Wow, the holidays are here, and Iâ€™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:
As Pretty Dies: A Myrtle Clover Mystery
By Elizabeth Spann
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 itâ€™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!
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 â€śSouthern-nessâ€ť from the sweet tea right down to
the â€śbless your hearts.â€ť This is such a comfortable novel that readers will
feel right at home on Toriâ€™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 Toriâ€™s living room â€“ just perfect.
The Blues With A New Pair of Shoes
By Dixie Cash
Avon Books; $13.99
Dixie Cashâ€™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 Kingâ€™s shoes. With Elvis impersonators galore, a visit from
the Flying Elvises, and a romantic answer to the mystery of the day, readers
wonâ€™t have to make a trip to â€śHeartbreak Hotelâ€ť to find a hunka-hunka â€śBurning
Loveâ€ť for CURING THE BLUES
WITH A NEW PAIR OF SHOES. Thank yaâ€¦thank ya vâ€™ry much.
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 motherâ€™s regency romance novel unveiling were found with the murdered
body of the townâ€™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 Flukeâ€™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.
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 â€“ a spectacular collection of recipes sure
to quench anyoneâ€™s hunger for great food! The Cackleberry Club is a delightful
combination of old-time cafĂ©, 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!
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!).
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 â€śThe Cottage Tales
of Beatrix Potter,â€ť as well as a couple of non-fiction books, Albert
released the seventeenth book in her beloved China Bayles mysteries, and itâ€™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.
By Rhonda Pollero
Pocket Books; $14
As you can imagine, having the last name of Chance for 26 years, I have heard
every â€śchanceâ€ť 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, Iâ€™ll give
it a shot. Turns out, Pollero has produced a cute, well-written and intriguing
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 motherâ€™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. Iâ€™m glad I took a â€śchanceâ€ť on it!
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 heroineâ€™s Iâ€™ve run across
in a long time and itâ€™s pure fun and excitement keeping up with her escapades.
Glass: A Renaissance Faire Mystery
By Joyce and Jim
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
Laveneâ€™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!
1 comment posted.
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)