Ah, February – the month of love! Lovers of cozy mysteries are in luck
this month with a choice lot of wonderful books to choose from. Here are a few
that I thought sounded intriguing, mysterious, suspenseful ...all the great
things that make a fantastic cozy mystery!
IN A WILD MOOSE CHASE: (A Candy Holliday Murder Mystery #3)
By B. B. Haywood
Berkley (Prime Crime) $7.99
Cape Willington's annual Winter Moose Fest is in full swing when the sightings
of a mysterious white moose—and rumors of a dead body found in the
woods—send Candy scrambling to separate fact from fiction before she
finds herself in the bullseye of a ruthless killer.
IN THE GRAVE (A Bibliophile Mystery #5
by Kate Carlisle
There may be grave consequences for bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright as she
attempts to solve two murders tied to one book.
Brooklyn's chance to restore a rare first edition of Beauty and the Beast seems
a fairytale come true—until she realizes the book last belonged to an old
friend of hers. Ten years ago, Max Adams, a renowned, brawny papermaker, fell
in love with a stunning beauty, Emily, and gave her the copy of Beauty and the
Beast as a symbol of their love. Soon afterward, he died in a car crash, and
Brooklyn has always suspected his possessive ex-girlfriend and her jealous
Now she decides to find out who sold the book and return it to its rightful
owner—Emily. She believes a rare book dealer can assist her, but when she
arrives at his shop, she finds him murdered. Is it possible the same couple who
may have killed Daniel is now after his edition of Beauty and the Beast? With
the help of her handsome boyfriend, Derek Stone, Brooklyn must unravel the
murder plot—before she ends up in a plot herself.
(A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery #3)
By E. J. Copperman
Berkley (Prime Crime); $7.99
The ghosts haunting Alison Kerby's Jersey Shore guesthouse are sad. Maxie wants
to know who murdered her ex-husband, and Paul pines for his still-living almost-
fiancee. The only one who isn't missing her ex is Alison—because The
Swine just arrived on her doorstep.
WALLED FLOWER (A Victoria Square Mystery #2)
By Lorraine Bartlett
Berkley (Prime Crime); $7.99
Murder Is Right Up Her Alley.
If Katie Bonner's late husband hadn't invested all their savings in the craft
fair Artisans Alley—which Katie is now responsible for keeping in the
black—the Webster mansion could have been hers to remodel. For years she
dreamed of renovating the old place on Victoria Square into a bed and
breakfast. Now that dream belongs to another young couple.
But their dream becomes a nightmare when a skeleton is discovered, sealed in
one of the walls of the mansion. The bones belong to Heather Winston, who went
missing twenty-two years ago. Her aunt is Rose Nash, a jewelry vendor at
Artisans Alley, who is determined to find her niece's murderer, and asks for
Katie's help to do it. The case may be cold, but the killer is very much
alive—and ready to go to any lengths to keep past secrets buried.
A FITTING END:
(A Magical Dressmaking Mystery #2)
By Melissa Bourbon
Former Manhattan fashion designer Harlow Jane Cassidy has a gift for creating
beautiful dresses. But when Harlow becomes the prime suspect in a murder
investigation, she'll need more than her sewing skills to unravel the mystery.
Business is booming at Harlow's custom dressmaking boutique, Buttons & Bows,
even with the presence of her great-grandmother's ghost hanging around the
shop. But thanks to the fast approaching Margaret Moffette Lea Pageant and
Ball, Harlow has her work cut out for her when Mrs. Zinnia James hires her to
make her granddaughter's pageant gown. With the debutant ball getting the whole
town of Bliss, Texas into a tizzy, Harlow knows her dress has to be perfect.
But when a local golf pro is found stabbed to death with dressmaking shears,
the new deputy thinks Harlow and Mrs. James conspired to commit the crime. Now
Harlow has to finish the dress on time and clear her name before the next
outfit she designs is a prison jumpsuit...
BURIED IN A
BOOK (A Novel Idea Mystery – Debut Series)
By Lucy Arlington
Berkley (Prime Crime); $7.99
After receiving her first pink slip at the age of forty-five, former newspaper
journalist Lila Wilkins is desperate for work, even if it means taking a pay
cut. After combing through the classifieds, Lila accepts an internship at A
Novel Idea, a thriving literary agency in the utopian town of Inspiration
Valley, North Carolina.
Lila can't imagine anything better than being paid to read, but with a crew of
quirky co-workers and a sky-high stack of query letters, she doesn't exactly
have time to discover the next great bestseller—especially when a
penniless aspiring author drops dead in the agency's waiting room.
No one else seems too concerned about the man's demise, but when Lila uncovers
a series of threatening letters, she's determined to uncover what—or
who—killed the man's dreams of literary stardom.
BY CAMEMBERT (A Cheese Shop Mystery #3)
By Avery Aames
Berkley (Prime Crime); $7.99
A soft cheese and a hard mystery.
Charlotte Bessette—proprietor of Fromagerie Bessette, affectionately
known in Providence, Ohio, as the Cheese Shop—is busy setting up her tent
for the town's Winter Wonderland faire, where she'll offer fine wines and
scrumptious cheeses. In the midst of the preparations, Charlotte meets an old
friend of her mother, Kaitlyn Clydesdale, who has come back to Providence with
plans to start a new honeybee farm.
When Kaitlyn is found dead in the cottage of Charlotte's assistant Rebecca,
suspicion falls on Rebecca's boyfriend, a honeybee farmer himself. Charlotte
knows this beekeeper wouldn't hurt a fly, so she decides to find the real
killer. While the town buzzes with gossip, can Charlotte catch the culprit
without getting stung herself?
DEATH ON HEELS
(A Crime of Fashion Mystery #8)
By Ellen Byerrum
Never! D.C. style scribe Lacey Smithsonian always swore she would never go
back—back to Sagebrush, Colorado, that scruffy hard-luck Western boomtown
where she'd earned her reporter's spurs. But then three young women are
murdered, their bodies left barefoot on lonely country roads, and the accused
is her old boyfriend, Sagebrush rancher Cole Tucker. Lacey cowgirls up and
heads out West (in her best cowboy boots) to prove Tucker's innocence. And
perhaps to resolve the last of her old feelings for the man she had loved and
left. Naturally, Lacey's plan doesn't sit well with her current beau, private
investigator Vic Donovan, who has his own history (and game plan) in Sagebrush.
Tucker takes one look at Lacey and kicks over everyone's game plan: He abducts
her in a daring courthouse escape into the badlands of northern Colorado. On
the run from the law with her old flame, in stolen vehicles and on horseback,
with Vic and the posse in pursuit, Lacey's world turns upside down. Who can she
trust? Tucker or Vic? The law or her own feelings and her reporter's instincts?
Caught between two men, with a vicious killer on her trail, Death on Heels is a
whole new—and potentially fatal—frontier for this fashion reporter.
CAKE ON A
HOT TIN ROOF (A Piece of Cake Mystery #2)
By Jacklyn Brady
Berkley (Prime Crime); $7.99
Pastry chef Rita Lucero's Mardi Gras party turns funereal when one of her
guests is found dead after a public fight with her uncle—leaving Rita no
choice but to find the real killer and clear her uncle's name...
GEM OF A
GHOST: A Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery
By Sue Ann
Midnight Ink; $14.95
(I absolutely adore Sue Ann's books, and her Ghost of Granny Apples mysteries
are one of my favorite!)
When overbearing, ultra-rich Joanna Reid demands that Emma Whitecastle get rid
of the ghost of her late husband Max, a former action film star who was killed
in a car accident, Emma intends to refuse. But when Joanna reveals that she
thinks Max killed himself, Emma decides to help find out why the film star's
spirit has returned. Joanna may know more than she lets on, including why
Lainey, her daughter with Max, has attempted suicide multiple times. Emma and
Granny Apples have their "nosing about" work cut out for them in this multi-
faceted, ghost-filled mystery.
LOUISA AND THE CRYSTAL GAZER (A Louisa May Alcott Mystery #3)
By Anna Maclean
Obsidian Trade; $14.00
(Originally published May 2006 in mass market paperback.)
A young Louisa May Alcott accompanies her friend Sylvia to visit Boston's most
famous spiritual medium, Mrs. Agatha D. Percy, to contact Sylvia's long-dead
father. Louisa isn't one to believe such foolishness—until one of the
seer's predictions comes true. Louisa and Sylvia visit the seer again, but Mrs.
Percy's days of divination have been cut brutally short by a killer. Now,
Louisa must solve the mystery of the crystal gazer's untimely death by
uncovering the shocking truth about her life.
CHOCOLATE COVERED MURDER: A
Lucy Stone Mystery
By Leslie Meier
Kensington Books; $24.00
Between a cutthroat dessert contest and her daughter's new job at the fanciest
chocolate shop Tinker's Cove has ever seen, Lucy Stone is on a steady diet of
tempting treats! But with a killer on the loose, and Valentine's Day around the
corner, there may be nothing sweeter than revenge.
It's frigid in snow-covered Tinker's Cove, and Lucy is fighting the winter
blues--and her widening waistline. No one in their right mind would vacation in
Maine this time of year, but to boost the economy, the town is launching a
travel promotion for Valentine's Day.
As a reporter for the Pennysaver, Lucy is assigned a puff piece on upscale
Chanticleer's Chocolates, and its deliciously handsome owner, Trey Meacham. But
when a local fisherman drowns suspiciously, Lucy's certain her investigative
skills could be put to better use.
Everyone is shocked when Fern's Famous Fudge loses its status as "Best Candy on
the Coast" to Chanticleer's pricey newfangled confections. And Lucy soon
discovers there's another tantalizing tart behind the counter. Sultry store
manager Tamzin Graves is only too eager to serve her male clientele--who find
her as mouthwatering as her beef-jerky-spiked truffles. Leaving a throng of
jealous women in her wake, it's almost no surprise when Tamzin is the next to
turn up dead, her body covered in chocolate. Could a bitter ex-wife be behind
the crimes? Or a candy shop competitor? There's no sugar-coating the truth, and
as Lucy closes in on the culprit, she may find herself locked in the clutches
of a half-baked killer.
MURDER IN A
BASKET: An India Hayes Mystery
By Amanda Flower
Five Star; $25.95
(Watch for my review of this book here on Fresh Fiction, coming soon!)
College librarian and struggling artist India Hayes isn't sure how her older
sister Carmen talked her into managing a face-painting booth at the Stripling,
Ohio, Founders' Day Festival or how Carmen convinced her to wear the pink
gingham pioneer dress, including mobcap and granny boots, but that's where she
finds herself in a chilly October just before Halloween.
India's annoyance turns to suspicion as she discovers the body of Zen-like
basket weaver, Tess Ross, on the festival grounds. Tess leaves behind an angry
blacksmith husband, a confused adopted son, greedy siblings, a dysfunctional
artists' co-op, and a chocolate-colored labradoodle with a two-million-dollar
trust in his name.
Much to India's dismay, she learns Tess is the sister of her stuffy college
provost, Samuel Lepcheck, and the mother of a library student worker, Derek,
who has an irrepressible crush on India that she's doing her best to ignore.
Derek begs India to investigate his mother's murder.
Despite the urgings of handsome Police Detective Rick Mains to stay out of the
investigation, India agrees to Derek's request and finds herself playing sleuth
as well as foster-owner to Zacchaeus, the two-million-dollar labradoodle.
With her own eccentric family commenting from the sidelines and her Irish-
centric landlady, Ina Carroll, as volunteer sidekick, India must discover the
truth before she has a permanent canine houseguest or she ends up the next
victim in the basket weaver's murder.
Hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day, and a great February! Cozy Reading,
I LOVE cozy mysteries and am on the lookout for a few new authors that I have not tried. Thanks to this GREAT site, I now have a list of interesting possibilities to take to the store with me. First-timer on this site, and will be back. This is very convenient for me since I live a long drive to the nearest bookstore. That cuts down on my ability to stay abreast of what is out there. THANKS.
(DonnaCarol Loftis 4:41pm February 13, 2012)
Haven't read any of the above authors, as only a very few bookstores in Ireland stock cozies - Murder Ink and other specialists. And if I don't know who to search for on Amazon I will not see them. Now I know what to look for, this is very helpful.
(Clare O'Beara 6:12am June 15)