30 October 2014

Cozy Seasonal Reading: A Heptad of New Series

Even though Halloween is fast approaching, there is still time to get in some seasonal reading. Although I don't like super-scary books, I do like mysteries, and the busier I am, the more I turn to cozies. I like their punny titles, crazy situations, and fun characters.

This fall Berkley Prime Crime is offering an amazing opportunity for lovers of light mysteries. They are debuting no less than seven new series. Here's your chance to get in on the ground floor and meet a new amateur sleuth right from the start. One of these is sure to capture your interest.

Fat Cat At Large by Janet Cantrell Janet Cantrell's new Fat Cat series, is set in Minneapolis and starring professional baker Chase Oliver and her chubby cat, Quincy. In Fat Cat at Large, Quincy--supposedly on a diet--heads off to a neighboring house in hopes of snagging a tasty treat. When Chase goes to retrieve him, she discovers a dead body. Caught in the kitchen with the corpse, she becomes the prime suspect. Fortunately, Chase's best friend, Julie, is a lawyer, so chances are good that she'll be declared innocent. Enlivening this mystery is the friendship between Chase, her elderly business partner, and Julie and the fact that we sometimes see things from Quincy's perspective. No culinary mystery is complete without a few recipes, and this one includes treats for people as well as cats. (Published in September 2014; ISBN: 9780425267424)

Death Is Like a Box of Chocolates by Kathy AaronsWho doesn't like the combination of books and chocolate? Death Is Like a Box of Chocolates, by Kathy Aarons, is centered in a Maryland bookstore that also sells homemade candies. Best friends and co-owners of the shop, Michelle and Erica, are all set to host a Memorial Day fudge contest, when a local artist is found dead, presumably poisoned by one of Michelle's truffles. Teaming up with Erica's brother, the women must find the real killer before they're forced to close their business. Besides the strong women protagonists, small town life, chocolate, and books, this debut installment in the Chocolate Covered series includes a little bit of little romance involving a local policeman. Look at the back of the book for two sweet recipes! (Published in September 2014; ISBN: 9780425267233)

Nightmares Can Be Murder by Mary KennedyMary Kennedy's Nightmares Can Be Murder is set in Savannah, Georgia, where Taylor, a business consultant, is helping her sister, Allison, open a candy store. The sisters are also members of a group that meets to help each other interpret their dreams. When a dance teacher turns up dead, the circumstances surrounding his death are reminiscent of one of the dreams shared at the club. Because Allison was seen with the murder victim, the police think she's the killer. The club members team up to solve the crime before Allison is forced behind bars. This first in the Dream Club series features a group of women of all ages, a handsome ex-FBI agent turned private investigator, and a couple of lovable cats. The back of the book has a short guide to interpreting dreams. (Published in September 2014; ISBN: 9780425268056)

Bless Her Dead Little Heart by Miranda JamesI love the title of Miranda James's new novel: Bless Her Dead Little Heart. As you can guess, this series is set in the U.S. South, and if you're a fan of James, you'll be happy to know that this is a spin-off series of her popular Cat in the Stacks series. When Miss An'gel and Miss Dickce of Athena, Mississippi, agreed to pet sit their friend's cat, they didn't realize they were going to be put in the path of murder. But after an old friend and her grown children come for a visit, the two are caught up in a killer of a situation. Mix together feuding house guests, old friends, feisty sisters, and Southern charm, and you'll get the fun that's promised by this first in the Southern Ladies Mystery. You do not need to have read James's other series before meeting An'gel, Dickce, and the gang. (Published in October 2014; ISBN: 9780425273043)

Off Kilter by Hannah ReedHow about a mystery set in Scotland and starring a young writer? Hannah Reed's Off Kilter ("Someone's been kilt . . .") takes us to the Highlands and introduces us to Eden Elliot, who is visiting Glenkillen to research her next book and to try to move past her troubles (her mother's recent death and her divorce). One thing she learns is that life in a small village is not always peaceful. When a wealthy sheep farmer has been murdered, the prime suspect is one of Eden's new friends. Can Eden find the real killer before she too meets the sharp end of the sheep shears? Plenty of good characters, a little Scots dialect, beautiful scenery, newfound friendships, and a rural murder make a promising start to the Scottish Highlands series. (Published in October 2014; ISBN: 9780425265836)

Snow White Red-Handed by Maia Chance
Calling all fairy tale lovers! Maia Chance's Snow White Red-Handed, the first in the Fairy Tale Fatal series, is just for you. Set in 1867, the mystery starts off aboard ship heading from New York to Europe. Out-of-work actresses Ophelia and Prudence snag a job with a nouveau riche American couple bound for their castle in Germany's Black Forest. Pretending to be maids, the actresses soon get caught up in strange events: Was the castle really once the home of the legendary Snow White? As if skeletons of little people, poisoned apples, folktale experts, a spooky forest, and the death of their boss weren't enough, Prudence finds herself the prime suspect in the crime. Can Ophelia use her acting skills and intelligence to get her friend out of hot water? (Publishing in November 2014; ISBN: 9780425271629)

Suede to Rest by Diane Vallere
Diane Vallere takes us into the world of wannabe dress designer Poly Monroe in Suede to Rest, the first in the Material Witness series. Returning to the small California town of San Ladron after living in Los Angeles isn't easy for Poly, especially because she's back to take charge of her inheritance, the fabric store that once belonged to her family. Fighting her own emotions as well as the local business developers, the young woman is determined to get her career on track. But when a dead body is discovered in the store's alley, she must put her plans aside and get to the bottom of the murder before she also becomes a victim. Family history, a resourceful protagonist, fashion and fabrics, and couple of cute kittens make for a fun read. (Publishing in November 2014; ISBN: 9780425270578)

6 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks 10/30/14, 7:20 AM  

Ahhh, a heptad! LOL But actually, thinking about the art work for covers of cozies, it seems like it is becoming a "category" of folk art.

bermudaonion 10/30/14, 7:50 AM  

Cozies are perfect comfort reads for me.

Vicki 10/30/14, 1:27 PM  

I love cozies but for some reason I don't read them very often. I always like to start with the first book in the series so this post really has me thinking. All the series look interesting, but the Chocolate Covered series really grabbed my attention since I love books and chocolate! I need to find a copy of Death Is Like a Box of Chocolates asap!

Katherine P 10/31/14, 10:43 AM  

So many great series! I've really enjoyed previous books from Diane Vallere so I'm looking forward to this one. The rest of these are being added to my TBR!

Laurie C 11/2/14, 7:39 AM  

I love the look of all of these! So cute and cozy. But I never get around to reading cozies! I still want to try the series by Julie Hyzy that I think I heard about from you way back.

Anita LeBeau 11/11/14, 10:18 PM  

I'm going to pick one of these new ones to try....but which one. I do like chocolate, and clothes!! Thanks so much.

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