My October Nightstand 2023

My October Nightstand 2023

I have been loving Kathy Manos Penn’s series, Dickens and Christie Mysteries. I think the plight of the talking animals makes it warmer than the usual cozy. That said, I was so delighted to hear her speak in August. My new book on my nightstand is by Meri Allen. She published her latest ice cream shop mystery the end of June. The Meri Allen series centers around a former CIA librarian who has retired and owns an ice cream shop. Obviously, “retired” is in quotes since mysteries surround her. This one, Fatal Fudge Swirl, involves a once upon a time child star, his mother and his mother’s wedding, a Halloween celebration in the center of town, and the list goes on. The author has the good grace to tie it all up in a neat New England cozy that calls for a big easy chair in which to read.


I’ve mentioned Katie Gayle before -- Murder in the Library is book 2 of the Julia Bird mysteries, which I enjoyed. I’m looking forward to reading Murder at the Inn. It just came out a few days ago and since I enjoyed book 2 I’m looking forward to reading this edition of the series. In book 2 of the series a local author is found dead after reading an excerpt from his latest novel that sounds as if the characters and description of the town are suspiciously similar to those of Berrywick, the town in which the Julia Bird mysteries take place. Julia feels obliged to help the police find the murderer because she was one of the last people to see the victim alive. It’s a cozy that takes place in the Cotswolds so an entirely English cozy. Get your cuppa ready!

I finished reading Agatha Christie’s The Moving Finger. It’s a fast read and a somewhat different tone than most of her other cozies. Now I have to move on and read Murder is Easy. I’ve watched the television adaptation of both over and over. First of all, I love Emilia Fox who is in The Moving Finger, but I also totally enjoy the depiction of the dinner given by the lawyer and his wife. She is so pointedly cruel with her gossip that it becomes humorous to watch the guests at the dinner party squirm. The adaptation of Murder is Easy has marvelous set design with achingly beautiful scenery. I look forward to reading the book. So far the adaptations have been true to the flavor, but not the particulars of Christie’s novels.

I had never read any of Sharon Short’s books and decided to start with the first book in her older series about Josie Toadfern (an unlikely moniker) a laundromat owner. I had been looking through cozies by themes with the hopes of finding the cozy that I’d read very long ago about a woman who was running from the law and took housekeeper jobs on her way south because they most often are paid in cash. I didn’t find that one, but did discover sleuths who own laundry services, Short’s series being one. Death of a Domestic Diva is about Josie trying to solve who did it to an associate of Tyra Grimes, a domestic doyenne whose television show is using Josie’s town for the show’s weekly series. I would not be surprised if Sharon Short’s family had come up with the names of the characters – maybe a dinnertime contest? – but that sells Short short. She writes humorously and I have to finish the book! Who did it?

Keep reading cozy lovers! Let us know about new favorites or older ones as well. We’re still in the process of making the 2024 list of books. You can write yours down in the Comment section.

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