Cozy Mysteries discussion

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Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews (hugbandit7) | 170 comments do you have a favorite series that you highly recommend?



message 2: by Beth (new)

Beth | 616 comments I recommend four Colorado mystery authors: Kathy Brandt with her underwater diver series, Margaret Coel with her Wind River Indian reservation series, Christine Goff with her birdwatching series, and Maggie Sefton with her her knitting series. All four blurbed the first book in my gift basket designer series, A REAL BASKET CASE, and I wouldn't have asked them if I didn't think they were wonderful writers themselves.
- Beth


message 3: by Sherri (new)

Sherri I love the Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs. Talk about curling up with a book, tea and dog/kitty! I love the descriptions of Charleston too.


message 4: by David (new)

David | 1 comments Laura Childs tea shop mysteries are absolutely the best. I've read every one she has done and eagerly look forward to the new one she has coming out this year "Silver Leaf". I feel like I know all of the characters personally. And, if you like the style of Laura Childs try Cynthia Riggs "Martha's Vineyard" mysteries. The characters (particulary Victoria Trumbull) carry over through the series and I've read all she done also. She too has a new book coming out this year which I'm eagerly anticipating.


message 5: by The Bookworm (last edited Jan 27, 2008 09:12AM) (new)

The Bookworm | 7 comments Here are my favorite cozy series:

* Maddy Hunter's "Passport to Peril" series. Absolutely hilarious series about a 30 something year old Iowa woman who acts as group coordinator for her cool grandmother's senior citizen group as they take tours in various countries. A lot of fun to read if you love to travel or have ever been stuck on a tour.

* Nancy Atherton's "Aunt Dimity" series. Set in a quaint English village (in the modern era) but centers on an American family. A cozy in the best sense of the word. Always a happy ending. It has a bit of a supernatural touch to it, but it doesn't detract from the mysteries and it's not silly at all. Very warm & fuzzy with a spunky, fun protaganist. (And they have great recipes at the end!)

* Emily Brightwell's "Mrs. Jeffries" series. They're set in Victorian England and feature a very sweet but somewhat clueless Scotland Yard inspector whose loyal household staff - led by the housekeeper, Mrs. Jeffries - helps him with his cases. But, he doesn't know they help him; they sleuth in secret. Fantastic series that transports you to a different time and place.

* Elizabeth Peters's series about Vicky Bliss, a lovable but slightly clumsy museum archaeologist who inevitably finds herself drawn into perilous mysteries and wild goose chases. Her sometimes lover - a famous and dashing art thief - is usually the instigator. A really fun series.

* Robin Paige's series featuring the husband/wife sleuthing team of Charles & Kate Sheridan. Set in Victorian England. The Sheridans solve mysteries usually at the behest of the Royal Family, with whom Charles is acquainted. For a cozy series, it's rather "smart". Not heavy, but not fluff, either.

* Donna Andrews' series about ironsmith Meg Lanslow and her wacky family. Hilarious stuff. The mysteries are great, but what makes this series such a gem is Meg's family: lovable but totally quirky. Laugh out loud funny.

* Susan Wittig Albert's series featuring children's author Beatrix Potter as sleuth. Entirely fictional, it takes place in a village in England's beautiful Lake District. What makes this series special: 1) the animals can talk and their dialogue is quite clever and 2) the author's rich description of the village, lake, and woods setting is breathtaking.

* C.C. Benison's three-book series about a maid named Jane who works at Buckingham Palace. She manages to stumble upon dead bodies at the various Royal residences and solves the mysteries with the discreet help of the Queen. Hilarious series full of that cheeky British slang.

* Dorothy Gilman's Mrs. Pollifax series. Mrs. Pollifax is a mild mannered older lady who belongs to a gardening club, but she moonlights as a CIA agent. A fun, entertaining series that'll make you want to hop the next plane to somewhere exotic.


message 6: by Wakar (new)

Wakar | 11 comments Right now I'm reading two series that I really like. One is the Southern Sisters series by Ann George. They are well written and so funny I had to stop reading on the commuter bus because I couldn't stop laughing aloud.

The other series is the Miss Zukas series by Jo Dereske. Not all of these are still in print so getting them all is becoming a bit of a challenge but the main character is quirky and appealing.


message 7: by The Bookworm (last edited Jan 27, 2008 03:21PM) (new)

The Bookworm | 7 comments Wakar - I like the Miss Zukas series as well. I love that there's a great series out there featuring a librarian (and her friend) as sleuth.

Another good cozy series is by Joanne Fluke, featuring an owner of a cookie shop named Hannah Swenson. Hannah's shop is in a small town in Minnesota where everybody knows everybody. A good series.


message 8: by Wakar (new)

Wakar | 11 comments Hi Bookworm,

Thanks for the tip about Joanne Fluke. I've almost exclusively read British mysteries all my life so all the Americans are new to me. The Laura Childs Tea Shop Mysteries are one other that I'm also enjoying.


message 9: by Amy (new)

Amy Nancy Martin's Blackbird Sisters Mysteries are great - always a good mystery, and the characters are well-developed.
Also, I love the Bubbles series by Sarah Strohmeyer. I had avoided it for years because I thought, really, a protagonist named Bubbles? But they're really good, cozy reads.


message 10: by Amy (new)

Amy (ldtchr) | 16 comments Okay, I'm not entirely sure what counts as a cozy mystery or not, but here are some of my picks:

The Benni Harper series by Earlene Fowler
series by Tony Hillerman
Diane Mott Davidson
Rita Mae Brown (Mrs. Murphy mysteries)
Elliot Roosevelt
JD Robb (I know she's often a little racy for what might be cozy, but I love to curl up with a Dallas mystery)
Carolyn G Hart - would love to own a Death on Demand!!!
Lillian Jackson Braun
and Carole Nelson Douglas

Weird, that I love cat mysteries, but I'm truly a dog person in real life!

I have just stumbled on the Tea Shop mysteries and THANK YOU for mentioning them because I couldn't remember the author (wish my public library had a way for me to view my reading history)....


message 11: by Amy (new)

Amy (ldtchr) | 16 comments Just finished CACHE OF CORPSES by Henry Kisor. Anyone else read this one? I want to check out the first two, but felt like this series could be joining my cozy list.


message 12: by The Bookworm (new)

The Bookworm | 7 comments Ldtchr - I love the Elliott Roosevelt books, too. They're such fun to read. I love the intrigue without all the blood and gore of hard core spy novels.


message 13: by Shasta (new)

Shasta | 2 comments I recently was turned on to cozy mysteries by a customer at the book shop where I work and I fell in love with them. Here are my favorites:

~Simon Kirby-Jones~ series by Dean James
~Coffeehouse Mystery~ series by Cleo Coyle
~Pepper Martin~ series by Casey Daniels
~Stephanie Plum~ series by Janet Evanovich
&
Although I have not read these YET, i do own and am working my way to them:

~Southern Sisters Mystery~ series by Anne George
~Bed-and-Breakfast~ series by Mary Daheim
~Booklover's~ series by Julie Kaewert
Jeffery Cohen's series ~Aaron tucker mysteries~ & Double feature Mysteries~
~Trailer Park Mysteries~ series by Jimmie Ruth Evans





message 14: by The Bookworm (new)

The Bookworm | 7 comments Shasta,

If you like the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, you might also like the Pauline Sokel series by Lori Avocato. It's the same premise: sassy, thirty something woman (former nurse) takes an investigative type job, (medical insurance fraud) is torn between two men, (one normal, the other mysterious/dangerous), and hilarity ensues. The series is a little more "cozy" or "innocent" than the Stephanie Plum series, as there's no graphic descriptions of violent crime, but all the humor is there.


message 15: by Nancy (new)

Nancy (nancyjcohen) | 53 comments I enjoy Maddy Hunter's series and also Lori Avocato's stories among many others. Currently I'm reading a debut book called State of the Onion...very appropriate in an election year about a White House chef who gets entangled in a mystery!


message 16: by Nitsa (new)

Nitsa | 1 comments i enjoy genna haliday books and james patterson


message 17: by Sharon (new)

Sharon I don't have a fav yet since I just started reading cozy mysteries. Right now I'm reading India Ink's Scent to Her Grave (a bath & body mystery) and so far I really like it.




message 18: by Toni (new)

Toni berkshire (starcookie2verizonnet) | 23 comments I am new to the group, but not to cozy mysteries. I like to find a series that I can pass on to my daughter/and/or mother. We all enjoyed the Lois Meade mysteries by Ann Purser. The series begins with 'Murder on Monday' and following books follow the days of the week. (helps to keep them in order). The characters have more real life problems and progress in age and development. Another series that we all enjoyed were the Beatrix Potter mysteries by Susan Wittig Albert.


message 19: by Catamorandi (last edited Mar 12, 2008 04:27PM) (new)

Catamorandi (wwwgoodreadscomprofilerandi) | 5 comments I must admit that I am hooked on Anne Perry. She writes about Victorian times, and she does it brilliantly, as far as I am concerned. She has two different detectives. One is William Monk. He is a brash, bullying type of guy. Then there is Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Pitt. They are a lot calmer and kind of persuade their prey to confess in a surprising manner. By the way, I just joined this group about five minutes ago.


message 20: by Catamorandi (new)

Catamorandi (wwwgoodreadscomprofilerandi) | 5 comments I wasn't positive as to what a cozy mystery was. Now I know. The Pitt series by Anne Perry still fits, but that is not my favorite cozy mystery series by far. The best and funniest cozy series I have ever read is the Maggody series by Joan Hess. She is a genius. I have been so busy with Maggody, I haven't had a chance yet to try the Claire Malloy series, but I am sure that it is equally brilliant.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

I love Anne Perry. Both her series on Monk and the Pitts. I also love the Elizabeth Peters series on Amelia Peabody Emerson and her family. They have inspired me to go to Egypt this year. I really like the Lilian Jackson Braun series with Koko and YumYum and Jim Quilleran, but I really prefer to listen to those than read them. Those I've listened to have the best narrator. Another series I'm reading is James D. Doss whose mysteries focus on the Southern Ute Indian Charlie Moon and his Aunt Daisy who is reputed to be a shaman. I got in on the middle in that series, and should have gone back and got the first. They build on the character from book to book. Thanks to Toni for the invite to join this group.



message 22: by The Bookworm (last edited Mar 17, 2008 10:13AM) (new)

The Bookworm | 7 comments Welcome to the group, Toni and Andi!

Judy, you will love Egypt. Let me know if you want any tips, etc. I'll give you my email address.


message 23: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 9 comments I really love Candace Robb's medieval Owen Archer mysteries.
Owen is a former captain of the archers to a great lord. Blinded in one eye, he retired his post and turned spy for a church official. On a mission he becomes “apprentice” to a master apothecary, whose near-future widow Archer falls in love with. The book’s setting is medieval York. Great writing and I love all the history.

Diane Mott Davidson is also one of my all time favorites. I Love her books!!! If you don't know her books, and you like mysteries with recipes and lots of food talk then this author will be a favorite for you. The main character is a caterer and there is food galore throughout all of her books. I drool for the food and the stories! :)

MC Beaton is another favorite. I love her Hamish Macbeth series. Set in the highlands of Scotland, Hamish is a village copper with many police cases to solve (though not too well as he does not want to be recognized for his good work and get posted to a big city). Interesting writing to read for anyone not accustomed to English or Scottish slang or accents (as the author’s writing style for this series has the accents written out).

If you’ve yet to read any of these authors I highly recommend them :)

Thanks to all who have posted their favorites, for giving me some ideas of which authors’ books to look for.



message 24: by Shasta (new)

Shasta | 2 comments THANK YOU BOOKWORM, FOR THE RECOMENDATION. I'M SORRY TO RESPOND SO LATE, I DON'T KNOW WHY I MISSED YOU MESSAGE. I FOUND ANOTHER AUTHOR WHO WRITES A LOT LIKE EVANOVICH, HER NAME IS SARAH STROHMEYER AND HER SERIES MAIN CHARACTER IS "BUBBLES." I HAVE NOT STARTED THEM YET, BECAUSE I WANT TO FINISH READING A COUPLE OF THE SERIES I'M WORKIN ON RIGHT NOW!!!
WELL, HAPPY READING EVERYONE, AND HAPPY EASTER!!!
~SHASTA~


P.S. SORRY ABOUT ALL CAPS, MY CAPS BUTTON IS STUCK OR SOMETHING!!!


message 25: by Yvonne (new)

Yvonne (yvonne473) | 17 comments I love the Scumble River series by Denise Swanson. They are wonderful.


Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews (hugbandit7) | 170 comments If you like dogs, Lee Charles Kelley writes a series about a dog trainer (he is a trainer in real life) and these are amazingly good. the first 2 books are going to be re-released under new names just as a heads up.


message 27: by Amy (new)

Amy (ldtchr) | 16 comments Andi, I LOVE Anne Perry also. Don't know that the Elizabeth Peabody books fit, but those are all over my shelves too.

Just found Aunt Dimity this week Bookworm and I really enjoyed it. Started with Vampire Hunter though and am thinking I'm going to have to try to go back a bit before I move on.


message 28: by Amy (new)

Amy (ldtchr) | 16 comments Jazzyheather, yes, I like Reich and Woods too. Wouldn't call them cozy, but love to catch up with their characters too.

Jessica, Hamish rocks! And, Davidson goes without saying...have you ever tried one of her recipes? I'm afraid I wouldn't make it as good as my imagination experienced it in the novel....

Judy, I am excited to try Doss. Never heard of those and will now keep an eye out.


message 29: by The Bookworm (new)

The Bookworm | 7 comments Ldtchr - glad you liked Aunt Dimity Vampire Hunter. It's the newest in the series. I highly recommend you go back and read the series from the beginning. I think you'll like it even more.


message 30: by Colleen (new)

Colleen (boxxy717) I am new to this group but not the genre. I am so glad to have a name for it now!! I really love series books so they may not all qualify as Cozy Mysteries but here's my list:

Cleo Coyle - Coffeehouse Mysteries
Susan Wittig Albert - China Bayles Herbal Mysteries
Joyce and Jim Lavene - Peggy Lee Garden Mysteries and they have a new series coming out - Renaissance Faire Mystery
Lorna Barrett - Booktown Mysteries
Sammi Carter - Candy Shop Mystery
Shirley Damsgard - Ophelia and Abby Series
Livia Washburn - Fresh Baked Mystery
Kate Collins - Flower Shop Mystery
Melinda Wells - Della Cooks Mystery

and of course Joanne Fluke and Diane Mott Davidson.

I also really love the Elm Creek Quilt series by Jennifer Chiaverini.



message 31: by Beth (new)

Beth | 616 comments Glad to have you here, Colleen. I, too, am a fan of Diane Mott Davidson, a fellow Colorado mystery author who's very generous and gracious to fans and aspiring authors, and of Susan Wittig Albert, who has signed often in my hometown of Colorado Springs, because her daughter lives nearby.

Other Colorado cozy mystery authors I recommend are Maggie Sefton and her knitting series and Christine Goff and her birdwatching series. Then, of course, there's my own A REAL BASKET CASE, the first in my gift basket designer series.


message 32: by Colleen (new)

Colleen (boxxy717) Thanks for the recommendations. How exciting, a real published auther. I will definetly have to check that out!!


Jael ~ *~ Syhren ~* ~ (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejael) I enjoy the Coffe House Mystery by Coyle , Flower shop mystery by Collins and the Bath series by India Ink(aka Yasmine Galenorn who I recently chatted with on B&N dicussion board and found out she is no longer writing this series.)


message 34: by Donna (new)

Donna Moore | 1 comments Just discovered this group and am thrilled to see most of my favorites on the lists already. I am a huge fan of Dianne Mott Davidson, Joanne Fluke and Janet Evanovich. Also enjoy Elaine Viets, Kate Collins, Joan Hess, Parnell Hall, Dolores Johnson, Susan Mcbride, Jennifer Apodaca, Susan Conant, Laurien Berenson, Rett MacPherson and A bunch I know I'm forgetting right now. Love a quick, good book with an interesting story that also makes me laugh!


message 35: by Barb (new)

Barb (writebarb) | 15 comments I've been out of the action here for a while and am so excited to see this thread! Lots of great books to keep me reading for long time!


message 36: by Pamela (new)

Pamela | 38 comments Here are some of my favorite cozy series. Monica Ferris has a cross stitch Hobby Series. I loved CREWEL YULE, MISS ZUKAS Library Mysteries by Jo Dereske, J,B. Stanley's Supper Club Mysteries. Fit To Die is one title of the this series. Of course Carolyn Hart's DEATH ON DEMAND SERIES is great.
Kate Borden's COBBS'S LANDING SERIES a widow is the mayor of s small New England Town and I love the series.
Culinary Mysteries I think Joanne Fluke has a great series and her titles make my mouth water.
Some of you have already named other series I like. Such as Emily Brightwell's Mrs. Jefferies Series. Mary Daheim's Bed and Breakfast Series.
Let's face it I love cozy mysteries.
Hugs, Pamela


message 37: by Vanessa Opal (new)

Vanessa Opal (vanessaopaljune) I love love love the Aunt Dimity mystery series as well. Plus there is a recipe on the last pages for a dish that was in the story; who could want more?

I also like the Flower Shop mysteries by Kate Collins; but not too sure if they fall into the cozy mystery genre? They do to me; they're light, fluffy reading.


message 38: by Shannon (new)

Shannon (dolphinlover) | 290 comments I have a few favorite cozy series
1) Meg Langslow series by Donna Andrews
2) Hannah Swensen mysteries by Joanna Fluke
3) Magdalena Yoder mysteries by Tamar Myers
I am just starting the Pauline Sokol series by Lori Avocato too its pretty good so far.
Read Sammi Carter's Candy Apple Dead enjoyed that immensely also.


message 39: by Shannon (new)

Shannon (dolphinlover) | 290 comments I LOVE Hannah Swenson mysteries cant wait till next April? for the next installment


message 40: by Shannon (new)

Shannon (dolphinlover) | 290 comments Glad to hear the Bubbles series is good I have one of the books but never started into it for fear or disappointment. Now I am more sure of trying it out.


message 41: by Shannon (new)

Shannon (dolphinlover) | 290 comments I absolutely love these books Skye Denison is hilarious. I am looking forward to the next installment of this one.


message 42: by Beth (new)

Beth | 616 comments Like Shannon, I love Donna Andrews's Meg Langslow series. And the woman herself is just as fun and friendly in person as you would expect from her writing. I also enjoy Tim Cockey's undertaker, Hitchcock Sewell, series, which is wryly funny.


message 43: by Shannon (new)

Shannon (dolphinlover) | 290 comments Jill Churchill's Jane Jeffry Mystery series is a fun one I am really enjoying it being the mom of 3 kids I can definitely relate to some of the craziness going on in the household and with the kids and all.


message 44: by Rob (new)

Rob (rob_kvidt) | 3 comments I'll enter Agatha Raisin by M.C. Beaton. Right now I'm reading the early books in the series (Murderous Marriage has been my favorite so far).

I'll second Shasta's mention of Dean James. His series about a gay American vampire living in a quaint English village is a fun read. (Faked to Death is my favorite).

Beth--I haven't heard of Hitchcock Sewell and just ordered my first book.

Pam mentioned Mary Daheim and I love her Bed and Breakfast series too. I met her at a book signing a few months ago on a trip to Seattle. Nice lady.






message 45: by Toni (new)

Toni berkshire (starcookie2verizonnet) | 23 comments Agatha Raisin is good, but think M.C. Beaton's Hamish McBeth series is even better. Try one and see what you think. Be sure to start with first in the series so that you can follow all the developments. You might also like Ann Purser's series beginning with Murder on Monday


message 46: by Pamela (new)

Pamela | 38 comments Do any of you ever read some of the author's blogs? I do go to the Cozy Chicks Blog and read theirs. Also the Steletto Gang Blog and these blogs usually list links to other blogs. I think The Lipstick Chronicles etc...this way you get to really relate to the authors and their books and you can leave comments. Also I have a website www.mayhemandmagic.com and on there are interviews with some of our authors. Just click on the interview page but go have a look around Terri and I also have reviews posted and other things.
Hugs,
Pam


message 47: by Rob (new)

Rob (rob_kvidt) | 3 comments Pam: I recently went to Lorna Barrett's blog and website. She's writing a new series--first up is, "Murder is Binding." If you email her, she'll send you an autographed bookplate. Her website is, http://www.lornabarrett.com

Toni: Thanks for the recommendation. I'll try Hamish McBeth. Regarding Ann Purser, I've read "Murder is Monday" and really enjoyed it.


message 48: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Jourdan (carolynjourdan) The Mrs. Pollifax series by Dorothy Gilman is my current favorite. I love the idea that an elderly widow could be a crack CIA spy! I'm reading my way through all Ms. Gilman's book in a row -- it's like throwing my own book "festival."


message 49: by Beth (new)

Beth | 616 comments To follow-up on Rob's comment, many mystery authors offer some version of autographed bookplates at their websites. In my case, I say if you and a group of at least four other friends buy copies of my books and send me your names, I'll mail back a set of personalized bookplates. This offer is aimed at book clubs, and I will also do phone-in discussions with book clubs.


message 50: by Kathie (new)

Kathie H (gypsy18) | 18 comments I really enjoyed Mrs. Pollifax except for the most recent one I read, Mrs. Pollifax Unveiled. It's almost like it was a different author writing it. I live about 15 miles from CIA HQ & have a lot of friends in "the community" as they call it around here.

I recently finished the first in the Bellehaven House series, High Marks for Murder. Not hugely impressed. I'd rather reread an Agatha Christie short-story compilation (like The Golden Ball and Other Stories) on a cold, rainy October night while snuggled under an afghan drinking camomile tea.


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