Cozy Mysteries discussion

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What do you think? > If you could recommend one cozy mystery series as your favorite which one would it be and why?

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message 1: by Andi (new)

Andi (andi1121) | 25 comments I have come across so many series that it's been hard to choose from. I read parts of Book 1 from this one or that one and just can't seem to get into some of the stories, and the reviews don't often help with decyphering whether a whole series is good. I would imagine that anyone who has several books has written them because they were well received. But if anyone can add some in depth information regarding any favorite series, it would be much appreciated.


message 2: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 5280 comments Probably my absolute favorite series would be Earlene Fowler's Benni Harper series. Wonderful characters, very well written, great sense of place. I stumbled upon them quite by accident in 2002. Loved every single one of them.


message 3: by Toni (new)

Toni berkshire (starcookie2verizonnet) | 23 comments Anne Purser's, Lois Meade series beginning with 'Murder on Monday'. Her characters are believable and they age and grow and descriptions are great.


message 4: by Melanie (new)

Melanie Jackson (melaniejaxn) | 55 comments Charlotte MacLeod's Peter Shandy. But she is gone and there are noo more, so currently, probably Krista Davis and her Diva stories.


message 5: by Grey853 (new)

Grey853 | 40 comments Melanie wrote: "Charlotte MacLeod's Peter Shandy. But she is gone and there are noo more, so currently, probably Krista Davis and her Diva stories."

Yes!! I adore Peter Shandy and just finished the three Diva novels, which are very well done.


message 6: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 5280 comments Melanie wrote: "Charlotte MacLeod's Peter Shandy. But she is gone and there are noo more, so currently, probably Krista Davis and her Diva stories."

Krista Davis' Diva series became a favorite very quickly. Looking forward to the new one in November, I think.


message 7: by Miki (new)

Miki | 148 comments Melodie wrote: "Probably my absolute favorite series would be Earlene Fowler's Benni Harper series. Wonderful characters, very well written, great sense of place. I stumbled upon them quite by accident in 2002. ..."

I have really enjoyed this series, as well. Another favorite of mine is the Death on Demand series by Carolyn Hart. I find the quirky characters quite amusing and I enjoy the references to other mysteries.


message 8: by Caroline (new)

Caroline | 661 comments I have to say, I agree with Miki. I've found a lot of new authors to read thanks to their mention in the Death on Demand series. I even thanked Carolyn HArt for that. LOL.

Not sure these qualify as cozies because the protags are often working with the police but two of my favorite series are Aaron Elkins' Gideon Oliver series and Beverly Connor's Diane Fallon series. Gideon's an anthropologist and Diane is too (also in charge of a museum). I've read all of both series and even KEEP those books to read again when I have nothing else I want to read. I always eagerly anticipate their new releases.


message 9: by Betty (new)

Betty (nightreader) | 116 comments Oh, what a loaded question! Personal favorites are many:
Aaron Elkins Gideon Oliver series; Donna Andrews Meg Langslow series; Earlene Fowler's Benni Harper series; Rita Mae Brown (& Sneaky Pie Brown) series; Mary Daheim, and Anne George (deceased) were two favorites; Shirley Damsgaard's Ophelia & Abby series were fun;
2 authors I've read only once I want to read more of:
Dorothy Cannell, and Jacqueline Winspear.
And if I can throw in something different I absolutely love the James Doss' Charlie Moon series. Absolutely hilarious but you learn some Ute history and beliefs as well.


message 10: by Betty (new)

Betty (nightreader) | 116 comments Caroline, thanks for the reminder re Beverly Connor, I've only read one, must check around for more.


message 11: by Arica (new)

Arica Flores | 9 comments I have to say Nancy Drew which reminds me of my childhood hiding under the cover at night so I could find out who did it. I also am partial to the Aunt Dimity Books. I love the little town and to here about the neighbors is like visiting an old friend.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

I keep seeing reference to Aunt Dimity Books, sounds interesting. Who is the author and what is the title of book #1?
Thanks


message 13: by Heather L , Cozy Mysteries Moderator (last edited Aug 19, 2010 01:14PM) (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) | 18270 comments Mod
Mary Alice: Nancy Atherton writes the Aunt Dimity series, the first of which is Aunt Dimity's Death. Atherton was our featured author a few months ago. I've gotten up through book five and have loved each one.

I also discovered the Gideon Oliver series when Aaron Elkins was featured author here, and am currently reading book three in that series. I'm looking forward to continuing those as well.

I also like Sheila Lowe's graphology series, and have book four calling to me from the TBR pile. Also like the sudoku series by Kaye Morgan (though I don't like sudoku) and the home improvement series by Jennie Bentley.


message 14: by Roxann (new)

Roxann Maples-Stokes (roxyann) | 24 comments Melodie wrote: "Probably my absolute favorite series would be Earlene Fowler's Benni Harper series. Wonderful characters, very well written, great sense of place. I stumbled upon them quite by accident in 2002. ..."

I can't wait to start that series! I just got them in an Ebay steal!
My favorite cozy series is the Coffeehouse Mysteries by Cleo Coyle! I love her vivid descriptions of parts of New York and the lore of Coffee!


message 15: by Caroline (new)

Caroline | 661 comments Mary Alice - There are about 15 books in the Aunt Dimity series. I have three of them on the swap list here if you want them. Just FYI.


❂ Murder by Death  (murderbydeath) Mary Alice wrote: "I keep seeing reference to Aunt Dimity Books, sounds interesting. Who is the author and what is the title of book #1?
Thanks"


Some of us have to read a series in order, so in the spirit of being a bit obsessive... :)
Aunt Dimity's Death Is the first by publication date and the first to feature Lori and Bill, the main characters of the series. But Aunt Dimity and the Duke is the first chronologically. It takes place before her death and introduces Derek and Emma, who play the best friends to Lori and bill throughout the rest of the series.


message 17: by Susan (new)

Susan (sumagoo) | 131 comments I enjoy the series by Laura Levine. They are fun and a fast read. Enjoy the players in the books.


message 18: by Sandra J (new)

Sandra J Weaver (sandraweaver) | 308 comments If you enjoy classic mysteries, you might enjoy Agatha Christie's Miss Marple books. They're the grandmother of cozies, I think.


message 19: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthas48) | 161 comments I love Miss Marple books and hope to read them again. Some I haven't read since my teenage years (a very long time ago!!). I'm just starting to read cozies again and love Carola Dunn's Daisy Dalrymple series set in the 20s following WW1. Some have mentioned the Sookie Stackhouse books on other threads. I love them, too, but am not sure if they are considered cozies. I really like them, too. I like the Christmas books by Mary Higgins Clark & Carol Higgins Clark & think they would qualify as cozies, but I haven't seen them mentioned much here. I love reading Christmas mysteries during the holidays!!


message 20: by Susan (new)

Susan (sumagoo) | 131 comments Martha, I love to read Christmas mysteries too. Have enjoyed Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark.

I also enjoy the Christmas mysteries by Anne Perry. Nice stories and just right for Christmas.


message 21: by Pinky_rocks (new)

Pinky_rocks | 8 comments I really like mysteries that are combined with food or drinks. That's what I personally find cozy about them. Like the "Tea Shop Mysteries" from Laura Childs with the atmospheric descriptions of the shop, or Joanne Fluke's "Hannah Swensen Mysteries". I also like the "coffeehouse Mysteries" by Cleo Coyle.


message 22: by Denise (new)

Denise | 619 comments Even though they aren't mysteries, for those of you that like Christmas stories have you ever read any of Debbie Macomber's Christmas angel books. They are really good and the angels, Shirley, Goodness and Mercy are just hilarious. Debbie writes a Christmas book every year (not necessarily an angel book). If you go to her website (www.debbiemacomber.com) and click on the Books pull down her angel books and Christmas books are listed.


message 23: by Heather L , Cozy Mysteries Moderator (last edited Aug 24, 2010 07:45PM) (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) | 18270 comments Mod
I agree with Denise, if you like Christmas stories check out Debbie Macomber. The angel trio always make me laugh. Home For the Holidays is a good 2-in-1 anthology, but I think my favorite story is "Can This be Christmas" from another 2-in-1 anthology, A Gift to Last.


message 24: by Melodie (last edited Aug 25, 2010 03:07AM) (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 5280 comments Heather L wrote: "I agree with Denise, if you like Christmas stories check out Debbie Macomber. The angel trio always make me laugh. Home For the Holidays is a good 2-in-1 anthology, but I think my favorite story is..."

I guess I should "3rd" this suggestion. The only Macomber books I've read are the Angel books, which I read several years ago, and her 2 most recent Christmas books which I read last holiday season. All were good reads, very predictable, but good.


message 25: by Caroline (new)

Caroline | 661 comments I could never pick just one series but two I could definitely recommend are the Daisy Dalrymple series by Carola Dunn and the Southern Sisters series by Anne George. I'll be sad when I finish all the books in these series but I'm going to keep the books because I can always enjoy rereading them when nothing new strikes my fancy. : ) Both are definitely four stars!


message 26: by Sandra J (new)

Sandra J Weaver (sandraweaver) | 308 comments I really enjoy the Meg Langslow series by Donna Andrews. I think Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loons was one of the funniest books I've ever read. Gotta love her titles!


message 27: by Denise (new)

Denise | 619 comments Sandra J wrote: "I really enjoy the Meg Langslow series by Donna Andrews. I think Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loons was one of the funniest books I've ever read. Gotta love her titles!"

I have read 9 of the Meg Lanslow series. I'm a little behind. It's not a series that I have to run out and get as soon as it comes out. This may be nit-picky but the dog annoys the heck out of me.


❂ Murder by Death  (murderbydeath) Sandra J wrote: "I really enjoy the Meg Langslow series by Donna Andrews. I think Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loons was one of the funniest books I've ever read. Gotta love her titles!"

Sandra, I agree - this is one of my top five all time favorite series! They make me laugh out loud and the titles are great. I upgraded all of her books to hard cover, as they are ones I am happy to reread when I need a good laugh.

Denise - I agree that spike is really annoying, but not so much for me as to over shadow the rest of the story. :)


message 29: by Kathleen (last edited Aug 26, 2010 07:19PM) (new)

Kathleen Ernst (kathleen_ernst) | 16 comments I'm catching up late here, but these 2 series (Gideon Oliver & Diane Fallon) sound like they'd be right up my alley! I love anything anthropology/history/museum related. Thanks for the tip!

Not sure these qual..."


message 30: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly (whatkreads) Just one ;) I would pick Susan Wittig Albert's herb shop series. It's the first book I read that got me hooked on cozies. I love the characters - they seem so real. The setting is great too - especially since I'm from the area and can pick out where the author is getting her inspiration from. The mysteries never dissapoint either.


message 31: by Vicky (new)

Vicky (LadyVictoria5) | 218 comments One of my favorite series is Dianne Day's Fremont Jones series. There are only 6. They take place in the 1910s in San Francisco. The mystery is the center but I like the characters. I just found the only I haven't read on PBS and some wonderful person sent it to me. The first in the series is The Strange Files of Fremont Jones. She got a few things wrong in Death Train to Boston but I like Fremont so much I overlooked those (although I personally found them irritating). It's the only one that takes place outside of CA so perhaps the author relied on false research (that's out there also).


message 32: by ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ, Cozy Mysteries Group Owner (new)

ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ (briansgirlkate) | 1576 comments Mod
My personal favorite cozy series is Nancy Atherton's Aunt Dimity mysteries. What comes to mind when I think of what a cozy mystery is by definition, is Murder, She Wrote. So started collecting the Murder, She Wrote books based on the tv series. I've only read a couple but I always know they'll be a good cozy mystery when I sit down to read one.


message 33: by Kate (new)

Kate (kate28) | 141 comments If I could only pick one it would be Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swenson series. They have everything- small town feel, food (she owns a cookie shop), family, a cat and a little romance. LOVE those books!


message 34: by Jill (new)

Jill (jillgknits) | 4 comments I love many but Rett MacPhearson's Torie O'Shea series is really terrific. She is a historian who solves mysteries from the past. I was glued to each and every one.


message 35: by Irene (new)

Irene Sauman | 164 comments My all time favourite is M C Beaton's Hamish MvBeth, followed closely by her Agatha Raisin books. I've read them all. The Scottish setting for McBeth and the characters in the town of Lochduh(?) all add to the enjoyment of visiting a place and people you feel you know. For Agatha Raisin it is the main flawed character and her love life.


message 36: by Ellen (new)

Ellen The Desiree Shapiro series by Selma Eichler.


message 37: by Betty (new)

Betty (bettylouise54) | 581 comments There are number already mention. A couple not mention
Sheila Connolly she has 3 series out
Another is Sara Rosett
CARROTS by Colleen Helme is #1 in this series
BLUE COYOTE #2 by Karen Musser Nortman


message 38: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 5308 comments I love M.C Beaton's Agatha Raisin. I have to say I adore Lilian Jackson Braun's cozies with Quilleran ( the hero) and of course Koko and Yum Yum two wonderful cats.


message 39: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (lynnali) | 524 comments It's so hard just to pick one. It depends on my mood, and I definitely tend towards historical cozies. Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series has become a new favorite, Victoria Thompson's Gaslight/Sarah Brandt series is always a pleasure. Charles Finch's Charles Lenox series is fun and well-crafted. And Conrad Allen's Genevieve Masefield/George Porter Dillman series on historic cruise ships is always good for a fun read. But I think my favorite so far, and the ones I could read again and again and again are Agatha Christie's Poirot series.


message 40: by Irene (new)

Irene Sauman | 164 comments Oh yes, Lynn. Poirot. And so well played by David Suchet.


message 41: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (lynnali) | 524 comments Irene wrote: "Oh yes, Lynn. Poirot. And so well played by David Suchet."

I saw the documentary he did during filming the last series of Poirot. It was so well done. It was amazing how much reverence he has for the character, and how he truly became Poirot. It was really funny when he was in the museum that has the sets used for the apartment. David Suchet was there talking about "my office" and "my furniture." I literally LOLed. If you haven't already seen it, you should definitely check out the Being Poirot documentary.


message 42: by MissJessie (new)

MissJessie | 19 comments I just finished listening to Death on the Nile narrated by David Suchet. Wonderful. He IS Poirot to me,both visually and audibly.

Hamish McBeth would be my first choice for a recommend. The color of the highlands so clearly depicted and the characters are "relatable" to me. I also favor Elizabeth Peter series of Amelia Peabody, the older ones predominately. Always good for a repeat listen/read when all else fails.


message 43: by Sandra J (new)

Sandra J Weaver (sandraweaver) | 308 comments Agatha Christie never gets old. I like Poirot, but I love Miss Marple. I think her stories are the quintessential cozies.


message 44: by Irene (new)

Irene Sauman | 164 comments Lynn wrote: "Irene wrote: "Oh yes, Lynn. Poirot. And so well played by David Suchet."

I saw the documentary he did during filming the last series of Poirot. It was so well done. It was amazing how much rever..."


Thanks Lynn. I will search out that documentary. Suchet used to walk without that mincing step in the early series til he read Christie describe Poirot's way of walking in one of her later novels and he then followed that to the letter. Wonderful stuff.


message 45: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Kohr | 1 comments I have to go with a classic -Lilian Jackson Braun's "Cat Who.." books. My Vet recommended them to me at an appointment with my cat and it started my love affair with cozies.


message 46: by Heather L , Cozy Mysteries Moderator (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) | 18270 comments Mod
Lynn wrote: "Irene wrote: "Oh yes, Lynn. Poirot. And so well played by David Suchet."

I saw the documentary he did during filming the last series of Poirot. It was so well done. It was amazing how much rever..."


I haven't seen Being Poirot, but I loved the one he did on the Orient Express.


message 47: by M.L. (last edited Jul 17, 2014 08:49AM) (new)

M.L. (margieee) | 9 comments Heather L wrote: "Lynn wrote: "Irene wrote: "Oh yes, Lynn. Poirot. And so well played by David Suchet."

I saw the documentary he did during filming the last series of Poirot. It was so well done. It was amazing h..."


Thanks for the link. I couldn't open the up the interview but while on that page I went to the link for my local pbs channel and it showed the schedule which lists Case Histories based on a book series by Kate Atkinson, MC is Jackson Brodie. Sounds interesting, has anyone read that series?


message 48: by Shawn (new)

Shawn (shawnsquared) | 154 comments I also love "The Cat Who..." series by Lilian Jackson Braun.
They are wonderful on audio, too! And next would be Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, which are sometimes a little borderline with sex and violence, but I think would still qualify as cozies. Third for me are the Ben Kincaid books by William Bernhardt(also may be a little borderline for cozies).


message 49: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rebeccasg) | 130 comments I love the Hannah Swensen series by Joanne Fluke. I recently stared and I can't get enough. They are really good cozies and so fun and easy to read. I love the characters and at this point I feel like they are pretty real.


message 50: by [deleted user] (new)

I'd recommend the Adam Dalgliesh series from P.D. James to anyone.

The Private Patient (Adam Dalgliesh, #14) by P.D. James


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