We’re just about at the end of September, 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 Diane Mott Davidson’s Goldy Bear 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 September? 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 September 2019 that you want the rest of us to know about, and why did you enjoy it?
Donna Andrews: Meg Langslow Mystery Series
Anthony Berkeley: The Poisoned Chocolate Case
Rita Mae Brown: Mrs. Murphy Mystery Series
Raymond Buckland: Bram Stoker Mystery Series (first entry Cursed in the Act)
Ellen Byron: Cajun Country Mystery Series
Jessie Chandler: Shea O’Hanlon Caper Mystery Series (first entry Bingo Barge Murder)
Peg Cochran (aka Meg London): Murder, She Reported Mystery Series
Nancy Coco (aka Nancy J. Parra and Nell Hampton): Candy-Coated Mystery Series
Maya Corrigan: Five-Ingredient Mystery Series
Cleo Coyle (aka Alice Kimberly): Coffeehouse Mystery Series
Diane Mott Davidson: Goldy Bear Mystery Series
Krista Davis: Domestic Diva Mystery Series
Vicki Delany (aka Eva Gates): Year-Round Christmas Mystery Series
Sharon Farrow (aka 1/2 of D.E. Ireland): Berry Basket Mystery Series
Daryl Wood Gerber (aka Avery Aames): Cookbook Nook Mystery Series
Miranda James (aka Dean James, Jimmie Ruth Evans, & Honor Hartman): Cat in the Stacks Mystery Series
Sofie Kelly (aka Sofie Ryan & Darlene Ryan for Young Adult): Magical Cats Mystery Series
Karen MacInerney: Gray Whale Inn Mystery Series
Molly MacRae: Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery Series
Jenn McKinlay (aka Josie Belle & Lucy Lawrence): Library Lover’s Mystery Series
Alexis Morgan: Abby McCree Mystery Series (first entry Death by Committee)
Leigh Perry (aka Toni L.P. Kelner): Family Skeleton Mystery Series
Ashley Weaver: Amory Ames Mystery Series
Valerie Wolzien: Susan Henshaw 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.
Jennifer Merkuris says
I can’t get over timing on this one. I have had this series since they came out (a long time). This morning finally decided to give it a try. This posting to me is the sign I made a good decision. Thank you! ?
I am rereading the first book in the Susan Henshaw Series Murder at the PTA Luncheon by Valerie Wolzien. I happened to find the first two books on Amazon Kindle and downloaded them immediately. I am hoping more books in this series are transferred to Kindle.
Lee Ann says
I love this series. I read it when it came out, I have all or a!most all of the books. I was disappointed that she quiet writing this series. Haven’t try the other one she wrote.
Danna: I’ve been reading a great series by Leigh Perry of the skeleton, Sid, and finished the first three, A Skeleton in the Family, Skeleton Takes a Bow and The Skeleton Haunts a House, working on the Skeleton Makes a Friend. The other three are on hold at the library. Have to finish this series. I recommend it highly and the right time of the year and holiday!
Leigh has made this series come alive and the characters are likeable and fun.
Barb E says
I enjoyed the latest books of 3 series I’ve really liked since their beginning: Vickie Delaney / Year Round Christmas Mysteries ( I also like her Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series); Maya Corrigan / Five Ingredient Mysteries; Ellen Byron / Cajun Country Mysteries. I tried book 1 of a new series by Anna Gerard / Georgia B&B Mysteries (Peach Clobbered). I found it very entertaining- a good start to hopefully many more. And Knot on Her Life by Mary Marks was a little different, has a good cast of characters and a nice writing style. P.S. I agree with the recommendation for Diane Mott Davidson – loved all her books.
Olivia Goodwin says
I love her books and the recipes. I hope their is more Goldy stories. she is a great writer and keeps you on your toes
Ginny Kayfes says
I am really enjoying the “Berry Basket” series from Sharon Farrow. The characters are very vivid and I can just picture them in the story. I don’t think there is one type of character in the books that I haven’t met in real life.
Ginny, I also enjoy the Sharon Farrow series, so I ‘second’ your recommendation. I read Mulberry Mischief this month, but didn’t include it in my recommendations because I thought my entry was already too long! I enjoy the characters, developed with some depth. And, the mystery is always intriguing.
Parker Brown-Nesbit says
I read Sofie Kelly’s A Night’s Tail, the 11th in her Magical Cats series. Highly recommended for cat lovers and library lovers (and especially those of us who are both).
I also reread the Haunted Bookshop series by Molly MacRae.
September Recommendations — 2019
Word to the Wise — Jenn McKinlay
Jenn McKinlay writes three current series…….all of which are good reads. Her books DEFINE
this genre – ‘cozy mysteries’. They are different in tone, though. Of the three, my favorite is the Hat Shop series. I have yet to read a McKinlay book that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy.
Word to the Wise is the 10th book in the Library Lovers series. Lindsay Norris is Library Director in a small Connecticut community.
She is being harassed by a newcomer to the community and a library patron. He is the murder victim in this story. Lindsay’s fiancé (Sully) is a suspect, so she sets out to find the real culprit. This author tackles this subject (harassment), and does it well.
This story is well plotted, with smooth flowing writing. I can’t emphasize enough how important that is to an enjoyable read. Love the characters, too. I figured out who the culprit was about half way through the book. BUT, before you think that’s a ‘negative’, just know there is a HUGE twist at the end, surprising the reader. That aspect of the story is NOT ‘figureoutable’ (my new word!)
It is important that one reads these stories in sequence. In fact, it’s important that you do so with all three of her series. It’s hard to understand the interactions of the characters if you didn’t start with the first book. So if this recommendations interests you, but you haven’t read any of this author’s previous books………..you have a HUGE TBR pile to get through!
A Night’s Tail — Sofie Kelly
This is another popular series that is often recommended at this site. Most likely I won’t be the only one recommending this book.
Kathleen is the library director in this small Minnesota town. She is originally from Boston. Her brother and his band are visiting. The band has scheduled several appearances in the area. There is an altercation at a bar between a businessman who is in town exploring opportunities to start a new business.
This businessman has a less than stellar reputation. Of course, he is the person murdered. There are several viable suspects, including some band members. It takes some unwinding of past secrets to be able to reach a solution.
The interaction between characters is well written. The intrigue throughout the story holds the reader’s attention. Then there is the ‘stars’ of the stories………….Owen and Hercules, Kathleen’s cats.
Kathleen FINALLY informs her boyfriend (detective Marcus) about the secrets of the cats, making for a ‘touching’ final chapter.
This is another series where it is a MUST to start with the first book. I’ve read all the previous 10 books and was still confused with the characters. On top of that, Kelly has added in many more characters for this story. UGH! If I could make a suggestion to the author………..PLEASE, please write a ‘cast of characters’ in the beginning of the book. I had difficulty keeping track of who’s who. I skipped over several parts when ‘non-essential’ characters were mentioned. There just were too many.
Silent Night Deadly Night — Vicki Delany
This series is set in Rudolph, NY where they celebrate Christmas year round. Don’t let the title fool you. It isn’t necessary to put off reading it until Dec. In fact this story is set in November, where Thanksgiving is the ‘topic’ (but not dwelled on).
This is a really fun and enjoyable series. Protagonist Merry Wilkinson owns a high end Christmas shop, Mrs. Claus’s Treasures. Her mother has invited college friends for a weekend visit, staying in her home. Unbeknownst to her there are several conflicts between these friends with issues that date back to their college days. One of the friends is poisoned. The revelation is a surprise with an unusual twist.
Delany writes a creative plot with many twists. In fact, there are two plot story lines. The other story line involves an older couple who’ve recently moved to this community. The man is trying to get involved in the community in a big way, even to the point of taking over the role of St. Claus away from Noel (Merry’s dad). He also has designs on the mayor’s job. It becomes an interesting story as it evolves, with an apropos ending.
The characters are quite varied and well developed. I’ve commented on this before…….Delany also writes under the pseudonym ‘Eva Gates’. I find it amusing that when she writes about the mother character in each series, there is an abundance of similarities.
Janice G says
September was a great month for books, both new and favorite series. I very much enjoyed A Dangerous Engagement, the latest book by Ashley Weaver. Amory and Milo are in New York for the wedding of a friend when a member of the wedding party is murdered. The victim had ties to organized crimes so to investigate, the couple spend time in underground nightclubs and find that alcohol is big business during prohibition. As always in this series, the relationship between the couple is as interesting as the mystery.
Death by Jack-O’-Lantern is the second book in the Abby McCree series by Alexis Morgan. Abby finds the body of a local pumpkin farmer in the middle of a corn maze. Her tenant Tripp gets in trouble for refusing to help the police find a homeless Viet Nam vet who is a suspect in the case. Abby is busy with numerous committee responsibilities for the town’s Halloween celebration while finding time to visit Tripp in jail, plying the police with home baked goodies, caring for her depressed mastiff, and solving the case.
Peach Clobbered is a new book by Anna Gerard (Ali Brandon) set in Cymbeline Georgia where Nina recently bought a large home that she wants to turn into a bed and breakfast. Her license application was rejected until the mayor offers to approve it if she takes in six nuns who were evicted from the farm where they made goat cheese. She is also dealing with a second rate but very handsome actor who claims that the house which had belonged to his great-aunt should be his and he is trying to vacate the sale. When a dead man in a penguin suit ends up on her doorstep, Nina sets about trying to find the guilty party while the nuns embark on trying every kind of take out food that they can find. This is a fun debut with a good mystery and surprising conclusion.
I also enjoyed A Word to the Wise by Jenn McKinlay, A Night’s Tail by Sofie Kelly, and Fatal Cajun Festival by Ellen Byron – all favorite series.
Again, Janice, great minds think alike!! We do have similar tastes, except I’m not much of a fan of historical fiction/mysteries. As in my list of recommendations I, too, listed Word to the Wise, and A Night’s Tail. IRONICALLY, I’m currently reading Fatal Cajun Festival (most likely will recommend it next month)!
I want to thank you for the Anna Gerard (I din’t realize she was Ali Brandon) and Alexis Morgan suggestions. I’ll try books by these authors, since you and I seem to have similar tastes in cozy selections.
Janice G says
I hope that you enjoy the Anna Gerard and Alexis Morgan books. I don’t read many historical mysteries but the Ashley Weaver series has become one of my real favorites. I started reading them from the library but have since bought all of them and re-read the whole series.
Tamika G. says
1. Krista Davis Domestic Diva Mysteries.
I love, love these books. I stumbled upon these books and now I’m addicted to Cozy mysteries. I can’t get enough of Sophie, the main character and her antagonist, Natasha. These books are based on one of my favorite cities, Old Yown, Virginia. I can’t put her books down!
2. Cleo Coyle Coffeehouse Mystery series. I’ve been reading this series and the books are amazing. The dynamic between Claire, her ex-husband and boyfriend along, makes these books interesting.
I love their knowledge of coffee and desserts.
I’ve been revising some of my favourites again this month.
Raymond Buckley’s ‘Bram Stoker Mysteries’ feature a theatre manager – later to turn author – in 19th century London.
I don’t usually like fiction that uses real people, but I finished this one in a single sitting. The setting is real and realistically written. Stoker ‘was’ a theatre manager before he was published and unlike some of the other ‘Real Person’ mysteries out there, the man is completely in character. He is a secondary character who backs up the leads, but does so in complete sync with the time and place – and his job. (He rescues the lead from a trap and then chivvies them back to the theatre in time for curtain! Lol!) Highly recommended!
For something completely different, I’ve also been getting back into the ‘Shea O’Hanlon mysteries’ by Jessie Chandler.
Shea runs a coffee shop in 21st Century Minneapolis. and becomes involved not only with police investigations into murders where her friends or family are suspects but the policewoman doing the investigating, as well.
A little more on the real side than most cozies (A little less ‘cozy’) there is still nothing graphic or offensive, beyond a little time-and-place-appropriate language. Maybe not for everyone on this site but I enjoyed them very much.
Rebecca B. Surette says
I FINALLY finished the Mrs. Murphy series, which I liked over all. Well…almost finished it. I do not yet have the last two books, those will have to wait.
However, I also started the Cook Book Nook series by Daryl Wood Gerber, and I am REALLY enjoying those! The characters are delightful and the series hits every one of my cozy buttons! There are books, and recipes, and an adorable cat, and just a hint of the supernatural! What’s not to like!
Barb K. says
Just finished SCONE COLD DEAD BY Karen MacInerney the new Gray Whale Inn mystery. I’ve always wanted to own a B&B so I am living my dream through this book and the whole series. Every book is a page turner and full of recipes for delicious food. The reading just carried me along to the last page.
I’ve been reading a lot of series lately. I enjoy reading one in each series, then the next in each, so I don’t get burnt out on one group of characters. Since I’ve read several of each series, I’ll just post the authors and series.
Ellie Alexander – Bakeshop Mystery series
Jessica Beck – The Donut Mysteries
Amanda Flower – Amish Candy Shop
Victoria Hamilton – A Merry Muffin Mystery series
Kylie Logan – League of Literary Ladies series AND Ethnic Eats Mystery series
Jenn McKinlay – A Cupcake Bakery Mystery series
Livia J Washburn – Fresh-Baked Mystery series
Susy S says
Kivara, These series are all on my must read list, though I have a long way to go to catch up on the Jessica Beck series ( I am only up to number 24).
I came late to Jessica Beck and the Hannah Swensen series (by JoAnne Fluke.) I have finally caught up on all of Fluke’s, but I think I am only to book 13 of Beck’s.
I do the same thing, Kivara, for variety. But, I also rotate my series because I know I’m eventually going to get the end, and I hate the thought of never reading about the characters and their antics again.
Kivara, I’m the exact opposite! I’ll read the first book in a series, then, if I like it, buy and read the whole thing, start to finish. I never seem to get burnt out, and I love having the story unfold in a very natural and organic way.
Carol K says
I have two comments to make.
The first: Six Cats a Slayin’ by Miranda James. I have enjoyed the whole series (A Cat in the Stacks Mystery), but this one was the BEST. Good plot and surprise ending.
The second: A Skeleton in the Family by Leigh Perry. When I got this home and looked at it, I wondered why in the world did I get it. Thought I would at least start to read it. It’s a fun read with mystery thrown in for good measure. I can’t wait to see how it ends.
Susy S says
I have read quite a lot this month, so I will limit this to the ones I enjoyed most, though not necessarily in that order.
Word to the Wise by Jenn McKinlay – Her books are always great and this one does not disappoint. The characters are well developed and the overall story arc is fun, but this book is somewhat more intense than previous ones. Our heroine has a stalker, which is pretty scary, and according to the author, is based on an experience she had when working as a librarian.
The first four books in Donna Andrews Meg Langslow series: Murder With Peacocks, Murder With Puffins, Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos and Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon. Amusing characters and unusually situations make this series fun.
A Night’s Tail by Sofie Kelly. The cats are at it again, and Kathleen has to follow the clues, while hiding the cat’s special abilities. The ending is a special treat, but I will not spoil it for those of you who haven’t read it yet.
Silent Night, Deadly Night by Vicki Delany is the continuing story of Rudolph, the all year Christmas town. This time we get to learn much more about Merry’s Mom. Another book where the clues are all laid out as the story unfolds, but the ending is still a surprise.
Fudge Bites by Nancy Coco. This time it is the cat Mello finding the body instead of the dog, but our little buddy Mal still gets to dig up a mystery.
There were more, but these were my favorites this month.
The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley. A different style of a book. A group of self described criminologists formed the Crimes Circle when they are attempting so solve murders. In this case they are looking at a real case that stunned Scotland Yard and they are given all the information gathered by Scotland Yard.
A member of a social club received a box of chocolates with a request to test and to offer a review. He is angry at the suggestion and another member offers to take it off his hands and to take it home. The chocolates were poisoned. The husband tasted some and got seriously ill, but the wife, who had more pieces Died.
Who did it? And who was the intended victim?
Six members on subsequent days offer a solution, each with a different style based on the professions: a lawyer, a dramatist, an author..
More narratives than activities with an unexpected result.
Sally Fortney says
I read Murder, She Uncovered by Peg Cochran. It’s set in 1930’s New York City with the heroine, a newspaper photographer from a wealthy family. She and the reporter she works with help her police friend solve the crimes.
Pam Walker says
I am almost finished with the last Goldy cozy by Diane Mott Davidson and hate to see the series end.
I also tried a new series by Marty Wingate. The first is Bodies in the Library and was very good.
Cheryl Palmour says
I read Jealousy Filled Donuts. This is the fourth in the Deputy Donuts cozies. The main character is a widow who runs a donut shop with her father-in-law. She has a cat. A fun cozy. Start with the first one in the series.
Aidan B. says
I just finished “Death by Jack-O-Lantern” by Alexis Morgan. Its the second book in the ‘Abby Mccree Mystery Series.” Its set in a small town in Washington state near Seattle. It’s a great book to read during the Fall especially close to Halloween!