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Sharon's Cozy Corner
All about the cozy mysteries: interviews, reviews, books

Ten Favorite Cozy Mysteries of 2009

Wow, the holidays are here, and I’m feeling so unprepared! But as I scurry about getting presents wrapped, and candies made, I have been reflecting back on all the good books I have read this year!

My scheduled interview with author Joanne Fluke has been postponed until February. So, in its place, I thought that I would present my top 10 favorite cozy mysteries that I have read this year. In no particular order, they are:

Pretty Is As Pretty Dies: A Myrtle Clover Mystery By Elizabeth Spann Craig Midnight Ink; $13.95

Elizabeth Spann Craig delivers up one spunky crime-solver in her delightful new mystery, PRETTY IS AS PRETTY DIES, Myrtle Clover and her fellow town folk are a unique and quirky bunch, and it’s just a delight getting to know them as Myrtle searches for clues to solve the crime of the year. The character of Myrtle is a hoot, as is her nosy neighbor Erma Sherman, her poor beleagured daughter-in-law Elaine, long suffering son Red, and the handsome new widower Miles Bradford. I look forward to future tales of crime-fighter Myrtle and her band of southern side-kicks!

Sew Deadly: A Southern Sewing Circle Mystery By Elizabeth Lynn Casey Berkley Prime Crime; $7.99

SEW DEADLY was a pure delight from start to finish. Author Elizabeth Lynn Casey captures the true essence of “Southern-ness” from the sweet tea right down to the “bless your hearts.” This is such a comfortable novel that readers will feel right at home on Tori’s front porch, if she can ever find a bulb for the light. And the gorgeous artwork on the cover is taken right from the description of Tori’s living room – just perfect.

Curing The Blues With A New Pair of Shoes By Dixie Cash Avon Books; $13.99

Dixie Cash’s latest book, CURING THE BLUES WITH A NEW PAIR OF SHOES, catches readers up on the antics of Debbie Sue Overstreet and Edwina Perkins-Martin, otherwise known as the Domestic Equalizers, as they scurry around trying to figure out who would be crass enough to take the King’s shoes. With Elvis impersonators galore, a visit from the Flying Elvises, and a romantic answer to the mystery of the day, readers won’t have to make a trip to “Heartbreak Hotel” to find a hunka-hunka “Burning Love” for CURING THE BLUES WITH A NEW PAIR OF SHOES. Thank ya…thank ya v’ry much.

Cream Puff Murder: A Hannah Swenson Mystery By Joanne Fluke Kensington Books; $24

What do cream puff pastries; regency romance, exercising and murder have in common? Not a lot, unless you are Hannah Swenson and the cream puffs you made for your mother’s regency romance novel unveiling were found with the murdered body of the town’s exercise maven. In a hot tub, no less!

In CREAM PUFF MURDER, Joanne Fluke once again delights her readers with a lively mystery and a bevy of delicious recipes to boot. CREAM PUFF MURDER is Fluke’s 11th novel, and she has managed to retain the same quirky cast of characters that her readers have come to adore, as well as providing some of most delicious recipes to be found. No. 12, PLUM PUDDING MURDER, came out this fall, and lucky No. 13, APPLE TURNOVER MURDER, will be a spring release for 2010.

Eggs Benedict Arnold By Laura Childs Berkley Prime Crime; $7.99

In EGGS BENEDICT ARNOLD, her 2nd book of the Cackleberry Club Mysteries, author Laura Childs once again delivers a delicious platter of thrilling who-done-it, with a side of friendship and humor and for dessert – a spectacular collection of recipes sure to quench anyone’s hunger for great food! The Cackleberry Club is a delightful combination of old-time café, knitting nook and book shop, run by three middle- aged friends, Suzanne, Toni and Petra. Known for their wonderful food, the gals are also known as being able to solve a mystery or two, much to the vexation of the local sheriff. Just a delightful series!

Serial Killer Sudoku: A Katie McDonald Mytery By Shelley Freydont Running Press Books; $12.95

In SERIAL KILLER SUDOKU, the third book of the puzzle-based series, author Shelly Freydont offers a lively, fast paced mystery full of twists and turns, numbers and clues. Her main character, Kate McDonald, is a champion Sudoku (a number-based puzzle) solver is feisty and smart and eager to solve the latest puzzle or mystery that comes her way. Mystery lovers will enjoy this series, as well as puzzle admirers. Each chapter features a new Sudoku puzzle (and the answers are provided in the back!).

Wormwood By Susan Wittig Albert Berkley Prime Crime; $24.95

Texas author Susan Wittig Albert is a very busy lady. In addition to writing a Victorian mystery series with her husband, Bill Albert, and her own series “The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter,” as well as a couple of non-fiction books, Albert released the seventeenth book in her beloved China Bayles mysteries, and it’s a book of pure delight.

WORMWOOD departs from the usual setting of Pecan Springs, Texas where the heroine of the series, China Bayles, owns an herb shop called Thyme and Seasons, and is known for solving many a mystery in her spare time. This tale follows China as she travels with her friend, Martha, north to Kentucky to help conduct an herbal seminar at a Shaker Community museum. Lovers of cozy mysteries will find this installment of the China Bayles saga a bit different from the usual antics of the herbalist sleuth, but should find it enjoyable all the same.

Fat Chance By Rhonda Pollero Pocket Books; $14

As you can imagine, having the last name of Chance for 26 years, I have heard every “chance” joke to come down the line. So I winced a little bit when the new novel by Rhonda Pollero crossed my desk. A book called FAT CHANCE. Ok, I’ll give it a shot. Turns out, Pollero has produced a cute, well-written and intriguing suspense novel.

The Fat in FAT CHANCE actually stands for the heroine of the story, Finely Anderson Tanner. Finely is an estates and trusts paralegal for a prestigious law firm in Palm Beach, Florida. She is a sucker for fashion, a master at discovering fabulous EBay bargains, and much to her mother’s chagrin, has solved a murder or two or three. The third book in this series, FAT CHANCE turned out to be a charming story with a thrilling ending. I’m glad I took a “chance” on it!

Treasure of the Golden Cheetah By Suzanne Arruda Obsidian Books; $24.95

In the fifth installment of the Jade del Cameron Mysteries, TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH, author Suzanne Arruda delights her readers once again with the adventures of a strong female character not afraid of a little dirt and discomfort. Jade del Cameron is one of the feistiest heroine’s I’ve run across in a long time and it’s pure fun and excitement keeping up with her escapades.

Ghastly Glass: A Renaissance Faire Mystery By Joyce and Jim Lavene Berkley Prime Crime; $7.99

In GHASTLY GLASS, their second installment of the Renaissance Faire Mystery series, authors Joyce and Jim Lavene deliver another delightful tale of merriment and mayhem in ye days of olde. The setting for this series is just charming, and the band of merry characters that work at the Faire are full of sass and vigor. The spark of romance between Jessie and Chase is a nice addition to the spooky who-dunit mystery.

I enjoy Joyce and Jim Lavene’s work, and admire the husband and wife team for their prolific output of work. They also write several other mystery series, including the Peggy Lee Garden Mysteries.

So there you have it! Ten lovely, cozy mysteries that I felt were the best of the best of 2009! They are all sure to keep you warm and happy through the winter! Until next month, cozy reading and Happy Holidays everyone!

 

 

Comments

1 comment posted.

Re: Ten Favorite Cozy Mysteries of 2009

Thank you for the cozy/amateur sleuth top ten for the year. I added quite a few titles to my Wanton Wantin' Book List.
(Vickie Browning 12:55pm December 29, 2009)

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