It’s my favorite time of year…I get to choose my favorite cozies released in the past twelve months! And yet, it’s the hardest thing to do, almost like looking at all of the ornaments on my tree and trying to decide which ones I like the most. Since they all belong to my kids and were gifts from my parents who have been gone for too many years, it’s a monumental task, emotional and heart-warming.
Like our ornaments, each mystery I’ve featured, along with the books featured on the Cozy Corner by guest authors, has a special place on my bookshelf. Whether it be the hardback, paperback or the ebook, I tend to keep more than I should so that I can go back and reminisce about the wonderful experience.
Maybe I should start a tree with book ornaments—my very own Charli Rae and Scarlet would love that in the Book Barn, don’t you think? Princess the armadillo, however, would probably root through the ornaments and knock over the tree. Goodness, but I do see a holiday novella scurrying through my brain for next year!
Without further ado, I give you my favorite mysteries and blogs of 2018!
Teen Drama at its Best…and Deadliest—a review of S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett by young Gidget in March 2018. Written exclusively in her own hand, I loved every word this middle-school student wrote. I picked up the book myself after hearing about it and loved it!
Magick in the Barn a blog from May, 2018. Author Sharon Pape and I wrote a short story combining the characters from our series to celebrate our release of Magick Run Amok and Lethal Literature that month. This was a unique experience that I thoroughly enjoyed with a very talented author who has become a friend after our adventure together.
July’s blog written by guest blogger Rebecca Adler, author of Cinco de Murder—scrumptious!, about the Dog Days of Summer featuring Mary Feliz’s Disorderly Conduct. I learned about the origins of dog day and picked up a great mystery!
Happy Holidays and we’ll see you throughout 2019. Until then, get cozy and read on!
About Kym Roberts
Passion. Mystery. Suspense. Catch the Wave! Because a little PMS can change your world!
Kym Roberts is a retired detective sergeant who looks for passion, mystery and suspense in every book she reads and writes. She can be found on the web at kymroberts.com, on Facebook @KymRobertsAuthor911 and on Twitter @kymroberts911. You can also listen to her new podcast Romance Book Chat with Kym and Misty on iTunes & Stitcher. Kym’s Book Barn Mystery #5, Killer Classics is available now!
Kym’s Latest Cozy Mystery:
Small-town life in Hazel Rock becomes a Texas-size crime
scene when murder takes a page from Charli Rae Warren’s book
club’s latest mystery . . .
Charli takes great pride in running one of the few
independent, family-owned bookstores in
small-town Texas. She vets everything carefully, with an eye
to the eclectic tastes of the locals. That includes the Book
Barn’s weekly book club selection. This time out it’s a
mystery whose characters bear a striking resemblance to
local citizens, including Charli’s friend Sugar . . . who’s
the prime suspect when her real-life nemesis is found dead
in a hotel’s water tank.
With help from her pet armadillo Princess, Charli campaigns
to clear Sugar’s sweet name—literally—when the
up-for-election mayor becomes a killer’s next target. Murder
and politics make scandalous bedfellows as Charli discovers
that fiction may be fatal, but reality could be just as
deadly . . .
Mystery Cozy [Lyrical Press Underground, On Sale: December 4, 2018, e-Book, ISBN: 9781516106592 / eISBN: 9781516106592]
Book Featured in this article:
Get ready for one deadly weekend in this twisting thriller for fans of Pretty Little Liars and One of Us is Lying that explores just how far the elite at an English boarding school will go.
Greer MacDonald has just started as a scholarship student at the exclusive St. Aidan the Great boarding school, known to its privileged pupils as STAGS. STAGS is a place where new things—and new people—are to be avoided. And in her first days there, Greer is ignored at best and mocked at worst by the school’s most admired circle of friends, the Medievals.
So, naturally, Greer is taken by surprise when the Medievals send her an invitation to a sought-after weekend retreat at the private family estate of their unofficial leader, Henry de Warlencourt. It’s billed as a weekend of “huntin’ shootin’ fishin’.”
As the weekend begins to take shape, it becomes apparent that beyond the luxurious trappings, predators are lurking, and they’re out for blood.
Young Adult Suspense [Delacorte Press, On Sale: January 30, 2018, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9780525578468 / eISBN: 9780525578482]
A present-day ghost leads China Bayles to a secret from Pecan Springs’s past in this haunting mystery from New York Times bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert.
While helping Ruby Wilcox clean up the loft above their shops, China comes upon a box of antique handcrafted lace and old photographs. Following the discovery, she hears a woman humming an old Scottish ballad and smells the delicate scent of lavender…
Soon, strange happenings start to occur in Thyme and Seasons: misplaced items, a ringing bell, and the appearance of lavender sprigs in odd places. When a customer mentions seeing a mysterious woman picking flowers nearby and then suddenly disappearing, China must finally admit what Ruby has always known–their building is haunted. But by whom?
As China investigates, the tragic story of a woman in one of the old photographs unfolds. Annie Laurie was a young widow who’d lost both her husband and her child in the same day. She manages to survive through her lace-making business and finds happiness again only to have a suspicious death overshadow her new life.
China delves into Annie’s century-old mystery and realizes that solving it could have unimaginable repercussions in the here and now.
The answer to whodunit may lie beyond the veil . . .
November in upstate New York can be chilly, but Kailyn Wilde’s shop, Abracadabra, is a cozy respite where you can find lotions, potions, and plenty of warm, feline company. But what customers don’t know is that the proprietor has some unusual powers—and unusual friends, including the renowned magician Merlin, who’s been transported into the modern world. All of which comes in handy when there’s a murder to be solved . . .
Investigative journalist Ryan Cutler has perished in a car accident in New Camel, and his friend, Travis, suspects foul play—especially when the reporter’s notes reveal a mysterious list of dead men’s names. Kailyn wants to help, but she’s also got her hands full with the curmudgeonly Merlin, who’s not exactly maintaining a low profile. Between keeping the wizard under wraps and mixing up cold remedies that work like magic, she’ll have to tap into her many talents to figure out a killer’s fatal formula . . .
Running an independent bookstore in small-town Hazel Rock, Texas, doesn’t sound like a high-risk pursuit. But when a fundraiser reveals a story with a truly killer ending, Charli Rae Warren will need to scramble to sort out the deadly plot…
Sponsoring the literacy drive to benefit the foster care system should be a feel-good endeavor, but one of Charli’s helpers is definitely on another page. Charli’s dad is distracted and keeping something secret, which Charli suspects is a harmless flirtation with an attractive county clerk who offered to lend them a hand. It’s nothing to worry about—until the same clerk winds up dead…
When nosy locals begin pointing fingers, Charli finds herself entangled in a race to uncover the killer’s identity—and to get to the bottom of a shattering family secret that could rewrite her history in alarming ways. Suddenly Charli is facing her worst fears and her childhood nemesis in order to unmask a murderer—before he silences her for good…
Tex-Mex waitress and part-time reporter Josie Callahan serves up more Lone Star justice in this spicy mystery from the author of The Good, the Bad, and the Guacamole.
It’s fiesta time in Broken Boot, Texas, and tourists are pouring into town faster than free beer at a bull roping for the mouthwatering Cinco de Mayo festivities. Tex-Mex waitress Josie Callahan, her feisty abuela, and even her spunky Chihuahua Lenny are polishing their folklórico dances for Saturday’s big parade, while Uncle Eddie is adding his own spicy event to the fiesta menu: Broken Boot’s First Annual Charity Chili Cook-off.
But Uncle Eddie’s hopes of impressing the town council go up in smoke when cantankerous chili cook Lucky Straw is found dead in his tent. And when Josie’s beloved uncle is accused of fatal negligence, she, Lenny, and the steadfast Detective Lightfoot must uncover who ended the ambitious chilihead’s life–before another cook kicks the bucket.
Mystery Cozy [Berkley, On Sale: April 3, 2018, Mass Market Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780425275955 / eISBN: 9780698166738]
Professional organizer Maggie McDonald manages to balance a fastidious career with friends, family, and a spunky Golden Retriever. But add a fiery murder mystery to the mix, and Maggie wonders if she’s finally found a mess even she can’t tidy up…
With a devastating wildfire spreading to Silicon Valley, Maggie preps her family for a rapid evacuation. The heat rises when firefighters discover the body of her best friend Tess Olmos’s athletic husband whose untimely death was anything but accidental. And as Tess agonizes over the whereabouts of her spouse’s drop-dead gorgeous running mate, she becomes the prime suspect in what’s shaping up to become a double murder case. Determined to set the record straight, Maggie sorts through clues in an investigation more dangerous than the flames approaching her home. But when her own loved ones are threatened, can she catch the meticulous killer before everything falls apart?
Mystery Cozy [Lyrical Press, On Sale: July 10, 2018, e-Book, ISBN: 9781516105267 / eISBN: 9781516105267]
In the days leading up to her wedding to Darcy O’Mara, Lady Georgiana Rannoch takes on the responsibilities of a grand estate, but proving she can run a household just may be the death of her in the new Royal Spyness Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service.
If only Darcy and I had eloped! What I thought would be a simple wedding has been transformed into a grand affair, thanks to the attendance of the queen, who has offered up the princesses as bridesmaids. Silly me! I thought that withdrawing from the royal line of succession would simplify my life. But before Darcy and I tie the knot in front of queen and country, we have to find a place to live as man and wife…
House hunting turns out to be a pretty grim affair. Just as we start to lose hope, my globetrotting godfather offers us his fully staffed country estate. Mistress of Eynsleigh I shall be! With Darcy off in parts unknown, I head to Eynsleigh alone, only to have my hopes dashed. The grounds are in disarray and the small staff is suspiciously incompetent. Not to mention the gas tap leak in my bedroom, which I can only imagine was an attempt on my life. Something rotten is afoot–and bringing the place up to snuff may put me six feet under before I even get a chance to walk down the aisle…
Mystery Historical [Berkley Prime Crime, On Sale: August 7, 2018, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9780425283523 / eISBN: 9780698410268]
When something goes bump in the night . . . it’s most likely a plumbing problem, or something equally mundane. But fake medium Eleanor Wilde is happy to investigate and cleanse your home of spectral presences—for a fee. Hey, it’s a living . . .
Ellie has an ailing sister to care for, and working as a ghost hunter who doesn’t believe in ghosts helps cover the bills for both of them. When she’s lucky, it also pays for the occasional tropical vacation. Her brother doesn’t exactly approve, but Ellie figures she’s providing a service. On her latest job, though, she may be in for some genuine scares.
The skeptical, reserved, and very rich Nicholas Hartford III has flown her all the way to his family’s ancestral estate in England – supposedly haunted by a phantom named Xavier. Nicholas thinks it’s all just as much a crock as Ellie’s business is, but the fact remains that something is causing the flashes of light, mysterious accidents, and other apparent pranks in the chilly, eerie castle. His mother is sure that Xavier is real, and he’s willing to employ Ellie if she can get to the bottom of it and put a stop to the nonsense.
While the food and accommodations are somewhat disappointing (dorm-room furniture? Really?), Ellie is finding it an adventure to get to know this eccentric family and their houseguests, and to poke around in the nearby village for clues. But when an actual dead body appears—and subsequently disappears—at Castle Hartford, she’ll have to apply her talent for trickery and psychological insight to solve a flesh-and-blood murder.
Mystery [Kensington, On Sale: October 30, 2018, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9781496719621 / eISBN: 9781496719652]