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 Maria DiRico’s Catering Hall 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 2022 that you want the rest of us to know about, and why did you enjoy it?
M. C. Beaton (aka Marion Chesney): Hamish Macbeth Mystery Series AND Agatha Raisin Mystery Series
SJ Bennett: Her Majesty the Queen Investigates Mystery Series (first entry The Windsor Knot)
M.V. Byrne: Mitten State Mystery Series (first entry Meet Isabel Puddles)
Stella Cameron: Alex Duggins Mystery Series (first entry Folly).
Vivien Chien: Noodle Shop Mystery Series
Laura Childs (aka Gerry Schmitt): Tea Shop Mystery Series
Kate Collins: Flower Shop Mystery Series
Cleo Coyle (aka Alice Kimberly): Coffeehouse Mystery Series
Maddie Day (aka Edith Maxwell & Tace Baker): Country Store Mystery Series
Jo Dereske: Miss Zukas Mystery Series
Maria DiRico (aka Ellen Byron): Catering Hall Mystery Series
Vickie Fee: Live and Di in Dixie Mystery Series
Charles Finch: Charles Lenox Mystery Series
Amanda Flower (aka Isabella Alan): Farm to Table Mystery Series
Agatha Frost: Claire’s Candles Cozy Mystery Series
Diane Kelly: House-Flipper Mystery Series
Amanda Lee (aka Gayle Trent & Gayle Leeson): Embroidery Mystery Series
G. A. McKevett: Savannah Reid Mystery Series
Erica Ruth Neubauer: Jane Wunderly Mystery Series (first entry Murder at the Mena House)
Carlene O’Connor: Irish Village Mystery Series
Elizabeth Penney: Cambridge Bookshop Mystery Series (first entry Chapter and Curse)
Elizabeth Peters (aka Barbara Michaels & Barbara Mertz): Jacqueline Kirby Mystery Series
Deanna Raybourn: Lady Julia Grey Mystery Series
Linda Reilly: Grilled Cheese Mystery Series
Sofie Ryan (aka Sofie Kelly & Darlene Ryan for Young Adult): Second Chance Cat Mystery Series
Laura Scott: Furry Friends Mystery Series (first entry Dogged by Death)
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.
SJ Bennett has written two books in a series in which Queen Elizabeth II and her assistant personal secretary, Rozie, solve murders that happen in their orbit. The main character doing the leg work is Rozie, but the Queen is the one who guides their investigations and suggests lines of inquiry. They make a great team. “The Windsor Knot” and “All the Queen’s Men” are great reads. Very enjoyable page-turner.
Rob Jarrad says
Danna et all: I have revisited an old favorite. Vicki Fee’s Liv and Di in Dixie’s It’s your party, you can die if you want to.
Very fun, great characters and a southern slant you can’t get unless the author has been there. Well worth ready her whole series.
I enjoyed it immensely.
Sally Fortney says
I read Murder at Wedgefield Manor by Erica Ruth Neubauer. It is a historical mystery set this time in England (the first one was in Egypt). I liked that Jane was learning to fly a plane. We learned more about her aunt, niece, Redvers, and others.
I’m reading Batter Off Dead by Maddie Day. It has a new murder that is the same as an old one so she is talking to senior citizens. I like how the author is handling the character’s marriage, too.
I read the 2nd book in the Lady Julia Grey series, Silent in the Sanctuary. The series is set in Victorian England. I adore the 1st two books. I love the heroine, Lady Julia, her brooding, dark hero Nicholas and her oh so eccentric family. What I really appreciate is the actual mystery and the writing… Deanna Raybourn is so clever, writes so well and the mysteries are pretty darned mysterious. I already placed a hold on the 3rd book!
B. West says
I enjoyed the Alex Duggins series by Stella Cameron. It is set in Great Britain’s Cotswolds region which I have always wanted to visit. Good strong central character, hunky veterinarian, and village characters plus thatched cottages make this series very appealing. This series is currently on Kindle Unlimited.
Dolores B says
I ran across a new (to me) author, M.V. Byrne, who writes the Mitten State Mysteries. Since I was a long time Michigan resident and am still a Michigander at heart I had to check out this series. I just finished the first book, “Meet Isabel Puddles” and I found it delightful! The book is very well written and has engaging characters. It is set in a small west Michigan town and has many references to things a long time Michigander would recognize–like west Michigan being the asparagus capital of the country. Even if you’ve never visited Michigan I think you’ll enjoy Isabel and her lively friends solving a murder in her home town.
I enjoyed Elizabeth Peters’ The Seventh Sinner. The story is about a group of visiting archeologists in Rome. I was impressed by Peters knowledge of the subject until I found that she earned a Ph.D. in Egyptology. One of the researchers is found dead at a place three stories and many centuries below street level. Was it murder? A visiting librarian – Jacqueline Kirby – has joined the group and finally deciphered the last message.
I also read the last of M.C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth Death of a Green Eyed Monster. The book was published posthumously, was co written with R. W. Green and the result is quite satisfactory. Macbeth is engaged, again, to the (new) love of his life, his new constable. They are working on a new murder which may be part of drug gangs that is expanding northward. The book and the series ended with a bitter sweet moment.
And I read Charles Finch last book An Extravagant Death. Victorian era detective Charles Lenox is being sent to our shores to prevent an embarrassment to Prime Minister Disraeli. While visiting the New York Boston area he is called to help with a murder in Newport. He has to rely on new acquaintances and on the help of local residents who may have their own agenda. I was reading this book while watching the series The Gilded Age on televison and was amazed at the overlapping of people and events. This book was written after the “prequels” of the series and I am wondering whether this is also the last of the series.
March Recommendations — 2022
Up to No Gouda — Linda Reilly
I bet you didn’t know that April is ”Grilled Cheese Sandwich” month. AND, April 12th is “Grilled Cheese Sandwich” day.
So guess I read this book in a timely manner! Why? Because protagonist Carly Hale (recent widow) has opened a new diner (Carly’s Grilled Cheese Eatery) in this Vermont community. This is the first book in a new series by this author.
After only 5 months in this diner, Carly is informed her lease will not be renewed. A new owner has other plans. True to the ‘cozy formula’ the new owner is murdered. Carly isn’t a suspect, but her friend is.
The characters are great, interacting so well. Reilly writes with plenty of wit to the reader’s enjoyment. This is a very fast read because it’s difficult to put down (I was STILL reading it at 2AM!).
PLENTY of twists and turns. Just when you think you figured it out, you find out that you hadn’t.
There are some recipes in this book. Throughout the story the following grilled cheese sandwiches are featured:
Farmhouse Cheddar Sleeps With the Fishes
Smokey Steals the Bacon
Some Like it Hot
I’m looking forward to the second book, “No Parm No Foul”, due out in July. BTW, you’ll enjoy “Havarti’ the dog.
Honey Roasted – Cleo Coyle
This 19th entry into the Coffeehouse Mystery series is EXCELLENT, as is normal for this husband-wife writing team. They always write a multifaceted novel that keeps the reader riveted.
This story revolves around some beehives being raised on the rooftop of a NYC building. The wealthy owner (also Madame’s friend) has been attacked and is in a coma in the hospital.
There are a variety of threads in the story and it’s a ‘wonderment’ as to how they all come together. The mysteries in this series are more intense and not necessarily light or written with wit. Although I usually prefer a lighter mystery, I’m NEVER disappointed in any of these Coffeehouse books.
This story mostly features Clare and Matt (ex-husband), more so than other stories in the series.
You could read this book without reading the previous 18 because the authors explain the character relationships so well.
I often read the acknowledgements. In this book, be sure to read the ‘Author’s Note’ at the beginning. It explains the foundation for this story.
Put Out To Pasture – Amanda Flower
This is the second entry into Flower’s newest series. It’s set in a small Michigan community.
Shiloh Bellamy has returned to her hometown to help her father save the family farm.
A “not so well-liked” woman is found murdered on the Bellamy farm during a Fall Daze event. This person has a secret convoluted past. Shiloh’s friend, Kristy, is a suspect since she recently had an argument with this person.
As normal for this gifted author, this story is well written with suspenseful twists. I found the ending a ‘surprise’. My only disappointment was the romance relationship on the final pages. Hope it changes in future books.
Missing Under the Mistletoe — Kate Collins
This is a novella designed to be a Christmas read. It’s a Flower Shop series book. Although it’s March, I mention this because it’s a light ‘feel good’ book. It is a mystery and figuring out the ‘guilty’ person is fairly easy. The owner of a dept. store who is to play Santa disappears.
The main side-story involves Marco who is burying an event that happened in his past and Abby is confused/conflicted. This resolution is what makes this story an uplifting holiday read.
Batten Down the Belfry — Diane Kelly
I enjoy this fixer-up series set in Nashville. Whitney and her cousin Buck are renovating a church and the parsonage. Their vision is to convert the property into an entertainment center and restaurant. Confusing the rehab development is a neighbor claiming he owns the property.
Kelly always writes a complex mystery. A delivery man is murdered in the steeple The well developed characters are enjoyable. I especially enjoy Whitney’s intelligence and savviness She is dating a police detective (the norm for many cozies).
In this book, I didn’t really understand the ‘whys and wherefores’ of the mystery solution. Maybe it was just a bit over my head. It is an enjoyable read, though, written with some humor sprinkled in.
I have finished one of my favorite go to authors Laura Childs. Haunted Hibiscus follows our heroine Theodosia to the Brouchard Manssion that has been turned into a haunted house by Heritage Society as a fundraiser. Of course there’s a murder, and Theodosia and her reluctant sidekick Drayton are off to the culprit. I love this series, and of course the recipes at the end.
Marianne Kotch says
I enjoyed Miss Zukas and the Library Murders by Jo Dereske. Being a librarian myself and having endured an automation project, I especially enjoyed the staff reaction to getting rid of the card catalog and turning it all over to computers. Miss Zukas herself was also quite amusing and very stereotypical. A fun read all told!
Hello Cozy Mystery lovers! If you haven’t read the Savannah Reid mysteries by G.A. McKevitt, you’re in for a treat! Savannah is a smart and sassy former cop turned private investigator who solves cases with her former partner (and later in the series, husband) Dirk Coulter. Their chemistry just leaps off the page!
Also, besides M.C. Beaton’s Hamish MacBeth series, she also wrote the wonderful Agatha Raisin series. Agatha is a complicated character who is often her own worst enemy, but as you read the series you grow to love her!
Regina Williams says
I read the first book in Agatha Frost’s Claire’s Candles Cozy Mystery series Vanilla Bean Vengeance.
This is such a great book and if you’re looking for an amateur sleuth with a different career this is it. It is set in a small English village.
I just finished Haunted Hibiscus by Laura Childs. Her Tea Shop Mysteries are one of my favorites. In this story we are taken to the Brouchard Mansion that has been turned into a haunted house as a fundraiser. When a young writer is murdered, it is up to Theodosia and her reluctant sidekick Drayton to find out “who done it “. It’s always a good time, and the recipes at the end – delicious!
B. West says
I like this author very much, too and really enjoyed her series about a scrap booking store owner and her The Cackleberry Club series, too.
Janice G says
I read Hot and Sour Suspects, the latest book by Vivien Chien. Lana is trying to clear her friend Rina who is a suspect in the murder of a man that she met at a speed dating event at the noodle house. In the forward, the author shares that she is dealing with very serious health issues and the tone of this book in regard to Lana’s relationships with Adam and with her family seemed to be more loving than in previous books. The last few sentences in the book were especially touching.
Tailing Trouble is the second book in a series by Laura Scott about a young veterinarian trying to establish her practice while dealing with her grandfather, a true crime fanatic. He is determined to solve the murder of a young woman, the daughter of the town manager. I enjoy the characters in this series.
I also agree with MJ’s recommendation of Batten Down the Belfry by Diane Kelly – the plot did get a little convoluted but the relationships between the characters in this series are always interesting.
Of the books I read in March, these are the ones I liked enough to recommend:
Embroidery Mystery Series by Amanda Lee
I read the first book, “The Quick and the Thread”. Marcy Singer has moved to Tallulah Falls, Oregon, and opened an embroidery shop. The day after her grand opening party, she discovers the body of the previous tenant in the shop’s storage room…and part of a cryptic message scratched into the wall.
Marcy is one of my favorite main characters in all of the cozy series I’ve read so far! I felt like her reactions to various situations were realistic. This was a wonderful start to the series…a terrific ensemble of characters, and a great mystery! Marcy’s Irish Wolfhound, Angus, is positively endearing! There seems to be a love triangle forming between Marcy, a local brewer (and friend of Marcy’s friend’s husband), and the detective investigating the murder, so I’m interested to see where that goes. I’m hoping her mother makes an appearance in at least one of the upcoming books (I think she probably will).
Second Chance Cat Mystery Series by Sofie Ryan
I read the first book, “The Whole Cat and Caboodle”. In this series, Sarah Grayson runs a secondhand store that sells restored and repurposed items. I love the characters in this book…they are absolutely wonderful… especially Sarah’s cat, Elvis! There is also a fair amount of humor sprinkled throughout, which I appreciated. I really looking forward to what the group will become involved in the next time around!
Irish Village Mystery Series by Carlene O’Connor
I read the first two books in the series, “Murder in an Irish Village” and “Murder at an Irish Wedding”. As the series’ name implies, this takes place in Ireland. The O’Sullivan siblings (often called “The O’Sullivan Six”), are running their family bistro after their parents died. Siobhan is the second oldest, and the series’ main character. The mysteries in both of these books held my interest throughout, and the reveal in both was a complete surprise to me!
Flower Shop Mystery Series by Kate Collins
After having read books 1-4 last year, I picked-up where I left off with books 5 & 6, “Acts of Violets” and “A Rose from the Dead”, respectively. The former is my favorite book in the series so far! Overall, this is a great series! Abby is a fun and feisty main character, and the supporting characters form an eclectic group. I will definitely be reading at least a couple more from this series before the year is over.
Cambridge Bookshop Mystery Series by Elizabeth Penney
This is a new series that debuted last year. The first book is called, “Chapter and Curse”. Molly and her mother move from Vermont to England to help their Aunt/Great-aunt Violet run her bookshop. In an effort to drum up more business, they host a book signing of a local poet, and old school colleague of Violet’s. At the signing, a body is discovered. I thought this was a great start to the series…featuring a wonderful cast of characters and a charming setting. I’m looking forward to the second book (which is scheduled to be released in August)!
These next three series are ones I’ve recommend already this year, so I’m not going to elaborate on them. I read books from each in March, so I’m recommending them again because I think they’re that good!
Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery Series by Ellery Adams (I read the third book, “Pecan Pies and Homicides”).
Coffeehouse Mystery Series by Cleo Coyle (I read the third book, “Latte Trouble”).
Bibliophile Mystery Series by Kate Carlisle (I read the second book, “If Books Could Kill”).
Jan H says
I read Live, Local and Dead by Nikki Knight. Liked the characters & they deal with subjects like hate crimes & prejudice. Was an intriguing mystery.
Rick McCann says
Hi all I hope that you will give Two If By Sea by Rick McCann a chance! If you love a good thriller mystery this has it all! Suspense, romance, intrigue, action, as well as personal conflict, and a hurricane!
“Sunshine Estates: Rx for Rosedale” by Lynn Shirey.
So timely after reading NYT article about The Villages. Laugh-out-loud cozy with some clever plot twists. Lovely diversion during some spring showers this month. Plus, a very inexpensive Kindle download for us bargain hunters.
Description I snagged from Amazon: The novel takes place in an upscale active retirement development. The story spins a humorous tale of inquisitive residents who are confronted with more than just idle gossip. Former Oregonians Laurel and John Cie envision a quiet and idyllic life in their new neighborhood, but they haven’t even unpacked their expensive pinot noir collection when a shocking sudden death occurs. Right across the street. Laurel starts a pet-sitting business to defray the cost of her health insurance, but soon learns more about her neighbors than she bargained for. She discovers illegal drug use, a scandalous stock option deal, and the mysterious disappearance of beloved pets. In addition to these clandestine activities, the community is embroiled in finding a location for an off-leash dog park, plus the ongoing feud between golfers and tennis players.