I got a letter this week from Alfred suggesting a topic that sounds really interesting for a lot of us Cozy Mystery readers. Thank you, Alfred, for this great entry idea!
“The reason I am writing is that I had a column idea for you and thought it might be a good one to do. What if you asked the readers if they could only choose 3 or 4 authors to read, who would they choose and why? I gave this some thought and my three would be Laura Childs’ Tea Shop Mysteries and Emily Brightwell, of course I really like her. For my third one I would have to say Lorna Barrett’s Bookshop series. But what really takes center place on my bookshelf is my entire run of Tales of Grace Chapel Inn – this is an excellent series and you can’t wait to read each book to see what happens next.”
I’m going to start by telling you who my three Cozy Mystery authors would be:
Agatha Christie – She’s simply one of the best story tellers, her sleuths are great characters, she writes classic stories/plots with phenomenal settings, the mysteries are difficult to guess – yet make sense in the end because they are character-driven mysteries.
Ngaio Marsh – Her mysteries are really good classic stories that make sense, yet they are complicated. They (again) are character-driven. The characters are three dimensional, not caricatures. Marsh is a another truly good story teller. The sleuth and his team are a comfort to read about, there are no wild changes in the characters’ personalities. Her stories usually open with very long exposition of the crime setting and the characters, but the pay-off is well worth the wait – once the sleuth and his team arrive, the unfolding investigation of the crime makes interesting reading.
As for my third Cozy Mystery author, I’ll have to continue to think about this. There are so many other authors who I enjoy reading. I cannot imagine having to limit myself to only one out of all my favorite authors.
So, if you only had three Cozy Mystery authors who you could read, who would they be AND why?
(Here are all of your answers in list form: Three Cozy Mystery Authors, and No More – Part 2
Danna,three favorite authors for me would almost be impossible. You picked one of mine already Ngaio Marsh. Do we focus on classic authors, humourous authors, psychological, or ghost stories. I’ll put on my thinking cap and answer soon.
Danna, Only 3 authors!! That might be a hard one for me . But right off hand my favorites would be Joan Hess, both series. Earlene Fowler’s Bennie Harper series and Veronican Heley’s Ellie Quick series. Both M.C. Beaton’s series would be next. I have so many that I loved to read but I look forward to all of the series by these authors.
It will be so interesting in reading what other responders have to say.
My three authors would be—Krista Davis and her Domestic Diva Mysteries. I love Sophie Winston (yes I know she is a fictional character) she has so much in common with me. Her personality, her chosen profession and her life style. The other character are a nice blend of realism and quirky. Great chapter cliff hangers, sub plots and easy reading.
I would also pick Laura Childs. The Tea Shoppe Mysteries are my first pick but I also love the Cackleberry Club. I love the setting of the Tea Shoppe Mysteries and they are very well written.
My last would be Carol Higgins Clark’s Regan Riley Mysteries. They are funny, fast paced and different from the others I read. They almost have a “soap opera” feel to them. I like the quick changes from chapter to chapter. Tons of twists and turns and plenty of quirky characters. The main attraction for me is the comedic edge to them. Most cozies have a little laugh here and there but her stories are laugh out loud funny.
Danna- this is difficult only three:
1) Janet Evanovich – just love the stories humor and dysfuntional characters. I also live in NJ not far from Trenton so I can relate.
2) Anne George – The Southern Sisters Series. Fun combined with mystery. Sadly she died way too young.
3) Clement Blaize – Cat Sitter Series. Great story line with mysteries. Again sadly she is no longer with us. She was an amazing woman who struggled with Polio and started writing later in life. She died from cancer last year but she and her son worked on an outline for two more Dixie Hemmingways books.
But I could probably add 10 more easily.
Can’t wait to read the blogs will be interesting & fun!
My first author would be Ellis Peters. I love the Brother Cadfael books – the history and the characters. I also enjoy her (then) contemporary books – the Felse family and her stand-alones – I adore Never Pick Up Hitchhikers. I also liked her historical novels written under her real name, Edith Pargeter.
My second would be another E Peters – Elizabeth Peters. Amelia Peabody and her family are such wonderful characters. She also has the Vicki Bliss series and a number of stand-alones that I thoroughly enjoy. She also writes gothic and supernatural thrillers as Barbara Michaels. I also enjoyed her Egyptology books written under her real name, Barbara Mertz.
For my next author, I thought I would go for a classic. It was a very difficult decision – Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Patricia Wentworth or Ngaio Marsh? Although Agatha Christie wrote more books (and as you can see from my choices, I like authors with a lot of books!), I ultimately went with Ngaio Marsh because I really like Roderick Alleyn and I like that several of the mysteries revolve around the theater.
If I could pick a fourth author (and Alfred did say 3 or 4), it would be between Charlotte MacLeod (Alisa Craig), Carolyn Hart and Rhys Bowen. Which I pick would vary depending upon my mood, but today I would pick Rhys Bowen. She has three wonderful characters in Evan Evans, Molly Murphy and Lady Georgie. Of course tomorrow, I might need some light-hearted humor and pick Charlotte MacLeod and the day after I may decide that Carolyn Hart is my choice, but for today it is Rhys Bowen.
I haven’t chosen any of the newer authors I read – I was looking at authors whose works I have reread many times – but I suspect that in a few years I might be adding Jenn McKinlay (Lucy Lawrence and Josie Belle) and Jennifer Stanley (JB Stanley, Ellery Adams and 1/2 Lucy Arlington) to the short list to pick from.
This is an interesting challenge, and already we have a great variety. I’m going to have to really think on this, because my favorites range from classics like Christie and Sayers to all the craft-related mysteries of today, with just about everything in between. I foresee either sleepless nights or an antidote to insomnia in considering this question!
susie calkins says
Fun but super tough question! I tend to enjoy historical cozies, so the series by Anne Perry, Jacqueline Winspeare, Charles Todd… But so many great ones! And I have to always pay tribute to Agatha Christie…
This really is a difficult question.
Of course Agatha Christie is my all time favourite as I started with her books at the age of 12 and have been re-reading them ever since. But instead I will choose some more recent authors.
1. I finished the series of Madelyn Alt about a witch who solves murders. It’s a lovely setting of a small village with detailed and fun descriptions of the people who feature in the books. And the hero stumbles into murder scenes in a charming way. I loved it. When book number 8 is published I will certainly reread the books.
2. I just got books of Jana DeLeon of the Ghost-in-Law Mystery series, they sounded like a lot of fun too and I love the combination of mystery and humour and a paranormal side-kick adds to the mystery. But I haven’t read them yet.
3. After a difficult choice between Victoria Laurie and Krista Davis I decided to go for the latter. One of the series I just loved is the Domestic Diva series. They offer everything a cozy mystery should offer … need I say more?
My 3 are:
Agatha Christie. L.Barrett Booktown Series.
Sheila Connolly Orchard Series. excellent writing leaving great interest in each next book as each one of the characters grows and her crime skills increase.
Lexie, I enjoy that Booktown series too. I just started reading that series and it is fast becoming a favorite.
The first, I think, would be a toss-up between Agatha Christie, and Robert Van Gulik’s ‘Judge Dee’ mysteries set in Ancient China. (Or does he count as a cozy? I know you tend to rule out professional detectives and law officers.)
The others are a little harder. I like variety, but I think I might have to choose Clayton Rawson, whom I mentioned recently, and Donna Andrews.
Both of Donna’s series’ are brilliant – and very different.
The bird mysteries feature a fun, kooky, extended family who get into wacky situations, while the ‘Turing Hopper’ mysteries are more down-to-earth, being told from the point of view of a sentient computer. (Without being in the least ‘science-fictional’, btw!)
A wide range there, from old to modern, and at least two fairly prolific authors, so should keep me out of mischief for a little while.
My three all-time favorite mystery writers are:
1. Martha Grimes
2. Louise Penny
3. Agatha Christie
Tammy, I love Martha Grimes Richard Jury series. I love them because most of the books in this series are set in some sort of English pub. Great reading!!
I think it would be easier to go with a “Top 10”. My 3 authors would be Laura Childs and the Tea Shop Mysteries. The characters are wonderful and so different from each other and although I’m a coffee fan myself, I always crave a cup of tea while reading her books. 🙂
Next would be Sofie Kelly and the Magical Cat mysteries. Big city girl moves to small town and is head of local library and she discovers her cats have magical abilities and help her solve murders.
And last, Patricia Harwin. She wrote 2 books about an older lady who moves from the states to a village in England. Sadly, there are only the two. From what I’ve read, it’s an issue with the publishers and the rights to publish. It’s a shame, because these are essential “cozy mystery”.
It is so difficult to choose! Aaarrrggghhh!!!!
I’ve really tried, but I can’t narrow it down further than four authors. I’ve picked the authors who I’ve loved reading, but have also borne the test of re-reading and still enjoyed them as much the second or third time around. My choices are:
Ngaio Marsh – Inspector Alleyn series
Margary Allingham – Campion series
Dorothy L Sayers – Lord Peter Wimsey series
PD James – Adam Dalgliesh series
Danna, my three (and having only 3 is SO difficult) are:
1. Fran Stewart – her Biscuit McKee & Marmalade series is great. I love cats & am ‘hooked’ when someone loves them as much as me.
2. Diane Mott Davidson – I love cooking, her stories keep you on the edge until the very end, and her husband is a policeman – I can relate since mine is a retired detective.
3. Denise Swanson – she’s adorable and her stories always have a ‘down home’ feeling.
I love so many ‘cozy authors’ and must say that Lilian Jackson Braun was my first ‘cozy’ writer and I was hooked after her ‘Cat Who’ books!
Petie, I really love the series by Diane Mott Davidson and I look forward to each new one. I just think she did wrong in killing off the abusive husband. But I love the series anyway.
Barbara Thompson says
Gosh, that is a hard one. Only three! Anne Perry’s Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, and J.A. Jance.
Barbara, Love all the J.A. Jance series but espeicially love the Joanna Brady series.
Cindy McCord says
Toughie but three jumped to my mind while reading this.
1. Jenn McKinlay – love her cupcake series, her library series, and hew new series Good Buy Girls (writing as Josie Bell) is good also.
2. Leann Sweeney – love the Cats in Trouble series
3. Sofie Kelly – Magical Cats series
I haven’t read several of those already mentioned so I need to check them out.
Cindy, In these series” that have cats in the storyline, do that cats tell the story?
Very hard to choose, but my top 3 would be Susan Wittig Albert, Earlene Fowler and Laura Childs.
Ruth I forgot all about Susan Wittig Albert’s series when I first listed my favorites. See, there is no way I can list just one.
Ruth – great minds think alike! Since we like the same series, I’ll look for your end-of-the-month recommendations. If your suggestion is an author/series I have not read, I am now more likely to pick it up.
Danna - cozy mystery list says
MJ, I am planning on taking a look at several of the author picks from lists of people who have some of the authors who I read. There are quite a few authors who I already follow, but there are also some who I haven’t tried yet. Also, I’m going to try to do what you have mentioned you are going to do. >>> I’m going to really watch the end-of-the-month recommendations of several of you who seem to share the same reading taste as I do.
3 authors only. That was a tough one but I came up with:
Diane Mott Davidson
Jackie Griffey says
Saw so many of my favorites here – I have given up on limiting my favorites to three and am picking only three who have books coming out now or soon – they’re Mary Daheim (Just finished her WURST IS YET TO COME b&b; Janet Evanovich (her NINETEEN is coming soon & my daughter and I have just finished Wicked Business-a Deisel adventure; and Cleo Coyle’s new book coming soon – we have her whole coffee series and loved every one – and this is just the tip of the ice berg because their books are coming soon. We love’em all whether we can mention them in the ‘3’ limit or not LOL 😎
Today, it would be Susan Wittig Albert, JA Jance and Julie Hyzy
Jackie, I just picked up three books by Cleo Coyles. I plan to read these this weekend. I took the sugestion about reading this writer’s books from this blog. I love coffee so I think I just might like this series.
Teresa, I love the books by these 3 authors too. Listing just 3 is going to be very difficult!!
Nita R says
Well that is tough since I have been branching out and reading several different authors. But My favs are MC Beaton’s Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth series, Laura Childs – all of hers, Rita Mae Brown’s Mrs Murphy series, and as a 4th I would have to choose Lilian Jackson Braun. She is the one who got me started reading cozy mysteries.
I started with Lilian Jackson Braun too, so she has to be on my top 3.
2. Joanne Fluke – Hannah Swensen series
3. Julie Hyzy – White House Chef series
And soooo many more.
Danna - cozy mystery list says
Barb, you have a great list of favorites!
1. Charlotte MacLeod/Alisa Craig
2. Anne George
3. Joan Hess
These are the authors I’m most likely to reread. I do notice a trend, they all have a humorous bent.
If I could add a 4th author it would be Mary Daheim. I enjoy her characters and she is prolific so it would provide reading enjoyment that would last me a good while.
Great list you have here Sue. These are among my favorites too.
Whoo! I wonder if you LOOK like me, too! Mind meld… Although, in her Amelia Peabody series, Elizabeth Peters really was the Ace of Aces, Master of All Genres. MacLeod, Peters, and Hess were all great friends and a mutual admiration society. …Oh! And, waving furry flag tails, Rita Mae & Sneaky Pie Brown, and Miranda/Dean James come right up to the line!
Wow! It is very difficult to narrow down favorites to just 3 or 4 series. I will highlight four favorites in which I always look forward to the next book!
Earlene Fowler – Benni Harper, Quilt Museum
Mainly, I enjoy the characters in this series – the smart/strong sleuth, sage grandmother, wise photographer, a bit wacky best friend, fun/good friend sheriff, kind/benevolent cousin, hot, but flawed, police chief (husband) and several others. Each character is well developed. Some characters are flawed (as we all are), however they grow/evolve throughout the series. The mysteries are well crafted and intriguing, although there are times when the author puts the ‘sleuth’ into ‘not-to-wise’ (dumb?) situations.
The funny part of it is, when I started reading the first book (Fool’s Puzzle) and saw it involved ranches, horses, and a ‘West’ location, I almost didn’t get beyond the first chapter or two. I thought it had a ‘hick’ type flavor to it. I am so glad I continued with that book, because the story-telling is excellent. Most books are set in the central California location. There are 15 books in this series. Hopefully #15 is not the last one!!!
Maraget Maron – Deborah Knott series
This series, too, is well written with intriguing mysteries. There are several characters I don’t like in this series – her brothers – sort of rude and crude. However they often play a minor role in her stories. But, I’ve come to enjoy her father – quite a complex character, sort of an old curmudgeon. Deborah Knott is an intelligent and strong woman and, of course, she drives the stories. She’s comfortable with herself and takes ‘no guff’ from anyone. That probably is due to the fact she’s the only female in a family with numerous (11?) brothers. The author weaves great homespun stories with other interesting main characters. As of November there will be 18 books in this series, which always include a family tree – a necessary/useful reference! The series is set in North Carolina.
Kathryn Hall Page – Faith Fairchild series
Well written, good mysteries, great introspective characters, creative stories. Faith Fairchild is a caterer, married to a minister, and has two children. This series is usually set in either Massachusetts or Maine. One weird, but good, story is set in Norway with different lead characters (drawn from the same series, however). The 20th book in this series was just released this past spring.
Susan Wittig Albert – China Bayles
I have NO interest in herb gardens, except for general cooking knowledge. However Albert (and her husband) write a compelling mystery series with creative plots (most are set in Texas) and each book is a ‘must read’ for me. Within the story line, emphasis is on well-developed characters, NOT herbs. In the last book, the author interestingly switched main character/sleuth. In several books the author sends the husband (originally ‘romantic interest’) away, therefore his character is not part of the story. In this series I prefer the husband always be part of the story, because I enjoy the interaction between China and her husband. There are also 20 books in this series.
Because I like to follow the characters and their stories, I find it important to read each series in order.
These are also among my favorites M.J.
My three authors would be Gail Bowen, Margaret Maron and Jane Haddam.
My favorites change every few months determined by what series I am currently reading. Recently I would say: (1) Jacqueline Winspear; (2) Rhys Bowen – Molly Murphy series; and (3) Suzanne Arruda tied with Susan Albert Wittig’s “Darling Dahlia” series. But, I’m in love with Rex Stout; Erle Stanley Garner; and Agatha Christie. Oh my gosh. I keep thinking of more and more. I agree with those who said a top ten list might be a smidgen easier. I’d probably then have trouble selecting those!
So many! but I guess my top three would be: Agatha Christie, Kate Flora’s Thea Kozak series, Karin Slaughter
Alfred said “if they could only choose 3 or 4 authors to read”. I interpret this as being limited to these authors in the future. I’d have to pick Agatha Christie because I would have a wealth of books to choose from into my dotage. I’m all caught up with Caroline Hart, Laura Childs, Jeanne Dams, Simon Brett, Victoria Thompson, Anna Dean, Carola Dunn and Lorna Barrett until their next releases. For future reading, I guess I’ll have to go with volume and choose Rhys Bowen with her 3 great series and M. C. Beaton/Marion Chesney with Agatha Raisin, Hamish Macbeth and Edwardian Murder Series.
For No. 3, I choose Jacqueline Winspear, Maisie Dobbs Mystery.
Kathryn, many of the area libraries around my neck of the woods are now getting more and more Agatha Christie books in large print. This is a wonderful thing the libraries are doing.
Donna Andrews : I love the humor in her mysteries – not just in the situations but in the good temper and affection with which Meg and Michael treat their extended (whackadoodle) family, even at that family’s worst.
Ellis Peters: I love both the Inspector Felse mysteries and the Brother Cadfael mysteries (although I guess the Felse ones are more procedural than cozy). Her books are filled with clever plotting, graceful prose and sharp insights into human nature – I always feel like I’ve learned something about being human after I’ve read (or re-read) one of her books.
Phoebe Atwood Taylor: As with Donna Andrews, a part of the attraction is the humor, and as with Ellis Peters, part of it is with the writing style and the unexpected insights about people (particularly unexpected in what are essentially comic mysteries).
Since you specified ‘cozy’ mystery authors, I figured that means I also get to keep Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels, Phyllis Whitney and Mary Higgins Clark since they are romantic suspense. 🙂
WOW 3 or 4 impossible. I have to sleep on that. But this reminds me of a Twilight Zone (any one remember) the world is destroyed one man left who wears glasses the only building not destroyed is the Library, Perfect right? then he breaks his glasses!!!
there I think, that was way too hard!!!
oh wait the Faith Fairchild mysteries…Ok I have decided this is to hard too pick……..
The “cozy” genre has exploded in the last decade so that it is so hard to pick a favorite among all the various themes…..I couldn’t do it. So I decided to name the authors that I started with and who really made cozy mysteries my favorite and who I would reread again – if only I had the time with all the good new ones to read 🙂
First: would be Patricia Moyes. I would gladly reread all of her books. She got me started.
Second: Lillian Jackson Braun. I loved them all, although I must admit once they were available on “audio” I fell in love with George Guidall’s voice as “Jim Qwilleran” and I can never hear anything else read by him without thinking of “The Cat Who” books!
Third: All of Rhy Bowen’s books from her Inspector Evan to her most recent ones. So versatile.
I suppose Carolyn Hart & Cleo Coyle brings me up to the current times with all the book and coffee themes and although I have not read Laura Childs “Tea Shop” books yet, I own them all and am heartened to hear that so many list her as well. My old age – rainy days collection. 🙂
I have many favorites, but three authors that come to mind because I have read all of their books, even seeking out earlier romances that they wrote. Joyce and Jim Lavene have several series and I have enjoyed all of them. Missing Pieces is probably my favorite. I have just finished their Sharyn Howard series which I greatly enjoyed and became quite invested in the charaters life. Cleo Coyle a.k.a. Alice Kimberly is another favorite, I think I like the Haunted Bookshop even better than the Coffee Shop series. Janet Evanovich – couldn’t bring myself to see that movie One for the Money as I was afraid the actors could not live up to my imagination of the characters. The only other author that I have collected all of their books is Chris Cavender and his many aliases.
This would be so much easier if it were limited to my three favorite paranormal authors, which would still be Cleo Coyle and Joyce and Jim Lavene with Casey Daniels Pepper Martin series in third.
Merry, I didn’t know that a movie was made for one of Janet Evanovich’s books. Who played some of the characters? That would be interesting. Ever since the series started to come out I have often thought of what actor or actress could play each part. I couldn’t think of anyone for Stephanie. I always thought that Mario Lopez would have made a great Ranger.
Only three? That’s impossible! 🙂 But I’ll give it a try. My first choice, like many others who have already posted, is Agatha Christie. Next, Lillian Jackson Braun. I love cats and mysteries, and she is the best in combining the two, plus I just admire the kind of lady she was. And then an old author I’ve recently discovered, although I’m not sure if her books qualify as cozy mysteries – Charlotte Armstrong. She wrote A Dram of Poison and that novel is one I will be re-reading throughout my life, it’s such a great story and there are so many unexpected, unpredictable twists and turns! (Thanks for posting this question, Danna, I enjoy reading everyone’s choices and the reasons they like a particular author.)
Donna, In another topic I made a comment about cats being in a certain series. Just to clarify myself, I love cats . I just don’t want cats writing the stories. I especially don’t want to read cats cussing. My daughter grew to be allergic to cats, so after I had to put my last cat down I just didn’t get anymore cats.
Linda, I know what you mean! 🙂 My preference is for books where the cats are realistic and their behavior believable. And Braun’s books are great because the quality of the writing is excellent and the mysteries interesting. Don’t give me a book where the cats talk, or have some kind of super powers – cats are fascinating enough without those things.
Donna, Once in a while I will see TV shows on The Animal Planet that have the cat owner trying to train his/her cat. Over the years that I personally owned cats, those cats seemed to be training me, not me them.
You’re all right…hard to come down to three but TODAY mine would be:
Carolyn Hart all her series
Anne George/Patricia Sprinkle/Susan Albert Wittig a three way tie for third. Just too hard!!
Oh, I forgot Lillian Jackson Braun. Those I can read over and over..
Sally E. says
This is a difficult decision as there are so many authors I enjoy reading. I can come up with fairly readily.
1) Elizabeth George – Her books are intricately crafted and
well plotted. I love her main characters even the one
with obvious pathology. I keep wondering if they will get
it (i.e.) Deborah or will things work out for Barbara. Ever
since Helen’s murder I have been waiting for Langley to
go back and look at his wife’s death and find out that the
14 year old who was tried and convicted for it did not do
and that the connections to who ordered it and who did it
are very involved and not easily untangled.
2). James Lee Burke – I love the titles of his book. Many of
them evoke terrific mental images. There is always a lot
to offer with respect to plot and it is peopled with
interesting and unusual characters. I have not read his
new but will when I can find it at a reasonable price.
3). Anne George and Ariana Franklin but come to mind for
very different reasons. The first because these books
are light hearted and fun. The second because these
books are well written, thought provoking, and held my interest. There
will be no more books in either of these series. So
Because I am a bit of a history buff I am going to go with
Victoria Thompson and Rhys Bowen. I like the
characters in these books and admire their struggles.
I also think Cleo Coyle would be a good choice; her
books are fun. Tana French is another favorite but is
very heavy but not as good a choice for this very, very hot
My introduction to Cozy Mysteries was with Anne Perry, followed shortly thereafter by Martha Grimes. They are my first two favorites then after that it becomes much more difficult. There are four more that come to mind but if I had to choose my next favorite it would have to be Cleo Coyle who is a very new author to me. I feel like I want to mention the other three authors but I won’t. I agree that the top ten authors would be a good idea.
Lynn T. says
I have been putting off posting to this question because I was trying to decide if I should enter the best cozy mystery writers for me in the past or what I am currently enjoying. I do not reread books as many of you do so I wouldn’t choose 3 or 4 that I read many years ago to reread. Will state for me that Agatha Christie was the best. I started reading cozies after reading her books. I could reread them as I read them over 40 years ago but I probably won’t.
My dilemma is should I choose current reads but what if they don’t prove as satisfactory to me as the series goes on. As we all know, it does happen in many series.
Decided to go with what 4 authors I would read right now.
This should be fun and I am thinking about it too much.
So here we go:
1. M.C. Beaton-both Agatha Raisin and Hamish MacBeth
These are relaxing reads for me and I love the humor in the books. The earlier Agathas were better but I am staying with the series.
2. Charlotte MacLeod
How I have loved both series as I am reading them. She was an excellent author with good plotting, humor and originality.
The Family Vault (the first Kelling book) started out with a bricked up family vault. When the bricks are taken out, to the surprise of everyone, there is a female skeleton garishly dressed with chips of rubies in her smiling teeth. The other series about Peter Shandy has Peter really overdoing the Christmas decorations on his house (Rest You Merry), locking up his house and going on a holiday. It was laugh out funny. I actually was excited when I read these book as I thought about some of the seemingly formula driven books I have read recently. I thought now here is someone that can write!
3. Ann Granger
I am new to the series but have obtained more in the series to read. It is an English village mystery series. Again it is not formula driven and the writer shows creativity and originality.
4. Mary Daheim
I am a new reader of Mary Daheim but am enjoying the Emma Lord series. Will read the Bed and Breakfast series too.
Like the character of Emma and I can see why Mary Daheim is a popular author.
I, also am going to read all the books in the Henrie-O series by Carolyn Hart. Am ready to start the 5th in the series.
So I hope as I progress with my reading of the above series that I will enjoy them as much as I do now. They are the ones that right now if I could chose some to read that I would. I found out about Charlotte MacLeod and Ann Granger on this site. I knew about the Henrie O series and Mary Daheim but hadn’t tried any of them. It was on this site that I read the recommendations and tried them. Thanks to Danna and all of you who recommend cozies that you enjoy.
my 3 favorite cozy authors are:
Hazel Holt (Mrs. Mallory)
Leslie Meier (Lucy Stone)
Mark Schweizer (Hayden Konig)
have all the Hazel Holts in paperback – working on the Meier books – all Schweizer books on Kindle (thanks to you!) I return to these books constantly when I need to “relax” because they are de-stressers. And, sometimes, you really need to LOL!
Ah, but it’s hard to choose just 3!
Edie Dykeman says
It is tough to choose just three but my top three over the years are:
1. Susan Wittig Albert – China Bayles series
2. Sue Grafton – Alphabet series
3. Tony Hillerman
I actually facilitate an Agatha Christie reading group, and we’re on our second go-round of reading them! We’re up to Roger Akroyd; this time we’re looking to see who else could have committed the murder and why. My other two picks would be Dorothy L Sayers and … I don’t know… there are several others who could fall comfortably into that third spot. I’ll give it some more thought and get back to you.
I can’t do this. There I am on the desert island wishing for more and more authors and their books. Maybe it would be best to pick the most prolific as I do read about a book a day which would use up 3-4 pretty quickly.
One thing is clearly in evidence – most of us like the same sort of Cozy. None of us is really a picky reader but we like what we like and if we don’t like it, we just don’t.
Danna - cozy mystery list says
Thank you all for your responses. Some of these authors, I haven’t thought of for years. Thanks to your responses, I’m going to have to up-date my TBR queue!
Hope I’m not too late to add my selection –
M.C. Beaton – Agatha Raisin series
Christopher Fowler – Bryant and May series
Kerry Greenwood – Corinna Chapman series and Phryne Fisher series
JUST 3??????? I can pick 3 per week, maybe…..
I heartely [sic] agree.
Margaret Maron Deborah Knott series
Dana Stabenow Kate Shugak series
J.A. Jance Joanna Brady and Beaumont series
All very enjoyable to read.
Too right, I have read and enjoyed all three. There is another author whose series takes place in Alaska. I have forgotten her name, but she is a raiser and sledder of dogs, of course sidelined as sleuth.
Are there any cozy mysteries that do not focus on murder? I have read all of the Amelia Peabody Series by Elizabeth Peter’s and enjoyed them. (Her main focus is not murder.) I cannot find any that do not focus on murder, are humourous and interesting. I must be looking in all the wrong places. A lot of coarse language is also something I would like to avoid. Any ideas?
Danna - cozy mystery list says
June, Marion just posted a comment asking for the same thing. I just sent myself a letter to remind me to get an entry started when I get home that everyone can submit authors/books to. Thanks!
Hi, June. This is amazing. I just asked Danna about the same thing. I will pursue the Amelia Peabody series and I recommend to you the books written by Nancy Atherton. The ‘Aunt Dimity’ series. I have read several of those and they are quite pleasant and often don’t focus on murder. I can’t remember if there is no bad language in her books but I read several of them and I don’t remember being offended at all. If you like detective works at all, I also recommend the Sherlock Holmes stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Many, many of those do not deal with murder. They are just ‘heavier’ reading. Hopefully, Danna and the others can put their heads together and get us some more authors to investigate!
Not ignoring the vintage authors already mentioned, I read all the Philip R Craig mysteries and loved the recipes. Another author I read for the same reason is Carolyn Hart. Of course I enjoy the story line! The third would be Cynthia Riggs, I prefer and search for novels that do not have foul language and gory details of the murder itself. I would like to see a list of authors that are NOT R rated.
Danna - cozy mystery list says
Sheila, I wasn’t sure if you want these three authors in your October 2012 recommendations, or not. (I went ahead and added them to that list.)
My top three cozy authors would be:
1. Cleo Coyle—Her coffeehouse series is so engaging, I couldn’t put them down. This series is a must-read.
2. Joanne Fluke—She needs to write them faster! Can you put a bug in her ear about that?
3. Dianne Mott Davidson—Wonderful series. I love that she is in a stable marriage and has someone in her life that she can depend upon.
(Have to give a nod to Jana DeLeon’s Ghost-in-law series. I’m not sure I would classify it as a cozy mystery because of the paranormal aspect. But absolutely a fun read.)
Danna - cozy mystery list says
Lori, I added these three authors to the October 2012 recommendation list, although I’m not sure that’s where you wanted them to go.
I’m cheating here – I’m listing the first 3 mystery authors I came accross:-
1. “Trent’s Last Case” by E.C. Bently, pub 1913, read by me at about 13 because it was on the bottom shelf of my parent’s big bookcase (it had glass doors!)
2. “Maigret” by Georges Simeon, watched in a serialised t.v. version at about the same age.
3.”The Red-headed League” by Arthur Conan-Doyle, read at school, third form.
After all these years my top 3:
and, cheating again,
Colin Dexter and Reginald Hill
plus UMPTEEN more, of course.
I agree with a few others who posted about the language in the cozy list. Many are definitely not cozy. If I find a good first book in series I always hope there is a long of books in that series.
Danna - cozy mystery list says
Barb, I don’t know why they have found it necessary to jazz up language in some Cozies. I keep using Agatha Christie’s and Ngaio Marsh’s language as a barometer…
Jeffrey Keenan says
Donna Andrews, Charlaine Harris, and Sheila Connolly! And then I’d cheat and read others, too! LOL