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Find a book or series > Help me build my Cozy Christmas present wish list!

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message 1: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Weber (tracywe) | 345 comments In addition to being a cozy writer, I'm an avid cozy fan, and I'm building my Christmas present list. I'd like some ideas that meet the following criteria.

>>>Awesome writer or series, non historical (I like present day mysteries)
>>>Paperback only. (Can't do hardback or e-readers)
>>>Written in the last 5 years. (I'm trying to see what contemporary writers are doing well, since I've read lots and lots of older cozies.
>>>Animals a plus, but not a requirement.

Fire away!


message 2: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Jarvis (screalwriter) | 152 comments Do you have any friends who are Realtors? They would get a kick out of Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries.


message 3: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Weber (tracywe) | 345 comments This Christmas list is for me, (I'm selfish that way. ;-) but it's one I haven't heard of, so I'll have to try it!


message 4: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (lynnali) | 524 comments These continuing series began more than 5 years ago, but you may want to check them out.
Susan Wittig Albert's China Bayles series
Carolyn Haines' Sarah Booth Delaney series
Julie Hyzy's White House Chef series
Rita Mae Brown's Mrs. Murphy series
Mary Dahiem's Alpine Advocate series
Claudia Bishop's Hemlock Falls series
Diane Mott Davidson's Goldy Schulz series

These may be a bit harder to find, as they are outside the 5 year requirement, but are definitely worth it:
Lou Jane Temple's Heaven Lee Culinary Mysteries series
Julie Kaewert's Booklovers Mysteries series
Michael Bond's Monsieur Pamplemousse series
Marne Davis Kellogg's Kick Keswick series


message 5: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Weber (tracywe) | 345 comments Lynn wrote: "These continuing series began more than 5 years ago, but you may want to check them out.
Susan Wittig Albert's China Bayles series
Carolyn Haines' Sarah Booth Delaney series
Julie Hyzy's White Hous..."


THANK YOU!


message 6: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 5280 comments One of my favorite series, Earlene Fowler 's Benni Harper series.


message 7: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Weber (tracywe) | 345 comments I like that one too! She is an incredible writer.


message 8: by Heather L , Cozy Mysteries Moderator (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) | 17745 comments Mod
The five-year restriction makes this more difficult, but here are a few of my faves:


Leann Sweeney -- Cats in Trouble series
Casey Daniels -- Pepper Martin (the first book is more than five years old, but the most recent was out Sept 2012)
E.J. Copperman -- Haunted Guest House
Amanda Lee -- Embroidery Mystery series
Ellery Adams -- Books by the Bay / Charmed Pie Shoppe
Jennie Bentley -- Do-It-Yourself mysteries (home renovation)
Kate Collins -- Flower Shop series (Okay, so the series has been around a while, but book #15 is out in Feb)


message 9: by Susan (new)

Susan (mysterywriter) | 201 comments Tracy wrote: "In addition to being a cozy writer, I'm an avid cozy fan, and I'm building my Christmas present list. I'd like some ideas that meet the following criteria....Animals a plus, but not a requirement...."

Here are three dog-themed mysteries, each quite different from the other, and each the first in a series but enjoyable as a stand-alone book too:

One Dog Too Many by Lia Farrell
Murder Strikes a Pose by Tracy Weber
and my own Deadly Ties: A Waterside Kennels Mystery


message 10: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Weber (tracywe) | 345 comments Thanks, all. And Susan--how cool that you recommended Murder Strikes a Pose. That one's mine! ;-) I'd never heard of Lia Farrel. Heather, there are a few new authors to me in your list, too!


message 11: by Susan (new)

Susan (mysterywriter) | 201 comments Tracy wrote: "Thanks, all. And Susan--how cool that you recommended Murder Strikes a Pose. That one's mine! ;-) I'd never heard of Lia Farrel. Heather, there are a few new authors to me in y..."

Obviously we both have great taste! [smile]

Saw an ad the other day for a "thriller cozy." Ever heard that one?


message 12: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 5280 comments Heather L wrote: "The five-year restriction makes this more difficult, but here are a few of my faves:


Leann Sweeney -- Cats in Trouble series
Casey Daniels -- Pepper Martin (the f..."


I'll second the Pepper Martin series!! Hope she's going to continue it, but with all the series she's wrting now as Kylie Logan I have my doubts. Also, really like Kate Collins' series. I find Amanda Lee's embroidery series has deteriorated as it has gone on.


message 13: by Heather L , Cozy Mysteries Moderator (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) | 17745 comments Mod
Melodie: We always seem to have similar tastes in books. Like you, I am hoping for more Pepper Martin. As for the embroidery series, I thought the last book was much better than the previous two. I think getting rid of the love triangle helped.


message 14: by Amanda (last edited Nov 20, 2013 02:34PM) (new)

Amanda Brenner (amandabrenner) Tracy wrote: "In addition to being a cozy writer, I'm an avid cozy fan, and I'm building my Christmas present list. I'd like some ideas that meet the following criteria.

>>>Awesome writer or series, non histor..."



message 15: by Nairabell (new)

Nairabell | 97 comments The Magical Bakery series by Bailey Cates are all awesome. There are three (starting with Brownies and Broomsticks (A Magical Bakery Mystery, #1) by Bailey Cates ), all out within the last two or so years in paperback and with a contemporary setting. There's some magic, two animals (a dog and a cat, although the dog has a larger role) and some great recipes. All three have been great ;)


message 16: by Valerie (new)

Valerie It doesn't meet your 5 year rule but Sue Henry usually has dogs featured in the story line, i.e. Murder on the Iditarod Trail


message 17: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Weber (tracywe) | 345 comments Valerie wrote: "It doesn't meet your 5 year rule but Sue Henry usually has dogs featured in the story line, i.e. Murder on the Iditarod Trail"

Thanks. It looks familiar to me, but I don't think I've read it. Is it a cozy?


message 18: by Beth (new)

Beth | 616 comments Hi Tracy,
I suggest you check out the trade paperback/ebook mysteries being published by Midnight Ink, http://www.midnightinkbooks.com/. They are my publisher, so I'll recommend my own two series, too: the Claire Hanover gift basket designer series and the RM Outdoor Adventures series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner, who owns a golden retriever named Lucky. Both are contemporary.


message 19: by Lorna (new)

Lorna Collins (lorna_collins) | 22 comments Tracy,
Our cozy mysteries are set in Hawaii, providing a virtual vacation as well as puzzles for you to unravel along with our protagonist, Agape Jones. The books are MURDER...THEY WROTE and MURDER IN PARADISE available fro Amazon, Whiskey Creek Press, or directly from our website, http://www.lornalarry.com. If you order them directly from us, we'll sign them and ship them to you.
Both are in paperback as well as ebook formats.


message 20: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Weber (tracywe) | 345 comments Beth wrote: "Hi Tracy,
I suggest you check out the trade paperback/ebook mysteries being published by Midnight Ink, http://www.midnightinkbooks.com/. They are my publisher, so I'll recommend my own two series, ..."


Hi Beth! Fellow Midnight Inker here. ;-) I definitely plan to check out your series.


message 21: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Tracy wrote: "Valerie wrote: "It doesn't meet your 5 year rule but Sue Henry usually has dogs featured in the story line, i.e. Murder on the Iditarod Trail"

Thanks. It looks familiar to me, but I..."


I looked up the definition of a cozy from cozy-mystery.com and it's amazing how much it describes the heroine in Sue Henry's books. So I'd say yes.

I'll also add Diane Mott Davidson books, if you haven't read them. They read better in order - the 1st one is "Catering to Nobody."


Here's the definition I read:

The crime-solver in a cozy mystery is usually a woman who is an amateur sleuth. Almost always, she has a college degree, whether she is using it or not. Her education and life’s experiences have provided her with certain skills that she will utilize in order to solve all the crimes that are “thrown her way.” The cozy mystery heroine is usually a very intuitive, bright woman. The occupations of the amateur sleuths are very diverse: caterer, bed and breakfast owner, quilter, cat fancier/owner, nun, gardener, librarian, book store owner, herbalist, florist, dog trainer, homemaker, teacher, needlepoint store owner, etc. These are just a few examples of what the amateur sleuth does…. When she’s not solving crimes, that is!

The cozy mystery usually takes place in a small town or village (click here to read more on the village setting). The small size of the setting makes it believable that all the suspects know each other. The amateur sleuth is usually a very likeable person who is able to get the community members to talk freely (i.e. gossip) about each other. There is usually at least one very knowledgeable and nosy (and of course, very reliable!) character in the book who is able to fill in all of the blanks, thus enabling the amateur sleuth to solve the case.

Although the cozy mystery sleuth is usually not a medical examiner, detective, or police officer, a lot of times her best friend, husband, or significant other is. This makes a very convenient way for her to find out things that she would otherwise not have access to… Do you know any caterers or dog trainers who have access to autopsy reports? I don’t! (Unless you count some of my favorite cozy characters…)


message 22: by Heather L , Cozy Mysteries Moderator (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) | 17745 comments Mod
Tracy wrote: "Valerie wrote: "It doesn't meet your 5 year rule but Sue Henry usually has dogs featured in the story line, i.e. Murder on the Iditarod Trail"

Thanks. It looks familiar to me, but I..."


I read that one just a couple years ago. It was good and definitely cozy. She does a great job depicting the locale -- I swear I could feel those frigid temps they race in, nevermind the fact that it was winter when I read it.


message 23: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Weber (tracywe) | 345 comments Heather L wrote: "Tracy wrote: "Valerie wrote: "It doesn't meet your 5 year rule but Sue Henry usually has dogs featured in the story line, i.e. Murder on the Iditarod Trail"

Thanks. It looks familia..."


It is added to my list!


message 24: by Heather L , Cozy Mysteries Moderator (last edited Nov 21, 2013 09:04PM) (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) | 17745 comments Mod
I'm C&P-ing the list I just left in another thread where someone was asking for series with only a few books in them. I thought some of these might interest you as well. A few are actually in Mount TBR (*) and who knows -- I might even get to them before the next decade. ☺


The following are all first books in new series, most of them released during the last three months:
A Skeleton in the Family*
Scrapbook of Secrets* (This one is actually a year old, book two was recently published)
Pall in the Family*
A Potion to Die For
Murder at Hatfield House
Drizzled with Death
Going Through the Notions
First-Degree Fudge
Clammed Up


message 25: by Marisa, Cozy Mysteries Assistant Moderator (new)

Marisa (moretta) | 3831 comments Mod
Heather L wrote: "I'm C&P-ing the list I just left in another thread where someone was asking for series with only a few books in them. I thought some of these might interest you as well. A few are actually in Mount..."

Same here, but I'm not sure about the decade :(


message 26: by Britney (new)

Britney (tarheels) | 142 comments Have you tried Murder is Binding by Lorena Barrett. I believe the series is called A Booktown Mystery.


message 27: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Weber (tracywe) | 345 comments Britney wrote: "Have you tried Murder is Binding by Lorena Barrett. I believe the series is called A Booktown Mystery."

I'll have to check it out!


message 28: by Heather L , Cozy Mysteries Moderator (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) | 17745 comments Mod
Tracy, I think you should know there are a lot of mixed feeling in this group with the Booktown series. While some people here love it, there are just as many of us who gave up on it after book two or three. For most, it was because they hated the sister. For me, it was the motifs. She has a habit of glomming onto something (for example: geese in one book, pumpkins in another) and then beating you over the head with it. I found it extremely distracting.


message 29: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 5280 comments Heather L wrote: "Tracy, I think you should know there are a lot of mixed feeling in this group with the Booktown series. While some people here love it, there are just as many of us who gave up on it after book two..."

One here who quit the series. I couldn't stand Tricia, the main character. Couldn't see why everyone loved her, but could DEFINITELY see why her husband left her. What a whiner! I liked her sister better than her!


❂ Murder by Death  (murderbydeath) Another one who quit the series - but I didn't like much of anything abut it. I didn't connect with any of the characters so I found I just didn't care about the mystery.

There are quite a few people who do enjoy the series though. :) I think Heather brought up a good point though - it does seem to be a love-it-or-hate-it type of series. Maybe (if you have an ereader) try a sample of the books first and see if they strike you as Christmas-list-worthy.


message 31: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Weber (tracywe) | 345 comments ❂ Jennifer (reviews on BookLikes) wrote: "Another one who quit the series - but I didn't like much of anything abut it. I didn't connect with any of the characters so I found I just didn't care about the mystery.

There are quite a few pe..."


I don't have an e-reader. (How antiquated for me, especially since I'm an author!) I might want to read it as a learning experience. See if I can figure out why people are either hot or cold. Could be interesting, and possibly useful....


message 32: by Nairabell (new)

Nairabell | 97 comments Tracy wrote: "I don't have an e-reader. (How antiquated for me, especially since I'm an author!) I might want to read it as a learning experience. See if I can figure out why people are either hot or cold. Could be interesting, and possibly useful.... "

If you are ok reading off a normal computer screen, there's always the "look inside" thing on amazon plus some publishers and authors put up the first few chapters.


message 33: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Weber (tracywe) | 345 comments Nairabell wrote: "Tracy wrote: "I don't have an e-reader. (How antiquated for me, especially since I'm an author!) I might want to read it as a learning experience. See if I can figure out why people are either hot ..."

Thanks for the idea, Nairabell!

I do sometimes use the "look inside" feature, but reading off my machine really leaves me cold. It could be the best work I'd ever been exposed to, and I'd probably say "bleh." A paperback isn't a huge investment, and if I end up not liking it, Goodwill will benefit from the donation! ;-)


message 34: by Lynn (last edited Nov 26, 2013 05:53PM) (new)

Lynn (lynnali) | 524 comments Tracy wrote: "Nairabell wrote: "Tracy wrote: "I don't have an e-reader. (How antiquated for me, especially since I'm an author!) I might want to read it as a learning experience. See if I can figure out why peop..."

You must live in the US. I pay somewhere around $22 for a paperback. Every book is an investment to me. And my local library system is really pitiful. I love the remainder bins at Big W -- I can pick up cheap books and some are every very good. That's where I got Pane of Death, Killer Mousse, Chocolate Dipped Death, and a couple of books in M.C. Beaton's Travelling Matchmaker series. I hate that I can't get a whole series or even the series in order, but for $3 vs. $22, I'm not (really) complaining.


message 35: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Weber (tracywe) | 345 comments Lynn wrote: "Tracy wrote: "Nairabell wrote: "Tracy wrote: "I don't have an e-reader. (How antiquated for me, especially since I'm an author!) I might want to read it as a learning experience. See if I can figur..."

Yes, I live in the US. Sorry books are so expensive for you. If mass market paperbacks were $22, I'd probably be forced to buy a kindle. ;-)


message 36: by Kate (new)

Kate (kate28) | 141 comments For me, I think one of the very best cozy series out there is the Domestic Diva series by Krista Davis. They are set in Alexandria, VA, and the main character has a dog and a cat, both of whom are mentioned quite often. The Diva Runs Out of Thyme (A Domestic Diva Mystery, #1) by Krista Davis is set at Christmastime and is so so so good!


message 37: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Weber (tracywe) | 345 comments I haven't read any of her books yet, but her newest series is on my list! For a mystery to be dog related to me, they need to be an integral part of the plot. not mentioned. But her newest series seems pretty animal centric.


message 38: by Nairabell (new)

Nairabell | 97 comments Tracy wrote: "I do sometimes use the "look inside" feature, but reading off my machine really leaves me cold. It could be the best work I'd ever been exposed to, and I'd probably say "bleh." A paperback isn't a huge investment, and if I end up not liking it, Goodwill will benefit from the donation! ;-)"

I'm the same way :) I pretty much only use look inside to check out non-fiction books as it's rare for me to either a) be able to read properly from a computer screen and/or b) stay interested.


message 39: by Linda (new)

Linda | 324 comments You might enjoy the Library Lover's mystery series by Jenn McKinlay. I just read the third in the series, Read It and Weep (Library Lover's Mystery, #4) by Jenn McKinlay , and was delighted by the twists, turns, and surprises at the end. But it's probably best to start with book one.


message 40: by Linda (new)

Linda | 324 comments Kate wrote: "For me, I think one of the very best cozy series out there is the Domestic Diva series by Krista Davis. They are set in Alexandria, VA, and the main character has a dog and a cat, both of whom are ..."

I agree. This is a fabulous series. I've loved every one.


❂ Murder by Death  (murderbydeath) Linda S. wrote: "You might enjoy the Library Lover's mystery series by Jenn McKinlay. I just read the third in the series, Read It and Weep (Library Lover's Mystery, #4) by Jenn McKinlay, and was delighted by the twists, turns, and surprise..."

Not if you don't like love triangles though. And the murderer stuck out at me like a sore thumb long before I hit page 100. This series used to be my absolute favorite of hers, but now my enthusiasm has deflated. :(


message 42: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Weber (tracywe) | 345 comments I don't think love triangles bother me as a general rule, though some of them do.


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