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 Sofie Ryan’s Second Chance Cat 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 2020 that you want the rest of us to know about, and why did you enjoy it?
Esme Addison: Enchanted Bay Mystery Series (first entry A Spell for Trouble)
Donna Andrews: Meg Langslow Mystery Series
Stephanie Blackmoore: Wedding Planner Mystery Series
Julia Buckley: Hungarian Tea House Mystery Series
Ellen Byron (aka Maria DiRico): Cajun Country Mystery Series
Eve Calder: Cookie House Mystery Series (first entry And Then There Were Crumbs)
Vivien Chien: Noodle Shop Mystery Series
Peg Cochran (aka Meg London): Cranberry Cove Mystery Series
E.J. Copperman (aka Jeffrey Cohen): Mysterious Detective Mystery Series
Elizabeth Daly: Henry Gamadge Mystery Series
Diane Mott Davidson: Goldy Bear Mystery Series
Krista Davis: Domestic Diva Mystery Series
Vicki Delany (aka Eva Gates): Tea By the Sea Mystery Series
Jana DeLeon: Miss Fortune Mystery Series
Amanda Flower (aka Isabella Alan): Magic Garden Mystery Series
Daryl Wood Gerber (aka Avery Aames): Fairy Garden Mystery Series
Traci Hall: Scottish Shire Mystery Series (first entry Murder in a Scottish Shire)
Wendy Heuvel: Ablazing Grace
Tonya Kappes (aka Maymee Bell): Kenni Lowry Mystery Series
Essie Lang (aka Linda Wiken & Erika Chase): Castle Bookshop Mystery Series
Kylie Logan (aka Miranda Bliss & Casey Daniels): Ethnic Eats Mystery Series
Alyssa Maxwell: Lady and Lady’s Maid Mystery Series
Jenn McKinlay (aka Josie Belle & Lucy Lawrence): Library Lover’s Mystery Series
Amy Reade: Juniper Junction Mystery Series (first entry The Worst Noel)
Sofie Ryan (aka Sofie Kelly & Darlene Ryan for Young Adult) : Second Chance Mystery Series AND Magical Cats Mystery Series
J.B. Stanley (aka Jennifer Stanley, Ellery Adams, & 1/2 of Lucy Arlington): Supper Club 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.
Ginger g says
I read Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien. The first in the noodle series. I read 2 other books but they were not cozies.
I read Ablazing Grace by Wendy Heuvel. It will be released next week. The author does a fabulous job of describing the characters so you like them, and consider them friends, even the guilty one. The cozy village of Banford sounds like a great place to visit or live. While the story did not necessarily have a lot of twists, it was entertaining to follow along as one by one the suspects are eliminated.
Linda Hovatter says
A lady and lady’s maid mysteries by Alyssa Maxwell.
I am reading Amy Reade’s Ghouls’ Night Out (part of her Juniper Junction Holiday Mystery series)–perfect read for the #Halloween season!
If you like cozy mysteries featural royals, actors, fashion and a dash of romance–my book, Double Trouble: Showtime at Castlewood Manor has a chilling #Halloween gender reveal party (part of My American Almost-Royal Cousin Series)!
Ginny Kayfes says
I just started the Sofie Kelly’s “Magical Cats” mysteries. I tried the first book a couple of years ago and it didn’t strike the right chord then. I tried the series again a couple of weeks ago. Oh boy! I am so hooked. I have devoured the first three on my kindle. I want to get the whole series in paperback. I have even interested my husband to try the series because he is originally from upper Minnesota. This could be dangerous for my credit card.
B. West says
I really enjoyed the Cranberry Cove series by Peg Cochran. Hope she writes a lot more of these. Good characters and interesting info about the cranberry growing industry. Recipes are included.
Peg Cochran says
Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed them. Cranberry Cove #6 will be out soon–I’m breathlessly awaiting the cover and will share when I get it!
Susy S says
I am reading and enjoying that series as well. I started with the Nancy Coco Fudge shop series and all I have left is the last of Cranberry Cove and the Farmers Daughter series.
I always look forward to the new ones coming out.
B. West says
I will go on to read your other series, having enjoyed Cranberry Cove so much. I think most of us who read cozies enjoy them for the characters and I have to say in the case of Gina, she’s amazing. I really wanted to dislike her in the beginning but she’s grown so much I can’t help myself for wishing I actually knew her! By turns she’s exasperating, ridiculous, and vulnerable and you never know which new garment of hers will be covered with leopard print fabric! I wish she was my best friend. (sometimes)
Elizabeth Daly’s last Henry Gamadge Book The Book of the Crime. An unhappy young married woman finally cannot take it anymore and an outburst by her lame husband sends her fleeing for her life. Previously she worked at a publishing house where she met Gamadge discussing his recent book and Gamadge was charmed by her. Gamadge is getting ready to help her final break from her husband and his older brother and sister and opens a whole convoluted sordid affair with satisfying results.
I also followed the recommendations here and read Donna Andrews Murder with Peacocks. Meg Langslow is busy arranging three weddings at her home town all taking place within weeks of each other, each Bradzilla with her crazy demands. Yes, including peacocks. As reviewed on these pages, an unstopped narration of events and people and mayhem and… impossible to put down.
Michelle Busby says
Hello everyone! I am not on “the list” of authors, but I’d like you to give The Tainted Teacup a try. It’s the first in the Holmes & Watson Culinary Whodunits series featuring an Irish chef and an American herbalist. It includes recipes for food and herbal tea blends. Please enjoy!
This series sounds interesting, Michelle. It’s not listed in worldcat.org, though. I don’t know where you live, but perhaps you could donate a book to the library in your city and a nearby community, so it then gets listed. I’m not sure, but I think (??) it has to be in a library to get listed. You could check on this.
Michelle Busby says
Thank you! I will happily do that! I am currently working on book 2: Egg Hide Homicide featuring the same detective duo. I enjoy reading this blog very much.
September Recommendations – 2020
Usually I have several books to recommend. However this month I had difficulty finding books I really liked. I started reading 3 books and couldn’t finish any of them, even though I was half way through. All three were really ‘blah/BORING!”. UGH! In fact one of the authors has written a series I love with fascinating and delightful characters. But the characters in the first book of this new series just didn’t have any personality. Perhaps it got better if one would finish it, but I gave up.
The following are two books I really enjoyed.
Mums and Mayhem — Amanda Flower
This is part of her magical garden series. Usually the word ‘magical’ is a turnoff for me in a series, but Flower does it well — making the ‘magic’ element a side story without a lot of emphasis (at least as it pertains to the mystery).
A famous fiddler returns to this small Scotland community to perform a concert because it’s his hometown. There’s some infighting within his musical group. Florist Fiona Knox is on the committee to help set up the concert. In fact, Fiona’s parents arrive from Nashville to visit Fiona and her sister. The fiddler is murdered and there are several suspects including Fiona’s father.
I think Flower is the consummate story teller. She always weaves a great story combining many elements, thus keeping the reader glued to the pages. This is a well written and enjoyable series by this talented author.
Tea and Treachery — Vicki Delany
This is the first book in a new series by another author I enjoy. Two of her series – Year Round Christmas mystery and Library Lighthouse mystery (as Eva Gates) are must reads for me.
Lily Roberts owns a successful tea shop on property next to her grandmother Rose’s B&B in Cape Cod. The owner of the property next door wants to sell his home to developers for a large hotel and golf course. Of course, Rose objects and is very vocal about changing zoning laws. The developer is found dead on Rose’s property. Rose is the prime suspect (although the reader can easily see how absurd this is.).
The characters are very diverse, especially Rose’s acerbic personality. In all honesty, she is demanding and very unlikeable. This is unusual for Delany to assign these traits to a main character. However, there are several other enjoyable characters. Their interactions make this book a pleasurable read.
This plot is well paced with several twists. I do like the way it ended, with a fun surprise. It’ll create several interesting avenues for future stories.
Susy S says
MJ, these are both on my list. I had not started the Magical Garden series until this month, but now all I have left is this one.
I am reading all of the Delaney series, so I am putting off buying Tea and Treachery until I catch up with the ones I already have.
Paula Catherine says
I have been reading a lot over the last few months. The pandemic plus the horrible hot/humid weather with thunderstorms here in Florida limit activities. I actually started reading non fiction, which for me is hew. However the cozy mystery genre is my favorite.
Kylie Logan introduces a cozy culinary mystery series located in Ohio. Laurel had a great job as a personal chef to a famous movie star? After a story was leaked to the press concerning the star’s teenage son Laurel was blamed and fired. She packed up her recipes, knives and returned to Ohio.
Laurel’s aunt had apparently exaggerated the success and physical attributes of her restaurant and instead of a fine dining bistro she discovers The Terminal on the Tracks is actually a down and out greasy spoon diner. To try to make the diner a success she imagines an ethnic eats menu with a new menus every week.
Along with her absolutely hunky Irish store owner she solves a murder. I think the series is a fun one. Book one: Irish Stewed featured Irish menu. The employees seem to be on board with her plans. Their long time customers are warming up to the change. Her Aunt Sophie needs her to be successful as she is in over her head.
I enjoyed the three books so far and hope there will be more.
Paula, I also enjoyed the Kylie Logan series (Ethnic Eats Mystery) you mentioned. This author seems to write a few books in a series, then moves on to something else. She writes with a lot of wit.
One of my most favorite series is her League of Literary Ladies series. In book four (I think) is a revelation (about her real occupation) that’s so highly creative that this series always gets high praise from me. It (the revelation) has the “WOW” factor. There are only five books in this series.
Susy S says
MJ, I really like the literary ladies as well, though I had figured out her other profession in the first book. It was fun to see how she tried to keep it on the down low.
Barb E says
Cajun Country Mysteries by Ellen Byron
I just finished #6 – Murder in the Bayou Boneyard. It is a fun Halloweenish romp.
Cookie House Mysteries by Eve Calder
I read #2 in the series this month – Sugar and Vice. It is set in the island town of Coral Kay, FL. The shop owners share a dog – Oliver, who is a great addition to the cast.
Both of these books have good characters and are well written. The kind of stories that draw you right in and keep you involved.
Deda Peterson says
Just finished Engaged to Death by Stephanie Blackmoore. Loved it so much that I ordered the next four in the series!
Cecile Fleetwood says
I am currently working my way thru the Noodle Shop Mysteries by Vivien Chein! I am on te last of the first 4, “WONTON TERROR”! Love the series, crave noodles! The 5th book is out but I don’t have it yet. The other titles in the series are “DEATH BY DUMPLING”, “DIM SUM OF ALL FEARS”, & “MURDER LO MEIN”. Even the titles make me hungry!
Fran B says
I just finished “The Diva Spices It Up” by Krista Davis. I have loved every book in this series so far and was happy to find this newest one. Her characters are fun and the plots always have surpising twists. I would definitely recommend trying this series if you haven’t already become a fan.
Sally Fortney says
I read Death of a Wandering Wolf by Julia Buckley. Hana runs a Hungarian tearoom with her mother and grandmother. This book introduced her police boyfriend’s family. His sisters are something else! I made haluska from one of the recipes in the back. Stay safe and well.
Elaine Behrendt says
I’m curious what others think about: The number of characters in a book…I’ve read a few where I get confused who is who as there are so many in the story.
Danna - cozy mystery list says
Elaine, I’ve certainly had that problem in the past as well, particularly in the first novel in a series where a lot of characters are being introduced at once. Some novels used to have a quick cast list at the beginning – that was certainly useful.
Jo Anne Yerkes says
I agree that a list of characters is useful for the first couple of books in a series.
I just finished J.B. Stanley’s Chili Con Corpses and started Paige Shelton’s Thin Ice.
Susy S says
I like it when they give you a list. Especially as the series gets longer and new characters are added. It helps to keep the players straight.
Elaine: I have found that to be true in many books, especially the start of a new series. When using a real book, I write down the characters names and a related fact in the leaflet of the book. When using my kindle, I use a pen and paper to keep track.
Elaine, I TOTALLY agree with you. It does get confusing and I hate to have to go back a few chapters to figure out the character and it’s relationship to the other characters. I thoroughly enjoy it when the author takes the time to put a list of characters (with their function within the story) in the beginning of the book. I recently read a book that did that, but the author left out the boyfriend. Huh?
Sally Goldenbaum does this the BEST in her Seaside Knitting series. She sets an example for all authors to use.
Susy S says
It is especially helpful when characters have similar names.
Betsy N says
I really enjoyed Murder in a Scottish Shire by Traci E Hall, the first in a new series. Paislee is a young single mum to a 10 year old boy and, thanks to the love and influence of her deceased grandma, owns a speciality knitting and fiber store. The unexpected arrival of her estranged grandfather, the death of a previous employee, plus an eviction notice for her store made for a really good read!
I just finished and enjoyed the Kenni Lowry Mystery Series (7 books) by Tonya Kappes. The main character is a young female sheriff of a small Kentucky town. Easy fun reading!
Alice Hihn says
Just finished the Hungarian Tea House books. Can’t wait for the third one coming out in May 2021. Read them while on vacation in Delaware and North Carolina.
Tom B says
Edited Out by EJ Copperman has been pretty interesting.
Susy S says
I had another month of reading a lot of books in September (33). I read books by Donna Andrews, Ellen Byron, Vivien Chein, Peg Cochran, Amanda Flower and Sofie Ryan, and concur with the recommendations of those who also read them.
I also read books 2 through 6 in Diane Mott Davidsons Goldy Bear series. I really like the way she develops her characters and how they interact over time. The emotional growth of Goldy and her son are especially well done.
I always read new books by Jenn McKinlay soon after they come out. One for the Books was the latest and included the wedding of Lindsey and Scully. It included a lot about their parents, so it was extra fun.
I have also be devouring books by Jana DeLeon. I read the first in the Fortune series in June and finished it this month. Fortune is not your typical cozy sleuth and her sidekicks are ladies “of a certain age” who have not lived typical lives. I often find myself laughing out loud, especially at the antics of Gertie. I have read the first two in the Mudbug, Ghost in Law series. I really like that her leading ladies are smart capable women, but who grow and become more well rounded people, who you would really like to share a drink with on a Saturday night. I think some of these books are also classified as romantic suspense, so if that is not your thing, these may not be up your alley, though there is more romance in the Ghost in Law series in my opinion.
I read “Death on the Page”, the second book in Essie Lang’s Castle Bookshop series. The mystery is well-crafted, and I enjoyed trying to figure out whodunnit…I kept changing my mind on who I thought it was. I thought the story was well-paced, and it held my interest throughout. Plus, I just love the setting!
I also read “A Sprinkling of Murder”, the first in Daryl Wood Gerber’s new Fairy Garden series. Courtney Kelly is the owner of Open Your Imagination, a fairy garden shop in Carmel by the Sea. She has a fairy friend named Fiona who helps her solve the murder. Fiona can only be seen by Courtney and a couple of others. As the title of the series may suggest, this series is fanciful and magical, so if that’s not something you enjoy, this series is likely not for you. For anyone else, I recommend this one… it’s a fun, entertaining series that is different from other magic-themed series.
Teri W says
Read a book by a new author with a new series Enchanted Bay mysteries by Esme Addison. First book is called “Spell for Trouble”. It has all the good characteristics of a cozy: seaside town, wholesome characters working through personal issues, witches & enchantment.
Jo J says
I’ve just finished Jana DeLeon’s Fortune series and it’s the rare set that give me belly laughs at least once for every book. Gertie’s slapstick scenes always seem to come out of nowhere and build on themselves in impossible ways that are easy to picture in your mind’s eye. The trio’s convoluted fibs covering up each of their mishaps for the long-suffering deputy sheriff are treats in themselves. And the archvillain of the series is great at stirring up comedy. Sort of the Laurel and Hardy of cozy mysteries, but a lot more clever.
Susy S says
I love this series! I read most of the books in September and must now wait for the next book. I am reading her Ghost in-law series, a romantic suspense series, and while it is fun, in my opinion, it just is not as good as the Fortune series.