Lately I’ve been going back and revisiting some of the Cozy Mystery series most recommended by visitors to the site. A few of my recent articles on these topics were on Sofie Kelly’s Magical Cats Mystery Series and the Consignment Shop Mystery Series by Duffy Brown. Another of these highly recommended mystery series is the Domestic Diva Mystery Series by Krista Davis – today I’ll be discussing the first book in the series, The Diva Runs Out of Thyme.
This novel introduces us to Sophie Winston, a divorcée with a talent for hosting parties, decorating, giving advice, and other domestic tasks that are traditionally considered the personal domain of divas. When the novel opens she is gearing up to face-off against one of her oldest friends and rivals, Natasha Smith. Natasha’s not a bad person certainly, but the domestic advice she gives out is definitely a bit on the impractical side, far different from Sophie’s more down to earth “common sense” style advice tips. Sophie and Natasha will be competing in a local stuffing competition, suitable since Thanksgiving is coming up over the long weekend.
Unfortunately (as in all Cozies!) disaster must strike for there to be a plot. Naturally, the two people who have turned up dead are tied to Sophie in some way (the first a somewhat-shady private investigator who is apparently investigating Sophie >>> whose body Sofie discovers, the second the main judge of the stuffing competition >>> again unluckily discovered by Sophie). So Sophie’s already complicated Thanksgiving suddenly becomes even more stressful with a pair of homicide investigations lurking in the background. A sudden fire at her rival Natasha’s house further complicates Thanksgiving, as Sophie finds herself suddenly hosting Natasha’s friends and family as well – including Sophie’s ex-husband Mars, who is now quite attached to Natasha! Even worse, Sophie ends up being considered a potential suspect in the fire as well!
The Diva Runs Out of Thyme is in many ways an archetypal Cozy since it takes an already surprisingly stressful situation (in this case a family visit rotating around Thanksgiving) and further adds complicating elements >>> namely police investigations, a wrinkle I think most people can be thankful they don’t have to face at the average holiday gathering! The Domestic Diva Series also gives out a lot of interesting advice, including recipes and tips for entertaining.
This is a fast-paced series, with end-of-chapter cliff hangers that will keep you turning the pages as quickly as you can. The characters are vividly colorful and make you feel like you’re right there spending time with friends. The mysteries are interesting; don’t be surprised to find red herrings, and Davis usually has a few little side mysteries going at the same time as the murders are being solved. Also, if you love holiday themed Cozies as much as I do, you’ll be happy to know that Krista Davis’ Domestic Diva series has several.
If you’re already a fan of the Domestic Diva Mystery Series, you might also be interested in the other series that Krista Davis started relatively recently, the Paws & Claws Mystery Series, which stars Holly Miller, an employee of a family-owned hotel intended for both human guests and their pets. (I’m sure our beloved Sprite would have loved staying at the Sugar Maple Inn in Wagtail, Virginia! I know I would have >>> minus the murders, that is!)
If you’re interested in seeing some of the other entries I’ve written on the other highly recommended Cozy Mystery series in these previous write-ups, you can find them at the Most Recommended Cozy Mystery Series page on my site. Also, if you would like to see even more holiday themed mysteries, check out the Holiday Mystery Book List page on my site.