A love for reading was instilled in me at an early age and I
remember reading Gothic romances tinged with a touch of mystery as far back as middle
school. Cozy mysteries and paranormal stories (urban fantasy especially) were natural fits for
me as I grew older but what a great surprise to discover cozy mysteries that blended my love
for the genre with my love of the paranormal!
How could anyone not love a magical bookstore?
is quickly becoming one of my favorites for cozy mysteries
with that delightful paranormal touch and her series, Magical Bookshop, is practically a
must read for all book lovers. Charming Books is exactly the kind of bookstore I would love to
browse, a bookstore where the book you need will fly off the shelves just for your reading
pleasure. There are three books in the series, CRIME
AND POETRY, PROSE
AND CONS, and MURDERS AND METAPHORS (releasing
in February 2019), and each book is as delightful to read as one would expect. After all,
there’s a magical bookshop involved!
Magical bookstores aren’t my only love, however, as
enchanted gardens have captured my heart as well (particularly during gardening season
when I aspire to plant my own special corner of the world). Amanda Flower and Bailey Cattrell both deliver wonderful series about gardens. Amanda Flower’s
Magic Garden Mystery series
features two books, FLOWERS AND FOUL PLAY and DEATH AND DAISIES, while
Bailey Cattrell’s Enchanted Garden series features three books, DAISIES FOR INNOCENCE,
NIGHTSHADE FOR WARNING, and MARIGOLDS FOR MALICE. Amanda Flower presents the magical garden against the backdrop
of Scotland, offering readers an ongoing story thread as Fiona Knox is discovering the secrets
of her inherited garden. Bailey Cattrell takes a different approach. Her garden has tiny faerie
gardens hidden within her garden but the main enchanted feature of her stories is Elliana
Allbright’s uncanny ability to smell just the right scents to help others. Her shop, Scents
& Nonsense, features custom-made perfumes. Both Bailey Cattrell and Amanda Flower
offer up charming gardens and shops that make me want to visit them.
Susan Wittig Albert
has long been one of my favorite cozy mystery authors
and her latest book, QUEEN ANNE’S LACE, takes a different approach than the prior books in the China
Bayles series. For the first time, China
admits that the store, Thyme and Seasons, just might be haunted as we have a mysterious
Scottish ballad, the sounds of a ringing bell, and a lavender sprig that keeps popping up in
unexpected places. I love that Susan Wittig Albert takes us on a different type of mystery in
QUEEN ANNE’S LACE as it gives me a
whole new appreciation for Thyme and Seasons. The ghostly presence challenges China’s
skepticism while offering readers one heck of a good read.
So what are some cozy mysteries with paranormal elements that have grabbed your interest?
I’m always looking for my next great read and would love to hear what other readers
ABOUT THE AUTHORS MENTIONED:
Witty Suspense with hope
, an Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in
elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class
in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that
moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Her debut mystery,
Maid of Murder, was an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel. Amanda is an academic
librarian for a small college near Cleveland. She also writes mysteries as Isabella Alan
believes magic is all around us if we only look for it. After earning
degrees in philosophy and English, she held a variety of positions ranging from driver's license
examiner to soap maker. She traveled the world as a localization program manager, but now
sticks close to home, where she writes, cooks, and tends to a dozen garden beds. Bailey
resides in Colorado with her guy and two felines: Cheesecat the Orange and Minerva the
asthmatic wonder kitty.
Susan Wittig Albert is the award-winning, NYT
bestselling author of Loving
(2016), about the intimate friendship of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok; and
A Wilder Rose
(2014), about Rose Wilder Lane and the writing of the Little House
Her award-winning fiction also includes mysteries in the China Bayles series, the
Darling Dahlias, the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, and a series of Victorian-
Edwardian mysteries she has written with her husband, Bill Albert, under the pseudonym of
She has written two memoirs: An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days and Together,
Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place, published by the University of Texas Press.
She is founder and current president (2015-2017) of the Story Circle Network and a member
of the Texas Institute of Letters.
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