I am sorry, but I absolutely cannot believe that the first month in 2014 is coming to a close! It seems like it was just yesterday that we were all getting ready for Halloween yet, looking at my calendar, I can see that January is almost over.
So, being the end of January, it is the perfect time for me to ask you ALL if there is a Cozy Mystery book (or two, three, or even four!) that you read this past month, which you think the rest of us have absolutely, without a question, got to know about. Also, would you tell us why you enjoyed that particular Cozy Mystery? (The reasons you like the book are what make the rest of us interested in your Cozy Mystery book recommendations.)
I am going to start with a Cozy Mystery book which I read this past month that made me add yet another author to my favorite authors list. The book I am talking about is by Mary V. Welk. I had been toying with the idea of reading her series for a while, but the thing that held me back was the fact that her last mystery was published in 2004. When I “try” authors, I prefer it if they are currently writing mysteries. (With all of the author cuts the publishers seemed to make a few years back, it has made me hesitant to start with an author I know is no longer writing. I prefer getting to know characters that have the possibility of continuing.)
When I saw that Mary V. Welk was again publishing her Rhodes to Murder Mystery Series (Criminal Mischief was published in October 2013) I decided to finally “try” her. Boy am I glad I did! (And boy, am I glad she’s publishing more Cozy Mysteries!) I usually don’t read Christmas theme mysteries after Christmas, but I decided that I would make this exception, since I had been wanting to read Welk’s books for a while.
I read Welk’s A Merry Little Murder (aka A Deadly Little Christmas), the first mystery in the Rhodes to Murder series. This series features Caroline Rhodes, a nurse who has relocated to a small Illinois college town so that she can be close to her son and daughter in law. Caroline has recently lost her husband, and is trying to start her life without him. It hasn’t been an easy road for her. Caroline befriends Professor Carl Atwater (or more accurately, he befriends her) and together they try to solve the mystery of a rather dangerous Christmas tree.
I enjoyed the setting of Welk’s A Merry Little Murder. The little college town is very Cozy, and of course, being Illinois at Christmas time, it was cold and snowy… exactly what I enjoy reading during our 70º winter days. Also, I liked Caroline. She is a flawed woman, but smart. She is a very believable “person”, a fleshed-out character for me. She is someone I could envision knowing and liking. Her relationships with both her son and daughter in law seem real to me. And the fact that she can have a male side-kick who is not a love interest nor a policeman/detective is an added bonus for me!
When I finished the mystery I felt like I was leaving Caroline and wanted to know what she would do next. She was that “real” to me.
What Cozy Mystery book (or author) have you read during January 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:
Victoria Abbott (aka Jary Jane Maffini & Victoria Maffini): Book Collector’s Mystery Series
Robin Allen: Poppy Markham: Culinary Cop Mystery Series
Donna Andrews: Meg Langslow Mystery Series
Emily Brightwell: Mrs. Jeffries Mystery Series
Anne Canadeo: Black Sheep Knitting Mystery Series
Laurie Cass: Bookmobile Cat Mystery Series
Bailey Cates (aka Cricket McRae): Magical Bakery Mystery Series
Joelle Charbonneau: Rebecca Robbins Mystery Series
Laura Childs: Tea Shop Mystery Series
Nancy Coco (aka Nancy J. Parra): Candy-Coated Mystery Series
Hy Conrad: Mr. Monk Mystery Series
Jana DeLeon: Miss Fortune Mystery Series
Elizabeth J. Duncan: Penny Brannigan Mystery Series
Jerrilyn Farmer: Madeline Bean Mystery Series
Barbara Graham: Quilted Mystery Series
Virginia Hamilton: Vintage Kitchen Mystery Series
Betty Hectman: Crochet Mystery Series
Joan Hess: Claire Malloy Mystery Series
Ellen Elizabeth Hunter: Magnolia Mystery Series
Miranda James (aka Dean James, Honor Hartman, & Jimmie Ruth Evans): Cat in the Stacks Mystery Series
Carol Ann Martin: Weaving Mystery Series
Maggie Sefton: Molly Malone Mystery Series
Deborah Sharp: Mace Bauer Mystery Series
Livia J. Washburn: Fresh-Baked Mystery Series
Mary V. Welk: Rhodes to Murder Mystery Series
Christine Wenger: Do or Diner
Jacqueline Winspear: Maisie Dobbs Mystery Series
♦To access more Cozy Mystery Books Recommendations, click on this link♦