Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

Sharon’s Cozy Corner | Curl up with a cozy in January…

January 6, 2010

After the flurry of the holidays, I had expected January to be a nice, quiet, slow month for books – boy, was I wrong! I have a plethora of brand new cozy mysteries to share with you this month, and each one sounds just as fun and fascinating as the next. And what a perfect month to just stay inside and read!

Where I live in North Texas, we are experiencing the coldest, strangest winter I can personally remember. We had 11 inches of snow on Christmas Eve that all but brought the entire region to a standstill and now, in January, we are about to dip down into the ‘teens temperature wise. We Texans aren’t used to this!

But I’m not too worried about it – got a load of firewood and a batch of delightful cozy mysteries to keep me busy and warm! I hope you can find something among these titles that will peak your interest as well!

buy at amazon

A Talk Radio Mystery
By Mary Kennedy
Obsidian Mystery; $6.99

In a brand new series, author Mary Kennedy explores the scenes behind a popular radio talk show with her book, DEAD AIR: A Talk Radio Mystery.

Maggie Walsh left her practice as a psychologist in Manhattan to move to sunny Cypress Grove, Florida, where she became host of WYME’s On the Couch with Maggie Walsh. From co-dependent wives to fetish fiends, all the local crazies love her show.

Then threats start pouring in against one of the station’s special guests-self- styled new age prophet Guru Sanjay Gingii. When one of the threats becomes a deadly reality, Maggie’s new roommate, Lark, is surprisingly the prime suspect. Now, Maggie has to prove Lark innocent while dealing with a killer who needs more than just a little therapy.

Think “Frasier” or “Dr. Phil” with a feminine twist. With the popularity of radio talk shows these days, Mary Kennedy’s new series looks to be promising!

buy HOW TO WASH A CAT amazon

HOW TO WASH A CAT: A Cats and Curios Mystery
By Rebecca M. Hale
Berkley Prime Crime; $6.99

My beloved cousin Lisa is a cat fanatic, and lives in San Francisco where she helps care for hundreds of homeless kitties. So imagine my delight in finding Rebecca M. Hale’s book, HOW TO WASH A CAT: A Cats and Curios Mystery, a cozy mystery featuring cats and San Francisco – my cousin will love this book!

A deceased uncle and a surprising inheritance propel a woman and her two very curious cats into the mystery surrounding his death.

An investigation that starts amid the curios and novelties of a San Francisco antiques shop follows a twisted trail of dangerous deception that leads all the way back to the days of the Gold Rush itself.

HOW TO WASH A CAT is unusual in that the main character of the story is the author herself, but this is a fast-paced, interesting mystery that captures the reader’s imagination. Rebecca M. Hale worked as a patent attorney in the San Francisco Bay Area for several years before taking time off to write her first novel. Now thoroughly addicted to the writing process, Rebecca and her two cats, Rupert and Isabella, have moved their writing quarters to Western Colorado. Look for book two of this series, NINE LIVES LAST FOREVER, to come out this summer.

buy at amazon

HOWL DEADLY: A Kendra Ballentyne, Pet Sitter Mystery
By Linda O. Johnston
Berkley Prime Crime; $7.99

Staying with the pet theme, Linda O. Johnston’s latest book in her Pet Sitter’s Mystery series, HOWL DEADLY, finds attorney/pet sitter Kendra Ballantyne once again embroiled in a mysterious murder that involves a wolf, a movie star, and a wild life sanctuary.

Kendra’s weekend getaway with gorgeous millionaire Dante DeFrancisco turns chilling when a mother she-wolf goes missing from Dante’s pet sanctuary. Now Kendra must find the missing wolf along with a killer hiding right before her eyes.

The seventh book in Johnston’s Pet Sitter Mysteries, HOWL DEADLY, advances Kendra’s story for her fans, as well as provides a quirky, intelligent mystery as well.

buy MURDER HAS NO CLASS at amazon

MURDER HAS NO CLASS: A Bellehaven House Mystery
By Rebecca Kent
Berkley Prime Crime; $6.99

Mystery lovers can take a trip back in time with Rebecca Kent’s latest addition to her Bellehaven House series, MURDER HAS NO CLASS. Set in Edwardian England, this lively novel will satisfy history fans as well as mystery enthusiasts.

Headmistress Meredith Llewellyn has her hands full trying to turn rebellious, over-priviliged tomboys into graceful and accomplished young ladies. Her task is decidedly complicated by the ghosts of murder victims who insist on her helping them bring their killers to justice. In MURDER HAS NO CLASS, Meredith is confronted by a very angry ghost, who insists he was hanged for a crime he didn’t commit. With the help of her reluctant companions, Meredith must prove his innocence and bring the true murderer to justice.

Kent, who also writes as Kate Kingsbury (THE PENNYFOOT HOTEL series), has a delightful style of writing that appeal to the gentle reader. She has announced that MURDER HAS NO CLASS will be the final book she writes as Rebecca Kent, and for the mystery world will be saddened for this.

By Kaye Morgan
Berkley Prime Crime; $6.99

Fans of the mysterious (to me!) world of Sudoku puzzles will be thrilled to find Kate Morgan’s newest puzzling mystery GHOST SUDOKU.

Puzzle Master Liza Kelly returns from her vacation to find that the townfolk of Maiden’s Bay, Oregon have signed her up to run for mayor! But when she turns to an old classmate Chad Redbourne to find out who was behind all this political nonsense, she discovers he’s been murdered. A secret Sudoku fan, he has left behind puzzles that might be clues to who is killer is. It’s up to Liza to decipher them before she becomes the next victim!

Morgan includes five original Sudoku puzzles plus tips on how to solve these clever challenges for her readers.


EGGSECUTIVE ORDERS: A White House Chef Mystery
By Julie Hyzy
Berkley Prime Crime; $7.99

Realizing that we have just got finished with Christmas and New Years, are you ready for Easter? Author Julie Hyzy is already decorating Easter eggs with her new book, EGGSECUTIVE ORDERS: A White House Chef Mystery.

When NSA big shot Carl Minkus dies right after eating the dinner Chef Olivia Paras’s staff had prepared, all forks point to them. Now the Secret Service is picking apart the kitchen-and scrutinizing the staff’s every move. The timing couldn’t be worse with the White House Lawn Easter Egg Roll to prep for without access to a kitchen. Olivia must find the real culprit-before she cracks under pressure.

This is a cute little mystery that is timely, considering all the publicity lately regarding the new White House Chef and her recent appearance on the Food Network’s Iron Chef series. The third in Hyzy’s series, EGGSECUTIVE ORDERS will help speed springtime along, hopefully, with it’s inclusion of several delicious “presidential” recipes.


WHO KILLED THE PINUP QUEEN: A Where Are They Now? Mystery
By Toni L.P. Kelner
Berkley Prime Crime; $6.99

I’ve been a freelance entertainment reporter for nearly fourteen years, so when I received Toni L.P. Kelner’s WHO KILLED THE PINUP QUEEN: A Where Are They Now? Mystery, that features freelance reporter Tilda Harper, I couldn’t pass it up!

Known for her Where Are They Now? articles, Tilda Harper is working on two articles simultaneously-one about Sandra Schrest, a former pinup model, and one about Tucker and Hoyt Ambrose, stars of Cowtown, an old Western show. But when she discovers the pinup queen brutally murdered, she finds that the two stories may have some disturbing connections.

I loved Kelner’s feisty Tilda, and the funny cowboy sayings she sprinkled throughout the chapters. It was also interesting to note that the character of Sandra Schrest was created for an actual person who donated money to charity to have a character named for her. Very cool.

buy A BOLT FROM THE BLUE at amazon

A BOLT FROM THE BLUE: A Leonardo da Vinci Mystery
By Diane A.S. Stuckart
Berkley Prime Crime; $14

A different hero for cozy mysteries, A BOLT FROM THE BLUE, by Diane A.S. Stuckart, features legendary artist Leonardo Da Vinci as the main character and mystery solver.

As court engineer to the Duke of Milan, da Vinci turns his superior mind to many pursuits- from outlandish contraptions to solving the odd murder. With war looming ever closer, the iron-fisted Duke of Milan calls upon Master da Vinci to invent the deadliest weapon ever-a flying machine. So da Vinci calls in a craftsman who happens to be father to his star apprentice, Dino.

But da Vinci does not know that Dino is actually the craftsman’s daughter, Delfina, who keeps her gender a secret to serve as apprentice. But as Delfina worries that her father will prove her undoing, someone murders another apprentice. Now, as her master works his brilliance, Delfina can only pray that no other apprentice, including herself, will fall victim.

This is the third book in Stuckart’s Da Vinci series, and I for one, will be seeking out the first two to catch up on the fun and the thrills.

And last, but certainly not least, a lovely British cozy mystery fro author Ann Purser.

buy TRAGEDY AT TWO at amazon

TRAGEDY AT TWO: A Lois Meade Mystery
By Ann Purser
Berkley Prime Crime; $23.95

In TRAGEDY AT TWO, working mom/cleaner/amateur sleuth Lois Meade is having family woes. Her daughter Josie was admittedly considering leaving her partner, Rob, but she never expected him to be found badly beaten and left for dead in a ditch by the side of the road. When Rob tragically dies from his injuries without regaining consciousness, Inspector Hunter Cowgill has a murder investigation on his hands, and once again he engages the assistance of the woman he respects above all others – Lois.

Suspicion quickly falls on the traveling gypsies who are camped out on Alf Smith’s property. There is strong prejudice among many in the village who consider the gypsies no better than tramps and thieves. Lois must follow a twisted path that leads to arson, local delinquents, secret assignations, and blackmail-before she can discover who’s been tinkering with the truth.

TRAGEDY AT TWO is the ninth book in the Lois Meade Mysteries, which started with the days of the week (MURDER ON MONDAY, TERROR ON TUESDAY, etc.) and now continues with numbers (WARNING AT ONE, TRAGEDY AT TWO.) Very clever.

So there you go! That should keep you cozy enthusiasts occupied, at least for a few wintry days! Come back by on the 15th for a special mystery author interview! Until then, cozy reading, ya’ll!

Read more from Sharon Chance

No Comments

Comments are closed.