Cozy Mysteries To Try

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            I am a devourer of cozy mysteries I have a bunch in my collection, 40 actually, excluding the ones that I haven’t read yet, that span several authors. My mom has a series or two at her house and I have read many of them as well. So I am just going to run through the first’s in the series that I am currently reading and give my recommendations on cozy mysteries if you want to find a few to try out. 

Not pictured because I don’t have them in my personal collection, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder and Caught Dead Handed because they are in my mother’s collection.

            I am only including series where I have read two or more, I don’t want to base a suggestion on just one book; no matter how much I liked the first book. 

            I am not going to really summarize each series, just give my opinions on them and let you, if you want to, discover their content on your own as much as possible. If you really want to see some of the summaries I did read a lot of cozies last year and you can sift through the books I read last year series if you want to: 1, 2, 3, and 4.

  1. The Meg Langslow Mysteries by Donna Andrews. 

The first book is A Murder with Peacocks.

This is one of those series that I have been reading for a little over 4 years now. I have read all of the ones that are out in paperback so far and I am going to be honest it is one of my favorite series to read. I love the world and the characters and watching them all grow and change as time goes on. Some of them are a little hard to find, I know there was a second in the middle of the first fifteen or so that I had to order used and even then they were hard to come by. I hope they eventually rerelease them so they are easier to find because it’s so good.

2. The Hannah Swensen Mysteries by Joanne Fluke 

The first book is Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder

I started reading these after seeing the series on Hallmark and I have read the first several but again, finding them in bookstores can be hard if you don’t start a series pretty close to it’s beginning so I have to order them off the internet a lot, thanks Amazon. I enjoy the series and the characters, again. I also enjoy the cookie and other bakery treat recipes that are sprinkled throughout the book. They are not exactly the same as the TV movie series but I really enjoy them even though I haven’t read one since the middle of last year. 

3. The Fixer-Upper Mysteries by Kate Carlisle

The first book is  A High End Finish

I read the first several in this series over the last year and I have fallen in love with the series as a whole. The characters and the story lines, the world building and the fact that the main character is in construction because you don’t see a lot of ladies in building. Sometimes these are hard to find as well but also it might just be my specific Barnes and Noble that fails me on having books beyond the first one sometimes and maybe the fifth one. 

4. The Cookie House Mysteries by Eve Calder

The first book is And Then There Were Crumbs

I didn’t start this series until late last year but I read both books in like a week and am patiently but not so patiently waiting for the third one which comes out in April, I think. It’s not the same style as others I have read in the past and I love that to be honest. I am looking forward to seeing the expansion of the world and the characters in the future because both books urged me to keep reading even when I knew I should put the book down. 

5. The Nantucket Candle Maker Mysteries

The first book is Murder’s No Votive Confidence

Like the Meg Langslow mysteries I didn’t read the first one first, I read the third one first because it was in a Halloween book box from last year. I read all three in like a week and a half and again I couldn’t put them down. I love candles and used to have a much larger collection than I do now but I do follow some artisanal candle companies on the internet. It takes place on Nantucket, so a small island and that feels like a locked room mystery series to me and I absolutely love it.

6. The Witch City Mysteries

The first book is Caught Dead Handed

I am never against a mystery series that is slightly supernatural, I love the characters and all of the craziness that happens, I have a degree in TV and Radio so seeing a TV personality in a mystery book is never something that bothers me. It’s just slightly magical which is really cool because sometimes authors go overboard with the magical nature of things or it becomes cliché but this series is for sure worth a read.

            For now that’s about it, I know that in the future I will have a second post with more books because I know me, I have enough to read that as I get more series in my book shelf and I need to get the second and third books in series that I have only read one book in so I can add to this list but for now I am giving suggestions on six series that total somewhere around 80 books in total to read so I think that will keep anyone and everyone who wants to read them busy for a while. 

            Alright, this is my first book post of the year and there will be more because I like writing about what I am reading. My first reading post will come out late next month if everything goes well but we will see I guess. 

            So I will see everyone later in the week with a new post and as always I hope that everyone has a great start to the week!

            -MJ 

Once Upon a Book Club Sweet Halloween Unboxing and Review

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Happy spooky season y’all, by the time this goes up it will be November 1st so after spooky season so welcome to 60% off chocolate season leading into Thanksgiving season but that is not what this post is about. This is about a really cool service and the fact that they make reading experiences immersive and who can be mad about that. All the opinions in this are my own I’m just willing to support brands and services that create things that I enjoy. 

            I found Once Upon A Book Club well over a year ago and my first box I purchased was their Sweet Halloween box last year and that book was Housewitch by Katie Schickel which took me a long time to read because last October and November was difficult for me, let’s be real all months are hard for me but I’m still kicking. But I loved that book when I got into it and the gifts were perfect, a pink scarf and mud mask and I have enjoyed both. 

            This year I decided that I wanted to write a post on the book I got this year which was 15 Minutes of Flame by Christin Brecher which is the third in the Nantucket Candle Maker Mysteries and if you think that I am not purchasing the first two you are wrong. (I will probably have them by the time this post goes live if I am lucky.) I devoured this book it was so good. I am a sucker for a cozy mystery and the story in this weaving Nantucket history and current affairs on the fictional version of the island. I loved it so much and I am excited to see the beginnings of Stella Wright in the first two novels and all of the rest that will eventually come out in the series. 

            Because this was the third in the series I did feel like I was missing some things so I want to rea the other two though I am no stranger to reading mystery series out of order I read like the 19th book in the Meg Langslow series by Donna Andrews first and then the 16th before I read the first one so I understand reading it out of order and needed to go back and meet the characters for the first time. 

            So what was the book about? The lead up to Halloween, a skeleton found in a wall of a 19th century chandlery, a murder near an old well, a mysterious map, a more mysterious map, and trying to unravel a mystery that happened over a century ago. 

It is for sure worth a read just in general, I will put this one my list for my Books Read This Year Part 4 which I expect to come out at the end of the year because I finished this book just a day after I posted the last one, (you can check out 1, 2, and 3.) 

            I don’t want to give too much away about the book but I will tell you about the gifts. On the page where you are to open your gift is a sticky note and it’s important not to open your gifts until you get to those pages and they were all late in the book so I had to wait to get them. 

            The first gift was a candle clock with a prominently featured throughout the book and it’s a really interesting concept so I am excited to actually give it a try, but I live in an apartment at the moment and I can’t burn candles so it will just have to wait until I get a more permanent place. 

            The second gift was a cup that has to do with a cup in the book and I kind of love reusable coffee mugs and this one has books on it so I cannot be mad at all about it. 

            The last gift was my favorite, in the book the group of women that come to the main character’s candle classes are called The Candeleer’s and they made cobwebs for the Halloween Haunts event and for the “cobwebs” it is a beautiful spiderweb shaped table runner which will fit perfectly on my bistro table next year when I have a chance to put it out before Halloween and I am so jazzed to have something really cool and kind of spooky to put on my table next year.

            So I think that this Halloween box is going to be a yearly tradition for me because I love the idea of this whole Once Upon a Book Club idea, eventually I would love to subscribe to their regular box or get their Advent Box one year but this year is not that year for either of those things. It’s such a fun concept and I love the suspense of waiting to open a gift that goes along with a book that I am reading. 

            If you like cozy mysteries give this one a read because it is totally worth it and I know that I am going to sink my teeth into the first two as soon as I can. 

            I hope everyone had a really Happy Halloween if you celebrate it and I hope y’all have a great start to November and I will see y’all mid-week with a new post. 

            -MJ