Hazel Holt is the British author who writes the Mrs. Malory Mystery Series. (For those of you who love E. F. Benson’s Lucia novels, perhaps you have read the two follow-up books in that series, written by her son, Tom Holt.) She has also written “My Dear Charlotte” – a Regency mystery book.
Holt’s Cozy Mystery series features Sheila Malory, a middle age literary critic who lives in the fictional Taviscombe, a very Cozy British village. (Every once in a while, however, she visits London in order to do required research.)
Sheila has a son (Michael) who is seldom at home, but who has a terrific relationship with her. As a widow, Mrs. Malory is very independent, which is perfect – since her amateur detective status requires her to be able to come and go as she pleases. Of course, Foss and Tris (Sheila’s cat and dog) think she is dependent of them!
A lot like Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, people trust and confide in Mrs. Malory. She is able to glean information from people in order to figure out the who and why of the mystery at hand.
Even though Holt is still writing the Mrs. Malory Mystery Series, it is very reminiscent of mysteries that were written before the 1960s. Holt’s series would qualify (to me) more as a classic mystery series.
Hazel Holt is one of my favorite authors not only because of her writing style which is very easy to read, but also because I like her characters and setting. Mrs. Malory, Rosemary (her best friend), the quaint village, and all of its inhabitants are interesting to me. I would enjoy meeting the people who inhabit Holt’s mystery books, as well as visiting the town. I even enjoy Sheila’s pets! All of these are woven into well-thought-out mystery cases that I happen to enjoy a lot.
If you’re interested in reading more of these brief revisits of some of the more popular Cozy Mystery Series that I’ve written in the past, you can find them at the Most Recommended Cozy Mystery Series page on my site.