Reading cozy mysteries is a great way to keep it light between dramas and historical fiction that sometimes end sadly. I need to smile and just have fun with a book. These three cozy mysteries did that for me. Two were audiobooks, which had wonderful narrators and the third was read. I recommend them all for those who enjoy a good cozy or those looking for a lighthearted story.
A Room with a Roux (Pancake House Mystery #7) by Sarah Fox, Marguerite Gavin (Narrator)
Published January 12th 2021 by Tantor Audio, Lyrical Press (Kensington Publishing)
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Pancake House Mystery series is a fun one and this seventh outing is another winner. Of course there is a murder, but this one does not occur in town, but at The Holly Lodge, a resort in the Olympia Mountains. Newlyweds Brett and Marley had a few days to get away and after a recommendation from a local business owner, this winter holiday seems to be just what they are looking for. Unfortunately, death follows them and they find the owner of the resort dead and buried in a snowdrift. When they return to Wildwood Cove, several of the suspects end up there as well, allowing Marley to continue poking around. There is also a secondary mystery involving the theft of ornaments on the trees decorated for the Festival of trees. This mystery is more lighthearted and brings out the quaint feel to the town and we see some of the secondary characters that were not a large part of this story. The murder mystery was a bit more difficult to solve as the actual crime was committed elsewhere. Marley, Brett and Chloe followed what clues they had, asked lots of questions and poked around until they figured out whodunnit. There wasn’t a big reveal or any danger, so it was a bit anti-climactic. While I enjoyed the setting of the mountain lodge, this was not my favourite in this series. The narration by Marguerite Gavin was pleasant and easy to listen to. Her tone and pacing were right on and her voice for Marley was recognizable. She narrated the last book in the series I had listened to, so it was nice to hear her again on this one. I received a copy of this book from the publisher upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.
Something Read, Something Dead (Lighthouse Library Mystery #5) by Eva Gates, Elise Arsenault (Narrator)
Published March 13th 2019 by Blackstone Audio Inc., Crooked Lane Books
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This is the 5th book in the Lighthouse Library Mystery, and I have read others, but not in order. I recommend reading them in order as there were things in this book that were given away as I read book 6 before this one. I very much enjoy Eva Gates writing and this is one series, I have tried to keep up with. Lucy Richardson is our protagonist in this series. She lives in the lighthouse that houses the library and is quite happy to live and work there with library cat Charles. In this story her cousin and friend Josie is getting married. She and her fiancé want a small, cozy wedding, but her rich, southern matron grandmother has other plans. She shows up with cousins in tow who also happen to be wedding planners. They turn all the planning upside down and when one of the cousins dies from drug poisoning, Lucy works tirelessly to prove that her friend is not responsible. While all this is going on, the lighthouse is undergoing issues with structural damages coming with a high price tag for repairs.
I do enjoy the setting of Nags Head NC. with its quaint village, stores and yes a lighthouse library. The characters are great, even the secondary ones. Lucy makes a great protagonist. She is smart, intuitive, great solving puzzles, friendly, caring and independent. There is just enough humour in the story to keep me smiling. The mystery is well developed with a few suspects and some twists along the way. Another great addition to this series. Elise Arsenault is a narrator that I enjoy, especially when narrating cozy mysteries. She has a pleasant voice that adds just the right amount of emotion, expression and tone. Her voices are well done and the male/female differences are well done. An enjoyable listening experience.
Published October 29th 2019 by Poisoned Pen Press
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Bookstore owner Arlo Stanley is preparing for a book signing event with local bestselling author, Wally Harrison when she is notified that he has been found dead outside her store. To make matters worse, the police suspect her best friend and co-worker, Chloe as the one responsible for his death. It seems Chloe might have a motive to kill Wally. Arlo knows her friend is innocent and with the help of her elderly book club members, she is determined to catch the real killer.
This is the first book in a new cozy mystery series by Amy Lillard. Like all first books in a cozy mystery series, this one introduces us to the main characters, the town and many of the secondary characters that will recur in future books. I liked the protagonist, Arlo. She is smart, loyal, funny, friendly and organized. Not only does she run her own business, but is organizing her high school reunion which brings several possible suspects to town. Wally is well known for his philandering as well, so there is a wife who is being fooled around on and a mistress that are both high on Arlo’s suspect list. Sugar Springs, Mississippi is a great setting. It is a sleepy small town with quaint businesses, quirky characters (Friday Night Book Club) and a bulldog of a Sheriff, who just wants Arlo to butt out (they were high school sweethearts, so…..). An enjoyable start to a new series, and I am looking forward to what is next in Sugar Springs.