series, and have started on Cate Conte’s Cat Cafe series, with #1, “Cat About Town.” So far, I’m enjoying it VERY much! JJ, the cat, is adorable, and I haven’t figured out whodunit yet!
I received Anne Perry’s first 6 Christmas mysteries (2-in-1 volume editions) and they are wonderful! I hadn’t read anything by her before. I couldn’t put them down! I can’t wait to start her Charlotte and Thomas Pitt, and William Monk series, and I see she has two new series as well. 😀
I discovered the Flavia deLuce mysteries. The decective is only 12 but a genius with chemistry and murder. Also The Society Lady Detective series by Sara Rossett reminiscent of The Miss Fisher series. To cold to go out but perfect for cozy reading.
Becky O says
I rediscovered the Amish Candy Shop series, reading Lethal Licorice and Assaulted Caramel (Amanda Flower) and discovered the Cider Shop series (Julie Ann Linsey). Both are great mysteries with romantic tension between the protagonist and the handsome local lawman.
I continued with Carola Dunn’s Daisy Dalrymple books. I admit, I was disappointed with the American adventure “the case of the Murdered Muckraker,” but she regained my enjoyment in the next two: The first, “Mistletoe and Murder,” is taking place in an out of the way home of a lord which would be the topic of Daisy’s next review of aristocratic homes. This being Christmas, her mother decided that it would be a nice place for a family get together. Except, the lord himself does not reside there, only his “poor relations.” Still, her mother, her husband – chief inspector of the Scotland Yard, her step daughter and nephew, and a pup in toe are there. And when a visitor is found murdered, the “why” is the first puzzle. Daisy is coming to the rescue to a satisfying solutions. The second: “Die Laughing” also provides many puzzles. The “laughing” refers to Nitrous Oxide gas, laughing gas that dentists used to use. Seems that the neighborhood dentist used to treat himself to this on occasions and found dead. Was it an accident? a murder? how and why? Again, a different solutions offered no, not by Daisy alone, but by a neighbor, a new friend. I suspect that we will meet this new friend in upcoming books.
Sorry I didn’t post this month. Just too busy with family and holidays to get my recommendations listed with more than just a title. I’ll do them next month.
MOST importantly…………….HAPPY NEW YEAR — I hope 2020 is filled with many blessings for Danna and all the wonderful blog readers! Thanks to all who shared their recommendations during 2019. I’m looking forward to the 2020 suggestions.
Danna - cozy mystery list says
MJ, that’s quite alright! I certainly understand prioritizing family time and holiday concerns over putting up a recommendations post.
And a Happy New Year to you as well! Like you, I’m certainly looking forward to the suggestions of 2020.
Brendan B. says
2019 was my first year reading cozy mysteries. I have mostly enjoyed reading British Victorian mysteries. I discovered cozy mysteries and this page by accident and I have enjoyed many fine books during the past year. My favorite series by far has been the Seaside Knitters by Sally Goldenbaum. My very favorite book, by far, is one I finished on the last day of 2019. The title is The Cold Light Of Mourning by Elizabeth J. Duncan, which takes place in Wales. I hope the rest of the books in this series are as good as the first. Here is to my second year of the wonderful world of cozies!
You may also like the “Dorothy Martin” series by Jeanne Dams set in England. The first book is, “The Body in the Transept”. In a couple of the books (by both Dams and Duncan) there is some crossover of characters (a fun surprise).
I also REALLY enjoy Jenn McKinlay’s Hat Shop Mystery series set in London. First book is ‘Cloche and Dagger’.
I agree with you about the Goldenbaum series. It is SO delightful and very well written. I love the characters so much that I want to join them on Friday nights!!!