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Topic: Any suggestions for a good cozy series?

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Subject: Any suggestions for a good cozy series?
Date Posted: 7/25/2007 11:44 AM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2007
Posts: 57
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Hey there, I'm always looking for a new cozy series to get into.

Currently, I'm reading Murder She Wrote in order. I think they are really hit or miss...just finished Murder on the QE2...hit!

I also love the Tea Shop series...I've been skipping around, and have read 1, 2, 4, and 8 I believe.

Ladies Detective Agency is okay too.

Anyone else know of anything along those lines? More "mature" (ie. not older ladies) cozies are welcome as well, just so long as they're good.

Thanks in advance!

Date Posted: 7/25/2007 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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Have you read Albert's  China Bayles series? It's pretty good and a more mature woman. All the titles deal with herbs I think the au thor is susan wittig albertl

another series I like has quilt titles but no quilting and is the benni harper series by Earlene Fowler. The woman is semi-young.I'd say 20s possibly late 20's early 30's ish and is a widow when her high school sweetheart is killed in an car accident. this has already happened when the first book starts and she meets the cop investigating a murder. Every book deals with some type of murder or mystery and her relationship with the cop.

 A short cozy if you like knitting and cross-stitch and like reading about their projects! is a series by Monica Ferris. I think Crewel World is the first. some are better than others but this woman comes to visit her sister who owns a yarn/needlcraft store in Minnesota adn the sister ends up dead near the beginning(says on the back so not a spoiler!) and she has to find the killer and decide if she wants to run the shop when she can't even thread a needle. one of the employees is gay but turns out to be an ongoing character and very likeable.

 a frustrating series to find the first one or two books in is in the harlequin 'next' line of books by stevi mittman. she even has some free reads of this character onlineyou can get emails about but like I said, the first book is going for a lot used for some reason but it sets the background for the later books in the series which are the mysteries where she's always involved in a murder. 'who makes up these rules, anyway?' is the first book where she thinks she's going crazy and suspects her hubby of helping her along. in the next ones (so far) she's  a single mom of 3 dealing with a crazy mother and on again/off again with 'detective dreamboat' or as her mother calls him 'detective spoonbreath'..his name is drew spoones...this one has some sex scenes though not described as a pure romance novel would do but I found these to be nice reads. she lives in long island which explains her mother's snobbishness though she isn't herself.

just started the desiree s hapiro series and 1st book was good.

Date Posted: 7/25/2007 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2007
Posts: 57
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Thanks, Susanna.

I'll look into those titles.

I also like cozies around a theme, if you couldn't tell, and would also like to find a series with a male detective.

Date Posted: 7/25/2007 5:25 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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hmm I'd like a good cozy with a male detective too! but china bayles and teddi bayer (the next ones my mittman) have  a steady-eddie so to speak and benni harper has Gabe(think that's his name). I can't think of any with the man as the main c haracter though...but I'm still sorta new to cozies and this t ype of reading. there's a few other threads where people mentioned a lot of different cozies and I got al ot of new series from that thread!

Date Posted: 7/25/2007 10:17 PM ET
Member Since: 3/2/2007
Posts: 17
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M.C. Beaton's Hamish MacBeth series is a wonderful cozy series with a male main character, takes place in the Scottish Highlands and is wonderful.  She also has the Agatha Raisin series which is a hoot....takes place in a small English village - I'd like to move there!!!!

Date Posted: 7/26/2007 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2006
Posts: 791
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I LOVE the Agatha Raisin series.I want to live there too!!!LOL!!

Stacy

Date Posted: 7/26/2007 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 6,885
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Robin Paige does a series with a married couple as the main characters solving mysteries in the late Victorian, early Edwardian eras in England.  They through in some historical events as well.  One of my favorites.

I am just starting the Josie Toadfern series about a laundromat owner/stain removal expert in Paradise Ohio.  Very humorous and good.

Lilian Jackson Braun,   The Cat Who ... series has a main male character, as well as a male Siamese named KoKo.

I second the suggestion of China Bayles series by Susan Wittig Albert.

A Thoroughly Southern mysteries by Patricia Sprinkle are very good.

If you would like "food cozies" you could try the Hannah Swenson series by Joanne Fluke and the Chocoholic series by Joanna Carl.  I don't know that I would call it a cozy, but Dianne Mott Davidson has a good series about a caterer named Goldy Bear.

Hope these suggestions help!

Date Posted: 7/26/2007 7:50 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 6,885
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Just thought of another one, a Knitting series by Maggie Sefton.   :)

Date Posted: 7/27/2007 4:02 PM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2007
Posts: 57
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Hey...thanks for the suggestions, all! keep em coming...

i got "fools puzzle" by Earlene Fowler at the library yesterday, 60 pages in...not really liking it :( it says on the back cover that she JUST moved to san celina, yet she refers to things that happened in high school, etc, as if she was there then! can someone explain this anomaly?

i read another Berkeley Prime Crime Mystery awhile back: The Mournful Teddy by John Lamb...again, horrible book!

Does Fool's Puzzle/Earlene Fowler get any better?

Also...can't find Thyme of Death (China Bayles/Susan Wittig Albert), though another branch of the county library might have it, nor Crewel World (Monica Ferris)...will keep looking...

Joy...thanks for the suggestions...awful lot of reading but I'll look around!

 

 

Date Posted: 7/27/2007 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/9/2006
Posts: 29
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I can second the recommendation for the Hamish Macbeth series by MC Beaton. I read one, and now I'm hooked.

I just started reading the Meg Langslow series by Donna Andrews. I've only read the first book so far, but there seemed to be a good male influence provided by Meg's father and her new male friend.  I also like the Mommy-Track mysteries by Ayelet Waldman, but that may be too female-centric for your tastes.

I'm new to the cozy genre, but I enjoy a good mystery. If you've never read a Perry Mason book by Erle Stanley Gardner, you may want to check him out. I just finished The Case of the Velvet Claws --- I really liked it.



Last Edited on: 7/27/07 6:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/27/2007 7:12 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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Jacob I keep trying to reply but my computer screws up LOL!

Benni's a country girl and I think in this case san celina is both the county name AND the town name...she lived in the country/country but not the town. this series has an underlying tension between her and the soon to be new 'love' and jack is carried around for a while like a comparison or something..some have commented about it feeling 'tense' and she sometimes needs to get over it you know?! but I like the series. irish chain is awesome for the storyline (history I'd never heard befoer!) and one deals with an Amish woman being killed(maybe kansas troubles?) arkansas traveler deals with her family and all the stories are named after quilt blocks though no one ever quilts excpet as a byline sorta thing in the background.

you prety  much have to like needlecrafts to like monica ferris' books. china bayles is a 40ish yr old woman and leaves a law practice to open an herb shop in a fiction town in the texas hill country. all the titles have herb names in them and again some are better than others IMO.

Date Posted: 7/27/2007 7:51 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 3,070
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I have to concur about M.C. Beaton....I love the Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth mysteries!

Date Posted: 7/29/2007 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2007
Posts: 57
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thanks Susanna...I thought she was Arkansan but wasn't sure...the book is so vague. You were right, it did get better. I didn't expect the killer at all...I thought the cousin did it. Anyway, for some reason, I am beginning to like Gabe/Ortiz...you are right, Benni's really hung up on Jack. It did take awhile to get interesting. I kept confusing Dove/Garnet.

 

Still can't find Thyme of Death or Crewel World. Anyone?

Date Posted: 7/29/2007 5:59 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2006
Posts: 2,983
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Tim Myers has several cozy series.  One is about an innkeeper in No. Carolina, another is a candlemaking series, another a soapmaking series :  http://www.stopyourekillingme.com/M_Authors/Myers_Tim.html

 

Berkley Prime Crime is another good publishing source for cozy mysteries. They have culinary, pet, private eye, etc series.

http://berkleysignetmysteries.com/

Date Posted: 7/29/2007 9:30 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 335
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I just got turned on to Lois Meade's British cozie. They start with days of the week: Murder on Monday, Terror on Tuesday, etc. They're quite enjoyable. I love Agatha Christie, so these are right up my alley.

Last Edited on: 7/29/07 9:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/29/2007 9:49 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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I have a split personality re cozies.  As best as I can sort it out, I like the ones that are in the British tradition (Miss Marple, Agatha Raisin, the Simon Brett mysteries) but I am not a big fan of the American cozies with a few exceptions (for instance, I really like the Death on Demand series and the Charlotte MacLeod series featuring Sarah Kelling and Max Bittersohn).  Anyone else have a split cozy personality?

Date Posted: 7/29/2007 9:54 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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Oh, a couple of suggestions for cozies with a male detective, if you don't mind older mysteries.  Elizabeth Daly wrote a wonderful series in the mid-20th C. featuring Henry Gamadge, a well-off New York book collector and amateur detective.  Another great series that is a relatively new find for me is the John Putnam Thatcher series by Emma Lathan, written beginning in the early 1960s and up through at least the mid-1990s.  Thatcher is the VP of a Wall Street investment bank, and the murders usually relate to some problematic client and he winds up working them out in order to get the client or the bank out of a fix.  They are well-written and entertaining -- my favorite so far is one written in the late 1960s called "Murder to Go."

Edited because I keep thinking of things-- In my other post I mentioned a series written by Simon Brett.  In the 1970s/1980s he wrote a series featuring Charles Paris, a sometimes out-of-work British stage actor and amateur detective.  They are very good!  More recently he has written a series set in a British village called Feathering that also is good but features a female detective.

Good luck finding some great new series!



Last Edited on: 7/29/07 9:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/29/2007 10:25 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 6,885
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Oh yes, Perry Mason, by Erle Stanley Gardner is wonderful.  Also the Hercule Poirot novels by Agatha Christie and Nero Wolfe by Rex Stout. 

Date Posted: 7/31/2007 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 18,471
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Jon Katz has only written 5 or 6, but those are good cozies with a male protagonist -- the first one is Death by Station Wagon.

Personally, I am loving the Dog Lover's Mysteries by Susan Conant, but then I'm a sucker for dogs.

On my shelf: 

 

 

The Class Menagerie is a Jane Jeffreys mystery; one or two Mrs. Pollifax (more to come);

 

If you like the Brits, you might enjoy Grab Bag by Charlotte McLeod, Murder Saves Face (a Reuben Frost mystery) by Haughton Murphy, Only a Matter of Time by V.C. Clinton-Baddeley and Wycliffe and the Four Jacks by W.J. Burley – I find these charming

 

I also have British/Australian mysteries by Margaret Yorke, Ngaio Marsh, Patricia Wentworth, Martha Grimes

 

Show Business Kills by Iris Rainer Dart is more chick-lit than cozy

Also harder-edged mysteries with female protagonists by Edna Buchanan, Denise Hamilton, and one I’m surprised no one’s grabbed because the heroine is African-American: 

When Death Comes Stealing by Valerie W. Wesley -- A tough and savvy Newark cop-turned-P.I., Tamara Hoyle is a sister with a mission: to raise her kid right in a mean town. But now the post has come knocking -- bringing trouble to her door in the person of her "dog" of a former husband, DeWayne.

Suspicious "accidents" have claimed the lives of two of DeWayne's sons from different marriages. And though good sense warns Tamara to steer clear of her charming, lowdown ex, she has little choice but to offer him her investigative expertise -- because a killer may now be drawing fatally close to home -- to Tamara's only son.

 

 



Last Edited on: 7/31/07 2:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/31/2007 2:14 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2006
Posts: 2,983
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An older series I think fits the cozy category is the Inspector Henry Tibbett one by Patricia Moyes I discovered (thanks to Carly).  Most of the deaths occur "off screen" and the language is tame.

Date Posted: 8/8/2007 2:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 25
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I like the Haunted Bookshop series, by Alice Kimberly, a lot, starting with The Ghost and Mrs. McClure. The set up is a young widow opens a bookshop in a small town in Rhode Island, only to discover there's someone already on the premises, the ghost of a private eye who was murdered there back in 1949, and then onward from there.