Saturday, February 7, 2015

It's Time to Curl Up with a Cozy Mystery

For many of us in the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere, this is the time of year to stay inside curled up with a good book and a big cup of tea.  For me, this includes curling up with a cozy mystery or two.  I have always enjoyed the mystery genre, but sometimes I feel like reading lighter mystery fare. This is where cozy mysteries come in, as they are often a lot more fun and much less graphic than their non-cozy counterparts. In celebration of the cozy mystery, I thought I'd share with you some of my favourites:

Laura Childs' Tea Shop Mysteries

Childs' series, which features a tea shop-owning amateur sleuth named Theodosia Browning as its main protagonist, is probably my favourite cozy mystery series. Set in Charleston, South Carolina -- a place I very badly want to visit thanks to the Tea Shop books - this series is a guaranteed good time.  While I often figured out the resolution of the main mystery before each novel's conclusion, it never diminished my enjoyment of them.  Aside from the series' setting, my favourite aspect of the Tea Shop mysteries are the characters, all of whom are memorable and endearing. Lovers of tea will certainly appreciate the many tea references made throughout each of the novels. If you're not a tea lover reading these books will certainly make you wish you were. 

The Tea Shop series starts with Death by Darjeeling.

Rhys Bowen's Royal Spyness Mysteries

Another favourite of mine, Rhys Bowen's Royal Spyness series is set in 1930s England, and features as its heroine Lady Georgianna Rannoch, 34th in line to the British Throne. Despite being a member of the British aristocracy, Georgie is flat broke and must work.  But working is not something Georgie is particularly adept at, so hilarity ensues. This cozy mystery series, like the Tea Shop mysteries, features a fabulous cast of characters, many of whom are endearingly quirky.  Georgie herself if easy to cheer for as she attempts to live her own life -- which includes trying to find love -- and solve mysteries in the process.  Appearances by the British Royal Family, as well as Georgie's non-Noble mother and grandfather, are particularly memorable.

The first novel in the Royal Spyness series is appropriately titled Her Royal Spyness

Heather Blake's Magic Potion Mysteries

This series is, so far, only two books long, and to date I've only read the first one, A Potion To Die For.  I loved it!  The main character, Carly Hartwell, owns a potion shop in small town Alabama.  In the series first installment, a man is found dead in Carly's shop holding on to one of her potions. Carly must work to clear her name and prove her potions aren't deadly!  I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series, One Potion in the Grave.  Blake is also the author of the cozy Witchcraft Mysteries, a series I'm eager to try.

Lynn Cahoon's Tourist Trap Mysteries

As with Heather Blake's Magic Potion Mysteries, Lynn Cahoon's Tourist Trap Mystery series is, to date, only a few books long.  I've read the series' first book, Guidebook to Murder, and thought it was very well done.  The main character is Jill Gardner who, after growing tired of her high flying big city career, moves to small town California to open a bookstore and coffee shop.  In the first book Jill finds herself embroiled in a murder mystery, one that threatens all she holds dear.  I'm looking forward to reading the next book!

What about you? Do you enjoy cozy mysteries? If so, what are some of your favourite series?

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