Getting Cozy with the Best of 2017
December 19, 2017
It's hard to pick the best mysteries of the past year, especially when I'm
limited on space. I don't feature a book I don't love, so if you've seen it on
the Cozy Corner, you
know I adored it. Yet each year I torture myself by trying to list the best
mysteries, and considering I never come close to reading all of the books in my
to-be-read file, it's an impossible task. What if the best is still at
the bottom of that pile?!
This year the challenge seemed even more difficult and my pile even bigger,
which led me to choose books that resonated with me, for one reason or another,
throughout the past twelve months. I hope you enjoy my picks for 2017's best
- ON HER MAJESTY'S
FRIGHTFULLY SECRET SERVICE
In the new Royal Spyness Mystery from the New York Times
bestselling author of Crowned and Dangerous, Lady Georgiana Rannoch
juggles secret missions from the Queen, Darcy, and her mother. But it’s all in a
day’s work when you’re thirty-fifth in line to the British Crown.
When Darcy runs off on another secret assignment, I am left to figure out how
to travel to Italy sans maid and chaperone to help my dear friend Belinda, as
she awaits the birth of her baby alone. An opportunity presents itself in a most
unexpected way—my cousin the queen is in need of a spy to attend a house party
in the Italian lake country. The Prince of Wales and the dreadful Mrs. Simpson
have been invited, and Her Majesty is anxious to thwart a possible secret
What luck! A chance to see Belinda and please the queen as I seek her
permission to relinquish my claim to the throne so I can marry Darcy. Only
that’s as far as my good fortune takes me. I soon discover that Mummy is
attending the villa party and she has her own secret task for me. Then, Darcy
shows up and tells me that the fate of a world on the brink of war could very
well depend on what I overhear at dinner! I shouldn’t be all that surprised when
one of my fellow guests is murdered and my Italian holiday becomes a
[Berkley, On Sale: August 1, 2017, Hardcover /
e-Book, ISBN: 9780425283509 / eISBN: 9780698410251]
a Cuppa, Sit Back, and Enjoy!
highly engaging royally connected murder mystery!
- DEATH IN D
Gethsemane Brown, African-American classical musician and expatriate to an
Irish village, solved a string of murders, led a school orchestra to victory in
a major competition, and got used to living with a snarky ghost. She can rest
easy over the Christmas holiday. Right? Wrong. The ghost has disappeared, her
landlord's about to sell her cottage to a hotel developer, and her
brother-in-law is coming for a visit--with one day's notice.
She scrambles to call her spectral roomie back from beyond and find a way to
save the cottage from certain destruction. But real estate takes a backseat when
her brother-in-law is accused of stealing a valuable antique. Gethsemane strikes
a deal with a garda investigator to go undercover as a musician at a charity
ball and snoop for evidence linking antiques to a forgery/theft ring in exchange
for the investigator's help clearing her brother-in-law. At the party, she
accidentally conjures the ghost of an eighteenth-century sea captain, then ends
up the prime suspect in the party host's murder. With the captain's help, she
races to untangle a web of phony art and stolen antiques to exonerate herself
and her brother-in-law. Then the killer targets her. Will she save herself and
bring a thief and murderer to justice, or will her encore investigation become
her swan song?
Mystery | Mystery Cozy [Henery Press, On Sale: July 17, 2017, e-Book, ISBN:
2940157335342 / eISBN: 9781635112320]
- MAGICK &
What’s in a murderer’s bag of tricks?
Twenty-something Kailyn Wilde has learned to embrace her unpredictable life
as a descendant of small-town New Camel’s most magickal family. She just didn’t
expect to inherit her mother and grandmother’s centuries-old shop, Abracadabra,
so suddenly. The surprises keep coming when Kailyn goes to finalize the estate
at the local attorney’s office—and stumbles over the body of her best friend
Elise’s husband . . .
As a brash detective casts the blame on Elise, Kailyn summons her deepest
powers to find answers and start an investigation of her own. What with running
a business, perfecting ancient spells, and keeping up with an uninvited guest of
fabled origins, Kailyn has her hands full. But with the help of her uncanny
black cat Sashkatu and her muumuu-clad Aunt Tilly, she’s closing in on a
killer—who will do anything to make sure she never tests her supernatural skills
Mystery Cozy [Lyrical Press, On Sale: May 2, 2017, Paperback / e-Book,
ISBN: 9781516100569 / eISBN: 9781516100552]
- NOT A
CREATURE WAS PURRING
A Paws and Claws
Holly Miller is home in Wagtail for the holidays! Inspired by her German
heritage, Holly’s grandmother, Oma, has arranged for the town to have a
Christkindl Market with adorable booths selling goodies, decorations, and
visitors to come from out of town to enjoy the market and howliday festivities.
But Holly’s Christmas joy is nearly stolen when she learns that her old flame
and childhood friend Holmes Richardson has brought his fiancé home for the
holidays, and they’ll be staying at the Sugar Maple Inn!
Only, a love triangle is the last thing on Holly’s mind after her nose for
trouble leads to the corpse of a beloved, pet-clothing business tycoon. It’s up
to Holly and her dedicated detectives—Trixie the Jack Russell and Twinkletoes
the cat—to snoop for the killer.
Holiday [Berkley, On Sale: November 7, 2017, Mass Market Paperback
/ e-Book, ISBN: 9781101988589 / eISBN: 9781101988596]
For fans of Gillian Flynn and Pretty Little Liars, The
Darkest Corners is a psychological thriller about the lies little girls
tell, and the deadly truths those lies become.
There are secrets around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left
when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about what
happened there that last summer.
She and her childhood best friend Callie never talked about what they saw.
Not before the trial. And certainly not after.
But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. Things have never quite
added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette—to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on
death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the one other person who
may be hiding the truth.
Only the closer Tessa gets to what really happened, the closer she gets to a
killer—and this time, it won’t be so easy to run away.
Young Adult Suspense
| Thriller [Ember, On Sale: May 9, 2017, Trade Size / e-Book
(reprint), ISBN: 9780553521481 / eISBN: 9780553521474]
Thrilling, Edge of Your Seat Suspense
thriller full of unexpected twists and turns
- THE LAST
CHANCE OLIVE RANCH
In this exciting new mystery from New York Times bestselling author
Susan Wittig Albert, China Bayles fears for her husband’s life as an escaped
convict targets him...
Max Mantel, the killer McQuaid put away years ago, has busted out of the
Huntsville prison and appears to be headed for Pecan Springs. McQuaid knows
there’s only one way to stop the vengeful convict—set a trap with himself as
China wants to stay by her husband’s side and keep him from harm. But McQuaid
insists that she get out of town and go to the Last Chance Olive Ranch, where
she’s agreed to teach a workshop on herbs.
When China and her best friend arrive at the ranch, she learns the owner,
Maddie Haskell, has her own troubles. She inherited the ranch and olive oil
business from the late matriarch, Eliza Butler, but Eliza’s nephew is contesting
While China throws herself into helping Maddie, McQuaid’s plan backfires when
Mantel executes a countermove he never saw coming. Now McQuaid’s life is not the
only one at stake—and this time may really be his last chance...
Mystery Cozy [Berkley Prime Crime, On Sale: April 4, 2017, Hardcover /
e-Book, ISBN: 9780425280034 / eISBN: 9780698190283]
night calls always lead to trouble....
Download one of these great mysteries, or another one I featured on the Cozy
Corner during 2017—you won't regret it. And if you'd like to start your new year
off with something lyrical, pick up a copy of my latest Book Barn Mystery,
Until next time, get cozy and have a Happy New Year!
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