We’re just about at the end of October, 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 Kaitlyn Dunnett’s Liss MacCrimmon 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 2019 that you want the rest of us to know about, and why did you enjoy it?
Ellery Adams (aka J. B. Stanley, Jennifer Stanley, & 1/2 of Lucy Arlington): Secret,, Book & Scone Society Mystery Series
Ellie Alexander (aka Kate Dyer-Seeley): Bakeshop Mystery Series AND Sloan Krause Mystery Series
Donna Andrews: Meg Langslow Mystery Series
Bree Baker (aka Jacqueline Frost, Julie Chase, & Julie Anne Lindsey): Seaside Cafe Mystery Series
Connie Berry: Kate Hamilton Mystery Series (first entry A Dream of Death)
Bethany Blake: Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery Series
Claire Booth: Sheriff Hank Worth Mystery Series (first entry The Branson Beauty)
Lilian Jackson Braun: The Cat Who… Mystery Series
Kathleen Bridge: By the Sea Mystery Series
Allison Brook (aka Marilyn Levinson): Haunted Library Mystery Series
Ellen Byron: Cajun Country Mystery Series
Eve Calder: Cookie House Mystery Series (first entry And Then There Were Crumbs)
Laura Childs (aka Gerry Schmitt): Scrapbooking Mystery Series
Agatha Christie: Hercule Poirot Mystery Series
Nancy Coco (aka Nancy J. Parra and Nell Hampton): Candy-Coated Mystery Series
Bill Crider: Sheriff Dan Rhodes Mystery Series
Deborah Crombie: Kincaid & James Mystery Series
Elizabeth Daly: Henry Gamadge Mystery Series
Jeanne M. Dams: Dorothy Martin Mystery Series
Jana DeLeon: Miss Fortune Mystery Series
Carola Dunn: Daisy Dalrymple Mystery Series
Kaitlyn Dunnett: Liss MacCrimmon Mystery Series AND Deadly Edits Mystery Series
Gemma Halliday: High Heels Mystery Series
Victoria Hamilton (aka Amanda Cooper): Merry Muffin Mystery Series
B.B. Haywood: Candy Holliday Mystery Series
Miranda James (aka Dean James, Jimmie Ruth Evans, & Honor Hartman): Southern Ladies Mystery Series
Carolyn Keene: Nancy Drew Mystery Series (first entry The Secret of the Old Clock)
Victoria Laurie: Ghost Hunter Mystery Series
Gayle Leeson (aka Gayle Trent & Amanda Lee): Down South Cafe Mystery Series
T.C. LoTempio (aka Toni LoTempio): Purr N’ Bark Pet Shop Mystery Series
Meg Macy: Teddy Bear Mystery Series
Jenn McKinlay (aka Josie Belle & Lucy Lawrence): Library Lover’s Mystery Series
Patricia Moyes: Henry Tibbett Mystery Series
Elizabeth Peters (aka Barbara Michaels & Barbara Mertz): Amelia Peabody Mystery Series
Julia Spencer-Fleming: Clare Fergusson / Russ Van Alstyne Mystery Series (first entry In the Bleak Midwinter)
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.
Crocodile on the Sandbank, by Elizabeth Peters. First in the series, written more like a memoir of her character Amelia Peabody who follows in her fathers footsteps more less using what he taught her about history and archaeology. I like the period and Amelia is a real take charge woman ahead of her time. By a chance meeting in a museum she is rudely introduced to another over zealous archaeologist, sparks fly! although there is no murder to solve, there are attempts on the lives of everyone and lots of suspense. Love the humor!
a favorite quote- “God help the poor mummy who encounters you, Peabody,” he said bitterly. “We ought to supply it with a pistol, to even the odds.”
Romance ensues. Looking forward to the next book. Happy reading everyone!
Barb E says
And Then There Were Crumbs by Eve Calder kicks off a new series – Cookie House Mysteries. It is set on an island off of Florida with a wonderful community of characters including a town dog. It was totally enjoyable and I’m looking forward to book 2 coming in April.
Susy S says
I have had a great reading month.
I have read the entire Merry Muffin series by Victoria Hamilton. I really like that the main character is a ‘plush-size’ woman. The series also has her really grow emotionally, which is not typically true of cozy mysteries.
I also read seven of Donna Andrews, Meg Langslow series.While many things about the books are quite improbably, I like that her family is crazier than mine and that she gets really frustrated with their expectation that she will ‘fix’ everything that goes wrong (often as a result of their foolishness). This series may not be for everyone, but it is certainly fun.
I also read books by Lila Dare, Claire Donally, Cate Conte, Bethany Blake, and Virginia Lowell, who are all authors I recommend.
Susy S says
Make that nine Meg Langslow books. I am having so much fun with these books, I am going to finish the ones I have and go get the rest.
Carolyn Vandall says
I am in the process of rereading the Meg Langslow series from first to latest, while waiting on her newest book to arrive. I love the series and highly recommend them to all cozy lovers.
I have gotten my sister to start reading the series on my kindle. She likes them as much as I do. Fun series.
Cathi Carter says
I have just started a new series, to me. A friend told me that Julia Spencer Fleming has a really good series that takes place in New England. A new woman priest moves into the small town of Millers kill in New York. She and the police chief begin working together to solve crimes in this small town that has all too many murders for such a little town. I had a little time getting into the first one but once I did I really enjoyed the characters and her descriptions of the town and surrounding environment. The first book is in The bleak midwinter.
Ginger (Bronx) says
What a coincidence! I’m just enjoying Crime and Punctuation, the first in Kaitlyn Dunnett’s relatively new series A Deadly Edits Mystery. The first thing I loved: Mikki Lincoln is retired!! Older!! Someone I can relate to — she’s recently been to her 50th high school reunion, back in the town she grew up in, and months later buys the house she lived in growing up. She edits manuscripts freelance to supplement her income (mostly to pay for repairs to the house).
Second thing I loved: Setting is mostly in Sullivan County, New York, aka “The Catskills” — an area I’ve spent a lot of fun times in over the years. A lot of details ring so true to me.
The usual things are fine — plot, characters, tension between Nikki and cop in charge of the case, etc.
Getting back to the Liss MacCrimmon Mystery Series, I liked those just fine starting with Kilt Dead, and it was one of my go-to series for a number of years.
Lucky Paws Petsitting Series by Bethany Blake: Death by Chocolate Lab, Dial Meow for Murder, Pawprints & Predicaments. A Midwinter’s Tail and Something Borrowed, Something Mewed.
My favorite cozy mysteries so far since reading this genre. Lucky Paws Petsitting is full of humor and lots of pet interactions, very little romance and exceptionally clean and no profanity! I won’t read a cozy with profanity; so there’s not much in this line of reading available so I was so excited to read this series. I would caution that the series should definitely be read in order because there are spoilers in the books. Very lighthearted and fun.
I’ve really enjoyed reading Town in a Pumpkin Bash by B.B. Haywood this month. It’s the fourth book in the Candy Holliday Murder Mystery series. Set in a small town in Maine, the mystery unfolds with many twists and turns while the author takes time to describe the fall scenery in a cozy setting. It was great!
October Recommendations – 2019
Tide and Punishment — Bree Baker
Everly Swan owns a tea shop and café in the Outer Banks, specifically ‘Charm’, NC. While hosting a holiday party at her restaurant, the mayor is found murdered on the property. Everly’s aunt is the main suspect because she had just announced her intentions to run for mayor.
I really enjoy this series. As I mentioned in a previous recommendation (August), the characters have so much depth and complexity. Kudos to this author who has developed them extremely well. The reader stays glued to the pages just to enjoy their interactions.
Everly is smart, introspective, and caring. Her two great aunts are pure delight. Grady, the hunky detective is multifaceted with a heart wrenching past and complicated family. The second story line of their (Everly and Grady) developing relationship sometimes takes center stage. A great combination of mystery and romance.
The mystery story line is good. I had strong suspicions to the culprit about 2/3 the way through. I was right, but one has to finish the story to understand the ‘whys’.
This is definitely a Christmas story with a heartwarming community ending. The one weird (if not unbelievable) event is the snow and ice in this location. One can understand a day or two…………….but two weeks?!! That really stretches the believability factor, however this is fiction!
A reader may want to delay reading this book until December to enjoy the ambiance of the season.
Fatal Cajun Festival — Ellen Byron
Many, MANY kudos to Ellen Bryon for listing the characters at the beginning of the story. There are so many characters in this community that it’s difficult to keep straight who’s who. Thanks, Ms. Byron!
This series is set in a Louisiana small community. Maggie Crozat is the lead character and wears the hat of a few positions. She’s a tour guide for a plantation museum, helps her parents run the family B&B, and has her own artistic business. She is engaged to Bo, a detective.
A festival is planned, highlighting a former resident (Tammy) who is now a famous singer. Maggie’s food friend, Gaynell, is a talented local singer who went to high school with Tammy. BUT, Tammy has always disliked her. The band manager (with a nefarious past) is murdered, and for a variety of reasons Gaynell is the No. 1 suspect.
This is a complicated story line with several twists, keeping the reader speculating. It is VERY well written with some wit. Importantly, the story flows evenly throughout the book. Family takes precedence in this series with delightful characters…………..love them all!
Apples and Alibis — Gayle Leeson
Amy Flowers owns the Down South Café in a small Virginia community. Although very busy with added commitments, she agrees to a food delivery to an elderly woman. When she and cousin Jackie make the delivery they find this lady is deceased. There’s many intricacies to her death.
Amy is an intelligent and very likable character. The other characters are quite diverse in personality (LOVE Aunt Bess) and add much dimension to the story. This talented author develops her characters very well.
Because it’s well plotted and evenly paced, this story is an engaging read, keeping the reader interested until the last page. It is somewhat ‘figureoutable (my new word), but there are several twists so you aren’t really sure until the ‘reveal’.
Have Yourself a Beary Little Murder – Meg Macy
Another Christmas themed book you may want to put off reading until Dec.
What an irresistible series!! Sasha Silverman manages the Silver Bear Shop and Factory. Her sister, Maddie, is also involved, but she owns a graphic arts business. This series focuses on the Silverman family. In addition the sisters, it includes mother, father, aunt, and uncle, all of which gives it an inherent warmth. It’s a VERY busy time for this family with planning a holiday parade, various parties to organize, and a ‘re-wedding’ to arrange.
It’s time for the Santa Bear parade in this Michigan community. The mayor is the Santa Bear (instead of Santa Claus). When he doesn’t show up for the parade, a search finds him dead on a park bench. For most of the book it is uncertain if his death is murder or not.
There are several suspects. Although the reader may guess who the culprit is, he/she doesn’t seem likely throughout the story. There are many secrets to uncover on the journey to resolution.
The kindness and affection of the characters become more obvious with each page, adding to the ambiance of this book.
An easy going (and quick!) read, delightful and well written dialogue, Christmas charisma — what’s not to like! Enjoy!
Fudge Bites — Nancy Coco
This is the 9th book in this series set on Mackinac Island. I’ve enjoyed each and every book. This story has a Halloween theme. A murder occurs during the ‘Zombie Walk’.
Allie McMurphy owns a small hotel on the island. She is an expert fudge maker. The death of a well-liked resident creates an opening for Allie to get involved in solving who killed him.
Coco is a talented descriptive author who writes with much humor. These books are a light and enjoyable read with excellent dialogue.
The characters are diverse, and the plot keeps the reader involved as each development is revealed. Coco wrote the character of Jen out of the story (she now resides in Chicago). Jen added a lot to the dynamics of each story. Hopefully the author will change her mind and she will return in the next book. She was missed in this book.
First, I always recommend Coco/Parra/Hampton books because I am a fan. BUT, but I also always find errors/mistakes in her stories. There were a few in this story, but I was most irritated by an incident where Allie’s ex-boyfriend makes a statement on pg. 223 and then there is a total contradictory situation just a mere 10 pages later. Huh? There was NO explanation! I KNOW it’s somewhat ‘trite’ and doesn’t really affect the mystery, but it’s bothersome (at least to me) that this occurs often with this author.
I asked the same following questions when I recommended a previous book she wrote — what are the duties of an editor? Does he/she read the story before it’s published? Are there any beta readers? Anyone who reads this story will see this error. It’s pretty obvious.
Having said ALL that, just know it is a pleasurable read, a good mystery, and an entertaining series. To understand the interactions of the characters this series should be read in order.
Gayle Trent says
Thank you so much for including Apples and Alibis! ?
This month I read A Dream of Death by Connie Berry. It is first book in new Kate Hamilton series. Loved it! Excited to read the next book which is already out, A Legacy of Murder.
And I’m a fan of the Sheriff Hank Worth mysteries set in Branson MO by Claire Booth. Just finished A Deadly Turn and the plot was full of twists and turns.
Have been rereading the entire Sheriff Dan Rhodes series by the late Bill Crider in order. Such a joy to revisit his fictional Blacklin County, Texas and all the wonderful characters he created.
Jen E says
A couple of my favorite cozy mystery writers released books in October. Donna Andrews’ Owl be home for Christmas and Jana Deleon’s Swamp Santa. From the Meg Langslow series and the Miss Fortune series respectively.
The Ghost Hunter Mystery Series by Victoria Laurie are fun reading.
Good books for a dark and stormy night!
First book is called What’s A Ghoul To Do?
Sally Fortney says
I read Murder by the Sea by Kathleen Bridge. I enjoyed this series set on an island in Florida. Liz has a great family, friends and pets, including her aunt’s parrot Barnacle Bob. Her aunt is an actress and was in all the 60’s shows, which are mentioned often and that I used to watch. She and her aunt and friends even describe people as looking like actors from the shows.
Jane in Puget Sount says
I just finished reading Buried in the Stacks, the third in the Haunted Library Mystery series by Allison Brook. One thing I liked about this book was that despite being a cozy, the plot actually concerned a serious issue — homelessness. Of course, I would recommend starting with the first in the series, Death Overdue.
Jacqueline K. Murray says
I just finished reading Agatha Christie’s “The Clocks.” I found the story very intriguing. I had to review the ending via audio book to understand how Poirot solved the mystery.
christie d. says
Original Carolyn. Keene Nancy Drew. Mystery of the Hidden staircase. It’s as cozy as it gets. IMHO the audiobook read by Laura linney is the best. I grew up with it and I was very impressed with how well it stood the test of time
Janice G says
I enjoyed The Time for Murder is Meow, the first book in a new series by T.C. Lotempio that features an actress who decides to give up her career after her long running series is canceled. She plans to take over her late aunt’s pet store but runs afoul of the most important woman in town and is soon suspected of her murder. Cat lovers will definitely like this series.
I also read and enjoyed two books by Ellie Alexander Beyond a Reasonable Stout and A Cup of Holiday Fear, the latest in two of her series. Another good book was Mumbo Gumbo Murder by Laura Childs.
I continued with Carola Dunn’s Daisy Dalrymple series. “To Davey Jones Below. ” She is now married to Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard and they embark on an ocean liner to America. No sooner after they started sailing and a man went overboard but was rescued. Accident or four play? The Fletcher’s host, an American industrialist whom they met before, spills the secret that there is a Scotland Yard detective on board. But Alec is under the weather and Daisy is starting to ask questions. Then there are two additional accidents and Alec, once recovered, manages to wire to London to find more information of the victims.
I also continues with Patricia Moyes “Who saw her Die?” The Tibbets are asked to join a birthday party of a former party girl who later married to money and to a title. Once the dies, her three daughters all living abroad, inherit their father’s vast fortune. The widow has a premonition that this birthday party she would die and… she does. No clues, but Tibbet sees it as a failure and continues to investigate, including looking at different rules of different countries of who control the money of a married woman (at least the rules which were in effect in the 60s). The final result is fascinating. Moyes based the story on real event, talked to the experts and therefore had her acknowledgments at the end, not at the beginning of the book, as to not give the story away.
And, I decided to visit Elizabeth Daly’s Henry Gamadge series which takes place in the early ’30s. The first one “Unexpected Night” really gave us unexpected solution. Gamadge is not a detective, only a detailed person who is open to all possibilities. He happened to be at a resort in Maine when a young man is found dead shortly after reaching the age of 21 when he inherited a large sum of money and for reasons later explained, Gamadge decided to assist in the investigation which includes a summer theater near by. I am always intrigued by stories that take place in the early 20th century when telephones are available as are finger printing analyses, but no computes, no DNA, of course no cell phones and other tool of today’s detectives.
Karen Notbusch says
I read the two Southern Ladies Mysteries by Miranda James, Dead With the Wind and Bless Her Dead Little Heart. Two elderly but feisty sisters use their common sense to solve mysterious murders while sipping sweet tea and minding their southern manners. The characters are well formed and interesting and the plots have a twist or two that will keep you guessing.
In my usual “binge till you drop” fashion, I’ve been devouring Jenn McKinlay’s Library Lovers’ Mystery series. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, and am currently on #8, “Death in the Stacks,” which is the last one I have on hand. MUST order the rest! I think only one.
The stories just tickle me. I aways wonder if I missed my calling, not majoring in Library Science, so this is a fun look at what I might have done, had I been really thinking! Well-written, with lovely twists and turns, and a cast of likable characters, these books are certainly worth a read! OH…added bonus…there is a book club in the series, and at the end of each book, there is a Reader’s Guide and Discussion Questions for the book they read, as well as a set of simple crafting instructions, AND a couple of recipes! A little something for everyone!
I keep saying the same thing. Death in the Stacks makes a LOT more sense if you’ve read McKinlay’s Cupcake series and her Hat Shop series. Just sort of a surprising LOL moment! It’s hidden in the final chapters. It was discussed in the 12/17 recommendations.
Susy S says
That little surprise made me think that the Hat Shop series was dead, but it is nice to know that it is not.
I suspect the publisher didn’t plan to continue it and got bombarded with anger reader comments.
If you ever get a chance to go to one of her signings, do miss it. She is a hoot, and even more so when she is with Kate Carlisle or Paige Shelton (she and Paige both live in the Phoenix area, so they hang together at times and show up unannounced at other signings)
One of the things I hate about no longer being able to drive is not getting to events like that often, but if the possibility arises, I shall be there with bells on! No, really…I have a pair of little bell earrings for just such occasions!
Gayle Trent says
Thank you for including the Down South Cafe series!
Jenny B. Jones says
Just finished Gemma Halliday’s latest installment (number ten?) in her High Heel Mystery series. That series is a fave.
Jeanne Zupfer says
All of the following are quick read & hold my attention. As I get near the reveal I stay up late reading as they are great authors.
Bite Club by Berenson, Laurien
Fatally Flaky by Davidson, Diane Mott
Broken Bone China by Childs, Laura
The Printed Letter Bookshop by Reay, Katherine
Some times you come across an author who you go looking for more books. These were authors that I did that. Loved reading!
Ellyn Levell says
Deborah Crombies a Bitter Feast. Wonderful British family. Both parents are London detectives. This involves a murder in the Cotswolds. Much of the book involves gourmet cooking, which I enjoy reading about. I enjoy here the greater involvement of the 3 children in the family.
Cynthia H. says
I have gone way back in time for an old cozy mystery…The Cat Who Could Read Backwards by Lilian Jackson Braun. Jim Qwilleran, a journalist, takes a job with the Daily Fluxion as an art feature writer. The newspaper’s art critic, George Bonifield Mountclemens owns a Siamese cat named Koko. After Mountclemens is murdered Koko goes live with Qwilleran. I think The Cat Who series is a fun series to revisit or to read for the first time.
Jeffrey M Keenan says
Agreed! I loved it. But I made the mistake of reading the last one, “The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers”. My brother warned me. Ms. Braun nearly destroyed the series with her last installment. Enjoy the rest! Leave that last one alone!
And for quirky characters you can’t miss with Donna Andrews “Meg Langslow” series. Great reads, good fun. 🙂
I just started the Dorothy Martin mysteries by Jeanne Dams. I don’t know how I had missed them for so long. Currently I am reading the 9th in the series and will likely finish the rest this month.
Dorothy Martin is a widow of a certain age who moves from Indiana to a small village in England. She and her husband had planned the move for when he retired, but he had a heart attack before they could make the move. She decides to go ahead with the plan after he dies.
She lives next door to a beautiful cathedral, her house is in the close right against the cathedral wall, and the first book begins as she is leaving services and finds a body in the transept.
Dorothy is an interesting character, a retired teacher who loves hats, cats, and is as curious about people as any good detective must be.
Rebecca B. Surette says
I’ve read 4-5 of them, but FINALLY have the entire series (and short stories) collected and on my shelves! I have a small stack of things to go through first, but I’ll be reading the series start to finish by the second week in December. The anticipation is KILLING ME!
TERRYE ROBINS says
I just finished “The Wedding Shawl”, which is #5 in “A Seaside Knitters Mystery” series by Sally Goldenbaum. REALLY enjoyed it! I’ve liked all the novels so far but this one was especially good. Could hardly put it down! Never suspected who the killer was. If you enjoy knitting or cozy towns next to the sea, you are bound to like these books. Interesting characters and good plots are always there. I recommend this series!
In your list of authors, you have Ellery Adams, and list a couple of her series. She has a new series, The Secret, Book & Scone Society. It’s terrific. A woman moves to a little town, after she experiences a severe loss in her life, and opens a book shop, but there’s something a little mysterious about her. She offers book suggestions that she senses will help patrons with their life problems. She has some friends who are all wounded in one way or another, as she is, and they help folks in town, and of course, solve murders.
? Rose says
I have been a big fan G. A. Mckevett her southern humor is great. She writes about the coast of Ventura and I am very familiar with it. I also love Carlene O’Connor who takes me back to Ireland for a long visit. However pronouncing the Irish names is quite a bit difficult, I can figure out how to pronounce a French name much easier.
I have read all of the Jana DeLeon “Miss Fortune” books and loved them all! The heroine and her 2 elderly friends are great! They get into so many laugh out load (literally) situations.
I have gone back and reread a couple of my favorite series.
Sofia Ryan’s – Second Chance series and
Krista Davis – Paws and Claws
I finished two of Elise Sax’s series and they were great! First was the matchmaker series. Then there was a spinoff series of the town of Goodnight. The Agatha Bright series is a spinoff of Goodnight. I have to read that series next. I don’t know why I haven’t seen anybody recommendations for these because they are all a lot of fun!
Jeffrey M Keenan says
Julia Buckley’s “Writer’s Apprentice” series is excellent! Sadly her publisher shut it down – not uncommon I have learned – and she’ll move on to other things. Reminds me of Avery Aames’ “A Cheese Shop Mystery” series. Loved it, but then she ended it. That was her publisher’s choice. So she writes under her real name Daryl Wood Gerber.