June is wrapping up, so here’s this month’s post for recommending Cozy Mysteries you’ve read!
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 Sheila Connolly’s County Cork 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 June? 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 June 2019 that you want the rest of us to know about, and why did you enjoy it?
Here are the current recommended authors who some of you have read and recommended this past month:
Susan Wittig Albert: Crystal Cave Mystery Series
James Anderson: The Never-Open Desert Diner AND Lullaby Road
Nancy Atherton: Aunt Dimity Mystery Series
Joy Avon: Book Tea Shop Mystery Series (first entry In Peppermint Peril)
Gillian Baker: Digital Detective Mystery Series (first entry Blogging is Murder)
Leo Bruce: Death in Albert Park
Leslie Budewitz: Spice Shop Mystery Series
V.M. Burns: Mystery Bookshop Mystery Series
Kate Carlisle: Bibliophile Mystery Series
Vivien Chien: Noodle Shop Mystery Series
Laura Childs (aka Gerry Schmitt): Tea Shop Mystery Series
Blaize Clement and John Clement: Dixie Hemingway Mystery Series
Sheila Connolly: County Cork Mystery Series
Krista Davis: Paws & Claws Mystery Series
Carola Dunn: Daisy Dalrymple Mystery Series
Amanda Flower (aka Isabella Alan): Amish Candy Shop Mystery Series
Joanne Fluke: Hannah Swensen Mystery Series
Margaret Frazer (aka Mary Monica Pulver (Monica Ferris) & Gail Frazer): Sister Frevisse Medieval Mystery Series
Elly Griffiths: The Stranger Diaries
Parnell Hall (aka J. P. Hailey): Puzzle Lady Mystery Series
Laurie R. King: Mary Russell Mystery Series
Libby Klein: Poppy McAllister Mystery Series (first entry Class Reunions are Murder)
Kylie Logan (aka Miranda Bliss & Casey Daniels): Jazz Ramsey Mystery Series
Jenn McKinlay (aka Josie Belle & Lucy Lawrence): Cupcake Bakery Mystery Series
Patricia Moyes: Henry Tibbett Mystery Series
Katherine Hall Page: Faith Fairchild Mystery Series
Louise Penny: Chief Inspector Gamache 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.
This month I discovered James Anderson’s The Never-Open Desert Diner and its sequel, Lullaby Road. The main character, Ben Jones, is a trucker whose route is fairly local for a spread-out desert community. He is a big-hearted guy who helps people in need along his route, but still seems to get into trouble. There is a motley cast of supporting characters in each book along with some violence. I found myself rooting for Ben nonetheless and look forward to reading more about this very human guy.
I also read The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths. I love her Ruth Galloway books, and this seems to be a stand alone novel. It takes place in a rather creepy English school that once was the home of a writer who wrote a famous short story. When one of the teachers’ lives begins to parallel the story, she begins to fear for her and her daughter’s lives. Told from the point of view of the teacher, her daughter, the female Sikh detective, and the writer.
I ordered this book and intended on getting to it but was finishing Beekeepers Apprentice and well, you know I had to peek at the next book, so now I’m breaking my rule of not reading through an entire series cause I can’t stop! but will get to that book sometime! But, your recommendations help me plot a course. Thanks.
Susy S says
I read a lot of good/great books this month, but my favorite was ‘The Book Supremacy’ by Kate Carlisle.
Brooklyn and Derek are always fun, but this time we get a story that includes his past and the possibility that he was a spy. The secondary characters are well developed and we get to see some folks from previous stories.
Of course the whole adventure revolves around a book, but it is one most of us can remember, or could even read today (just not the copy they have).
So far, I have never found a book by Kate Carlisle that I didn’t like, so I can always recommend her books.
Not a Creature was Purring (Paws and Claws Series) by Krista Davis
Another great book without any profanity and it was Christmas from beginning to end. The whole town seemed to be the main character which I loved!
I follow Sheila Connolly on BookBub and found that there is a new Museum mystery. I have ordered it and will be the next to read.
This month, I’ve read and enjoyed Leslie Budewitz’s Chai Another Day and Amanda Flower’s Toxic Toffee.
Sally Fortney says
I read Raspberry Danish Murder by Joanne Fluke. So many cozy series start with the heroine fleeing a bad relationship but this is the first I’ve read where we see the beginning of the problems. Ross seemed to be a nice guy so Hannah and her friends are worried that he may have been hurt or killed instead of just leaving her. Definitely want to see how this plays out in the next books.
I also like that the police are now working with Hannah and her friends to solve the crimes. I get that they want to protect civilians but it’s better to share information when they know that Hannah and friends will investigate anyway. Like tell your friend that that suspect is a drug dealer and that one is a gangster! LOL
I spent most of the month reading all but the last three of the Tea Shop Mystery series. Although I found the books to have just a tiny bit of “formula” to them (very start, very end), the REST of the books were so different and so much fun that I had no issue at all with that little quirk. Only ONCE did I manage to guess whodunit, which is kinda unusual, and the books are chock-full of tea lore! I learned so much about the characteristics of different teas, how to brew them, how to present them…and then the RECIPES are to die for! Then you have the ideas for themed tea parties. There were also tons of recipes mentioned in the story that I could easily find online…I’m going to gain a ton! And icing on the cake, an appendix full of resources for All Things Tea.
I was taken enough with the series that I’m actually planning a small tea party of my own!
After a few slow-reading/busy-life months, I finally picked up and finished two books this months.
Murder Lo Mein by Vivien Chien – She is one of my pre-order new books authors now. I just like her writing style (well-paced, realistic, not overly repetitive), the diversity she brings to the genre and tackling biracial issues, and her character development. This installment was enjoyable as well. My minor beef with it is there were a lot of characters involved in the central mystery this time and it was harder to keep their relationships straight. However, I really enjoyed the development of some of the supporting characters and hope that continues in the next one.
Dying for Devil’s Food by Jenn McKinlay – Another author I pre-order and is pretty consistent for an enjoyable read and a well-paced mystery that never feels like an afterthought. What I liked about this particular entry in the series was the glimpse into the past of Angie, Mel, and Tate beyond just their mutual love of movies and seemingly perfect star-aligned friendship. It was nice getting more backstory to give that some more depth and how it impacts their present. It’s also nice that 11 books in, the series still had areas to explore and does not yet feel stale.
Susy S says
I love all the Jenn McKinlay books, but I have stopped pre-ordering them. I now live in the same area as she does (I finally got to move back home), so I only buy them at the local independent book store where she does regular signings.
She is as much of a character as some of the ones she writes, so her signings are always a hoot. I recently went to a signing by Kate Carlisle there and she and Paige Shelton dropped in. They were all so funny after the official discussion, that I can’t wait for the next one.
How fortunate you are! Sometimes I find a book for sale signed and think why wasn’t it kept, of course we don’t know circumstances but that would be special.
Susy S says
Novella, My suspicion is that they came from an estate. I volunteer with a group that does a huge annual book sale, and all the books are donated. we get a lot of estates. It seems that rather than keep any of their parents books, many people would just rather get rid of them all. Sometimes the estate has a huge number of books, other times it may only be 6 – 8 boxes, but it is always interesting to see what a person liked well enough to keep.
Sally Fortney says
I often enter contests and have won some free books that mostly are signed. Since I don’t keep many books any more, I give them to the library.
Robin Mayfield says
I’m really enjoying the new novella trilogy from Susan Wittig Albert. They are all about Ruby as the lead rather than China. Ruby is learning about her psychic abilities to solve mysteries, of course. Very well written.
Penny Bless says
One of the books I read was: “A Puzzle Yet to be Named”, by Parnell Hall. The Puzzle Lady series is hilarious and has great twista and turns. I also read “Restaurant Weeks are Murder” by Libby Klein, another series I love for the culunary aspect. I have read all of the books of both these series. I would definitely recommend both.
Paula Catherine says
I am completing the fourth Mystery Bookshop Mystery written by VM Burns: the series is terrific! The characters are , well, characters. Sam(Samantha) owns a mystery bookshop, is a former teacher. After her husband dies she has an aha moment, realizing life is too short, takes early retirement from teaching and purchased a building she converts into a bookshop with an apartment above. She has two poodles.She and her husband had always dreamed of owing such a business. Sam is close to her Nana who frequently assists her in the bookshop along with her college age twin nephews. Sam befriended a young college student who thrives with Sam’s and Nana’ support. Sam is also a writer and you can read along her novel within a novel. I would recommend starting this series.
I continued with my favorites: Patricia Moyes “Falling Star.” Entirely different. One of the character is the narrator. An investor who was lured to fund a movie production and choosing to be involved in all aspects even though the others member of the firm would rather he stayed quiet. In the meantime, he discovers the “artistic temperament” – real or an excuse. I like that the hero – Inspector Tibbett at the end describes all the events, never leaves behind a clue. The only disappointment that I had was that the final clue, that pointed toward the culprit was not explained to us, the readers until the end.
I also continued with Leo Bruce and his amateur detective Carolus Deene. It is really sad that all the earlier books cannot be found anywhere. “Death in Albert Park” takes place in London in the 60s. Three women walking alone in the evening are stabbed, raising fears of another Jack The Ripper. Deene, whose day job is a history teacher at a respected boys school gets interested. And one really can follow the clues that he finds and the end, at a dinner for friends he explains how he found out the culprit. Makes perfect sense to us.
I also continued with Carola Dunn’s Daisy Dalrymple series “Requiem for a Mezzo.” An opera singer get poisoned in the middle of a performance and while Daisy’s companion, the Scotland Yard detective perform the official interviews, she, in her unusual capacity to have complete strangers talking to her, collects more information. I like Dunn’s style and description of the characters and, in contrast to newer series, Daisy is never in danger herself. Real Cozy, I suppose.
And this morning I finished Louise Penny’s “Kingdom of the Blind.” Yes, I agree that this is not a real cozy, even frightening a bit with detailed description of addiction and misery. It starts with Gamache and Myrna Landers being selected as executors of a will of someone they have never met. But soon a murder is committed. While trying to solve the puzzle, the story also follows her previous book – Glass Houses – to find the large shipment of a potent opioids that made it into Montreal. But the core of the village of Twin Pines, with the warm and caring and bantering of the main characters really offers the anchor for the reader to rely on.
Janice G says
I read several very good books this month. Aunt Dimity and the Heart of Gold by Nancy Atherton is one of the best recent books in this long running series. It involves an iced-in Christmas party in a Tudor manor, a secret priest-hole, and a heart made of solid gold. As usual, there is no crime involved but rather a puzzling mystery to be solved.
Sweet Tea and Secrets is the second book in a series by Joy Avon set in Hearts Harbor, Maine and involves the search for the truth of what really happened when an actress disappeared from the town thirty years ago. The solution of the mystery leads to a current day murder.
As others have mentioned The Book Supremacy was another good book in this series by Kate Carlisle. I also enjoyed Crepe Expectations by Sarah Fox, A Deadly Feast by Lucy Burdette, Sconed to Death by Lynn Cahoon, and Thread on Arrival by Lea Waite.
I really enjoyed the fourth book in the digital detective mystery series Libel to Kill by Gilian Baker. This is a new author find for me, and I had been anticipating a new release, and was not disappointed. I laugh out loud at several points in each of her cozies, so far. This has become a secret test of mine when finding new authors. What a great healthy escape!
BC Deeks says
I just finished readingThe Tattoo Shop Mystery series and I really enjoyed it. The setting of an upscale tattoo shop in Vegas was unusual and interesting, and the cast of characters from Brett Kavanagh, the protagonist, to the cast secondary players, was well developed with unique personalities that make you want to spend time with them. Each of the four books has a strong mystery plot. The pacing just kept accelerating so I barely had time to think, which aligned with what Brett was experiencing so I was completely drawn into her desperation and fear as it built. I also enjoyed seeing how Brett developed and grew as a character through the course of thfour books. This is a wonderful cozy mystery series with (clean) romantic elements that I am happy to recommend to anyone looking for a great read.
Ellen L says
I have just read the Dixie Hemingway mystery series by Blaize Clement and her son John. Blaize Clement died in 2011, but asked her son to continue the series. The twelfth book is in progress (or so John wrote on the DixieHemingwayMysteries.com website). They just keep getting better.
Martha McIlvanie says
I am reading the Margaret Frazer, Dame Frevisse series and was just ordering a book and noticed that there are 3 or 4 books listed in the series that are not in the “Cozy Mystery” web site. “The Stoneworkers…, The Midwife…. & Winter Heart… I think there are only 3.
New at this blogging, not sure I’m in the right place, but maybe someone knows an answer to this. Thanks, Jeno
Danna - cozy mystery list says
Martha, I’m not sure why, but I didn’t have the last handful listed… so I’ve added them. Thanks!
I’m a little late this month……….out of town company came for a visit this past weekend and more are coming this coming holiday weekend. Busy – cleaning, cooking, etc.
June Recommendations -2019
Book Supremacy — Kate Carlisle
I always look forward to the next book in this series because it is SO enjoyable. No other cozy author that I read (and, of course, I don’t read them all), writes a better ‘couple’ coordination mystery story. By that I mean, Carlisle keeps the ‘significant’ other involved in solving the mystery..
Most of the other authors (even the best ones) might send the boyfriend, fiancé, husband off on a trip while the mystery is solved at home. Yes in some of the books in the series, they are present, but in many others they aren’t. In one series that I enjoy, the significant other is present (and is a detective), but is reduced to a few comments during the story. (Yes I do know there are a few others that involve a husband-wife team, like the Dams’ characters). BUT Carlisle unparalleled at this.
Even the dialogue in the series between husband and wife is VERY well written. This book is set in San Francisco, with a side trip to Dharma. While on their honeymoon in Paris, there is a chance meeting that involves a murder in SF. So the story has an international ‘spy’ flavor to it.
This series involves so many characters, that each story can only concentrate on a few. Thus, I miss the characters that don’t appear in the book I’m reading.
Kudos to Carlisle for another well written and incredible story. It quickly moved to the top of the list of favorites for this month.
Susy S. and I are on the same page! (Her comments precede this one)
Body in the Wake —- Katherine Hall Page
What’s better on a lazy, hazy, crazy summer day than a book to enjoy by this author? It’s her 25th book! YAY! Congratulations to this author for a series well written.
This book is set on Sanpere Island (Maine) where the Fairchilds have a summer home. It is the third book I’ve read in the past few months where there are wedding plans, with someone hoping to change all the plans to ‘make them better’. Guess it’s the ‘in plot’ or flavor of the season – go figure!
Pix’s daughter, Samantha is planning her wedding to take place on the Island. Her future mother-in-law wants a more opulent wedding for her son set in Boston.
Tom and Faith are involved with a group that is trying address opioid problems. There is emphasis on this issue in this story (Page doesn’t usually write ‘issue’ stories).
A body with a strange tattoo is found in a pond. This has connections to others in the community. There are SEVERAL story lines to keep track of and they don’t all connect. But, Page is a good story teller.
I was a bit taken aback with Tom’s ‘tone’ (authoritative?) in this book. He just wasn’t the supportive congeal husband that he usually is.
Page is the consummate author and she doesn’t make errors. BUT, I noticed one in this book. In the first sentence on page 76 it states, ‘Amy serves her grandmother’…… NOPE! Amy’s maternal grandparents are in NYC, and her paternal grandparents live in RI (?? I think). Neither are present in Sanpere. In this story, Amy is serving Ursula – Pix’s mother and bride–to–be Samantha’s grandmother. I know, I know, It’s MINOR, but it really popped out at me.
Dying For Devils’ Food – Jenn McKinlay
Another cupcake book by McKinlay – hope she keeps them coming! Love, love the characters – so much fun.
Melanie, Tate, and Angie are going to their class reunion. Melanie objects because her high school days weren’t happy ones…………some of the in crowd ‘bad girls’ bullied her. However, the planners placed a large order of cupcakes with their bakery, so they decide to attend..
One of the ‘bad girls’ is murdered. Melanie is a suspect. Of course, she gets involved in finding the killer. As usual there are several twists and turns. This author has a technique to create humorous bantering dialogue that is unique, making her stories REALLY delightful reads!
I totally agree with Lucie’s comments in a previous post.
Take note of characters mentioned from another series. Only those that read the other series will notice this. But it’s fun to find these more-or-less hidden oddities in her books.
Scent of Murder — Kylie Logan
I am a Kylie Logan fan and would be remiss if I didn’t mention her new series. First of all it isn’t written in the light and humorous vein of her other books. This story is far more intense (perhaps even not quite a cozy). It probably shows the diversity of this author. But, beware Logan (Daniels) fans…….this is not quite what you ‘expect’ from this author.
The protagonist, Jazz Ramsey, is an administrative assistant at a private school. She is also a dog handler — an unusual premise. She’s always wanted to be a fire fighter like her father and brothers.
A former student (AND, very complicated character) is murdered. Set in Cleveland, OH, this somewhat compelling story is well plotted with a lot of detail.
Jazz’s former boyfriend (Nick) is part of the story. I did NOT like this character at all. If Jazz is to be an independent and strong character (as indicated from this first book) – no way, no how can she let this character back into her life. Hopefully he will be jettisoned out of the next book (if there is one).
Since this is such a different writing style (thus different appeal) than her other 4 series (all of which I read). I recommend this with some reservations. BUT, I do think you should try it and judge for yourself.
A side note: I would so much LOVE to see several more books in the Literary Ladies series. REALLY sad this fantastic series with so much humor, creativity and originality seems to have ended!