It’s the end of the month, which means it’s the time I ask you about your favorite Cozy reads of the month. I know summer is a hectic time of year, but I’m guessing all of us make time to read our Cozy Mysteries. I wish I could say that I have been reading outside, while enjoying the summer breeze, but since the heat index has been over 100° several days down here in San Antonio, I’ve been reading inside with the air conditioner cranked up.
I just started reading a new-to-me author who self-publishes her Cozies, and I’m enjoying her a lot. I am hoping that I will be able to recommend her next month, but I don’t want to recommend her now since I don’t know if I’m going to continue enjoying her as much as I’m currently enjoying her.
As those of you who follow this site know, earlier this month I posted entries about Lorna Barrett’s Booktown Mystery Series and Lea Wait’s Mainely Needlepoint Mystery Series. If you’re interested in seeing those posts, you can find links to them on the Most Popular & Recommended Cozy Mystery Series page of the site.
How about you? Are there any Cozy Mysteries that you’ve read this month the you thought were way better than the rest of this month’s Cozies? If so, would you please tell us about these really good Cozies and why you liked them so much? Most of us are always looking for new-to-us Cozy Mystery authors to add to our favorite authors list! We’d love to hear about the Cozy Mysteries you especially liked, so that we (too) can read them. (If you have a lot of Cozies you think are terrific, would you post the ones you think are even better than the others at the top of the list?)
As usual, please do not tell us about the Cozy Mysteries you did not like.
What really good Cozy Mystery book did you read during June 2016 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:
Kristi Abbott: Popcorn Shop Mystery Series
Donna Andrews: Meg Langslow Mystery Series
Nancy Atherton: Aunt Dimity Mystery Series
Donald Bain: Capital Crimes Mystery Series
Mignon F. Ballard: Miss Dimple Mystery Series
Lorna Barrett (aka Lorraine Bartlett & L.L. Bartlett): Booktown Mystery Series
Juliet Blackwell (aka Hailey Lind): Haunted Home Renovation Mystery Series
Laura Bradford (aka Elizabeth Lynn Casey): Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery Series
Sandra Bretting: Missy DuBois Mystery Series (book #1 is Murder at Morningside)
Kathleen Bridge: Hamptons Home & Garden Mystery Series
Cindy Brown: Macdeath
Kate Carlisle: Bibliophile Mystery Series
Kate Carlisle: Fixer-Upper Mystery Series
Bailey Cates (aka Bailey Cattrell & Cricket McRae): Magical Bakery Mystery Series
Sheila Connolly (aka Sarah Atwell): Museum Mystery Series
Marla Cooper: Terror in Taffeta
Waverly Curtis: Barking Detective Mystery Series
Maddie Day (aka Edith Maxwell & Tace Baker): Country Store Mystery Series
Laura DiSilverio (aka Lila Dare & Ella Barrick): Readaholics Book Club Mystery Series
Elizabeth J. Duncan: Penny Brannigan Mystery Series
Dawn Eastman: Family Fortune Mystery Series
Amanda Flower (aka Isabella Alan): Magical Bookshop Mystery Series
Shelley Freydont: Celebration Bay Mystery Series
Susan Furlong (aka Lucy Arlington): Georgia Peach Mystery series
Diane Kelly: Paw Enforcement Mystery Series
Josi S. Kilpack: Culinary Mystery Series
Cynthia Kuhn: Semester of Our Discontent
Gayle Leeson (aka Gayle Trent & Amanda Lee): Down South Café Mystery Series
Edith Maxwell (aka Maddie Day & Tace Baker): Quaker Midwife Mystery Series
Maggie McConnon: Belfast McGrath Mystery Series (book #1 is Wedding Bel Blues)
Liz Mugavero (aka Cate Conte): Pawsitively Organic Mystery Series
Katherine Hall Page: Faith Fairchild Mystery Series
Diane Vallere: Costume Shop Mystery Series
Elaine Viets: Dead-End Job Mystery Series
Lea Wait: Mainely Needlepoint Mystery Series
Patricia Wentworth: Miss Silver 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 happened upon a copy of English Trifle, by Josi S. Kilpack and was very impressed with the story….actually very comical story. Looking forward to finding some more of hers.
Just finished a crazy Donna Andrews mystery: The Nightingale Before Christmas. She’s always good for a laugh, and she came through again; reading something that is set during chilly weather at least makes me feel a little cooler. Now I’m onto A Cherry Cheesecake Murder by Joanna Fluke. It’s March in Lake Eden, Minnesota … still chilly and Hannah Swenson is sure to bake up something yummy!
Margaret StashEmpress says
I read some really good books this month, a mixture of new series, new-to-me series and good old favorite series.
Edith Maxwell — Delivering the Truth (Quaker Midwife series)– This is a new series from the author of the Local Foods mystery series (which I’ve never read). The premise grabbed my attention (Quaker midwife in the late 1800’s, delivering babies & solving murders) and I couldn’t resist. Very well plotted, I totally didn’t guess the twists & turns that the story would take. Characters very “real” and sympathetic. Looking forward to the next in series.
Nancy Atherton — Aunt Dimity and the Buried Treasure (Aunt Dimity series) — newest installment in what is probably my favorite “feel good” cozy series. Love this series.
Elaine Viets — The Art of Murder (Dead End Job series). Another old favorite series — this time involving murder in the art community. Though I have to say, I did enjoy the earlier books in the series better, when Helen was on the run from the law & living day to day with real “dead end” jobs. There was more of an element of urgency in those days because Helen *needed* the jobs to survive and very much needed not to be looked at too closely by police (always a problem when you find a dead body!) because she was on the run and we very much didn’t want her to get caught and have to go to jail (*and* give all that money to her ex!). Now there’s not such a sense of urgency — she’s a licensed PI, happily remarried & though she is still going undercover on “dead end jobs” for her PI work, you know there’s no risk — if she’s caught out, so she loses a case at worst. All that said — I still love the characters & the series & it was a very good book!
Dawn Eastman — Be Careful What You Witch For, A Fright To The Death, An Unhappy Medium (Family Fortune series) — Books #2, #3, & #4 in the series (yes, I binge read them — they were due at the library and someone *else* had them on hold so I couldn’t renew anymore LOL). Cute premise — town full of a variety of people with a variety of special powers — mediums, psychics, etc. Good reads.
Marla Cooper — Terror in Taffeta –another new series. Bridesmaidzilla gets murdered during a destination wedding in Mexico and wedding planner Kelsey McKenna must solve the case if she wants to get paid — and stay out of jail. I enjoyed this very much & can see it taking off as a great series, particularly if the location is different in each book (think wedding themes, locations?)
Donald Bain — Margaret Truman’s Deadly Medicine (Capital Crimes series) — The latest of Donald Bain’s continuation of Margaret Truman’s bestselling series of murder & mayhem in Washington DC. This one involves “big Pharma” & how far would they really go? Gripping read.
Katherine Hall Page — The Body in the Wardrobe (Faith Fairchild series) — newest installment in this old favorite series — this time focusing more on Faith’s protege from the previous title, who is now married, living in new city, dealing with a variety of in-laws, some scarier than others — with Faith coming in at the end to save the day.
Darcie Wilde — A Useful Woman (Rosalind Thorne series) — Another new series. Taking place in Regency England, Rosalind Thorne’s father abandoned his family, absconding with money not his own… not only ruining the family socially, but leaving them destitute. Rosalinde manages to survive in society by being a “useful woman” — the person you turn to for help with decorating, throwing the *best* parties, shopping for the *right* wardrobe, solving the occasional murder…etc… Very good read, hoping there will be many more to follow!
Ellery Adams — Breach of Crust (Charmed Pie Shoppe series) — Another favorite old series — Even though Ella Mae LeFaye no longer has her magical powers, she still bakes the most magical pies — and is still the best qualified to solve any murder and mayhem in the magical community.
Kate Carlisle– If Books Could Kill (Bibliophile series) and Books of a Feather — this is a series I picked up in the middle — and working both backwards and forwards at the same time to catch up LOL. If Books Could Kill is the second in the series and Books of a Feather is the newest release. I loved them both!
Shelley Freydont — A Golden Cage (Newport Gilded Age series) — Second in a great new-ish series. I hope there will be many more. I love historical mysteries — most particularly when there’s lavish clothing involved. 😉
Just started book two of the Georgia Peach Mystery series by Susan Furlong and am loving this series!!!
I have read both of them.
June Recommendations — 2016
Birds of a Feather — Kate Carlisle
This story is set back in SF. I enjoy the somewhat bizarre characters more so in the wine country setting, but it’s nice to get back to these characters, too.
A man is stabbed at the famous SF Covington library and protagonist Brooklyn Wainright finds him. Later, another man is murdered in her apt.
She is a bookbinder/restorer/book artist. An old friend (Crane) of her fiance (Derek Stone) is visiting them and much of the story involves him. Brooklyn is restoring several books and believes the murders revolve around one of them – she just doesn’t know which one. I found it fairly easy to ascertain one of the criminals, but the surrounding story is enlightening. Carlisle writes an exciting story filled with some wit and humor.
I must say, though, this story is heavy on the book restoration process, which doesn’t interest me at all! This series is very character driven and so enjoyable that I would suggest no one be dissuaded from reading it because they don’t like this topic. Several times throughout the story, I was able to skip over pages of these descriptions, which didn’t take away from any of the story lines. Of course, that contributes to a faster read! 🙂
I did find a somewhat disturbing discrepancy running throughout the story, but it doesn’t interfere with main story lines – just a disconnect. Also, there are two unanswered questions at the end…………..not sure if they will be pursued in the next book or not. They aren’t real important – just odd curiosities.
COMMENT: This author does a fantastic job of keeping the relationship between Brooklyn and Derek relevant and vibrant. They work beautifully together and their rapport adds to a pleasurable read. As with several cozy relationships, it started out antagonistic and developed into a ‘couple’ relationship. MANY, many other cozy authors (some of my favorites) send the significant other (once they become a couple) on trips and their part in the story is reduced to a few phone calls. KUDOS to this author for her creativity!!! (This might be a topic worth discussing sometime — do you want the male half of the couple to remain an integral part of the story or not?)
I ‘second’ Danna’s recommendation!
Title Wave – Lorna Barrett
This latest book is centered around a ‘Mystery Lovers Cruise’. Need I say more for this recommendation?
Since it’s the middle of winter, Angelica arranges for several Stoneham residents to enjoy a week on an Irish cruise ship. A murder occurs, but it really takes a back seat to other story lines.
The most interesting information gleaned from this book is the detail about authors and their travesties in writing and publishing books. There’s a lot of fascinating inside knowledge mentioned that we, as readers, have no clue about or are privy to.
Also a focus of the story is some personal issues that Tricia (protagonist) has, not highlighted in previous books. I couldn’t figure out why this author kept focusing on this thread throughout the story. In fact, I was a little upset that she was changing a well-liked character into one I didn’t like at all. But it came together about 2/3 through the book.
BTW, kudos to the author for providing a list of characters in the beginning of the book. It certainly helps the reader to keep everyone straight!
Not necessarily an exciting mystery, but, for sure, a somewhat thought-provoking read!
Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle — Laura Disilverio
I’ve had this book on the shelf since January, but hadn’t gotten around to reading it. This is one of those book in which I had a very difficult time remembering the characters from the first book. It’s another ‘entry’ with ‘Orient Express’ mystery references (as is Kylie Logan’s last book).
Amy-Faye (nickname A-Faye) Johnson is the protagonist. Her brother, Derek, is opening a pub in Heaven Colorado. Since A Faye is an event planner she has planned the activities for the grand opening. During this grand opening several bizarre things happen, including the murder of Derek’s obnoxious partner. And, of course, Derek is the main suspect.
A-Faye’s book club (readaholics) friends gather to help to solve this murder. This is a very fast paced book, as are most of Disilverio’s books. The characters are somewhat diverse. Dialogue quips keep the reader amused. The plot is well developed and there are several viable suspects, making attempts to figure out the solution difficult.
Again, I’m surprised that editors don’t pick up on ‘factual’ errors. At one point it is stated that Amy Faye is five years older than her brother. At another point she states she was in 6th grade when he was in 4th. Go figure. I really think that editors often ‘skim’ a manuscript/book, but don’t really read them. But, obviously, this discrepancy is teeny/tiny and doesn’t have anything to do with the enjoyment of the story.
The 3rd book in this series (Readaholics and the Gothic Gala) is due for release in August. I’ve read four of the five series by this author (and pseudonyms). She writes only three books in a series. The disappointing part is she doesn’t tie up the loose ends in the third/last book. In her beauty shop series the publisher hired another author to ‘finish’ the series with a fourth book. I assume this author, after writing three books, gets bored with her characters (even though the reader doesn’t) and wants to move on to another project.
Ironically in a panel discussion within the story of above-mentioned Barrett’s book (Title Wave), cozy authors discuss that some cozy authors only want to write three books in each series. Hmmmmm……
The following three books are the first in NEW series I really enjoyed and, thus, wanted to recommend……
Disguise to Die For — Diane Vallere
I had a lot of misgivings when I started this book. I already read a few pages of 2 other books and decided I didn’t want to read them. I was reading in bed and was too lazy to get up to select another book. So I read and continued to read. I didn’t like the location and didn’t like the concept, but I continued to read………even past page 50. It was around page 100 that I got HOOKED.
After a 7 year absence, Margo returns to her home town to help her father with his costume shop after he had a heart attack. She was a Magician’s assistant in Las Vegas. She rented costumes to a wealthy resident who was having a mystery costume party. A man is murdered at the party.
I guess in many ways this is a typical cozy. But the reader stays engrossed until one finishes the book. I found it difficult to put down and the story and characters stayed with me, even as I was doing other chores around the house.
I noticed a bit of ‘editing’ problems, though. However, it was nothing that affected the story. Margo was living in Las Vegas for 7 years which was located about 40 miles from Proper (her hometown and where the story is set). However, because she was SO FAR away she only visited her father on holidays. Huh? Huh? Huh? I know people who drive 40 miles to work and home every day! AND, this is in desert Nevada where there’s little, if any, traffic! The other ‘distance’ problem was when her father was hospitalized in a town 200 miles away while on a trip. Margo and a friend reached the hospital in an hour!!! Go figure! I know, I know it’s minor, but the editor of this book is one that edits numerous cozies — how could she miss this?!
Crime & Poetry — Amanda Flower
As much as I enjoy Amanda Flower’s books, when I first read about this series I wasn’t going to read it because of the ‘woo-woo’ aspect to the ‘magical’ bookshop mystery. However, my library is my voting precinct. So I was standing in line just in front of the mystery section and I saw this book. Since standing in line was ‘boring’, I picked it up and started reading it. I was several chapters in by the time I got to the voting booth, so (of course), I had to check it out and bring it home to read.
Last month I mentioned Irish Stewed. I was totally surprised at how the first chapter in these two books were similar/identical in concept. It’s my guess that these two authors even know each other since they both live in Cleveland, and their paths probably have crossed at some book events. After the first chapter the stories go in their own directions and are completely different. Just thought it was a really BIZARRE coincidence (and both released within a month of each other)!
Protagonist Violet Waverly is lured (??) to an upstate NY community by her grandmother to help with a family owned bookstore. In Chicago, she has been working on her PhD. A friend of her grandmother’s is found murdered in a horse/buggy cart.
Flower always takes us on a twisted journey to find the mystery solution and this story is no exception. I was astonished as to ‘who dun it’. I did NOT see that coming! She also develops several interesting relationships. So much so, that even though there is the ‘woo-woo’, I am looking forward to the next book! BTW, the ‘woo-woo’ is done in a light handed manner (through books), although it’s creative and complicated.
Kernel of Truth — Kristi Abbott
A librarian friend recommended this book to me. Like the above two books when I first started reading it, I was unsure I’d like it. In fact I didn’t like the protagonist, which is usually a good reason for me not to continue. However the story line was good, and the mystery quite interesting. An added dimension is the variety of complex characters. I warmed up to the protagonist about halfway through. She has a lot of spunk (kind of a weird descriptive word to use for an adult, but it is most apt) and smarts. She’s a very outspoken person (often times to her detriment).
Protagonist Rebecca Anderson has left California after divorcing her famous chef husband and moves to small Ohio community to open a gourmet popcorn shop. Her sister and husband (police detective) and son also live there. A close friend, who also owns a shop in this community, is found murdered.
It takes awhile to get into, but it is a well-crafted, well-paced mystery. It’s the first in a series and I’m looking forward to the second book, “Pop Goes the Murder”.
Linda MH says
I enjoyed reading your recommendations (we do like so many of the same books!). I was especially glad to see your Disguise to Die For write-up. I, too, had trouble getting into this book for the same reasons–location and concept. I put it down after a few chapters. After reading your review, I have moved it back into the TBR pile. Thanks for letting me know this is a book I need to stay with for a bit longer than usual.
I tried some new series this month. My favorite was The Calamity Cafe by Gayle Leeson. The series that she writes as Amanda Lee is one of my all time favorites so I wasn’t surprised at how well written this one was. I’m really looking forward to the next installment in this series. I also liked Eclair and Present Danger by Laura Bradford. The main character inherits a restored ambulance at the same time that she has to close her bakery so she decides to deliver “emergency” baked goods to customers in need of a treat. It was a fun book with interesting characters. I liked Macdeath by Cindy Brown, a new to me author featuring a young actress cast in a community theater presentation of Macbeth, set in a circus – murder follows.
Some favorite authors had good books this month – Claire Donaly, Catch as Catch Can; Lynn Cahoon, Tea Cups and Carnage; and Kate Carlisle, Birds of a Feather.
Just finished the latest Elizabeth Duncan cozy set in Wales. She just keeps getting better. I love this series.
I am reading Chihuahua Confidential by Waverly Curtis, the second of the series. Pepe (call me El Jefe) can talk at least Geri can hear him. Pepe loves to help with investigations. They’re in Los Angeles (Hollywood)to star in the reality show “Dancing with Dogs”.Of course not all goes as planned. But Pepe is a great dancer. Cute series.
Both my Mom and I LOVED the Georgia Peach mysteries (Susan Furlong!!!
Ok here we go. I have gone for a while but I am back to reading again.
Here are the ones for June.
The Calamity Cafe by Gayle Leeson. First in a series. I loved it. I read a review of this book and found it the bookstore that day. Finished it that day.
Eclair and Present Danger by Laura Bradford. First in a new series by her. Surprised by the ending but loved it.
Flipped for Murder by Maddie Day. First in the country store series. Enjoyed it.
Grilled for Murder by Maddie Day. Second in the country store series. Loved it waiting for the next one.
Peaches and Scream by Susan Furlong . First in the Georgia Peach series. Loved it.
Rest in Peach by Susan Furlong. Second in the Georgia Peach. Loved it . Waiting on the next one.
Better Homes and Corpses by Kathleen Bridge. First in the Hamptons Home and Garden series. Cannot wait to start the second.
Charms and Chocolate Chips by Bailey Cates. Third in the Magical Bakery series. Love this series.
C. T. Collier says
Cynthia Kuhn’s mystery Semester of Our Discontent is head and shoulders above other cozies I’ve read recently. Nonstop action and suspense! Characters I love and want to see again in her new series from Henery House.
Linda MH says
This book has been in my TBR pile since its release. After reading your review, I think I need to move it to the top. I’m looking forward to reading it. Thanks!
The Calamity Cafe by Gayle Leeson is the first book in the Down South Cafe mystery series. Amy Flowers wants to open her own comfort food diner in her hometown. She would rather buy out an established diner rather than build one from scratch. She approaches her boss, Lou Lou, about buying her out but is refused. Lou Lou’s son calls Amy and says he thinks he can change his mom’s mind. They set up a meeting at the diner after hours and Amy discovers Lou Lou murdered in her office.
I liked the fact that the book is written in the first person and the murder takes place early in the story. I had fun following the twists and turns of the plot and trying to figure out the murderer along with Amy. This is a culinary mystery, with recipes included.
i read 12 miss silver books by patricia wentworth.a little old lady knits baby clothes and solves murders. she is like miss marple
I read Candy Corn Murder by Leslie Meier. Reading these books is like catching up with old friends.
I recently read Murder at Morningside by Sandra Bretting (this is the first book in a new series). It’s set in Louisiana and is full of Southern Charm, which I love. And I adored the characters!
Diane Kelly’s Paw Enforcement series: I usually don’t like police procedurals, and this series though designated ‘cozy’ comes awfully close. But the characters are well-drawn, the action was not graphic, and I totally loved the dog’s point of view. It was believably “dog” centric, rather than more human in outlook.
Juliet Blackwell’s Haunted Home Renovation mysteries: sometimes paranormal cozies can get a little weird or ‘woo-woo,’ but not always. And this series is one of the ‘not always,’ IMO. Interesting premise, and I was intrigued enough to buy more books in the series. I want to see more of how she deals with hauntings.
Kate Carlisle’s Fixer-Upper mysteries: Since I love the Bibliophile series, I was pretty certain I’d also enjoy this series and I was right. Plus Westie! (I have 2 myself.) Using a protagonist in what is considered by many a man’s field was interesting reading. I did think she needs to stand up to the ‘mean girls’ more.
Liz Mugavero’s Pawsitively Organic series: I read all 4 of the books currently out, and pre-ordered #5. I liked the concept of a big city-high-pressure job- holder making it on her own in a small town, with dogs and cats all over the place.
Laura DiSilverio’s Readaholics mysteries – I really liked the first one of this series, and will read the 2nd one later on today. I’m sorry to see in a comment above that this author only writes 3 books in any one series? That might affect what I buy of hers in the future. 🙁
Shelley Freydont’s Celebration Bay series: I’m not sure why this series sat in my TBR folder for so long, because it was very good reading. I like ‘visiting’ different parts of the country -in this case, Maine- and learning more about it. Plus, I like strong heroines, and the main character is. I would love to live in a town that makes a celebration of everything.
And a bunch of singletons, all the latest published in series I enjoyed: The Art of Murder (Elaine Viets); Disappearing Nine Patch (Arlene Sachitano); Copy Cap Murder (Jenn McKinlay); Murder Most Fowl (Edith Maxwell); Tea Cups and Carnage (Lynn Cahoon); Writing All Wrongs (Ellery Adams); Murder in Morningside (Victoria Thompson); Candy Corn Murder (Leslie Meier); The Cakes of Monte Cristo (Jacklyn Brady); Off the Books (Lucy Arlington); A Turn for the Bad (Sheila Connolly); Teacup Turbulence (Linda O. Johnston).
Yes, I got a LOT of reading done this month! Basically, it’s amazing how many books one can read while one’s husband is away on a work assignment. I stayed up later than I do when he’s home, and since I only have myself and the dogs to feed, cooking/cleaning was a lot less too. I halfway expected to burn out on reading – nah!
There were also some books, and series, I read (or tried to read) that aren’t on the list because I know the rules – only talk about those I liked!
I read many books this month but my favorite was Dead end street by Sheila Connolly.
Nell Pratt is the President of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society in Philadelphia. Two people come to Nell’s office and tell her about a building that the Society owns and Nell didn’t even know about the row house. Nell goes with the two people in their car to look at the building. Soon after they arrive, another car drives up and shoots at the car Nell is in. The story pulls me in and I keep reading. The police are going to close the case as a drive by shooting, because no one can figure why anyone would shoot at the people in the car. Nell keeps poking around and the killer is finally revealed. I love the 3 main characters– Nell, James– her boyfriend and an FBI agent and Nell’s friend Marty, who also works for the society.
I have always enjoyed Mignon Ballads books, especially the cat ones, but I am currently reading her Miss Dimple books. I really enjoy these. They take place during WWll, and you learn what it was like for the ones who waited for their loved ones to come back.
I’ve just been reading Michael Kurland’s ‘Professor Moriarty’ series. The first was published over 30 years ago but I’ve only just discovered them (a special offer job lot from a mail order book company). They show the professor as a mixture of scientist (he uses his other ‘work’ to fund his research) and criminal consultant, who devises, advises, and sometimes helps the criminal elements. Not all his ‘crimes’ are wicked. In one book, as a sub-plot, he helps an Indian Rajah recover artifacts ‘liberated’ from India by an English lord. The books also show a new version of Sherlock Holmes, as a man obsessed with catching Moriarty as the master criminal Holmes thinks he is. There is some back history between the two, which hasn’t come out in the three books I’ve read yet. We also have another sub-plot running through the books, of a young American journalist, running a news bureau (a front to help Moriarty research the things he needs to know) and his relationship with a would-be emancipated girl that works for him.
I’ve only discovered five books so far, and read them in nightly installments, so now I want more.
I read a handful of cozies in June, three ‘first in a new series’ books, and two from ongoing series. These were all great books which I recommend:
My book of the month for June is the first book in a new series-
“Wedding Bel Blues” by Maggie McConnon (Belfast McGrath Mysteries). Belfast “Bel” McGrath, in her mid-30s, is from a large and eccentric Irish family and grew up in the village of Foster’s Landing, NY, which is an Irish American enclave. Bel, an accomplished chef, lost her job at a trendy NYC restaurant after a bad mix-up. She returns to her hometown, where her family owns an Irish themed banquet hall, just in time for her cousin Caleigh’s wedding to a wealthy businessman. But a guest, Declan Morrison, who is supposedly a distant relative of Caleigh’s visiting from Ireland crashes the wedding reception and Caleigh lets it slip to Bel that she had a one night stand with Declan the evening before the wedding. Later on during the reception, Bel witnesses an unknown assailant push Declan over the railing of the second floor landing and he falls to his death in the foyer.
The police detective on the case is Bel’s old high school sweetheart, Kevin Hanson. Declan wasn’t who he said he was, his last name and his family ‘history’ are fake. As Kevin investigates the case, Bel realizes her family is keeping secrets and they know more about the mysterious Declan Morrison than they are saying. Bel and Kevin must also deal with a haunting issue from their youthful past- when they were about to graduate high school, Bel’s best friend Amy Mitchell vanished without a trace the night Bel and Amy got into an argument after Amy kissed Kevin, when they were all among a group of teens camping out and drinking beer. Bel is still haunted by what happened and tries to reconnect with the Mitchell family by helping Amy’s dad out with his struggling business, a local bar and grill.
But Bel is also determined, as is Kevin, to uncover the truth about Declan’s murder, which is a lengthy process that moves more slowly than they would like. After the killer is finally revealed, the case of the long-missing Amy Mitchell again comes to the fore, due to some newly discovered clues, which will apparently be the focus of the next book in the series.
My other good reads for the month were:
“Skinny Dipping With Murder” by Auralee Wallace (Otter Lake Mysteries)
“Chorus Lines, Caviar, and Corpses” by Mary McHugh (Happy Hoofers Mysteries)
“Ladle to the Grave” by Connie Archer (Soup Lovers Mysteries)
“Tapestry of Lies” by Carol Ann Martin (Weaving Mysteries)