If you remember my post about comfort reading, you’ll remember me saying that I one of the genres I turn to is cozy crime. And I’ve been reading an awful lot of them recently, so I have books (and series) to recommend. There are definite trends in cozies, and so I’ve tried to provide some variety – and also go for new/newer series that you might not have come across before. I have lots of old favourites too, but here are some new (or at least new-to-me) series to take a look at.
Max Tudor by GM Malliet
Max Tudor is a vicar – who was in the secret service before he was ordained – which is a nice touch which explains why the police might be willing to have him involved in their investigations (always a problem when your “detective” isn’t actually a police man). He’s unmarried – and the subject of matchmaking among his parishioners – and his eventual choice makes for some nice conflict of its own. I’ve read the first four books in the series (which are all named after seasons) and am keeping my eyes open for the next two. These are fun, clever and witty – even if the author needs to remember that no Land Rover owner would ever call their vehicle a Rover!
Headlines in High Heels by LynDee Walker
I wanted to include some competence porn in here – because I do love a book where the main character is good at their job. Reporters/journalists make great leads in cozy crime series – because they have an excuse for coming across bodies – or at least getting involved in solving mysteries in a way that say… cupcake bakers don’t. But there are some pitfalls. I’ve recently been infuriated by a reporter in a book not doing their basic fact checking (it did come back and bite them, but they shouldn’t/wouldn’t have done it and it shouldn’t be a plot device) and while Nichelle Clarke does have a slightly dodgy (for her job) relationship, for the most part she’s a conscientious reporter who does the job properly. And the cases are interesting too. It didn’t surprise me to find out that the author is a journalist…
Mainely Needlepoint by Lea Wait
I’ve read three (of the four) books in this series and they are well put together mysteries set in Maine. At the start of the series, our heroine, Angie returns to her home town after ten years when her missing mother is finally found. She soon ends up helping her grandmother with her needlework business and sets about trying to reintegrate in a town where she struggled as a child as she tries to work out what she wants in her life. I like Angie, and while these books don’t have the humour in them that I prefer in my cozies, they are interesting and page turning mysteries, even if I do find the references to guns and concealed carry a little disturbing and off-putting as a Brit who is not used to guns being around in every day life!
Amory Ames by Ashley Weaver
I do love a good book set in the period between the wars – it’s my book sweet spot. So many good series are tucked up in here – my beloved Lord Peter Wimsey, Albert Campion and the early Inspector Alleyns all written at the time and series like Phyrne Fisher, Daisy Dalrymple and the Lord Edward Corinth series. And Ashley Weaver’s Amory Ames series has potential. Amory is a wealthy young woman who has married a playboy and is regretting it. Milo is handsome and charming – but, Amory fears, unreliable and possibly (probably) unfaithful. There are only three books in the series so far – and I’ve read two of them – but this has a complicated central relationship and a sparky heroine and the mysteries are well worked out. I have high hopes for book three.
So there you are. As you can see, I’ve read at least two books in all of these series, more in some cases, because cosy series can take a while to hit their stride… And this feels like only the tip of my cozy crime reading iceberg – to get to this (slender) list of recommendations I’ve read a few turkeys as well! And if this not enough cozy crime for you, in a nice piece of serendipity, I did a similar post this time last year, and those recommendations still stand too! And don’t forget previous BotW picks Death of a Nobody (and Death of a Diva), Earthly Delights and Murder on the Half Shell.
Happy reading – and apologies if this has got a little expensive for you…