Tag Archives: cozy mystery fiction

Top 10 Tuesday — Comfort Reads

31 May

I have always loved mysteries! From the moment I read that first Nancy Drew I was hooked. They are my go-to when I need a little escape. And though I read all kinds of mysteries, I find my comfort reads in cozies. Today’s TTT list includes cozy mystery series that I lost myself in. They are so much fun with main characters that I love. There are lots of books in these series — I have finished some, but have more to grab when I need that comfort fix. I hope you find a series to love (and binge 😉 ).

For more of bloggers’ comfort reads, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Cozy Mystery Series

Claire Malloy by Joan Hess

College town bookseller with a snarky teenager and a hunky police detective boyfriend.

MacLaren Yarbrough by Patricia Sprinkle

Small town Georgia nursery owner who knows every-body.

Miss Zukas by Jo Dereske

Completely serious librarian who is unknowingly hilarious.

Sarah Booth Delaney by Carolyn Haines

Former southern belle from the Mississippi Delta with a ghost for a sidekick.

Southern Sisters — Anne George

Birmingham Alabama sisters get into one funny scrape after another.

Top 10 Tuesday — Mysteries I Still Haven’t Read

17 May

It is not a mystery why I have not read the books on my list yet. I cannot resist a shiny new book, even if I have a stack of others ahead of it. I refuse to believe that I have more books than time, though, so I continue to buy more and more. One day cannot get here fast enough. 😉 The books that I have chosen to confess are all mysteries — my very favorite genre. They at least have a fighting chance of being read. My list contains classic mysteries, cozy mysteries, historical mysteries — I read them all. And in the spirit of honesty, this list is just the tip of the iceberg. Let me know if you have read any. I need some motivation!

For more confessions, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Mysteries I Haven’t Read Yet

( though they reside on my shelves)

The Boy Who Followed Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

The Cairo Brief by Fiona Veitch Smith

The Cat’s Pajamas by Gilbert Morris

The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte

Enemy Action by Mike Hollow

Jane And The Twelve Days of Christmas by Stephanie Barron

The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler

Sidney Chambers And The Shadow of Death by James Runcie

The Sweetness at The Bottom of The Pie by Alan Bradley

The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

Top 10 Tuesday — Professional Book Pushers

10 May

Happy Tuesday! This week’s prompt is a joy. It’s all about bookish characters. I chose to focus on books in which the main character(s) is a professional book pusher — one who gets paid to get someone to read. (As opposed to those of us who just do it for fun. 🙂 ) Basically booksellers and librarians. I am currently listening to The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar. It is riveting, and naturally it is on my list. With the variety of genres represented, I hope you find a book to pique your interest.

For more lists of bookish characters, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Professional Book Pushers

Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner

Camino Island by John Grisham

Crime And Poetry by Amanda Flower

Hidden Among The Stars by Melanie Dobson

The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar

Miss Zukas And The Library Murders by Jo Dereske

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

The Secrets of Paper And Ink by Lindsey Harrel

Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin

Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

Top 10 Tuesday — Numbers in Book Titles

14 Sep

Happy Tuesday! Numbers in Titles was a TTT topic almost 2 years ago (here’s my post). I wasn’t sure I could come up with 10 different titles, but I took that challenge. Included in this list is a book with Number in the title too. 😉 With the variety in genres, I hope you find a book to pique your interest.

For more Top 10 Tuesday fun, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Books with A Number in The Title

The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White

One Little Lie by Colleen Coble

Two Steps Forward by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Three by Ted Dekker

Five Brides by Eva Marie Everson

Death of A Six-Foot Teddy Bear by Sharon Dunn

The Lights on Tenth Street by Shaunti Feldhahn

Twelve Days at Bleckly Manor by Michelle Griep

Top 10 Tuesday — Hunky Heroes

31 Aug

Happy Tuesday! Today’s Top 10 topic is fictional crushes. I rarely have a crush on a character, but I can recognize a hunky hero a mile away. 😉 My definition of a hunkster may differ from yours, but generally they are brave, all in, easy on the eyes kinds of guys. They usually have a sensitive side too. As in real life, it is the heart that matters. To come up with my list I put hunky in the search bar of the blog and chose the first 10 books in which I used hunky in the review — it’s all very scientific over here! Hunky is definitely in the eye of the beholder, but you will find them in a variety of genres — romance, suspense, historical, cozy mystery — and with a variety of occupations — farmer, 19th century naval officer, author, and tech geek, to name a few. I hope you find a hunk and a book to love!

For more book crushes, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Hunky Heroes

Before I Called You Mine by Nicole Deese

The Christmas Swap by Melody Carlson

Flood Watch by Christy Barritt

The Forgotten Life of Evelyn Lewis by Jane Rubietta

The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall

Living Lies by Natalie Walters

No Safe Place by Sherri Shackleford

Prose And Cons by Amanda Flower

The Red Ribbon by Pepper Basham

Sweet on You by Becky Wade

Top 10 Tuesday — Bookish Animals

27 Apr

This week our Top 10 Tuesday prompt is animals from books. I had a post like that back in November. Could I come up with another? Yes! I love when authors include animals. Some of these books I have read; others are in my TBR pile.

Do you have a favorite book that features an animal?

For more bookish animals, head over to That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Bookish Animals

Wild And Wonderful

A wild boar from More Than Meets The Eye by Karen Witemeyer

A python from Belinda Blake And The Snake in The Grass by Heather Day Gilbert

A parrot from Trial And Error by Robert Whitlow

Canine Companions

Called to Protect by Lynnette Eason

Cold Case Pursuit by Dana Mentink

No Filter by Heather Day Gilbert

Friendly Felines

The Cat That God Sent by Jim Kraus

The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson

Crime And Poetry by Amanda Flower

Book Review: Solid Ground

10 Dec

Do you like cozy mysteries set in real small towns? If so, consider Solid Ground by Danny and Wanda Pelfrey. Their descriptions of quaint Adairsville, Georgia just might inspire a road trip!

Seven years between them, Kirby and Riley Gordan, nurtured by their pastor father and loving mother, experienced almost ideal childhoods growing up in the Boston area. Then a season of misfortune culminated in the worse of all possible tragedies – the death of their beloved parents.

Four years have passed. Kirby, having failed at marriage and pro-baseball, is now a Florida police detective. He finds himself in little Adairsville, Georgia along with Riley, his law school bound sister. They are there to settle their uncle’s massive estate. It is soon apparent that Uncle James’s death was no accident. But the worst of it is their names at the top of the suspect list. The siblings are embraced by spunky caretakers, Amos and Carol, whose love, wit, faith, and plain ole horse-sense bolster efforts to solve the murder and put Kirby’s life back on track.

Danny Pelfrey along with his wife, Wanda, is currently writing mysteries with a message set in Adairsville, Georgia. Four volumes in the Davis Morgan Mystery series are available. A new series, The Adairsville Heritage mystery series, now occupies much of his time. He is also active in the areas of inspiration and Georgia history. Danny is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

 

My Impressions:

I love visiting small towns especially in my home state of Georgia. Alas, Covid has limited some of my ramblings, but I lucked out when I found Solid Ground by Danny and Wanda Pelfrey. A cozy mystery set in northeastern Georgia, this book includes some great descriptions of Adairsville and surrounding areas. I love it when a book captures the setting so well. In addition, the characters are likable and relatable, while secondary characters round out the cast well. Kirby and Riley are siblings who have just come into a sizable inheritance from their Uncle James. Some mystery surrounds his death, and Kirby, a St. Petersburg police detective, and  his sister Riley are on the case. There are a number of suspects with motive, keeping the reader guessing. There is also a promise of romance for both main characters — more books are promised in the Adairsville Heritage series. The faith message is strong and woven throughout the narrative. Characters are in various stages in their faith journeys. I especially liked the spiritual mentoring between the older characters and the young. There is a lot of backstory shared that slowed the book down a bit, but I imagine in future books the pace will increase. Also I found some of the dialog a bit stiff. Kirby, in particular, comes off as much older than someone in his 30s. But these are minor concerns.

A charming setting, down-to-earth characters, and a twisting plot make Solid Ground a good choice for fans of the cozy mystery series. I am looking forward to more in the series.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to the author for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Books with Animals

17 Nov

I went the of way of easy today for Top 10 Tuesday. Instead of coming up with characters names for pets, I chose books that include pets or in some cases, books where wild animals are part of the story. Some are your run-of-the mill dogs (is there really such a thing?) and some are a bit exotic, like wolves, possums, seagulls, and kangaroos. All make the books a little more special. I did a Top 10 Tuesday a while ago with characters that made great cat names. You can check it out HERE.

For more animal fun, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top Books with Special Animals

 

Annabel Lee by Mike Nappa

Belinda Blake And The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing by Heather Day Gilbert

Chosen People by Robert Whitlow

 

Hope Harbor by Irene Hannon

Fragments of Fear by Carrie Stuart Parks

The Memory House by Rachel Hauck

No Filter by Heather Day Gilbert

 

Star Rising by Janet Ferguson

Under a Turquoise Sky by Lisa Carter

The Woman in The Green Dress by Tea Cooper

 

Book Review: Belinda Blake And The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

17 Nov

Exotic pet-sitter Belinda Blake is nervous about her new job at the White Pine Wolf Preserve, but it turns out that the care and feeding of wild carnivores may be the least dangerous part of the gig . . .
 
Pet-sitter Belinda Blake is no stranger to dealing with wild animals, but she’s wary when the owner of the Greenwich, Connecticut, preserve asks her to help out with her “fluffy darlings.” Her caution seems justified on her very first day, when she discovers a tour guide — dead, bloodied, and surrounded by wolves in the enclosure.
 
Was it death by predator or something more sinister? The body count rises, but something’s not adding up. As she gets to know the rescued wolves and wolf-dog hybrids better, Belinda realizes that her human colleagues are not above suspicion. With help from her own “pack”—her pregnant sister, Red the chauffeur/bodyguard, and hunky farmer Jonas — Belinda is hot on the killer’s tail, but if she doesn’t find him soon, he’ll do more than muzzle her to keep the truth from escaping.

Heather Day Gilbert, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, writes contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren’t afraid to protect those they love. Publisher’s Weekly gave Heather’s Viking historical Forest Child a starred review, saying it is “an engaging story depicting timeless human struggles with faith, love, loyalty, and leadership.”

Find Heather on Pinterest (heatherdgilbert), Instagram (@heatherdaygilbert), Twitter (@heatherdgilbert), and Facebook (heatherdaygilbert). You can find all her books at heatherdaygilbert.com

 

My Impressions:

Belinda Blake And The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing continues the amateur sleuthing of the intrepid exotic pet-sitter. Told in Belinda’s first person voice, this cozy mystery takes Belinda to a wolf preserve near her home in Greenwich, Connecticut. While a few of the continuing characters from book 1, Belinda Blake And The Snake in The Grass, make appearances, new acquaintances are the primary focus of another murder investigation. Belinda is an interesting character — a professional pet-sitter/video game reviewer — who observes everything. Her attention to details makes her excellent at her jobs and a pain to those who seek to deceive. There are lots of moving parts to the story, and Gilbert made me suspect everyone! While I again enjoyed Belinda’s investigations, her personal life leaves me wanting more. I know which team I am on, but I am not sure Belinda is as savvy with her own life as she is in discovering whodunit. 😉 The final book of the 3-part series is also currently available — that allows me and you to see what is next for Belinda. Need a binge-worthy series for a staycation or weekend getaway? Grab all three!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to the publisher for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Happy Release Day — Fair Trade

27 Oct

Book #3 in Heather Day Gilbert‘s Barks and Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery series, Fair Trade, released today! Yay! If you are a fan of this series, now is your chance to dive in. And if you haven’t started, there’s also great news — books 1-3 are either on sale or FREE on Kindle. (They are also available for free for KU subscribers.) What are you waiting for! Perfect reading on these longer days. You can also pre-order book #4, Spilled Milk, due out in spring 2021.

Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java…and where murder sometimes pays a visit.

With the one-year anniversary of the now-successful Barks & Beans Cafe approaching, siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield set up an iced coffee booth at the state fair. Taking a break from brewing, Macy bumps into Carolina, a long-lost childhood friend who’s now sitting pretty as a country superstar. Macy tries not to fangirl too hard when her old friend extends an invitation to meet the rest of the Carolina Crush band before their opening show.

But when Carolina falls victim to not one, but two near-death experiences, Macy takes it upon herself to find out who has it in for her old friend. Fortified with plenty of roasted corn, cinnamon rolls, and her brother’s signature iced maple latte, Macy takes to the Ferris wheel to get the lay of the land from the air. She discovers too late that this year’s fair isn’t all fun and games . . . but she’s already locked in for the ride.

Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown . . . with plenty of dogs along for the ride! The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.

Click HERE to purchase.

The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series in order:
Book 1: No Filter
Book 2: Iced Over
Book 3: Fair Trade
Book 4: Spilled Milk

Heather Day Gilbert, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, writes contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren’t afraid to protect those they love. Publisher’s Weekly gave Heather’s Viking historical Forest Child a starred review, saying it is “an engaging story depicting timeless human struggles with faith, love, loyalty, and leadership.”

Find Heather on Pinterest (heatherdgilbert), Instagram (@heatherdaygilbert), Twitter (@heatherdgilbert), and Facebook (heatherdaygilbert). You can find all her books at heatherdaygilbert.com.