I have participated in several book clubs. Some meet at friends’ homes, bookstores, libraries and online. My latest was an entire conference of mystery writers. Can you imagine the fun of being surrounded by mystery readers and writers, all of us fans of the cosy mystery stories? Everyone was friendly and welcoming because we all shared the love of mystery fiction and wanted to learn more about our favorite genre! Join us next spring for Malice Domestic in Bethesda, MD.
After having met many authors online first, I was fortunate to meet more in person. Ellen Byron, author of a new “Cajun mystery series” about a spooky B & B staffed by the Crozat family, brought props and everything Mardi Gras to remind us of her fun setting. Exciting clues will keep you guessing throughout her series. Plantation Shudders is the first in the Cajun Mystery books, followed by Body in the Bayou to be released in the fall! You will want to visit Cajun country after reading these novels!
Edith Maxwell writes 4 different mystery series. I just finished her newest series debut book about a Quaker midwife in the time of the 1880’s. Delivering the Truth reveals the clues to the theme from a great cover. Rose Margaret Carroll seems modern to today’s readers because the Friends Society encourages equality for all men and women. As a midwife, Rose is able to learn much about all the society in her hometown. She seeks the truth about victims and perpetrators.
Nina Mansfield intrigued me with her young adult debut Swimming Alone. This fast-paced novel will keep you guessing this summer. Go to the local bookstore and the beach with fifteen-year-old Cathy Banks to find the clues she and her new friends search to discover the Sea Side strangler!
Cooking and mysteries often go together. Maya Corrigan is an author from VA who combines them expertly and humorously. Her book series offers a grandfather who wants to cook and assist his granddaughter solve local crimes. The recipes at the back of the book offer you the chance to make some great treats! By Cook or By Crook is the first in her “Five Ingredient Mystery Series.”
My other love is plays and Cindy Brown drew me in with her new series of an actress who solves crimes unexpectedly! Macdeath, the first in her series, was nominated for an Agatha Award for best first mystery. The competition was fierce and I loved all the nominees in person and in print!
Historical mysteries might be your cup of tea, Agatha fans. Try out Victoria Thompson’s “Gaslight series” which takes place at the turn of the 20th century. I read three this spring starting with number one, Murder on Astor Place followed by Murder on Amsterdam Avenue (Agatha nominated title), and then Murder on Fifth Avenue. Can you read them out of order? Yes, Vicky, a delightful person, fills you in on the back story, but I know most readers like to read historical titles as they are released. There are a few plot lines you will want to follow in order.
Suspenseful cozies are becoming more popular. Hank Phillippi Ryan is bringing back her first protagonist Charlotte McNally this fall, but you may want to pick up her Jane Ryland titles The Other Woman, The Wrong Girl and What You See. I love the puns and double entrendre in her titles! Be prepared for fast-paced plots with these investigative reporters who will remind you of this Emmy Award winning author. Yes, Hank has won awards for her own journalism and for her books too.
Another new author I met is Martha Crites whose debut Grave Disturbance was recently nominated for a Nancy Pearl Award. Be prepared to be scared by her realistic mystery set in the Seattle area.
My friends Marcia Talley and Sujata Massey, as well as Elaine Viets, are working on new titles set in Annapolis, India, St. Louis or Florida I hope to read in the fall when they are released. Check out your local independent book store for the latest from these fun authors.
Reading all these mysteries and more helped bring me out of a slump in finding fun books to enjoy. Hope you discover some fun reading in this blog: a new author, a new series, or a fun summer read!
Next post will feature literary fiction titles and will include Amazon links.
Happy Reading in 2016!