It’s time for our monthly Cozy Mystery book recommendations. If you are new to the Cozy Mystery site, this is the time when we (Cozy Mystery readers) tell each other about our very favorite of favorite Cozy Mystery books that we have read during the month.
For those of you who visit the Cozy Mystery page on Facebook, you already know that I have been reading (listening to) the fourteenth book in Alexander McCall Smith‘s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon. I absolutely love this series. It is amongst the very gentlest of Cozy Mystery series. You won’t catch Precious Ramotswe (the main sleuth) walking into a dark, abandoned apartment building in the middle of the night, only to meet the killer, who has been waiting for her. Precious won’t be tailing a red herring character in her hot-rod car, nor will she running away from a knife-wielding crazed culprit.
These mysteries by Alexander McCall Smith don’t involve murder. The mysteries are more “real life” type of mysteries: tracking down a loved-one, proving someone is not who he/she claims to be, checking on beauty pageant contestants’ values; those type of “real life” mysteries.
The series takes place in Botswana and is a delightful introduction to what life in its capital (Gaborone) is like. Mma Ramotswe opens the detective agency and bases all of her detecting techniques on a book written by Clovis Andersen: The Principals of Private Detection. This book explains all of the ins and outs that Mma Ramotswe and her very capable associate detective, Mma Makutsi, employ.
The characters and relationships are the most integral part of these “mystery books.” The reader truly gets to know the people and the country, and Alexander McCall Smith is a tremendously gifted story-teller. So, I am going to start the April Mystery Book Recommendations List with him.
What Cozy Mystery book (or author) have you read during April 2014, and why did you enjoy it (or him/her)?
Here are the current recommended authors who some of you have read this past month:
Isabella Alan (aka Amanda Flower): Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series
Susan Wittig Albert: China Bayles Mystery Series
Beverly Allen (aka Barbara Early): Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery Series
Donna Andrews: Meg Langslow Mystery Series
Nancy Atherton: Aunt Dimity Mystery Series
Donald Bain & “Jessica Fletcher”: Murder, She Wrote Mystery Series
JoAnn Bassett: Islands of Aloha Mystery Series (Livin’ Lahainia Loca, book #2)
M.C. Beaton (aka Marion Chesney): Hamish Macbeth Mystery Series
Melissa Bourbon (aka Misa Ramirez): Magical Dressmaking Mystery Series
Emily Brightwell: Mrs. Jeffries Mystery Series
Lynn Cahoon: Tourist Trap Mystery Series (Guidebook to Murder, book #1)
Joelle Charbonneau: Glee Club Mystery Series
Laura Childs: Tea Shop Mystery Series
Mary Higgins Clark: I’ve Got You Under My Skin
Peg Cochran (aka Meg London): Lucille Mystery Series
Peter Conradi: Hot Dogs and Cocktails: When FDR Met King George VI at Hyde Park on Hudson (not a mystery)
J.J. Cook (aka Joyce and Jim Lavene & Ellie Grant): Biscuit Bowl Food Truck Mystery Series
J.J. Cook (aka Joyce and Jim Lavene & Ellie Grant: Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery Series
Philip R. Craig & William G. Tapply: Brady Coyne & J.W. Jackson Mystery Series (not Cozy)
Cheryl Crane: Nikki Harper Mystery Series (The Bad Always Die Twice, book #1)
Jessie Crockett: Sugar Grove Mystery Series
Mary Daheim: Emma Lord Alpine Mystery Series
Kathi Daley: T J Jensen Mystery Series
Diane Mott Davidson: Goldy Bear Mystery Series
Vicky Delany: Constable Molly Smith Mystery Series (Under Cold Stone, book #7)
Nancy DeMarco: Saving Gracie (not Cozy)
Carola Dunn: Daisy Dalrymple Mystery Series
Dawn Eastman: Family Fortune Mystery Series
Monica Ferris: Needlecraft Mystery Series
Joanne Fluke: Hannah Swensen Cookie Jar Mystery Series
Ann Granger: Markby & Mitchell Village Whodunit Mystery Series
Ellie Grant (aka Joyce and Jim Lavene & J.J. Cook): Pie in the Sky Mystery Series
Joan Hadley (aka Joan Hess): Theo Bloomer Mystery Series
Parnell Hall: Puzzle Lady Mystery Series
Victoria Hamilton (aka Amanda Cooper): Merry Muffin Mystery Series
Julie Hyzy: White House Chef Mystery Series
Julie Hyzy: Manor House Mystery Series
Sharon Ricklin Jones: River of Time (not Cozy)
Shirley Kennedy: Looking for Lucky (not Cozy)
Sherry Lewis: Senior Sleuth Fred Vickery Mystery Series
Dixie Lyle: Whiskey, Tango, and Foxtrot Mystery Series
Charlotte MacLeod (aka Alisa Craig): Peter Shandy Mystery Series
Charlotte MacLeod (aka Alisa Craig): Sarah Kelling Mystery Series
Molly MacRae: Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery Series
Ngaio Marsh: Inspector Roderick Alleyn Mystery Series
Jenn McKinlay (aka Josie Belle & Lucy Lawrence): Cupcake Bakery Mystery Series
Camille Minichino (aka Margaret Grace & Ada Madison): Periodic Table Mystery Series
Gail Oust: Piper Prescott Mystery Series
Ann Purser: Ivy Beasley Mystery Series
Sara Rosett: On the Run Mystery Series
M.L. Rowland: Search and Rescue Mystery Series (Zero-Degree Murder, book #1)
Sofie Ryan (aka Sofie Kelly): Second Chance Cat Mystery Series
Susan Santangelo: Baby Boomer Mystery Series
Julia Spencer-Fleming: Adirondack Mystery Series
Alexander McCall Smith: The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
Kathy Hogan Trocheck (aka Mary Kay Andrews): Callahan Garrity Mystery Series
Christine Wenger: Comfort Food Mystery Series
♦To access more Cozy Mystery Books Recommendations, click on this link♦
P.S. While I try to respond to all of the comments that are made on the Cozy Mystery blog, I generally don’t respond to the comments on these monthly recommendation entries. I do, however, list the recommended books!
I’m re-reading some of Robert Goldsborough’s Nero Wolfe “continuations”. I highly recommend these for Wolfe fans and anyone who has not read the Wolfe novels.
I began the month with the first books in a couple of new series. One was Bran New Death by Victoria Hamilton. I’ve been enjoying her Vintage Kitchen series, so I was looking forward to her Merry Muffin series and was not disappointed. Merry Wynter comes to town to sell her inheritance from her uncle, gets (nicely) coerced into starting a muffin business and has to deal with the murdered man found on her property. The book introduces us to a nice community with interesting people and I am looking forward to seeing what Merry does with the stately home she has inherited.
The other one was Drizzled with Death by Jessie Crockett. This first Sugar Grove mystery introduces us to Dani Greene and her family who own a maple syrup business. At the annual pancake-eating contest (which her grandfather always wins) the syrup provided by her family is used to poison one of the contestants. This was a really funny book. Dani’s interactions with her family and friends as she tries to find out what happened and save her family’s reputation are wonderful and it will be fun to see what happens with the wildlife officer who didn’t believe Dani when she reported seeing a mountain lion.
I also read the latest Glee Club mystery by Joelle Charbonneau, A Chorus Lineup. Despite taking the job as director of the show choir as a temporary measure while waiting for her performance career to take off, Paige Marshall has come to appreciate working with the students. Her worlds collide when she is offered an important audition at the same time the kids are performing in a competition, and things only get more complicated when she and her aunt discover the dead body of the woman who accused Paige of sabotaging the other teams.
Just finished Vicki Delaney’s newest book “Under Cold Stone” . She just keeps getting better and better. Hers is one of the authors I will get on the waiting list for as soon as I know a new one is released.
Oh yes, and I totally agree with you on Alexander McCall Smith’s No 1 Ladies Detective Agency. I always get the newest one right away. Delightful. I usually have to get the Audible version because of the waiting list being so long that now I’m not sure I would do it any other way as their voices are “just them!” 😉 t
I love these books too and have read all of them. They just put a smile on your face.
Molly MacRae. Just finished Last wool and testament. I have had it sitting and waiting for months and finally was desperate enough to sit down and actually read it. Can’t wait to get my hands on the next ones. Usually not too crazy about “ghost” characters, but this one is fun. Has promise to be a great series.
Lynn T. says
Sound as if I might enjoy this series. Have requested it from the library. Thanks!
I read the following books in April.
Murder with Peacoks – Donna Andrews
Murder with Puffins – Donna Andrews
A Killing Notion – Melissa Bourbon
The Whole Cat and Caboodle – Sofie Ryan
A Taste fur Murder – Dixie Kyle
Bloom and Doom – Beverly Allen
Guidebook to Murder (A Tourist Trap Mystery) – Lynn Cahoon
I was hesitant about reading Guidebook to Murder but am glad that I did. Couldn’t put the book (or I should say the Nook) down. Got hooked from the first page to the last. The author has another book coming out in July – Mission to A Murder. Can’t wait.
For Kindle Readers: Guidebook To Murder is listing as $ 3.49 for The Kindle edition.
This month I read The Blackberry Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke – fluffy but it’s always fun to catch up with the characters – and Through the Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming – a little too much action, perhaps, but again good to check in with characters I like.
I did lots of reading this month as I am recovering from surgery.
These were the best:
Julie Hyzy – Her books are so good!
Affairs of Steak – Once again Ollie (The White House Chef) finds 2 bodies and together with one of the White House Directors must solve the murders. It was so good I decided to read the next in the series.
Fonduing Fathers – this book was on the personal side of Ollie as she pursues questions to her father’s death.
Susan Santangelo – Class Reunions Can Be Murder – Carol and her friends plan a 40th reunion luncheon. Along with solving a murder they must also uncover who in their class wrote “Fifty Shades of Navy” that told stories of their high school secrets.
Peg Cochran – Confession is Murder – Lucille finds her brother in laws body in the church confessional. Lucille has her hands full trying to find out who killed him. The night before she had thrown her husband out for taking her savings for going to Rome to see the Pope. Her teen daughter thinks she is pregnant and her mom is a QVC junkie with no money.
Joann Bassett – Livin’ Lahainia Loca – this series is about a Wedding Planner (Pali) in Hawaii. The mysteries are always interesting.
Kathi Daley – Pumpkins in Paradise – I really like her writing style it is very simple but really enjoyable. TJ is a teacher and soccer coach who finds her older friend dead and does not believe it is of natural causes.
Gail Oust – Rosemary and Crime – Great book that was recommended last month. Divorced Piper opens a spice store and finds the body of a local chef that she was seen arguing with days before. Desperate to uncover the truth she and Her BFF investigate the murder.
Ellie Grant – Plum Deadly – my favorite of the month. Maggie has been fired for embezzlement so she leaves the city and goes home to help her aunt in her pie shop. Her ex boss shows up telling her he knows who set her up and promises to make the announcement the next day. But he is killed overnight so Maggie must uncover the truth.
Mary Higgins Clark – I’ve Got You Under My Skin – I am almost finished but I can tell that it is another great story from a very great author.
Lynn T. says
I just realized that Ellie Grant is a pen name for Joyce and Jim Lavene. Thanks to your review I have requested it from my library.
Patti S. says
I read the following books in April:
Mrs. Jeffries Pleads the Fifth by Emily Brightwell
Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well by Nancy Atherton
Blackberry Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke
The Drowning Spool by Monica Ferris
Sugar and Iced by Jenn McKinley
Death on Eat Street by J J Cook
Steeped in Evil by Laura Childs
A Second Helping of Murder by Christine Wenger
A Killing Notion by Melissa Bourbon
Hot Dogs and Cocktails (when FDR met King George VI at Hyde Park on Hudson ( not a cozy but a very good read).
I enjoyed them all. Happy a reading everyone!
Lynn T. says
April was a good reading month. I really enjoyed everything I read. For some reason, I have never tried any of the Joyce and Jim Lavene series. Under their pen name of J.J. Cook, I read the first book of the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade and it became a new favorite cozy series for me. I usually wait to read the next book in a series but I wanted to continue with the series so I read the second book too. It was just as good as the first.
I like the character of Stella who moves temporarily from Chicago to Sweet Pepper Tennessee to train and set up a volunteer fire department. Stella is the Fire Chief. She lives in a log cabin with an ex-fire chief who is a ghost. I like the location of Sweet Pepper where they produce the finest sweet hot peppers in the world. Both books were good reads with a interesting mystery.
I never thought I cared for paranormal mysteries that much but I am a fan of Paige Shelton’s Cooking School Mysteries. The ghost element in the Fire Brigade books reminded me of that series. So I guess I do like mysteries with ghosts who are well developed as characters.
I liked the books so much that I now want to try more series by the Lavenes/Cook while I wait for the next Fire Brigade book to come out. I have the new Biscuit Bowl Mystery here to read and I want to try the Missing Pieces series too.
I really enjoyed Zero-Degree Murder by M.L.Rowland. It is the first book in a new Search and Rescue Mystery series. I had read a review that said if you like Nevada Barr mysteries you should like this book.
This book grabbed my attention from the beginning to the end. The protagonist Gracie goes on Thanksgiving day to find four hikers that didn’t return back after their hike into the mountains. I had to make myself not look ahead. I haven’t had to do that for quite awhile. I read the book in one day. It has given me a new appreciation for Search and Rescue teams. I always did appreciate them but never thought through about the skills they have and the danger they put themselves into. The author was a Search and Rescue person for quite a few years.
Being a fan of Nero Wolfe and Rumpole novels and A.Christie (all of which I’ve read so many times I’ll have to wait quite a while before reading another.) I would really like to find another author who writes “easy reads” like Rex Stout.
Since I don’t consider “sex and violence” either as spectator sports or good reading I like the way Stout kept to character and plot development. And maybe the routine of the brownstone.
I would appreciate suggestions for other authors who can write a good story without getting to “seamy or steamy”. I’m sure that there must be some. Pretty “stuffy”, eh?
Have you tried the most excellent series by Charles Todd — the Inspector Rutledge books? No sex, no violence (except for the murders) and not quite cozy. They are fantastically evocative of time and place and the hero, Ian Rutledge, is one of the bravest and most stoic men I have ever met in fiction. I almost never know the identity of “whodunnit” until quite near the end. This series is a pleasure to read and a lesson to learn. Oh! I really recommend reading the books in order of publishing. Good luck.
Thanks. I just ordered “A Test of Wills” from Amazon. Used books delivered via Prime are usually $4-5.
Oh, I hope you enjoy the book!. I picked-up my copies at our Goodwill Bookstore or at my library. GW only charges $1.99 for paperbacks, $2.99 for hardcovers. Limited selection, so I have also used Amazon. Nothing like a box of books waiting on the doorstep.
Lynn T. says
Danna has a section called Cozies by Themes. Click on that and scroll down to Authors Similar to Rex Stout. There is one for Agatha Christie too. Hope this helps.
Thanks for the help.
Danna - cozy mystery list says
Jim, One of the lists I recommend the most is the “similar to Agatha Christie” one.
Danna - cozy mystery list says
Jim, as Lynn T mentioned, there is an Authors Similar to Rex Stout theme on the Cozy Mysteries by Theme page. (I just posted it in the comment below for Jackie.)
Jackie J. Griffey says
Jim, I hadn’t heard of the “similar to Agatha Christie” lists, guess I can find it on Amazon.com I’ll certainly check it out. Thanks and good reading and writing to all of us.
Danna - cozy mystery list says
Jackie, I just posted the link for the “Similar to Agatha Christie” list above. Here it is again:
Authors Similar to Agatha Christie
Also, here is the list for Rex Stout:
Authors Similar to Rex Stout
I was just thinking of writing to you to ask about a”real life” mystery series i could start – and here it is in my mail box. I’m looking forward to checking up on “Ladies Detective Agency.
I’m on the 23rd installment of Annies’ Mysteries and love the characters. All these stories are written by various authors in turn but the continuity and the style of writing is such that you don’t feel like you are reading a different author. The series is also more like a”real life” mystery rather than a murder mystery.
I read Working Stiff by Annelise Ryan. It is the first book in the Mattie Winston Mystery Series. This was a really fun and entertaining mystery. Mattie is a nurse who suddenly becomes a deputy coroner due to infidelity actions of her husband. Mattie gets herself all tangled up in this hilarious but suspense filled caper, with a whole host of characters you will be sure to enjoy or despise.
I enjoyed the pace, plot and hilarious situations that come about in the story. This was a book that was recommended months back on this site that included medical/nursing as a backdrop.
Karen L. says
I read many books this month (not all cozies). I did read Crunch Time by Diane Mott Davidson. I have read the Goldy Catering Series from the beginning and love the “homey” feeling. This book was not disappointing.
Death Come Quickly – Susan Wittig Albert
The China Bayle series is often recommended on this blog. Albert’s latest release is very good. I was so excited that it involves all the regular characters and is set in Pecan Springs (even her husband remains in town!). The center of this story is three strong women – China, Ruby, and ‘Smart Cookie’. Albert does a great job in developing these characters with all their complexities. I love these characters (as many others have also said). In this book, they work together to solve crimes involving a past murder, a current murder and art fraud. Smart Cookie (police chief) gets waylaid, so isn’t as prominently featured in this story. This is a very intellectual story. I am truly amazed that this author isn’t a lawyer. She must do tons of research to bring all the legalese to her stories. It’s all interesting and informative as it relates to the crimes. I think this is the best book of the series. It can be read as a stand alone because the author informs the reader of the characters’ background (without overdoing it for the person who has sequentially read this series).
Albert does a tremendous job of making the reader feel part of the book. She makes it seem so realistic – the town, her shop, etc.
Sugar and Iced – Jenn McKinlay
McKinlay has three ongoing series – very prolific. I really enjoy the characters in this series – sort of like a dysfunctional family, but filled with love and warmth. This is a creative story as the bakery partners (Melanie and Angie) help with a beauty pageant. Melanie’s mother wants to help a very unconventional ‘candidate’ win this pageant so she can get a scholarship to the college of her dreams. One of the judges is murdered. Because their candidate is the prime suspect, Mel and Angie set on a path to solve the crime. They mystery story line is intriguing.
I thought the other personal story lines were particularly interesting because it ‘appeared’ the author might be wrapping up this series. Then BAM, an ending that is totally unexpected! Therefore, another book is definitely necessary to this series. It would be an ‘injustice’ to the reader if it didn’t come.
Death on Eat Street — J. J. Cook
I picked up this book to read about 10:00 at night as I was in bed. I read the first chapter and said ‘ugh! I don’t like this……….I don’t like the characters or the setting’ (I wasn’t even giving it the 50 page rule). I put it aside and thought I’d go to sleep. But sleep eluded me. Since the book was right by my bed and I didn’t feel like getting out of bed to find another book, I decided to read the second chapter, then the third, the fourth, etc………until I was halfway through the book!
There is quite a mix of characters – several rough and tumble types and some mover and shaker types. I’ve read several series by these authors and they always feature a strong/confident female protagonist. As a cozy reader fan, this is important to me. The characters in this series are very eclectic. Zoe, (protagonist) has quit her job at a bank because she wants to own/run a restaurant in Mobile, AL. She starts out with a diner and food truck. Her prominent parents are appalled that this is her career choice.
I don’t know how these authors accomplish it, but they’ve succeeded in writing another complex and intriguing mystery (among the zillions they’ve already written). A Thomas Jefferson recipe (worth a million dollars) is stolen. Murder and kidnapping ensues in the search of this elusive recipe.
This is a fast paced book. Beware – once you get past the first chapter, it is VERY difficult to put down!
Whole Cat and Caboodle — Sofie Ryan
This is a new series, although Sofie Ryan and Sofie Kelly (who also writes a ‘cat’ series) are the one and the same. I picked up this book because I enjoy the series written by Sofie Kelly.
I LOVE the characters in this book. They are so amusing and certainly endearing. The cat (Elvis) in this series isn’t as ‘magical’ as the cats in her other series. However, Elvis does have a prominent role.
The protagonist/main character is Sarah who returns to a small tourist community in Maine where she spent summers with her grandmother. She opens up a ‘second chance’ consignment shop, which has become a successful business. A man (con-man) is poisoned on the back porch at the home of a friend. Of course this person is accused of the murder. Sarah and several of her grandmother’s friends band together like ‘Charlie’s Angels’ to find the real killer.
As Sarah is getting acclimated to her new community, she begins to renew old friendships. There seems to be a frontrunner for romantic potential, but a couple of other possibilities are in the background.
Ms. Ryan writes this story with a lot of humor. Very enjoyable!!! I’m looking forward to the next book (hopefully there is a next book).
Bloom and Doom – Beverly Allen
This is the debut book of a new series. Audrey (protagonist) and Liv are cousins and owners of a floral shop specializing in weddings. The story is set in a small community in Virginia.
The fiancé of a childhood friend is the victim. Of course, the friend is the main suspect. This is well plotted mystery with several twists and turns and a surprise ending. In fact, I’d say it was a bit convoluted – but I mean that in a positive way because it’s easily followed. The quick and witty dialogue keeps the story moving along at a fast pace. Kudos to Allen for the research of very interesting information for this story.
Of course, there’s a budding romance – but NOT with a detective or policeman. It looks like the hunky bakery shop owner is the ‘person of romantic interest’.
The next book, ‘For Whom the Bluebell Tolls’ is slated to be released in 2015 (hopefully EARLY 2015). I’ll be reading it, too.
Hydrogen Murder – Camille Minichino
Danna has mentioned this series several times. I finally got around to reading the first book in the series. Since I really enjoy the Ada Madison (pseudonym) series, I thought I’d probably like this one, too. This author writes a very smart/intelligent cozy mystery. The protagonist (Gloria Lamerino) is a Physics scholar who has moved back to her hometown near Boston (from California). Her early family background adds to the complexity of this character. She is hired by the police dept. as a scientific consultant. There is some physics jargon within the story – some of it is easily understood, some isn’t. BUT that shouldn’t detract one from reading this book. It’s similar to a crafty cozy mystery where the ‘craft’ is explained within the story. If I have no interest in the craft, I skip over that part and it doesn’t take away from the story at all. Same goes for the ‘science’ info.
It’s well paced and has appealing characters. Throw in a possible romance with the police detective and you have a very pleasurable read. Since it’s the first book of nine already published in the series, I can easily get the next book without having to wait a year. A winner! Thanks, Danna.
Lynn T., you’ve mentioned two of my favorite series and I just finished the second Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade book and loved this one as much as the first. I thought Zero degree Murder was excellent and can’t wait for the next one. Some of my reads this month were not exactly cozies. I read and loved Looking For Lucky by Shirley Kennedy, River Of Time by Sharon Ricklin Jones, Saving Gracie by Nancy DeMarco (i really liked this one), Unholy Matrimony by Peg Cochran and A Pall In The Family by Dawn Eastman. I have really enjoyed all the books I read in April. Now I’m reading Bikinis In Paradise by Kathi Daley and I’m loving it. I have really enjoyed all of her books, I think they are perfect cozies.
Lynn T. says
Mary, Just downloaded Saving Gracie to my Kindle. Thanks!
I thought I would mention a few of my favorites that I read this month. Most of them were series books and very well done. Mary Daheim’s Alpine latest was among the top. I do like that series better than her B&B.Carola Dunn, the book I read “To Davy Jones” was an older book but part of the Daisy Dalrympole series that I had missed.Ann Purser
“The Blackwood’s Inquiry”,that must be a very interesting home
for seniors.Jessica Fletcher Jessica goes to Hawaii need i say more. I was ready to pack my bagsTHis month I hope to catch up on some of Kate Ellis and her series that i had overlooked..
Jackie J. Griffey says
High up on my favorites list is Mary Daheim’s Hillside Manor B&Bs; Alice Duncan’s Daisy Gumm Magesty adventures; and many others which is I guess why I always hunt up this blog first when I check my email. My daughter and I have also just finished reading Janet Evanovich’s Smokin’ Seventeen were shocked we’d somehow missed it when it first came out. LOL Also read Mary Kay Andrew’s Christmas Bliss.
Normally not a fan of British Cozies but M.C. Beaton is the exception. A prolific writer of both the Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin murder mysteries, she outdid herself with her latest Macbeth novel, Death of a policeman. You feel you know on an intimate basis all the recurring characters, the Currie Sisters, Inspector Blair, Priscella, etc. I really love this author.
So many good reads this month but I think I’ll offer an oldie but goodie for this month’s entry. I have been listening to a number of Ngaio Marsh books on audio. I really enjoy Marsh’s characters and writing style. I have been making my way through the Alleyn series for the last few years and this month I enjoyed 2, Died in the Wool and Colour Scheme. These were different in that they took place in New Zealand during wartime and in Colour Scheme Alleyn doesn’t really make an appearance until the final pages of the book! I would recommend Marsh to any fan of the classics or someone looking for a Christie alternative.
Generally speaking, I read a single book in a series before moving on to another series (or more) and then coming back for book two in the first series. However, this month I read all of Julie Hyzy’s Manor House Mysteries one after the other and was sad to not have the fifth book in the series available yet! I really enjoyed them. They were well written, in regards to plot and pacing both, and the characters are new favorites. I’m looking forward to the next volume available later this year! I may have to try her White House Chef series to tide me over until the summer.
Stash Empress says
I couldn’t begin to list all the great books I’ve read in April LOL! (I just returned over 20 books to the library on Thursday — and brought home 18 new ones 😉 I did read two great *new* books over the weekend — Steeped in Evil by Laura Childs & NYPD Puzzle by Parnell Hall (I do so loooooooove the Puzzle Lady!). I also finished up Happy Never After by Kathy Hogan Trochek (on the Ipad — the library doesn’t have that series in print any more – at least not the earlier ones, so I’m borrowing them in Kindle format, one at a time, working my way through that series).
Would anyone like to start a discussion on how you know (sometimes in the first chapter!) “whodunnit”? Even BEFORE anyone “dunnit”????? I find that there are certain “tells” in the storytelling that give it away — even if the character hasn’t actually *done* anything suspicious….
ginger g says
I read Death in the Family by Ellen Pall. I liked it. I have started Isabella Alan’s Murder, Plain and Simple and hope tp finish it today. I have not neen reading much lately
I am behind on book buying Too
I wanted to join in your recommendation of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Books. It is so refreshing to sometimes not have to worry about murders in my mystery books! In addition, I must recommend listening to these books on tape – the reader (Lisette Lecat) has such a delightful accent and really makes me feel like I am in Botswana.
Danna - cozy mystery list says
Meredith, I have listened to all of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency mysteries, also. Lisette Lecat does an absolutely exceptional job of narrating these wonderful Cozy Mystery books. At one point I considered reading one of the books, but decided I’d much rather listen to Lecat. You’re right about feeling you’re in Botswana!
I’ve been reading some of the older published cozy mystery books.
No Place For Sin (Sherry Lewis)
No Place for Memories (Sherry Lewis)
I will miss Fred Vickery, a 73 year old sleuth as I’ve enjoyed reading this series.
Murder Among Us (Ann Granger) This was a good read but best of all loved the ending of the book.
Read two Charlotte Macleod books – The Corpse in Oozak’s Pond (Peter Shandy Mystery) and The Palace Guard (Sarah Kelling Mystery). Am reading through these two series and enjoy both equally.
The Lithium Murder (Camille Minichino) This is the third book in the Periodic Table Mystery Series and look forward to reading the next book
All you savvy readers probably have read these but I just found this author from the free and cheap kindle part of this website, and these books are a new fav, so I wanted to recommend it here also.
WOW! Fast moving and suspenseful cozies you don’t want to miss. Takes you to some pretty neat places across the pond too – London, Paris, & Italy. Well worth the $6.99 for all three “On the Run” boxed set by Sara Rosett. Very likable main characters too!
Linda T says
Read Cheryl Crane’s three books on Nikki Harper mysteries:The Bad Always Die Twice (Nikki Harper) : Imitation of Death (Nikki Harper Mysteries): and The Dead And The Beautiful (Nikki Harper Mysteries). Very interesting and smooth reading. Set in Hollywood and with her famous mother, something Cheryl Crane knows since her mother was Lana Turner. Truly enjoyed the books. Hope she writes more of them. Make note that I ran across her third book in the new mystery section and thought the cover was cute. When I went to get the first two the covers did not look cozy. I wouldn’t have picked those books by just the covers. But so glad I did get them. Also not sure if he was cozy but William G Tapply wrote three books with the author Philip R Craig. Most interesting writing. The same mystery from two different people and their actions. Enjoyed them also. Now have to check into William G Tapply’s books of his own
Linda T, William G. Tapply and Philip R. Craig are two of my favorite authors. Their books are mystery….not quite cozy but great reading. Unfortunately they both died a few years ago.
Linda T says
Finished all of Philip R Craig’s book. Just finished William G Tapply’s third. They are great reads.
Stash Empress says
Just finished the two Theo Bloomer books by Joan Hadley (aka Joan Hess), “The Night Blooming Cereus” and “The Deadly Ackee”. I LOVED them — why were there only two???? And how on earth did I miss them in the 1980’s??? I read everything else that she wrote!