Well, October is ending, and an early happy Halloween to you all!
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 Nancy Coco’s Candy Coated 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 October? 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 October 2018 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: Darling Dahlias Mystery Series
Ellie Alexander (aka Kate Dyer-Seeley): Sloan Krause Mystery Series AND Sloan Krause Mystery Series
Mary Angela: Professor Prather Mystery Series (first entry An Act of Murder)
Winnie Archer (aka Melissa Bourbon & Misa Ramirez): Bread Shop Mystery Series
Peter Bartram: Deadline Murder Mystery Series (first entry The Tango School Mystery)
Janie Bolitho: Rose Trevelyan Mystery Series
Ginger Bolton (aka Janet Bolin): Deputy Donut Mystery Series
Julia Buckley: Undercover Dish Mystery Series
Kennedy Chase: Harley Hill Mystery Series (first entry Murder on the Hill)
Nancy Coco (aka Nancy J. Parra & Nell Hampton): Candy-Coated Mystery Series
Sheila Connolly (aka Sarah Atwell): Victorian Village Mystery Series
Maddie Day (aka Edith Maxwell & Tace Baker): Country Store Mystery Series
Barbara Early (aka Beverly Allen): Vintage Toy Shop Mystery Series
Amanda Flower (aka Isabella Alan): Amish Candy Shop Mystery Series
Victoria Gilbert: Blue Ridge Library Mystery Series
Jennifer David Hesse: Wiccan Wheel Mystery Series (first entry Midsummer Night’s Mischief)
Carol Dean James: Quilting Mystery Series (first entry Tie Died)
Kylie Logan (aka Miranda Bliss & Casey Daniels): League of Literary Ladies Mystery Series
Colette London: Chocolate Whisperer Mystery Series
Jenn McKinlay (aka Josie Belle & Lucy Lawrence): Library Lover’s Mystery Series
Louise Penny: Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Series
Dorothy St. James: Southern Chocolate Shop 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.
In keeping with the season, I’ve begun Jennifer David Hesse’s “Wiccan Wheel” series, although I haven’t finished the first one yet. So far, I’ve found it to be well written, with characters I like very much, and with real attention paid to portray Wicca as it is, not as Hollywood might have one believe.
Ginger Griffin says
I have read that series. I love I think I have the second one in the series but have not started it yet
I read all five of Maddie Day’s Country Store Mysteries this month. I loved that she was smart and didn’t bumble into dangerous situations because she was headstrong or stupid. She took precautions and had a lot of common sense. The mysteries were engaging and the Country Store cooking was entertaining. The side characters were well written and not one-dimensional. I really loved these books!!
October Recommendations – 2018
HAPPY HALLOWEEN, EVERYBODY 🙂
Since Danna highlighted this series I will start out with ‘Forever Fudge’. I hadn’t commented on that blog because I knew this was on my recommendation list. There isn’t a particular order to these recommendations – all are good.
AND ……………..four of my recommendations involve ‘CANDY’ (You can see where my mind is at today!)
Forever Fudge – Nancy Coco
This is one series I never lose track of………….I immediately remember the characters and their interactions. So I don’t have to waste ‘brain power’ trying to recall who is who and what is what.
It’s set on Mackinac Island in Michigan. Allie McMurphy owns the McMurphy hotel which features a fudge shop. She is the fudge maker and with daily demonstrations (and recipes in the book).
This story line begins with a film crew arriving in town to develop a pilot featuring a very famous and handsome actor, Dirk Benjamin.
Allie’s dog, Mal, finds a body in the alley behind her hotel. Subsequently another body is found. Both have been shot. Several clues involving chess are left for Allie. Thus she feels it necessary to investigate.
Coco develops all the characters extremely well with a lot of insight and depth. The dialogue is filled with wit and humor.
The story is heightened when Allie’s former boyfriend is kidnapped. The reader keeps turning the pages ……..hoping he is not another murder victim. The ending is a partial surprise, mainly because it’s somewhat nonsensical.
This is the 8th book in the series and Allie has only lived on this island here for 6 months. That means there have been at least 8 or more murders in 6 months. WOW! That is extraordinary for this very small community. Ahhhhh…….but then it is fiction, after all!
I’m always surprised that I continually find errors with this author’s stories (except for the last book I read which was written under a another name). This book was no exception. These are not grammatical errors, just a conflict of either statements or scenes. I only point this out because it’s so easy to fix by an observant editor.
That’s NOT to deter anyone from reading this……………it’s a good read. AND, the conflict between two love interests keeps the reader coming back for more!
In Cold Chocolate – Dorothy St. James
This book is SO good……………a page turner from the beginning. It is such an intense story that I really wanted to go to the final chapter to find out how it all ends. BUT, I didn’t!
Penn inherited a candy shop from her grandmother………….but that is in question (one of the side stories). She is an intelligent and compassionate character filled with much conflict regarding her past.
A local real estate sleaze is discovered murdered on the beach. An unfriendly and antagonistic woman is found holding the gun. This woman’s young son has asked Penn to find the real murderer.
The various enduring characters really make this series. Their interactions are well written. The reader is also kept engaged by the intriguing side stories.
The author does very little in this story to explain background. To fully understand this story, a reader should follow this series sequentially.
The Pint of No Return – Ellie Alexander
I started this book on Sunday, finishing it Monday night. The protagonist, Sloan Krause, is a very multi- layered character. It is all these layers that adds to the depth of the story. She is divorcing her husband who is part of a beer brewing family in this small German/Bavarian community in WA. Because of all her ‘beer smarts’ she is helping a chemist from Seattle create a new craft beer business.
It is Octoberfest and a huge tourist attraction. A film crew comes to town to make a documentary. It is the host of this documentary that is found murdered. The plot has twists but is fairly straight forward, although the reader probably won’t figure out the ending until the last few chapters. It is well paced and a very quick read. The character dynamics is fascinating…………..keeping the reader engaged in several side stories and their complexities.
As in her Pacific Northwest series (Dyer-Seeley), a puzzling side story is inserted which most likely will be a thread throughout the series.
There is a bit of a ‘time’ problem, though Sloan mentions she discovered her husband with another woman a couple of weeks ago and left him. IF that were the case, it would be ignoring the first book. It’s highly unlikely that both of these stories took place within two weeks. (I know, I know….that is nitpicking, but I notice these things!). AGAIN…….”but then it is fiction, after all!”
As I stated when I recommended the first book, the stories in this series are laden with beer info. The author has researched the subject quite well. That may or may not interest the reader. BUT don’t let it dissuade you from reading this engaging series.
Hitting the Books – Jenn McKinlay
This is the 9th book in her Library Lover series. First up………….there are NO ‘guest surprises’ like there was in the last book. For those that follow this series you’ll understand that statement. It was discussed in the recommendations last December.
This gifted author has three on-going series………….all entertaining and fun.
Lindsey Norris is the library director in this small community. Through her library window she she’s a hit-and-run. The victim is her friend (Theresa) and tennis coach. Since this was a deliberate (but unsuccessful) attempt on Theresa’s life, Lindsey gets involved in seeking the culprit. There are more attempts as this story unwinds with several twists and turns.
Great characters, good unique plot with several twists, a surprise ending, and a terrific story line between Lindsey and boyfriend Sully. What’s not to like? VERY enjoyable.
Premeditated Peppermint — Amanda Flower
This definitely is a Christmas themed story It’s the third book in the Amish Candy Shop series where Bailey King has returned (from NYC) to this small Ohio Amish community to help her grandmother with the family candy shop after her grandfather’s death.
In NYC she had a very public breakup with her chef boyfriend, Eric. Eric plans to tape a Christmas special of his TV program in this Amish community with hopes to help his sagging ratings. He surprised Bailey with this announcement when he shows up in the candy shop. Bailey is totally underwhelmed with this plan. But she comes onboard because it will help with online sales of her candy.
To say this story has many complex situations is an understatement! The executive producer (Rocky Rivers) of the show is murdered in the town square. The plot thickens with surprising twists as the story moves along.
The characters are well defined with the main characters creating a special relationship with the readers. The budding romance between Bailey and the deputy sheriff continues, but on a very SLOW pace. OH! There’s a pet pig that on occasion takes center stage in this series.
AS ALWAYS, the very talented Flower crafts an engrossing story. It moves quickly with a surprise twist at the end (for the next story).
Peppermint Mocha Murder – Colette London
Another Christmas themed story…………..guess ‘peppermint’ is the magic word for this holiday season!
This series centers around three characters, heiress and chocolatier Hayden Mundy Moore, her long time friend and security person (Danny), and her financial advisor Travis (who holds the purse strings to her inheritance). This is the fifth story in the series. In the last book, it was the first time Hayden met Travis in person.
The trio finds themselves in New England (Travis’s hometown) for the Christmas holidays. Yep………lots of snow and even a blizzard!
Travis’s childhood friend (Albany) has penned a biography of her family and this community. It is being produced as a play for the Christmas season. Not everyone is pleased with their portrayal in this book/play. Hayden discovers a producer in the dining room of the B&B with her head in a punch bowl. Another death follows mid story. Haley sets forth to discover how and why these deaths occurred. The resolution is a total unexpected revelation.
The dynamics of this trio is written with wit and intelligence. Since this series changes locations with each book, all other characters are just part of this one story. There are several characters with complicated personalities to follow, but it isn’t confusing.
This author is VERY ‘wordy’, thus this book is NOT a quick read. She even uses words I never heard of, but I don’t stop and try to define them………….I just move on. The story is involved and compelling — definitely worth the read.
Pam Walker says
Victoria Gilbert’s Blue Ridge Library series
Tari Hann says
I had read the first of the League of Literary Ladies by Kylie Logan in September, then when a Facebook book club did discussions on books 2 and 3, I read those. I really love this series and am sad that it eventually ends with book 5. We had Kylie as our guest at the book chat for the 3rd book, The Legend of Sleepy Harlow, last night and it was a lot of fun.
Pam Walker says
I did not realize that the League of Literary Ladies series ended. Sorry to hear that. Diane Mott Davidson has also ended her Goldy Bear series which I enjoyed. It looks like Claire Donally has also ended her Sonny and Shadow series which I enjoyed.
Rita Ingersoll says
Well I started a new series (for me). And was laughing out loud at lunchtime, my boss came in and now she is reading as well. It’s a six book bundle, Harley Hill, by Kennedy Chase. Really good narrative. Funny and cute. Love them.
Susy S says
I love the Harley Hill series! I have the first three of these, but was unaware of the other three. What are the titles, so I can find them.
I enjoy the Colin Crampton series by Peter Bartram. They are set in the 60s in Brighton, England. For me, it brings back lots of fond memories as a child taking the train from London to the coastal town. Note: There are several that you can download on a Kindle at no charge.
I just finished the Good bye Cruller world by ginger Bolton. It was great. I am now reading death on tap by ellie alexander. I am enjoying so far.
Janice G says
My favorite book this month was A Very Merry Murder, the latest in Mary Angela’s Professor Prather mysteries set at a small college in South Dakota. The heroine is an English professor who gets involved after the murder of a musician who is in town for a Christmas recital. The setting is interesting as are the subsidiary characters.
I also liked The Pint of No Return by Ellie Alexander and The Walking Bread by Winnie Archer.
Leslie Temmen says
I’m reading Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear and the Rose Trevelayan series by Janie Bolitho.
Ginny Kayfes says
I don’t know if they are considered cozies per se, but, I enjoy Kristen Painter’s Nocturne Falls series. They are a little bit cozy and parnormal and romance mixed together. Each book has “a couple” plus reoccuring characters set in a town that celebrates Halloween 365 days a year for the tourists. This way most of the inhabitants who are supernaturals of one form or another can be themselves without questions
Marie Lawlor says
I’ve been reading Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series. Fabulous!
Sally Fortney says
I enjoyed Jenn McKinlay’s Hitting the Books. I liked that the characters have changed over the series. Also love her humor.
I just finished death on tap today. It is written by ellie alexander . It is about a brewery. I love it.
Oh, it is swell to be back in Darling, Alabama! The Darling Dahlias is one of my favorite mystery series. The 8th book was just released and I enjoyed it very much. It is The Darling Dahlias and the Poinsettia Puzzle by Susan Wittig Albert. The series is set during the Depression. I find it is a series to relax and savor. It is about friendships and friends coming together in hard times. They have each other’s backs. A reader who likes action pack, a thrill a minute, books would probably find this series too slow. I love this series!
P. Wever says
I read Sheila Connolly’s Murder at the Mansion: A Victorian Village Mystery. This new series looks promising. The characters are interesting. The murder victim is the main character’s high school nemesis. It was a good read. I have read all of Ms Connolly’s County Cork and Relatively Dead mystery series before I bought this new book. She is one of my favorite cozy authors.
I also read Julia Buckley’s Pudding Up with Murder. It is the third book of the undercover Dish series. It made me want to go back and read the first two books. I have read the first two books of her Writer’s Apprentice mysteries: A Dark and Stormy Murder and Death in Dark Blue. I also loved both of those books.
Ricki Jill Treleaven says
I recently finished Ellie Alexander’s first two books in the Sloan Krause Mystery Series, Death on Tap and the Pint of No Return. I loved them both.
WOW! How ironic is it that there are THREE recommendations this month for this series. 🙂
Janice G says
I finished reading Death of a Russian Doll by Barbara Early so I want to add it to my October recommendations. The wife of the police chief is killed and he is the main suspect. Toy shop owner Liz tries to clear him of the murder and the backstory is very interesting and different. Also the potential of a good new relationship for Liz.
I read Tie Died, the first book in the Quilting Cozy series by Carol Dean Jones. I first heard about the “A Quilting Cozy” series from my quilt club. Being a new quilter I thought it would be interesting to read more about quilting. Little did I know this book would be so darn interesting and fun to read. As I read each chapter I felt like I was getting to know some new friends. Carol Dean Jones has not only created these unique fun loving men and women to life but she makes them seem real. The characters in the book “Tie Died” came to life for me. I couldn’t put the book down. Now that I have finished it, I bought the second book “Running Stitches” so I could find out what happened. I’m so glad my questions were answered. I am now on a hunt for neck ties, so I can make a Tie Quilt. So much fun!