I must admit that I’m a fan of the Laura Childs cozy mystery books. Sometimes the books disappoint in that they’ve become tropes and other times the books are simply marvelously engaging. A Dark and Stormy Tea is the 24th in her series and promises to be the latter. How could one miss with a book that starts: “Tall boxwood hedges closed in as Theodosia skimmed along slippery cobblestones…”? Sure enough, Theodosia witnesses a murder, and her sleuthing begins. The serial killer Fogheel Jack is the focus of Theodosia’s sleuthing, but she encounters several characters as she investigates. Her neighbor is writing a real crime book and is looking for a terrific ending to her book, there’s a real estate developer that seems crooked, and more. Her current boyfriend, Detective Peter Riley, advises Theodosia to stay out of the sleuthing business and to concentrate on her Tea Shop, but Theodosia can’t help herself. I can’t wait to read this book.
A Spoonful of Murder is also calling to me. I haven’t read J. M. Hall’s books before, but when I read the premise of the book, I knew that I had to have it and read it right away. It’s about three retired teachers who find themselves in the detective business. It reminds me of the Richard Osman books and coincidentally the teachers meet on Thursdays. As soon as I finish my Daniel Silva book, Portrait of an Unknown Woman, I’ll start the J.M. Hall book. The book did make me think twice since what I’m writing has three teachers. Mine, however, are not all retired. I guess we write what we know.
We didn’t go on a vacation trip this summer. I must make believe and can do it with Jasmine Webb’s Aloha Alibi which takes place in Hawaii. It’s a Charlotte Gibson book and the first of a six-book series. Charlotte is not happy to be back in Hawaii, but her mother is delighted and is desperate to marry Charlotte off. Charlotte’s investigations start when she meets a man that she thinks she had seen before who comes into the ice cream shop where she’s working. One thing leads to another and Charlie teams up with two retired women who provide quite a bit of comic relief to the cozy mystery. I’ve already started this book and am in love with it.
Tea with Milk and Murder sounds so British and indeed it is. It’s a murder mystery that starts at Oxford and ends with a Velvet Cheesecake recipe. Your sleuth is Gemma Rose who owns a tearoom, has a mother who thoroughly disapproves of Gemma’s sleuthing hobby, a village with several old biddies, and a gorgeous police officer. It’s a lot of fun.
Meanwhile, Punishable by Death takes place in a seaside town in Maryland and the amateur sleuth has a new bookstore in a building that she purchased. There’s a complicated history to the building, it had been a gas stations and garage, several decades before, that keeps cropping up as Harvey and her basset hound investigate a reporter’s death. I enjoyed the book and think you will also. I’m looking forward to reading Deborah Crombie’s A Bitter Feast. It’s not exactly a cozy since the investigation is handled by a couple of Scotland Yard detectives who happen to be married, visiting a family in the Cotswolds, and interrupted in their visit by a series of mysterious deaths. It sounds like it’s a lovely British murder mystery with descriptions of mouthwatering meals and teas. I’m in love.
THE CONTEST RULES ARE ON THE WEBSITE: WWW.ACOZYDEATH.COM. Your entries are due November 1st. Get started. This can be fun. If you want, write with a partner. That will spur you on to meet the deadline!