September is over, so it’s time to discuss our favorite Cozies that we’ve read last month! I know – normally this would be up sooner… but I wasn’t intending to put up Hallmark posts this month until I was very recently told Hallmark would be having new mysteries this month, so this post is a bit late.
If you read a Cozy mystery last 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 Darci Hannah’s Beacon Bakeshop 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 2022 that you want the rest of us to know about, and why did you enjoy it?
Laurien Berenson: Melanie Travis Mystery Series
Veronica Bond: Dinner and a Murder Mystery Series (first entry Death in Castle Dark)
Jennifer Chow: LA Night Market Mystery Series (first entry Death by Bubble Tea)
Krista Davis: Paws & Claws Mystery Series AND Pen & Ink Mystery Series
Lauren Elliott: Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery Series (first entry Murder By the Book)
Amanda Flower (aka Isabella Alan): Amish Candy Shop Mystery Series AND Emily Dickinson Mystery Series
Darci Hannah: Beacon Bakeshop Mystery Series
Liz Ireland: Mrs. Claus Mystery Series (first entry Mrs. Claus and the Santaland Slayings)
Sofie Kelly (aka Sofie Ryan & Darlene Ryan for Young Adult): Magical Cats Mystery Series
M. L. Longworth: Provencal Mystery Series (first entry Death at the Chateau Bremont)
Nic Saint: Mysteries of Max (first entry Purrfect Murder)
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.
September Recommendations — 2022
Whiskers and Lies — Sofie Kelly
This book is a timely released with its Halloween ambience. I enjoy this series because there are so many dimensions to it.
In this book Kathleen’s friend (Georgia) is accused of murdering her former mother-in-law. Her in-laws have been trying to get custody of her daughter. So Georgia has been on the run. Her in-laws finally found her in this small MN community.
The characters have many complexities. The story has several twists and turns, all adding up to a good mystery.
This is the 14th book in the series. I’ve read them all, and even I got confused with the characters. I wish Kelly would have provided the readers with a list of characters in the beginning of the story. She didn’t explain them very well as they came into the story. Some I remembered, some I didn’t.
BUT, each book in this series has ALWAYS been a great read. So enjoyable are Kathleen’s two cats — Hercules and Owen, providing humor to the story. In this series, it’s important to start with book one.
Death in a Dark Castle, Castle Deadly Castle Deep — Veronica Bond
WHO IS Veronica Bond???
Luckily for me, Janice mentioned this author in her July blog posting (on this site), stating this is a pseudonym for Julia Buckley.
Since Buckley’s books are published by Berkley and this new series is also published by Berkley, I’m really mystified as to why there had to be a ‘different’ name attached to it. Other than the title page there isn’t any mention of Buckley’s other series or tie-in with this pseudonym – NADA, nothing! I believe this is a big marketing error by Berkley (but then, what do I know?). I’ve really enjoyed three of Buckley’s series. I’d wager a bet that not many others know of this connection.
Having said all that, I’ll just make some general comments since I’ve included the first two books in this post. This author has used her creative chops with the premise of this series. It features a castle in a small community in IL. This castle is owned by two brothers with plans for presenting plays utilizing the mystery dinner concept. The actors live in the castle.
Nora Blake (Chicago actress) is the main character who joins this troupe at the beginning of the first book. The mystery story lines are well written (as are several of Buckley’s stories — especially the Hungarian Tea series). The stories flow smoothly with unexpected/surprise endings.
I really enjoy the varied and unique characters. As the stories progress, more and more time is given to Nora’s 18 yr. old twin brothers (and their antics) who live in Chicago and visit often.
What’s NOT a surprise is the romance angle. As par for the course with most cozies, Nora’s romantic interest is Dash — the local detective (shock, shock!!).
Both of these books are enjoyable reads, written with much wit, and are difficult to put down. For Buckley fans (or cozy fans in general), I think you’ll enjoy this new series.
A Good Dog’s Guide to Murder — Krista Davis
This is my favorite series written by K. Davis. The characters (and animals) makes each book a fun read. This latest release is just as enjoyable as all the previous books. I recommend you start reading the series with book one. Always great story lines, including the mystery. Well paced.
Just a note about this book – Holly’s mother (from CA) comes to visit and plans to move to Wagtail (VA) permanently. She is getting a divorce from her second husband. The only thing I don’t understand is how any mother can leave two teenage children thousands of miles away to permanently move elsewhere. HUH? Why not wait a couple of years to move until they go off to college?
But, then, this is fiction and Davis most likely created this situation for future story lines.
Peanut Butter Panic — Amanda Flower
This is 10th book of the Amish Candy Shop series set in northeast Ohio.
A man visiting the community has a peanut allergy and dies because he inadvertently eats some peanut butter. His death is ruled a homicide. There is so much complexity to this story. It is very well written (as normal for Flower). The ending is a big surprise….. I certainly didn’t see that coming!
Again, this is a series that is best read in order, starting w/book one. The interactions of the characters are much better understood if read sequentially.
Death By Bubble Tea — Jennifer Chow
A new series by a new-to-me author…………..
I started reading this book in bed one night around 10:00. I didn’t like it, but was too lazy to get out of bed and get another book! Soooo, I continued reading…….
It’s set in a small community within LA. Yale Yee is let go from her bookstore job and is pondering her next career move. Her cousin Celine (beautiful and wealthy) comes to visit from Hong Kong to visit. Yale’s father owns a famous restaurant in the area. He asks her and Celine to man a table at a community event.
As Yale is leaving, she discovers a body of a customer she previously served. Because poisoning is involved, she becomes a suspect. Yale and Celine decide to investigate.
This actually turned out to be an enjoyable story. The author has developed much depth to the main characters, thus creating some intriguing circumstances, Although slow in some spots, the plot moves along nicely with some twists and turns.
OMG! Thanks so much for giving the 411 on Veronica Bond! I totally love Julia Buckley and have read her three series as well. Just ordered these two mysteries for TBR pile.
Linda G says
My favorite this past month was Krista Davis’ “A Good Dog’s Guide to Murder”, the latest entry in her wonderful Paws and Claws series. To me, the perfect cozy must have major roles for animals. Set in the super pet friendly Virginia town of Wagtail, this fun mystery fits that criteria to a tail – errr- tee!
I read the first three books by Nic Saint
He writes about Max the cat and his friends
Somewhere in the family on the female side, there was supposedly a witch, so Odelia, her mom and grandmother can talk to their cats. Odelia is a reporter and the cats provide clues to the murder
Sally Fortney says
I read Because I Could Not Stop for Death by Amanda Flower with Emily Dickinson as the sleuth along with her maid. I didn’t know much about Emily so it was very interesting.
I also read A Colorful Scheme by Krista Davis about a sleuth who runs a bookstore and created coloring books. Six Strokes Under by Roberta Isleib AKA Lucy Burdette is a golf mystery. Mrs. Morris and the Pot of Gold has Mrs. Morris who runs a B&B and has a ghost helping her. Last But Not Leashed is about vet Kate who solves mysteries. These were all very good.
Dickinson is my favorite poet. Definitely will try this. Thanks
I am reading all of the Laurien Berenson books featuring Melanie Travis and her 5 black Standard Poodles, as well as Aunt Peg who is a show judge and has 6 black Poodles. Great plots, lovable characters, dog shows, handlers. Melanie has a great family two with 2 boys.
Kate P says
Have been reading a great series by Lauren Elliott, Beyond the Page book series….the first book is Murder by the Book. It’s about a young woman who works at a museum in Boston, and she inherits a bookstore and a mansion in a small New England town. Of course there is a murder, and she is the main suspect. But the series has great characters and the entire series is a fun read
I enjoy London Lovett and Fiona Grace. They both have several series and are great reads.
I read another in one of my favorite series by M. L. Longworth, The Vanishing Museum.
I have read 4 books in the series, and have enjoyed every single one of them.
They take place in Aix-en-Provence, with Aix’s examining magistrate Antoine Verlaque and his professor wife Marine Bonnet.
Every book makes you feel like you are walking down the the streets of Aix with the sun shining down on you and enticing cafes around every corner. Wine with lunch? Yes, please!
In the Vanishing Museum, the director of the Musee Quentin- Savary walks in to find the whole museum empty of everything but the a bench, the reception desk, and a potted fern. Who would do such a thing and why?
It’s up to Antoine and Marine to figure it out.
It really is a wonderful series, you can’t go wrong with any of the books.
Author Liz Ireland has a series called Mrs Claus Mystery (Book #3 just came out at the end of September). I really enjoyed reading them -two of my favorite things in one book-cozy mystery and Christmas!
The new Mrs Claus is from Oregon and is adjusting to life in Christmastown while trying to solve murders with help from Christmas elves, Jake Frost (cousin of Jack :0 ) and the Claus family. Highly recommend the series!
Shelley Burbank, Mystery Writer says
—Grounds for Murder by Tara Lush—
The first in a new series (A Coffee Lover’s Series), Grounds for Murder centers around a former reporter, Lana Lewis, who has returned to her hometown of Devil’s Beach, Florida to run her late mom’s coffee shop. When her playboy barista is found dead after a four-story fall from the roof of his apartment over the shop, Lana’s reporter instincts kick in and she begins to investigate.
With a quirky cast of characters, lots of coffee references, a bunch of feral monkeys loose on the island, a hot police chief, and swimming only Florida setting, this series promises to be fun. Tara Lush writes well, which is a big plus, and this first book was well-paced, for the most part. I’m happy to recommend it.