Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Fun With Cozy Mysteries

Summer is a great time to relax at the beach or in the backyard with a cold refreshing drink and a cozy murder mystery. Berkley Prime Crime and Obsidian have a number of new releases this month that fits that bill perfectly including several new series.

HEARSE AND BUGGY by Laura Bradford

9780425251317A new series set in Heavenly, PA, Amish country finds protagonist Claire Weatherly fleeing her stressful lifestyle for a slower pace. She settles in by opening an Amish specialty shop called Heavenly Treasures.

Slowly she begins to make friends among the locals including Esther, a young Amish woman, who is helping out in her shop. Then tragedy strikes - the former shop owner, the unlikable Walter Snow, is murdered and Esther’s beau becomes a suspect. Claire has to find answers and the real killer for Esther’s sake.

The investigating officer is Detective Jakob Fisher, but he’s unable to get the locals to cooperate with him. Jakob left his Amish upbringing and Heavenly as a teenager. It appears Claire is his only hope. Can the two of them uncover the truth before Claire’s peaceful refuge is lost?

A great new series with well-developed characters, intriguing twists and a delightful setting.

Laura Bradford is the pseudonym for author Elizabeth Lynn Casey. Her website is

Hearse and Buggy by Laura Bradford, An Amish Mystery, Berkley Prime Crime, @2012, ISBN: 978-0425251317, Paperback, 288 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

9780425251348A returning favorite of mine is protagonist Sophie Winston and her ongoing problems with her neighbor, Natasha, who also just happens to be her ex-husband‘s girlfriend.

Determined not to be a garden-variety diva, Natasha cultivates a plan to shine on television—using Sophie’s backyard. As the cast and crew of the makeover show Tear It Up With Troy bulldoze through her backyard—and vacation—Sophie retreats to her perennial boyfriend Wolf’s to replace a dead rose bush. But her tender deed goes awry when she digs up a purse belonging to Wolf’s missing wife.

As speculations sprout, Wolf bolts, and then a body crops up in a garden. Is Wolf’s thorny past raising a dead head? This is one case the domestic diva can’t let wither on the vine.

Davis keeps you guessing with twists and turns while blending in a touch of humor as her well-thought out characters interact. To add to the delight, she includes yummy recipes and entertaining tips from Sophie and Natasha.

This is the sixth installment in the Domestic Diva Mystery series, but is a stand alone book. The other books in the series include: THE DIVA RUNS OUT OF THYME (October 2008), THE DIVA TAKES THE CAKE (June 2009), THE DIVA PAINTS THE TOWN (February 2010), THE DIVA COOKS A GOOSE (December 2010), and THE DIVA HAUNTS THE HOUSE (September 2011).

Author Krista Davis’ website is and she also blogs at Mystery Lovers Kitchen.

The Diva Digs Up The Dirt by Krista Davis, A Domestic Diva Mystery, @2012, ISBN: 978-0425251348, Paperback, 304 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

9780425251324It’s fun going back to Threadville, PA, where crafts are king and you never know what will happen next.

Darlene Coddlefield, the winner of a national sewing competition, has come to Willow Vanderling’s embroidery shop, In Stitches, to be presented with a top-of-the-line Chandler Champion sewing and embroidery machine as her prize. But Darlene’s triumph is short-lived after she’s found dead under her sewing table, apparently crushed by the heavy machine.

It soon becomes clear that this was no freak accident. Who had it in for Darlene Coddlefield? The long string of suspects includes Darlene’s fire chief husband. So Willow and her best friend, Haylee, become volunteer firefighters to uncover the truth. But when a second sewing machine sparks trouble, the friends realize they may have jumped from the frying pan into the fire.

Bolin has created a cast of characters that you can’t help but love. You don’t have to be a seamstress to enjoy the book, but it may make you want to take up a needle and thread. The book also includes an original machine embroidery project with tips.

This is the second installment in the Treadville Mystery series, but is a stand alone book. The first book in the series is DIRE THREADS (June 2011).

Author Janet Bolin’s website is

Threaded For Trouble by Janet Bolin, A Threadville Mystery, @2012, ISBN: 978-0425251324, Paperback, 320 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

9780425251393It’s always a delight to visit with protagonist Grace Wheaton, curator and manager of the Marshfield Manor. She has her hands full with the estate, but somehow always manages to get involved in a murder to two.

When Grace’s former professor calls to warn her that there have been a rash of thefts at various historical sites, Grace isn’t surprised—because Marshfield Manor has been targeted, too. She wonders if it has something to do with the film crew roaming the grounds, digitally immortalizing the manor, but then she gets distracted by an incident much more dire: the shooting of one guest and the murder of another.

Grace does her best not to go looking for trouble, but with a murderer on the loose, she can’t seem to leave the dirty work to the cops—especially since the killer still seems to be lurking around town, waiting to finish the job of making Grace history.

Hyzy has a way with characters. Grace is a protagonist that is strong, sensitive and a lot of fun. The host of supporting characters add another layer to that fun making for a delightful read with just the right amount of suspense until the end. 

This is the third installment in the Manor House Mystery series, but is a stand along read. The previous installments include: GRACE UNDER PRESSURE (June 2010) and GRACE INTERRUPTED (June 2011).

Author Julie Hyzy’s website is

Grace Among Thieves by Julie Hyzy, A Manor House Mystery, @2012, ISBN: 978-0425251393, Paperback, 288 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Do you enjoy a good cozy murder mystery in the summer, winter or anytime? Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a great Thursday.


  1. I have a few of these that I hope to get to later this summer! If only there was a decent beach nearby to read them on! Enjoy your beach cozies!

  2. I love cozies all year round.

  3. Cozy mysteries are fun any time of year!

  4. Mason - Oh, thanks for letting us know about these :-). Sometimes a light cosy mystery is just what the doctor ordered. I'm interested in the Laura Bradford novel; I grew up near Pennsylvania Amish country although I am not Amish myself. It'd be really interesting to get her take on that region and its people.

  5. I love the titles of cozies. It just makes me want to buy them.

  6. That's a boat load of cozies!! Summer should be filled with fun and easy reads.


  7. "Grace among thieves" sounds the most like a book I'd read.

  8. These all sound like they will be interesting to read.

  9. Thanks for the great list-I'll check some of these out. I just read Death on Tour by Janice Hamrick and loved it.

  10. These cozies sound great!
    Im a new follower, saw your blog listed on Facebook.

    Have a great week!


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.