My February Nightstand

My February Nightstand


There are so many books to read and more get published each month. I find that I can barely keep up with reading the ones that initially provoked my interest much less the ones that are recommended to me. Cozy mysteries abound, my cup runneth over on my Kindle Unlimited. Today the Kindle in charge computer thing said that I have too many on my “unlimited” list. The fact that having too many on an unlimited list is an oxymoron is a problem that I’ll have to live with. There is no one to whom I can direct my sense of irony on the “unlimited” home page. But I do want to share with you those that I have and a few that I’m buying and a couple that I’ve purchased already and are sitting politely waiting. Secret Agency by G. J. Bellamy is the first in her series about a young woman, Sophie Burgoyne, who finds that she is in financial straits and has to make her own way during the aftermath of WWI in London. She starts an agency that is supposed to solve problems for the wealthy. Initially, she thinks that she will provide domestic servants, but the agency takes on a different tone soon after the novel begins. It’s a clever premise and has a bit of historic information that reminds one that women were not always accepted in the business world or even to make many decisions outside of the home. Bellamy has written three of these novels in her series with the latest being published this year. 

Of course, I must have a culinary mystery as part of my list. Why I get these on Kindle is beyond me. I have an itchy finger that simply presses the “Get Now” button. It’s hard to copy the recipes off of Kindle. First one has to copy the page and then print it out. However, if the recipe is yummy and the memory of the book is quite fun, then the effort is worth it. Much Ado About Muffin is by Virginia K. Bennett and a very good read. The recipes are at the end. I haven’t tried them yet, but they look good. I’ll let you know. The name of the town is Cozy Cove in Maine. I haven’t decided if that’s a tongue in cheek name or the author is trying to create an image of a small town that’s rather lovely. The action starts with the discovery of a famous chef, dead, who was to be in the Griller of the Year Contest. This must be tongue in cheek – don’t you think? It’s fun and as soon as I copy the recipes I’ll release it from my “unlimited” list since I know whodunit.

Fake Death by Victoria Tait is another cozy that takes place in the Cotswolds. The amateur detective is a military widow, Dotty Sayers, who works at an auction house, gets involved in a murder while appraising the man’s antiques and participates in a Remembrance Day parade. It’s an easy read and very British if that’s your cup of tea! 

Murder in the Wings by Laura Shea is a cozy that puts two amateur detectives that couldn’t be more opposite of each other. The one woman has theater connections by way of her mother who danced in many musical productions back in the day. Meanwhile, the two women amateur detectives bond, argue, bond again, and allow each to do what each does best. It’s an imaginative take on a Thelma and Louise kind of theme, but with a British twist. I thought that it started a bit slow, but the novel picked up around page 19. The descriptions of peripheral characters are often priceless. Take a chance and try out the book.

Two other cozies I have on the unlimited list are In the Beginning There was a Murder by P. C. James and Murder Most English by B. D. Churston. 

The first book takes place in 1953. Pauline Riddell works in an armament factory, has a good friend from the factory who is involved in an affair with a married man, and ends up dead. Pauline wants her friend’s murder solved but in the process becomes the main suspect. The cozy gives the reader a good idea of post-World War II Britain and the change of social mores during the period. I barely remember 1953, other than I was a sulky kindergartner and that we got morning and evening newspapers. Eisenhower was the president and my neighbor wore poodle skirts. Good times!  

The second of the two is in the vein of a Miss Marple cozy. It takes place in the 1920’s. The two amateur detectives Mrs. Kate Forbes and her academically minded niece, Lady Jane Scott, are invited to a gathering at Linton Hall where there’s a murder. The two women work at solving the murder despite getting in the way of Inspector Ridley of Scotland Yard who is rather full of his own importance. The plot is an easy one, but the novel is humorous and full of social wannabes, schemers, and downright funny characters. If you find that you’re in a testy mood, read this. You’ll laugh out loud at some of the antics and commentary. 

Not quite on my Nightstand is Scorched Grace by Margot Douaihy. It gets released tomorrow (the 21st) and I am so looking forward to it. The New York Times reviewed it this past Sunday and it sounds like a hoot. The main character is a nun who had been quite a woman of action in New Orleans. Holiday, the nun, has a variety of struggles including trying to explain her new life to the people she knew before entering the convent. The author says, “In the convent, in the classroom, on stage, you are the flawless avatar, the saint, the superhero. But inside we’re all the same. Hearts that want to belong.” I can’t wait for tomorrow. My Kindle books will have to stand in line! 

Keep reading, folks! See you next month!  


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