Items tagged with Cozy

Tasty mysteries

Posted by on Wednesday, Feb 29, 2012 - 4:38 PM


You can now access downloadable e-books from  FREADING on our website.

If you a culinary mystery fan, you will be happy to know that you can find some of your favorite deliciously clever detectives more

Marsh & Daughter

Posted by on Wednesday, Jan 25, 2012 - 9:41 AM

murder in abbot's folly coverHere I am ... again ... posting about Jane Austen. The ubiquitous Jane Austen … there is no end to the speculation about this woman. She has been parodied, sanctified, villified, zombified and vampirized over the past few years.

In Murder in Abbot’s Folly, the eighth Marsh & Daughter mystery from Amy Myers, she gets cold more


Just Dandy

Posted by on Tuesday, Oct 25, 2011 - 12:45 PM

If you are growing restless waiting for the second season of Downton Abbey and have always yearned for a sequel to Gosford Park, I have a suggestion.

Give Catriona McPherson’s Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains a try.

1926, Edinburgh.  Dandy Gilver is a witty, wealthy, and totally original aristocrat who puts her status to good use by solving crimes. When Dandy gets a letter from a woman who thinks her husband is going to kill her, she goes undercover as a maid to get the complete story.

Publishers Weekly called it “Agatha Christie meets Upstairs, Downstairs.”read more

How to sell a mystery

Posted by on Friday, May 13, 2011 - 9:00 AM

slugfest coverI am always amazed at how hard authors work to sell their books.  At a recent mystery conference one of the panels I attended had a “mistakes I have made” theme.  Most of the authors cited continuity or factual mistakes but one author said her biggest mistake was thinking that as a writer she would get to spend all of her time writing. She finds that she spends more of her time on promotion than anything else.

Publishers and agents provide some support, but writers are often left to their own more

Fashions fade, but death is eternal …

Posted by on Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 - 8:39 AM

deadly threads coverFashions fade, but death is eternal …” is one of the promo lines for Jane K. Cleland’s sixth Josie Prescott mystery, Deadly Threads. I love it!

Each of these  mysteries has a different antiques theme at its core.  In the last book (Silent Auction) it was scrimshaw, and this time it is vintage clothing.   

A lecture series Josie is hosting at her shop about developing a vintage clothing collection gets off to an inauspicious start when a guest speaker is found dead under a display table, and, as always, Josie is drawn into the more

Cats, Cozy

Thank heaven ...

Posted by on Tuesday, Mar 8, 2011 - 11:33 AM

fadeaway girl coverAttention, all fans of Enola Holmes and Flavia de Luce!

Beguiling twelve-year-old sleuth Emma Graham makes her fourth appearance in Martha Grimes’ recently released Fadeaway Girl, the suspenseful sequel to the bestselling Belle Ruin—which is set in rural Maryland in a ”nostalgic post-World War II time warp.”read more


Welcome back!

Posted by on Thursday, Feb 17, 2011 - 9:50 PM

Three popular mystery series are back after a few years more

Art, Cozy

Way down yonder in New Orleans

Posted by on Monday, Jan 17, 2011 - 11:41 PM

louisiana lament coverYou bet your life you’ll linger there. .. so why not linger with one of these mystery series set in The Big Easy?

Laura Childs’ cozies starring Carmela Bertrand, a scrapbooking shop owner. 

David Fulmer’s historical novels featuring Valentin St. Cyr, a Creole P.I. in the early 20th century in the Storyville district.

Julie Smith’s Skip Langdon books … Skip is a city policewoman, and her Talba Wallis stories … Talba is a P.I. and is also a poet known as Baroness de more


Posted by on Tuesday, Jul 6, 2010 - 8:41 AM

pie.jpgIf you have already read Alan Bradley’s first Flavia de Luce mystery, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, and enjoyed it, you will not be surprised at the astonishing number of awards and honors it has been nominated for and received. If you have not: Picture an ancient country house somewhere in England. The year is 1950. A girl lives there with her eccentric family. Her name is Flavia de Luce and she is almost eleven. She has a passion for poisons. Imagine a long-abandoned Victorian chemistry laboratory. Add a dead bird by the back door with a rare postage stamp stuck on its beak and a dead body in the cucumber patch. Do not mistakenly think that this is a children’s novel. It has been called “an Enid Blyton novel for adults”, “the Mitfords, as imagined by Dorothy L. Sayers”, “Alexander McCall Smith meets Sir Arthur Conan Doyle”,”a dark Nancy Drew set in a gothic Midsomer”, and “reminiscent of the inhabitants of Mervyn Peake’s cult Gormenghast trilogy.” If that array doesn’t pique your curiosity, nothing will. You can read the first chapter on the author’s website and if you really like it you can join the Flavia de Luce Fan Club there, too! You will also find a list of entertaining interviews with the author, my favorite being the one about his amazing collection of out-of-date almanacs, yellowed dictionaries and other ancient repositories of arcane data. Alan Bradley was born in Toronto and grew up in Cobourg, Ontario. He worked at numerous radio and television stations in Ontario, before becoming Director of Television Engineering in the media centre at the University of Saskatchewan where he remained for 25 years before taking early retirement to write in 1994. He was a founding member of The Casebook of Saskatoon, a society devoted to the study of Sherlock Holmes and Sherlockian writings where he collaborated on Ms. Holmes of Baker Street, which put forth the startling theory that the Great Detective was a woman, and was greeted upon publication with what has been described as “a firestorm of controversy”. weed.jpgThe second book in the series, The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag was released this past March and the third book, A Red Herring without Mustard, is due in March, 2011. The Usual Suspects will be discussing The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie on Sunday, July 11th, at 2 pm. For a copy of the book, phone 203-291-4821. New participants are always welcome.


Posted by on Monday, May 31, 2010 - 2:38 PM

monkeewrench.jpgP. J. Tracy is the pseudonym of mother-daughter duo P. J. and Traci Lambrecht. They write the popular Monkeewrench series of technology thrillers and their amateur sleuth is Grace MacBride, founder of a game software company in Minneapolis.

In the first book, called simply Monkeewrench (2003), Grace and her oddball staff create a computer game where the killer is always caught and the good guys always win. But their game becomes a nightmare when someone starts duplicating the fictional murders in real life and by the time the police learn of the connection between the murders and the game, three people are already dead.

Monkeewrench won both and Agatha and Anthony Award for Best First Novel. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called it “A soundly plotted thriller that fires on all cylinders … an accelerating, unpredictable plot that combines police procedural with technogeek-speak, an array of well-drawn characters, and, most important, witty repartee."

shoottothrill.jpgThree more excellent books followed, and, finally, after a four year break, the Monkeewrench crew is back in Shoot to Thrill. They have been recruited by the FBI to investigate a series of murder videos posted on the Web. Using their skills to scour the Net in search of the perpetrator, they must race against the clock to stop a killer in his tracks.

As PW explains, “The Monkeewrench team must create a program that can separate staged death scenes from the real thing. The first death they scrutinize appears to be the drowning murder of a Minneapolis drag queen. A stabbing, two shootings, and a strangulation are among subsequent killings that occur in other cities across the country. They catch a break when the eighth victim, a Medford, Ore., waitress, survives a stabbing. Newcomers will have no trouble getting into the story, and everyone will appreciate the likable characters.”

Donna Andrews, author of the popular and long-lived Meg Langslow mysteries wrote a four title series featuring an Artificial Intelligence Personality (AIP) named Turing Hopper as its detective. Turing (named for AI pioneer Alan Turing) is the star of a vast number of research programs housed at Universal Library (UL) in Crystal City outside Washington, D.C.

youvegot.jpgIn the first book, You’ve Got Murder (2002), when her creator, workaholic computer expert Zack, suddenly disappears, Turing suspects foul play. Fortunately for Zack, when he created her, he downloaded every murder mystery in his library into her memory so Turing would think like a detective. Realizing that she is as homebound as Nero Wolfe, she goes in search of her own Archie Goodwin, and finds two people to do the legwork that will tie Zack's disappearance to the recent accidental death of his colleague and best friend.

Andrews won an Agatha Award for Best Novel for the book and Kirkus said “Ever since HAL ran off the rails in 2001, it's been only a matter of time since somebody put a computer to work on the right side of the law. Turing fills the bill with more energy and charm than most fictional detectives. “

In the Q&A page of her website, in answer to “So what's up with Turing? Will there be any more books?” Andrews answers, “I do plan to continue with Turing when I get the chance. And since I've had discussions with a smaller publisher who's very interested in continuing the series, it's mainly a matter of scheduling. “

In the meantime, fans of her quirky humor will have to content themselves with the soon-to-be released twelfth Langslow mystery, Stork Raving Mad.