March is ending, so let’s discuss our favorite books of the last 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 another frequently recommended book, the first entry in the Vicki Delany Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery Series. For the reasons I want to recommend it, be sure to check out the blog entry!
So, what have you been reading that you can recommend in March? Please be sure to tell us why you liked these Cozies so much. I know we’re all always on the lookout for more particularly good Cozy Mystery authors! (If you have a lot of Cozies you think are great, please post the ones you like the most at the top of the list.)
As always, please do not tell us about the Cozy Mysteries you did not like.
What really good Cozy Mystery did you read during March 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:
Ellery Adams (aka J. B. Stanley, Jennifer Stanley, & 1/2 of Lucy Arlington): Book Retreat Mystery Series
Bree Baker: Seaside Cafe Mystery Series (first entry Live and Let Chai)
Juliet Blackwell (aka Hailey Lind): Haunted Home Mystery Series
Lynn Bohard: Old Maids of Mercer Island (first entry Inn Keeping With Murder)
Melissa Bourbon(aka Winnie Archer & Misa Ramirez): Magical Dressmaking Mystery Series
Emily Brightwell: Mrs. Jeffries Mystery Series
Lynn Cahoon: Farm-to-Fork Mystery Series
Maia Chance: Fairy Tale Fatal Mystery Series
Julie Chase (aka Jacqueline Frost & Julie Anne Lindsey): Kitty Couture Mystery Series
Vivien Chien: Noodle Shop Mystery Series
Laura Childs (aka Gerry Schmitt): Tea Shop Mystery Series
Cleo Coyle (aka Alice Kimberly): Coffeehouse Mystery Series
Vicki Delany: Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery Series
Joanne Fluke: Hannah Swensen Mystery Series
Eva Gates (aka Vicki Delany): Lighthouse Library Mystery Series
Charlaine Harris: Lily Bard Mystery Series
Lee Hollis: Hailey Powell Food & Cocktail Mystery Series
Karin Kaufman: Smithwell Fairies Mystery Series (first entry Dying to Remember)
Diane Kelly: House-Flipper Mystery Series
Serena Kent: Death in Provence
Essie Lang (aka Linda Wiken & Erika Chase): Castle Bookshop Mystery Series
Faith Martin: Hillary Greene Mystery Series (not so Cozy, reputedly – first entry A Narrow Road)
Carlene O’Connor: Irish Village Mystery Series
Carol J. Perry: Witch City Mystery Series
William Seil: The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Titanic Tragedy
Livia Washburn: Fresh-Baked Mystery Series
Kirsten Weiss: Pie Town 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.
Rebcca Kaufman says
Read all the Sherlock Book mysteries and recommend them all. Just finished the latest Joanne fluke cookie shop and love them all they have me hooked it’s like they are family.
Meghan K says
I just read the 4th installment of the Kitty Couture series by Julie Chase called Cat Got Your Crown. I adore this series. Lacy seems to attract trouble and hot men so easily. These are fast and easy reads that keep you wanting more. I’m already looking forward to book 5.
Kathleen C. says
I’ve been readin the Haley Powell Food and Cocktail series by Lee Hollis. I’m on the third, Death of a Coupon Clipper. I’m really enjoying this series. Even when her life is full of problems Haley is still funny. No matter what is going on she still moves forward and has a good sense of humor and great support from friends and family.
Lenore Kay says
I love that Sherlock Holmes series I binge read all through the four that I could find I believe that’s all that she’s written so far. Being a true can’t enjoy a fan I was happy to find another writer who I would enjoy as much
Lenore Kay says
Is anyone else attending the Boucheron convention in Dallas in October?
Thanks for the heads up! Definitely will check that out. Not from that series but I did read this month Sherlock Holmes the Titanic Tragedy by William Seil written from the point of view of Dr. Watson recounting one of their adventures. Enjoyed it, felt like I was watching a new Sherlock Holmes movie! I also haven’t got to it yet but the Daughter of Sherlock Holmes by Leonard Goldberg looks good too. I must say I am new to this site the info here is so helpful! Thanks so much for all your work here.
Cheryl Palmour says
I just finished reading Murder in the Locked Library by Ellery Adams. Really enjoy this series. Books, mystery, romance and interesting characters make for a great read. This is part of a series, so find the first one and start reading!!
March Recommendations – 2019
Murder in an Irish Pub — Carlene O’Connor
I got tired of reading so many books set in Scotland and/or Ireland by some of my ‘go to’ authors, that I decided to take a break from them. BUT, but, but I couldn’t break from this series. The characters are SO fascinating. The interactions are very well developed and compelling.
First of all, it’s a MUST to read this series from the beginning. You will not understand the characters or their relationships if you read this book as your first book. O’Connor does NOT explain character connections or backgrounds in this book.
The setting is in a small Irish community. Siobhan O’Sullivan has recently finished her education to become a ‘Guard’ (an Irish policeman). She is intelligent, with independent and creative thinking skills. She and her siblings also own a small restaurant in town.
A national poker tournament takes place in a local pub. The ‘star’ player is murdered.
This is a riveting story developed with some intensity. There are so many gripping events that take place. I was really tempted to skip ahead a chapter or two to see what happens. A definite page turner!
The romance side story is also captivating and well written. I highly recommend this series. You won’t be sorry you added it to TBR pile.
Dead as a Door Knocker — Diane Kelly
This is the first in a new series. Protagonist Whitney Whitaker is a property manager. When an older home is targeted for demolition, she and her cousin decided to buy it, fix it up, and then sell it. Whitney also has carpentry skills.
A business acquaintance is found dead in the garden of this home. Whitney had conflicts with this man because he lied about defects in the home, thus making her a suspect.
Kelly writes with humor and fluidity, making this read smooth and very enjoyable. Sawdust (the cat) even has his own chapters. The characters are interesting and somewhat varied. More character depth development will hopefully become apparent in future books.
There are several twists and turns making it difficult to put down. The ending is somewhat of a surprise. Kelly is a creative author with great writing skills, and I’m looking forward to the next book.
Something Read Something Dead – Eva Gates
Since Danna highlighted this author (Vicky Delany) a week ago, I’ll mention this book/series. It is set in North Carolina where librarian Lucy Richardson works in a lighthouse that’s been converted to a library. Lucy lives in an apartment on the top floor of the lighthouse.
Lucy’s cousin (Josie) is getting married. Her grandmother arrives intending to take over the wedding plans along with Josie’s cousins. One of Josie’\s cousins is murdered. Josie is a suspect because she didn’t like her cousin’s interference with her wedding plans.
I like this author, having read two of her other series. She develops interesting characters with quite diverse personalities and some ‘oddities’. I think it’s interesting that Lucy’s mother in this series is VERY similar to Merry’s mother in the Year Round Christmas Mystery series.
The mystery plot is well paced and takes several turns. Most will be surprised by the ending, although I suspected the culprit about ¾ through the story.
This is the second book I read this month involving a bride where members of her family wants to change the wedding plans to something more to their ‘liking’. I REALLY object to this premise because it’s ‘stupid’. ANY bride who’s worth her salt would just tell them to back off, stating she deserves the wedding she wants. HOWEVER, this is fiction and if that happened in either of these books there wouldn’t be any story. BUT, I still can object to a ‘weak’ character that can’t stand up for herself!!
Having said that, I want everyone to know this is a good mystery by an author I really enjoy. The developing romance between Lucy and the mayor is a delightful side story.
Janice G says
I agree with all three of these recommendations and planned to include them on my list but you already did such a good job of describing them. I would also recommend One Potato, Two Potato, Dead by Lynn Cahoon and Pie Hard by Kirsten Weiss.
Karen Notbusch says
I started the Witch City Mystery series by Carol J. Perry and absolutely love them, can’t put them down! There is just the right amount of lovable and interesting characters with a touch of the spooky and paranormal set in Salem, Mass. I’ve read a lot of cozies and never met one I didn’t like but this series rises to the top of the heap and I hope the author keeps them coming!
Holly Quinn. I think it was challenging enough to hold my interest but “cozy” enough for me to relate to the characters.
Ginny Kayfes says
I would recommend Livia Washburn’s “Fresh Baked Mystery” series.The four main characters are retired teachers. The interplay among the characters is really fun and they are easily pictured in my imagination. The recipes in the back of each book is an added bonus.
Just finished the 3rd book in Old Maids of Mercer Island by Lynn Bohart these books are funny and real puzzlers. They keep you guessing till the end, a great read.
Lenore Kay says
For the suggestion I’m gonna look for the series
Julie F. says
If you love Duffy Brown mysteries, check out Bree Baker’s Seaside Cafe mysteries. I read the second in the series, No Good Tea Goes Unpunished this month, and enjoyed just as much as the first in the series (Live and Let Chai). By far, the best cozy I read in March (out of 12 others including two long running culinary-themed books.
Janice G says
I really enjoyed both books in Bree Baker’s Seaside Café series and also highly recommend them. The characters are memorable and the island setting interesting.
“Trouble on the Books” (first release in Essie Lang’s Castle Bookshop Mystery Series): This is a promising start to a new series. Shelby Cox moves back to her hometown in Alexandria Bay, NY to work at a bookstore located in Blye Castle (a Thousand Islands tourist destination), that she now co-owns with her aunt. Besides the murder that takes place, there’s also information that is being kept from her about her late mother, and there are rivals trying to obtain the bookstore. Like so many other cozies, this series has a picturesque setting and an interesting cast of characters. The murder is solved by the end of the book, but there are threads from side stories to be continued throughout future installments.
The other books I read this month are from Melissa Bourbon’s Magical Dressmaking Mystery Series. So far, I’ve read the first two (“Pleating for Mercy” and “A Fitting End”) and I’m currently about 1/3 of the way through the third book (“Deadly Patterns”). This is a great series with a fun premise! The main character is Harlow Jane Cassidy, who is a decedent of Butch Cassidy. All of the Cassidy women (who keep their last names when they get married) are charmed in some way. Harlow’s charm involves her ability to sew the perfect garment for someone, and in doing so she addresses a desire of theirs with these magical garments. She lives in her deceased great-grandmother’s farmhouse…with her great-grandmother’s spirit ever-present. I think this series has all the right ingredients. I like series with a magical element to it, the characters are wonderful, there is plenty of humor without being over-the-top, and the mysteries are good! I was completely surprised by who the accomplice was in the first book, and who the murderer was in the second book.
S Fortney says
I just finished Broken Bones China by Laura Childs. I loved the descriptions of tea, food, and decorations. Murder by drone was a new one for me.
Janice G says
I also planned to recommend this book – the best Laura Childs Tea Shop book that I have read in several years. The plot was fascinating and the characters were more recognizable, relating to each other as they did in the early books in the series.
Lenore Kay says
I just finished a two and I agree with your comments completely I think this is the fifth one I’ve read in a row I actually read the series years ago and was happy to see so many new ones had. I had appeared well I was busy off reading other authors it’s nice to share a fun read with some of that you’ve never met
I finished reading Charlaine Harris’ “Shakespeare” series which someone said s/he had “devoured” also. I like the heroine, Lily Bard, because she resembles Kinsey Milhone a little – very human, far from perfect, lots of personal baggage, smart. I hear there’s a new book in the offing, and I look forward to her return. It doesn’t hurt that she is into housecleaning, and that’s just what I need to motivate me to do a little!
I read a lot of mysteries and I enjoy it when I read an author for the first time and find them to be a delightful surprise. I have two cozy mysteries that I read this month and wish to recommend.
The first is “On What Grounds” by Cleo Coyle (a husband and wife writing team). I seldom read theme-style mysteries, but this is based on coffee, and who can resist? The story is clever, and there is a lot about coffee brewing and recipes that is very different from ordinary coffee shop novels. I am not going to give the plot away, so you have to read the book, but I liked it well enough to go out and buy their second book, “Through The Grinder.”
The second book is “Snow White Red-Handed” By Maia Chance. I have read two of her books before and enjoyed them, but I was delighted by her unique take on childhood fairy tales. Maybe the plot was a little clunky, but it was a fun read. I liked it well enough to purchase the second book in the series ” Cinderella Six Feet Under”.
Lynn T. says
I enjoyed Death In Provence by Serena Kent. Serena Kent is a wife/husband writing team.
Penelope Kite lives in England and is recently divorced. Her children are using her as a baby sitter. She works in the Home Office in the forensic department as an assistant. She has gained a reputation for spotting the unusual that many people miss when studying crime material.
She decides to live out her dream and buys a run down farmhouse in the southern part of France. The views are marvelous. She envisions playing her cello again and reading on the outside terrace. The first day there, she discovers a body floating in her swimming pool-along with the ace of spades calling card.
I liked everything about this book-the characters-the atmosphere-the location -the mystery-the humor and oh yes, the description of food. My favorite part was when her friend Frankie flew over to help her get settled. Frankie is flamboyant, speaks French and is outspoken. Their adventures together were just fun and humorous to me. I was sad when Frankie got on the plane to return home. The local characters were all somewhat quirky and interesting but not in an over the top way. I am looking forward to the next book.
Candy R says
Finished reading Dim Sum Of All Fears by Vivien Chen. This is the second book in The Noodle Shop Mysteries. I liked the interaction between Lana Lee and her sister. I haven’t read the first book in the series but plan to do so since I enjoyed this one.
I am looking forward to reading Diane Kelly’s Dead As A Door Knocker as I loved her Tara Holloway series.
I’ve read both of the Chen books and enjoyed them. I took exception with one statement in the second book. Lana comments that 3 FEET (yes, she said ‘feet’) of snow fell overnight and the roads weren’t plowed yet. HOWEVER she was riding to work on these unplowed roads with her chef. Just NOT going to happen with 3 feet of snow! They were in an ordinary car……..not a plow or truck.
You will enjoy Dead as a Door Knocker as I described in my recommendations. BUT, it is much ‘tamer’ than the Tara Holloway series. I only read the first book (maybe the second) of that series and couldn’t read any more. It is very well written and the mystery is excellent, but just not to my tastes.
Love the Mrs. Jeffries mystery series by Emily Brightwell! Once you read the first book you’ll want to read more. Set in late 1800s England, it’s about a police inspector (Witherspoon) who has become quite famous for solving murders. He doesn’t know, however, that his loyal and intelligent housekeeper and the rest of his smal staff secretly help him with important clues since they are able to talk to other service people who love to tell what they know about their households. It’s a charming series with lovable and well-developed characters and terrific plotlines. It’ll make you want to visit this household time and time again.
Yes, Rebeca! I too find these addictive! The author writes in a way that invest you in the characters. I find my self feeling like I’m there in the kitchen at one of their sessions waiting for my assignment as well! I love the back story of the characters and why the are loyal to him and help him without him knowing. I’m on the 6th book! Nice to enjoy this with you!
I LOVE author Faith Martin!
Her DI, Hilary Greene series isn’t actually “cozy” but it is brilliant! Both of her subsequent series; Jenny Sterling & Ryder and Loveday do fit the description of “cozy”. While Hilary is my favorite (& is available on Kindle Unlimited) these are very good also. All three series showcase witty, quick, strong British women in male dominated roles who not only manage to prove the naysayers wrong, but they solve the mystery too!
I will buy the first book in a series and if I like it, I will start my quest of finding the rest of the books in the series. After a few years, I finally got all the books for Juliet Blackwell’s Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries and read them all this month. I really enjoyed them. The main character is Mel Turner. She “temporarily” took over her dad’s construction company and recently found out she can see dead people. I love all the characters and story lines. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a new one since 2017, but I’ve almost got all her books in her Witchcraft Mystery Series so that’s something to look forward to. 🙂
Cindy M. says
I have recently read and enjoyed the Smithwell Fairy Cozy series by Karin Kaufman via Kindle Unlimited. I was hesitant to try this series, but I have enjoyed it very much. I like that the author gets right into the mystery and the story keeps your interest.
Just wondered if anyone could tell me if Krista Davis The Domestic Diva Series is profanity free? Thank you for any help. It seems like a very popular series but I’m really not into books with bad language.
I had asked if Krista Davis The Domestic Diva series was profanity free and I just thought I would pass along my finding for someone else who needed the info; I just read the Diva Paints the Town and it was completely profanity free. Just wanted to give shout out to help others!
Danna - cozy mystery list says
Christy, thanks for letting us know.
Always good to hear thanks for passing on the much appreciated info! ?
Aidan B says
Ive been reading the Cork Mystery Series by Sheila Connolly their very good
Danna - cozy mystery list says
Aiden, I’m glad you are enjoying them.