Hello to a New Year, and what promises to be a year full of great cozy mysteries!
This month’s selections hold a mystery for just about any interest the fan might have – from pets to pecans, from ghosts to glee clubs, there is a little something for everone. And all of them feature a great story with an intriguing mystery to go along with it.
Here are a few that caught my eye this month –
January Book of the Month
One of my favorite cozy mystery authors, Laura Childs, always has a great mystery up her sleeve, and this month the mystery involves those feisty gals from the Cackleberry Club! This is the fifth book in the Cackleberry Club series, and it is full of fun, murder and mayhem! I loved it and I think you will too!
By Laura Childs (Berkley Prime Crime)
The ladies of the Cackleberry Club are always ready to serve—whether they’re cooking up breakfast or sniffing out a bad egg.
While Petra handles the breakfast rush at the Cackleberry Club, the café’s other two owners, Suzanne and Toni, head to Memorial Cemetery to help prepare for its 150th anniversary celebration. But as they search the winding paths for the historical society tent, they discover something else out of place: the body of ex-prison warden Lester Drummond lying facedown in someone else’s freshly dug grave.
In the small town of Kindred, everyone knows everyone, and Lester was no exception. Suzanne knew him as the creepy guy who made unwanted advances on her friend Missy Langston. But now it appears the man was hiding a few secrets…and at least one of them was worth killing for.
As the case cracks open, there are plenty of suspects to consider—from recent parolees to Missy herself, who Suzanne and Toni saw speeding away just before they found the body. Now, with a cemetery celebration in the offing, and the local authorities in over their heads, it’s up to the Cackleberry Club to unscramble the clues and clear their friend’s name.
Laura Childs also has out an anthology of her first three books in the “Tea Shop Mystery” series. Titled TEA FOR THREE, this book features DEATH BY DARJEELING, GUNPOWDER GREEN, and SHADES OF EARL GREY. Plus there are new recipes included in this book, so it is a must-have for tea drinkers and mystery lovers!
January Hardback of the Month:
THE HARLOT’S TALE: A Midwife’s Mystery #2
by Sam Thomas (Minotaur)
It is August, 1645, one year since York fell into Puritan hands. As the city suffers through a brutal summer heat, Bridget Hodgson and Martha Hawkins are drawn into a murder investigation more frightening than their last. In order to appease God’s wrath—and end the heat-wave—the city’s overlords have launched a brutal campaign to whip the city’s sinners into godliness. But for someone in York, this is not enough. First a prostitute and her client are found stabbed to death, then a pair of adulterers are beaten and strangled. York’s sinners have been targeted for execution.
Bridget and Martha—assisted once again by Will, Bridget’s good-hearted nephew—race to find the killer even as he adds more bodies to his tally. The list of suspects is long: Hezekiah Ward, a fire and brimstone preacher new to York; Ward’s son, Praise-God, whose intensity mirrors his father’s; John Stubb, one of Ward’s fanatic followers, whose taste for blood may not have been sated by his time in Parliament’s armies. Or could the killer be closer to home? Will’s brother Joseph is no stranger to death, and he shares the Wards’ dreams of driving sin from the city.
To find the killer, Bridget, Martha, and Will must uncover the city’s most secret sins, and hope against hope that the killer does not turn his attention in their direction.
(This is the sequel to THE MIDWIFE’S TALE)
January Mass Market (paperback) of the Month:
By Ellery Adams (Berkley Prime Crime)
Her Charmed Pie Shoppe is open for business, but baker Ella Mae LeFaye is about to discover solving a murder is not as easy as pie.
Owning the Charmed Pie Shoppe and serving enchanted treats in the magical town of Havenwood, Georgia, seemed like a little slice of heaven for Ella Mae LeFaye. But now her hopes for both a lasting romance with Hugh Dylan and business success are starting to seem like pie in the sky, and Ella’s left wondering: Where has the magic gone?
When an enchanted grove is set ablaze, Ella realizes she has more grave problems. With her magic waning, she’s going to have to sleuth from scratch to stop an arsonist who has no respect for sacred ground—or human life.
January Debut Hardback:
By Gail Oust (Minotaur)
Piper Prescott, a transplanted Yankee living in the South, has got her sass back. She might be down, but don’t count her out. “Change of life?” she asks. Bring it on.
Recently divorced, Piper decides to pursue a dream she’s secretly harbored: owning her own business, Spice it Up!, a spice shop in her adopted hometown, Brandywine Creek, Georgia. But Piper’s grand opening goes awry when the local chef who’s agreed to do a cooking demo is found stabbed. Not only did Piper find the body, she handled the murder weapon and doesn’t have a witness to her alibi, making the case look like a slam dunk to brand new police Chief Wyatt McBride.
Desperate to uncover the truth—and prove her innocence—Piper enlists the help of her outspoken BFF Reba Mae Johnson to help track down the real culprit. The pair compile a lengthy list of suspects and work to eliminate them using their own creative brand of sleuthing techniques including stakeouts, breaking and entering, and one very unorthodox chocolate pie. When Piper narrowly avoids being a victim of a hit-and-run, she knows she’s getting closer to the truth, but can she catch the killer and clear her name before she becomes the next victim?
January Debut Paperback:
PAWS FOR MURDER: A Pet Boutique Mystery #1
By Annie Knox (Obsidian)
Izzy McHale wants her new Trendy Tails Pet Boutique in Merryville, Minnesota, to be the height of canine couture and feline fashions. But at the store’s opening, it turns out it’s a human who’s dressed to kill.
Izzy’s own beloved pets are dressed to the nines for the grand opening of Trendy Tails. Feisty feline Jinx is large and in charge, and happy mutt Packer is lapping up the attention. Izzy and her best friend Rena have their hands full meeting Merryville’s menagerie and serving tasty pupcakes and kitty canapes from their “barkery.” The last thing they need is the town’s local activist, Sherry Harper, scaring off customers and getting tongues wagging by picketing the event.
The two manage to stop Sherry’s protest in its tracks, but the trouble for Trendy Tails is just beginning. Sherry is found murdered in back of the shop, and Rena is immediately named as the lead suspect. Now Izzy and her furry friends have a new pet project—collaring a killer.
Some other titles you might find fun to read
Hope that you find something wonderful among these titles to read. Next month promises to have some fun reads as well, so be sure to check back!
As always, Cozy Reading, Y’all!