Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Dozen Cozy Mysteries for Cool Summer Reading Fun!

Summer beach reading doesn’t have to be limited to hot and steamy romances or chick lit fiction!  For fans of mystery, intrigue, and charming settings, a good cozy mystery will fit the bill for a great summer read just fine!

And there are plenty of great books out this summer that will appeal to nearly anyone’s taste!  Here is an even dozen that I have found worthy of space in my beach bag!

Lorna Barrett takes her readers back to a town full of bookstores and more mysteries than you can shake a bookmark at with her 6th novel in the “Booktown” Mystery series.

Murder On The Half Shell: A Booktown Mystery
By Lorna Barrett
Berkley Prime Crime; $24.95

Stoneham, New Hampshire, is a haven to bookstores, including Tricia’s own mystery shop, Haven’t Got a Clue, but is sadly lacking in bed and breakfasts. Pippa and Jon Comfort’s Sheer Comfort Inn opens its doors to the public in a week and the couple has offered some locals a free night as a trial run.

But what should have been a pleasant overnight stay for Tricia becomes a nightmare when she makes two startling discoveries: Pippa’s murdered body in the backyard, and the fact that her husband Jon is actually Harry Tyler, a man Tricia loved—and believed dead—for nearly twenty years.

Now Harry is the prime suspect, but Tricia doesn’t believe him capable of murder, regardless of her own feelings toward him. And even though Harry’s led a life of lies, Tricia’s learning that Pippa had her share of secrets that some people may have not wanted revealed.

If witches and fortune tellers are interesting to you, then these two books will be just what your reading bag will need!


Lethal Outlook: A Psychic Eye Mystery
By Victoria Laurie
Obsidian Books; $23.95

When a mysterious client approaches Abby with a cryptic message about a young mother who has vanished, Abby is more than willing to get involved. After all, it’s the perfect distraction from dealing with the headache of her sister Cat — who has flown into town and turned Abby and Dutch’s impending nuptials into Weddingpalooza.

After Abby recruits her business partner and BFF, Candice, to assist, they meet with the parents of the missing woman. But the parents refuse to put their faith in a psychic. What’s worse, due to a grave misunderstanding, the family suspects Abby has a connection to their daughter’s husband — the man they believe to be responsible for her disappearance.

So while the family may be blind to the truth, with a potential killer in her sights, Abby is determined to keep her eyes wide open.

Corpse In The Crystal Ball: A Fortune Teller Mystery
By Kari Lee Townsend
Berkley Prime Crime; $7.99

Psychic Sunshine Meadows makes a dark discovery in the woods...

After clearing her name as the prime suspect in a murder, Sunny Meadows hopes she can finally enjoy some serenity in the idyllic town of Divinity in upstate New York. She’d also like a second chance with Detective Mitch Stone. But when Mitch’s gorgeous ex-girlfriend Isabel Gonzales shows up, Sunny’s not sure she can compete. Then Isabel mysteriously disappears.

When the police turn to Sunny for help, her visions lead to the discovery of Isabel’s corpse in the woods. Before she died, Isabel scrawled a message in the dirt implicating Mitch in her murder. Now Sunny must help the man she’s falling in love with as she sets out to find the real killer. But this time Sunny’s clairvoyant abilities might not save her—as what she doesn’t see can hurt her...

Do you love vintage clothes?  Do you wonder about the mystery surrounding the fascinating garments?  Then these two books will sew up your reading plans as you following the intriguing mysteries!

In A Witch’s Wardrobe: A Witchcraft Mystery
By Juliet Blackwell
Obsidian Books; $7.99

Lily Ivory is living her dream of owning a vintage clothing store—and practicing magic on the side. But when she encounters a sinister sleeping spell, Lily comes face-to-face with a nightmarish evil.

Taking a night off from running her successful San Francisco clothing store, Lily attends a local art deco ball where vintage fashions steal the show. But when a young woman at the event falls under a mysterious sleeping sickness, Lily senses that a curse was placed on the woman’s corsage.

Before Lily can solve the woman’s magical ailment, she’s asked to assist in investigating a string of poisonings in the Bay Area Witchcraft community. She’s gained the trust of the local covens by supporting women’s charities through her clothing store. But soon, Lily suspects that one of her new acquaintances might not be so well intentioned and could be dabbling in dark magic and deadly botany...

Cloaked In Malice: A Vintage Magic Mystery
By Annette Blair
Berkley Prime Crime; $7.99

There’s nothing Maddie loves more than fabulous vintage clothes, but the visions she gets while touching them are starting to wear her down. Even so, when a beautifully dressed girl comes to Vintage Magic in search of her past, Maddie isn’t about to turn her away, especially since she bears a striking resemblance to her good friend Dolly Sweet.

When Maddie touches Paisley Skye’s exquisitely crafted child’s cloak, the vision she receives is of the ugliest sort: a decades-old case of kidnapping and murder. To give herself more time to investigate, Maddie enlists the help of her FBI Agent boyfriend Nick and takes Paisley into her home. But when Dolly suddenly skips town, Maddie realizes that uncovering the folds of Paisley’s past will reveal more than one vintage crime...

Mysteries and food seem to go hand in hand, well, it does with the following three novels!  Brownies, cupcakes, and pies – oh my!  And mystery too!  Check out these delicious selections! 

Brownies and Broomsticks: A Magical Bakery Mystery
By Bailey Cates
Obsidian Books; $7.99

Katie Lightfoot’s tired of loafing around as the assistant manager of an Ohio bakery. So when her aunt Lucy and uncle Ben open a bakery in Savannah’s quaint downtown district and ask Katie to join them, she enthusiastically agrees.

While working at the Honeybee Bakery—named after Lucy’s cat—Katie notices that her aunt is adding mysterious herbs to her recipes. Turns out these herbal enhancements aren’t just tasty—Aunt Lucy is a witch and her recipes are actually spells!

When a curmudgeonly customer is murdered outside the Honeybee Bakery, Uncle Ben becomes the prime suspect. With the help of handsome journalist Steve Dawes, charming firefighter Declan McCarthy, and a few spells, Katie and Aunt Lucy stir up some toil and trouble to clear Ben’s name and find the real killer.

Red Velvet Revenge: A Cupcake Bakery Mystery
By Jenn McKinlay
Berkley Prime Crime; $7.99

It may be summertime, but sales at Fairy Tale Cupcakes are below zero—and owners Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are willing to try anything to heat things up. So when local legend Slim Hazard offers them the chance to sell cupcakes at the annual Juniper Pass rodeo, they’re determined to rope in a pretty payday!

But not everyone at the Juniper Pass is as sweet for Fairy Tale Cupcakes as Slim—including star bull-rider Ty Stokes. Mel and Angie try to steer clear of the cowboy’s short fuse, but when his dead body is found face down in the hay, it’s a whole different rodeo.

With a vengeful murderer on the loose, the ladies are quickly realizing that while they came to save their business, they may have to save themselves—and that’s no bull.

Pies and Prejudice: A Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery
By Ellery Adams
Berkley Prime Crime; $7.99

When the going gets tough, Ella Mae LaFaye bakes pies. So when she catches her husband cheating in New York, she heads back home to Havenwood, Georgia, where she can drown her sorrows in fresh fruit filling and flakey crust. But her pies aren’t just delicious. They’re having magical effects on the people who eat them—and the public is hungry for more.

Discovering her hidden talent for enchantment, Ella Mae makes her own wish come true by opening the Charmed Pie Shoppe. But with her old nemesis Loralyn Gaynor making trouble, and her old crush Hugh Dylan making nice, she has more than pie on her plate. and when Loralyn’s fiancé is found dead—killed with Ella Mae’s rolling pin―it’ll take all her sweet magic to clear her name.

Gardening and high society may seem gentle and quiet, but in a debut series from Alyse Carlson, crime and mystery can be found among the tea in the gardens! This promises to be a fun series to watch for!

The Azalea Assault: A Garden Society Mystery
By Alyse Carlson
Berkley Prime Crime; $7.99

Roanoke, Virginia, is home to some of the country’s most exquisite gardens, and it’s Camellia Harris’ job to promote them. But when an out of towner turns up dead, she discovers there’s no good way to spin murder.

Camellia Harris has achieved a coup in the PR world. The premier national magazine for garden lovers has agreed to feature one of Roanoke’s most spectacular gardens in its pages—and world-famous photographer Jean-Jacques Georges is going to shoot the spread. But at the welcoming party, Jean-Jacques insults several guests, complains that flowers are boring, and gooses almost every woman in the room. When a body is found the next morning, sprawled across the azaleas, it’s almost no surprise that the victim is Jean-Jacques.

With Cam’s brother-in-law blamed for the crime—and her reporter boyfriend, Rob, wanting the scoop—Cam decides to use her skills to solve the murder. Luckily a PR pro like Cam knows how to be nosy.

And last, but certainly not least – three of my favorite cozy mystery authors have new releases out for the summer, and they are absolutely wonderful!  The subjects range quilting to the Amish to the ladies of the 1930’s South – they are fun, fascinating, and fulfilling!  I highly recommend each of them for a delightful afternoon or evening of reading pleasure!

The Darling Dahlias and The Naked Ladies: A Darling Dahlias Mystery
By Susan Wittig Albert
Berkley Prime Crime; $7.99

From the national bestselling author of the China Bayles Mysteries—the second novel in a new series featuring the ladies of a garden club in Darling, Alabama, who also dabble in digging through clues—the Darling Dahlias.

As Darling’s town librarian is fond of saying: “Naked Ladies is not a respectable name for a plant.” A lily by any other name would certainly smell as sweet—and look just as beautiful as the Naked Ladies decorating Miss Hamer’s lawn.

It seems Miss Hamer’s house may also be home to naked ladies of a different sort. Rumors sprout that the elderly recluse’s visiting niece and her friend are actually the Naughty and Nice Sisters from the Ziegfield Frolic, known for dancing nearly naked.

When a well-dressed man from Chicago arrives, asking about the mysterious ladies, the Dahlias begin to suspect it may be more than modesty that’s causing both women to lie low. Someone is covering up something sinister.

Hearse and Buggy: An Amish Mystery
By Laura Bradford
Berkley Prime Crime; $7.99

Claire Weatherly has fled a high-stress lifestyle for a slower pace—in Amish country: Heavenly, Pennsylvania. She only planned a short visit but instead found herself opening an Amish specialty shop, Heavenly Treasures, and settling in.

Claire loves her new home, and she’s slowly making friends among the locals, including Esther, a young Amish woman who works in the shop. So when the store’s former owner,the unlikable Walter Snow, is murdered, and the man Esther is sweet on becomes a suspect, Claire can’t help but get involved.

Newly returned Detective Jakob Fisher, who left Heavenly—and his Amish upbringing—as a teenager, is on the case. But his investigation is stalled by the fact that none of his former community will speak with him. Claire’s connections make her the perfect go-between. As Claire investigates, she uncovers more than she wanted to know about her neighbors. And suddenly, everything she had hoped to find in this peaceful refuge is at risk.

Quilt Or Innocence: A Southern Quilting Mystery
By Elizabeth Craig
Obsidian Books; $7.99

A Southern Quilting Mystery series is set in the small mountain village of Dappled Hills, North Carolina, where Beatrice Coleman—a retired art museum curator—becomes a gifted amateur sleuth.

As the newest member of the Village Quilters Guild, Beatrice has a lot of gossip to catch up on—especially with the Patchwork Cottage quilt shop about to close. It seems that Judith, the landlord everyone loves to hate, wants to raise the rent, despite being a quilter herself.

But when Judith is found dead, the harmless gossip becomes an intricate patchwork of mischievous motives. And it’s up to Beatrice’s expert eye to decipher the pattern and catch the killer, before her life gets sewn up for good.

Hope that you can find something fun and intriguing among these selections!

Happy Reading, Ya’ll!


Book Dragon said...

Great list.

I've read Brownies and Broomsticks (loved it) and have four of the others in my shopping cart. I haven't picked up Murder on the Half Shell yet, still need to read the first in the series.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Great post, Sharon! I've read (listened actually) to the first two books in Victoria Laurie's Psychic Eye series. Loved them so I'm happy to see there's a new one!

holdenj said...

Some familiar, some new! I always enjoy a good cozy!