We’re just about at the end of March, 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 Sharon Farrow Berry Basket 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 2021 that you want the rest of us to know about, and why did you enjoy it?
Ellie Alexander (aka Kate Dyer-Seeley): Sloan Krause Mystery Series
Madelyn Alt: Bewitching Mystery Series
Emily Brightwell: Mrs. Jeffries Mystery Series
Rita Mae Brown: Mrs. Murphy Mystery Series
Emmie Caldwell: Craft Fair Knitters Mystery Series (first entry A Wicked Yarn)
Linda Castillo: Kate Burkholder Mystery Series (first entry Sworn to Silence)
Vivien Chien: Noodle Shop Mystery Series
Ellen Crosby: Wine Country Mystery Series
Reagan Davis: Knitorious Cozy Mystery Series (first entry Knit One Murder Two)
Maria DiRico (aka Ellen Byron): Catering Hall Mystery Series
Elizabeth J. Duncan: Penny Brannigan Mystery Series
Sharon Farrow: The Berry Basket Mystery Series
Jessica Fellowes: Mitford Murders Mystery Series (first entry The Mitford Murders)
Alison Golden: Reverend Annabelle Dixon Mystery Series
Fiona Grace: Lacey Doyle Cozy Mystery Series (first entry Murder in the Manor)
T E Kinsey: Lady Hardcastle Mystery Series (first entry A Quiet Life in the Country)
Libby Klein: Poppy McAllister Mystery Series
Amanda Lee (aka Gayle Trent & Gayle Leeson): Embroidery Mystery Series AND Down South Cafe Mystery Series
Judi Lynn: Jazzi Zanders Mystery Series (first entry The Body in the Attic)
Alexis Morgan: Abby McCree Mystery Series
Carlene O’Connor: Irish Village Mystery Series
Amy Pershing: Cape Cod Foodie Mystery Series (first entry A Side of Murder)
Dorothy St. James: Beloved Bookroom Mystery Series
Lea Wait (aka Cornelia Kidd): Mainely Needlepoint Mystery Series
Jacqueline Winspear: Maisie Dobbs 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.
Lynn Donovan says
I’m working my way through the Lacey Doyle CM Series. Im on book 3 Crime in the Cafe. By Fiona Grace.
I think they kind of fall into the Cozy Mystery category, but I was hunting for a good series to listen to while out on walks, sewing, etc and happened upon the Kate Burkholder series by Linda Castillo.
For those not familiar, it centers around Kate, a 30-something formerly Amish woman who returns to her small Ohio hometown to be Chief of Police, having left her family, her Amish faith, and the town at 18. The town
Is in a heavily Amish part of Ohio and Kate is assigned the task of navigating the rift between the cultures while keeping both groups safe.
I have found the series very interesting and learned a lot about the Amish way of life.
Sounds interesting. Think I’ll start this series. Thanks for the suggestion.
Barb E says
I’m recommending the Abby McCree Mystery series by Alexis Morgan. Abby inherits a house, dog, and tenant from her aunt. Set in small town Snowberry Creek, WA. Abby gets roped into lots of committee work which leads to entertaining plots. Good characters.
Becky Hunt says
sounds great, always looking for new authors, will try next.
Ginny Kayfes says
I have been enjoying two series by Gayle Leeson/ Amanda Lee. Gayle Leeson writes the Calamity Cafe series and as Amanda Lee she writes the Seven Year Stitch Shop mysteries. The characters are all really well developed and some are very flamboyant. Would like to recommend anyone to check them out.
Rita McDonnell says
I binge read T.E. Kinsey’s Lady Hardcastle Mystery series. It is a 7 book series (so far). It is set in 1909 English countryside. I don’t normally like this time period however I thoroughly enjoyed these. I like the rapport between Lady Hardcastle and her maid/assistant Florence.
Lady Hardcastle has retired from being a spy for the English Government and thought that a home in the countryside would be relaxing.
I recommend this series.
Susan D. Rosenberg says
I read “Twisted Threads” by Lea Wait and I have just found another author that i can’t wait to read the next installment. In fact I have reserved the next two books at my library. The story takes place in Maine and concerns a Needlecraft Business, the death of the main character’s mother and another murder that may be related….good story, kept me guessing and really enjoyable characters!
Rob J says
I work at a nationally reknown tax company until May 14 so I am on from 9am-8pm 4 times a week. Not much reading time by the time I get home. However, I managed to work in some time reading Ellie Alexander’s Sloan Krause brewing mystery books: Death on Tap, The Pint of No Return, Beyond a Reasonable Stout and Without a Brew.
Even if you don’t like beer, it is a very entertaining quad of mysteries with a likable and believable sleuth, Sloan. She is one of few female brewmeisters in the pacific northwest. I was vastly entertained throughout all four books and can recommend this author.
Happy reading, all.
Kathleen Chrisman says
I really enjoyed A Side of Murder (Cape Cod Foodie mystery) by Amy Pershing. I grew up on Cape Cod and this is the first cozy I have read that made me feel like I was there. The language and descriptions of the people and homes were realistic. Those that live year round on the Cape have a unique perspective and attitude which was well represented giving the setting a truly real feel. The mystery had lots of twists. The characters are unique. I can’t wait for the next book to take me to my childhood home again.
Sally Fortney says
I read The Mitford Trial by Jessica Fellowes. This is about Louisa who is a servant with the Mitford family pre World War II. The Mitfords are a real family who were a fascinating group. Louise is married to her policeman in this book. She is accompanying some of the family on a cruise when there is a murder. Her husband has joined her for part of the cruise so they have to solve it. Stay safe and well.
March Recommendations – 2021
French Paradox — Ellen Crosby
WOW! This book is really a MUST read for all who enjoy a good mystery and GREAT, great storytelling. The author has earned her writing chops as a Washington Post writer and an ABC correspondent.
This is the 11th book in this series. While I have enjoyed all of the previous 10 books and have highly recommended them, this one is the BEST. Naturally you learn a lot about each character as the series progresses, however I can honestly say that this book can be read as a ‘stand alone’. The author fills in any ‘necessary’ character back stories. After reading this story, it may entice you to read the previous books. The characters are so well developed and intricate. And, this author really has a talent to bring them alive.
Lucie Montgomery is a vineyard owner, located in Middleburg, VA. The piece de resistance of the story is that Jackie Kennedy is front and center, and featured throughout. I wasn’t sure how an author could create fictional story lines about a public figure, but she did. Lucie discovered some letters from her grandmother in her attic. The letters involved a friendship between Jackie Kennedy and Lucie’s grandfather (Pepe) while Jackie was still in college and visiting Paris. Lucie’s grandfather is in his 90’s and still lives in France, but he comes to Middleburg for a visit.
A well know landscape artist is helping Lucie plan her wedding garden. In fact he, too, knew Jackie Kennedy. He is murdered in the vineyard. For a variety of reasons, there are several suspects. I wasn’t really surprised by the culprit, but I hadn’t figured it out until the final chapters.
There is a mountain of research that went into the preparation of the novel. I was truly amazed by all the information Ms. Crosby put forth in this story. She said she planned the book pre-pandemic, but wrote much of it during the pandemic.
Kudos to this author for an amazing and absorbing story. I hadn’t realized it, but she commented that this was her 3rd publisher for this series. If I were writing a review on one of those rating sites, I’d definitely give it 5 huge stars!!
Long Island Iced Tina – Maria DiRico (Ellen Byron)
Mia Carina moved back to Queens to help her father with the family catering hall (Belle View). Her family has ties to the mob, but this venture is purely legit. Mia’s father has spent time in prison and her brother is currently in jail. There are so many quirky characters, that chuckles abound (laugh out loud moments). Mia lives with her grandmother. The family dynamics are passionate.
Mia’s best friend, Nicole, is expecting a baby. Minniguccia Evangelista , Nicole’s grandmother, calls Mia to plan one of the showers at Belle View. I just HAD to include that tidbit of info because my first thought was ‘where did that name come from?’ (It just goes to show the creative/humorous mind of this author!!).
There are also some other bizarre names. Actually, there are so many characters that a list in the beginning of the book would have been appreciated by this reader.
Another shower is planned by Nicole’s step-mother at a much fancier place. A long lost painting appears at this event which triggers the main storyline. A body is found near Mia’s catering hall. I won’t spill the beans here, because it’s well into the story before it happens.
The flow of this story is so smooth, a VERY important factor to me as a reader. It takes a talented author to create such a smooth flow. The plot involves art smuggling, and is an elaborate plot with many twists. A romance angle was set up in the first book, but didn’t pan out in the second book.
I can’t say enough about ALL the eclectic characters, an array of personalities as they blend together in many peculiar ways. The ‘mob‘ ties interjected in the story are a fun read.
I also wanted to comment (because we discuss pseudonyms quite often), that on the author page it includes this author’s other series (written under a different name). SOOO pleased the publisher didn’t try to hide the accomplishments of this gifted author.
Engaging and compelling are adjectives that certainly apply to this series. AND, this comes from someone who prefers small town locations. I probably wouldn’t have picked it up (because of its location setting), if I hadn’t known who the author was. I’m sure glad I did!
Broken Spine – Dorothy St. James
This is a new series featuring small town librarian Trudell (Tru) Beckett. First of all, all librarians whether they’re mystery readers or not, will enjoy the final paragraph of this story. Woo-Hoo!
The mayor and council want the library to be a high quality technological asset to the community. But to do so, they’ve decided to throw out all the books and take them to the landfill. It’s to be a bookless, totally electronic library. Yep — even the reader is horrified at this. Of course, there is a lot of objections by library patrons and Tru Beckett. Tru leads the effort to save the books.
One of the leaders of this tech movement is murdered. Naturally Tru becomes a suspect. BTW there is a featured cat – Dewey.
This is an entertaining story written with much wit. The plot is well developed with complexity.
A Wicked Yarn – Emmie Caldwell
A new series, thus a new name for this author. I’ve enjoyed her series written under the name of Mary Ellen Hughes, so figured I’d like this one, too.
Lia has moved to Crandlesburg, a small PA community. She recently lost her husband. She joins a knitting group who sells their items at a craft fair. Lia’s close friend, Brenda, is manager of this craft fair.
Lia discovers a body Brenda’s ex-husband at the craft fair site. There are several viable suspects, but Brenda is at the top of the list. Lia’s daughter, Hayley, is in town for Mother’s Day and helps with the investigation. It helps that Hayley has reconnected with a high school friend who is a police officer.
It’s a fast paced story that keeps one guessing as to who is the murderer. It’s the first book in the series, so the characters will need more development. But Lia and Hayley are smart and clever. They’re a good mother – daughter team with intuitive dynamics.
Sending along sincerest wishes to everyone for a wonderful Easter holiday!! 🙂
Kathie Deviny says
The brand new Jacqueline Winspear.
Holly H says
I am reading Reagan Davis, a knitorious mystery. I just discovered this series and I can’t stop reading it. I am on book 4 and have book 5 and 6 waiting on my kindle. The main character is smart and funny. She works in a yarn shop and is an avid knitter. The mysteries are good and I usually don’t know who did it until the end. I love the town she lives in and enjoy her friends and family. I am thrilled that the main character doesn’t fall into the trap of putting herself in danger and that she helps solve the mysteries by asking good questions and working with the police. I can hardly wait to read each and everyone of the books in this series!
I commented about how much I appreciate it when the publisher reports ALL the author’s accomplishments (with various pseudonyms) on the author’s page (usually at the end of the book). This was done for Ellen Byron’s pseudonym Maria DiRico. The same was done for Emme Caldwell at the end of Wicked Yarn. It identifies this author as Mary Ellen Hughes and lists her series.
I was intrigued when Holly suggested this series. I checked Reagan Davis’s webpage and found the following ‘author statement’ (read below the line). This very same statement is written on an assortment of other sites, like Amazon, Goodreads, fatasticfiction, etc.
She has written 8 books in this series in 2020 and 2021. The first book was released 3-8-20. The 8th book is to be released tomorrow 3/31/21. She has managed to accomplish all this in one year!
“Reagan Davis doesn’t really exist.
She is a pen name for the real author who lives in the suburbs of Toronto
with her husband, two kids, and a menagerie of pets.
When she’s not planning the perfect murder, she enjoys knitting, reading,
eating too much chocolate, and drinking too much Diet Coke.
The author is an established knitwear designer who regularly publishes
individual patterns and is a contributor to many knitting books and magazines.
I’d tell you her real name, but then I’d have to kill you. “
The publisher is Carpe Filum Press. This website mentions author Dana Gervais (with picture) writing a book about knitting socks. Her bio?
“I live in Ontario, Canada with my amazing husband, 2 kids, 1 dog, and 2 fluffy-charming cats.”
Just found the Jazzy Zander’s book series by Judi Lynn. Loved them!
Julie P says
Agree! Love this series
Ellen Byron says
I read WINE TASTINGS ARE MURDER by Libby Klein. Love her Poppy McAllister series.
Patrick Kelly says
I enjoyed Wish You Were Here (Mrs. Murphy #1). Mrs. Murphy and her furry friends are the life of this party. The amateur detective of the story is Mary Minor (Harry) Haristeen. Mrs. Murphy is Harry’s tiger cat, and Tucker is Harry’s Welsh Corgi. But Mrs. Murphy and Tucker are much more than pets. In fact, as animals, their intelligence far exceeds that of humans. Mrs. Murphy and Tucker communicate freely to each other and the other animals in the story. AND, they understand human speech as well. It’s the humans that can’t understand them! This clever device enables the writer to create many enjoyable and humorous scenes where the animals are trying their best to help the humans understand what the animals have already sorted out. There are twenty-nine books in the series so far.
Lupe Avery says
Hola all, just started reading Madelyn Alt’s Wiccan cozy with ‘fearful’ Maggie O’Neil as the protagonist. Just finished the 2nd book, “A Charmed Murder” A bit slow at the start but by the middle she really got going. Read the 2nd 1/2 half in 4:30 hrs, luckily didn’t have anything pressing to do today, so was able stay up!!
Becky Hunt says
I have spent this month reading the Mrs, Jeffries series. Some are re-reads and others are the first time. Enjoy the family feeling of the household and the characters.
Highly recommend, talked sister into reading next.
Janice G says
I read a number of good books this month. On Deadly Tides by Elizabeth J. Duncan featuring Penny Brannigan and set in Wales. Penny is taking a weekend painting class when she meets a young reporter from New Zealand. She is shocked to discover the young woman’s body the next day on the beach, having apparently fallen from the cliffside. It seems like this might be the last book in the series or at least the start of a happy new adventure for Penny.
Fatal Fried Rice is the newest book by Vivien Chien. Lana decides to surprise her family by taking a Chinese cooking class at the local community college. After the first class, she discovers a body and is the prime suspect in the mind of a very unpleasant police detective. Since the case happened in a different jurisdiction, her police detective boyfriend is unable to intervene. Lana uses all of her friends including the Mahjong Matrons to solve the case and clear her name.
Murder in an Irish Bookshop is a new book by Carlene O’Connor. The town is excited by the news that the bookshop is opening but surprised to discover that only “true literature” will be sold – no mysteries or romances included. A group of writers is to be in attendance for the first week competing to be represented by a well known agent. One of them ends up dead and the local Garda work to solve the case. There is also all of the usual warm family interactions.
I also want to agree with MJ’s recommendation of Maria DiRico’s Long Island Iced Tina. This is a fun new series.
Caryn Webb says
I bought the first two books from the Berry Basket Mystery series I loved them both! The characters are well developed and they are just fun to read.
I also love the Myrtle Clover Mystery Series by Elizabeth Spann I have the entire series and I have read and reread them all. I am waiting for a new release. Myrtle is an octogenarian who with her sidekick Miles solves murders in her small NC town. Her son the police chief lives across the street and she tries and does solve the crimes before he does by being her nosey old lady self. Great series good character development and just a delightful light read.