Tag Archive: cozy-mystery



The Litter of the Law (Mrs. Murphy, #22)The Litter of the Law by Rita Mae Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was given this book by a friend who read it on her vacation and left it with me when she visited. It took me so long as the font is rather small so I could only take it in bits and pieces. There was enough dialogue to break up the page so I could read it in tiny doses.

The book kept my interest. I did want to find out more about the farming and life of these farm people. I loved reading about the characters. I found the Native American research interesting though it added to the shame of how our founders dealt with the original inhabitants of our country.

I absolutely loved the drawings. Yay for adult books that have pictures!

What I found annoying and distracting from the story: talking animals. But I suppose that is where the ‘cozy’ comes in for this mystery.

I love Halloween but I never go to ‘haunted house’ features because I worry that real blood could be involved with no one knowing. And I hate things jumping out at me to make me scream or be startled. This book just reinforced those fears. It is what made this a gruesome mystery rather than cozy. But others of you may love it and can read it with the grain of salt that is implied. I’m glad to finally be finished and to pass it to the friends of the library.

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Bittersweet (China Bayles, #23)Bittersweet by Susan Wittig Albert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My librarian suggested this book knowing I wanted to try a ‘real’ book written by and starring a strong female. Now that I am finished with it I can say I did enjoy much of it. (I had to renew it–six weeks!)

“Oh, but here comes her complaints…” I hear some of you saying. And, yes, I do have some negatives.

The very beginning. I think it is highly unnecessary. When you read the Prologue you’re given the answer to the whole mystery. Many call this a cozy mystery. What, I ask you, is cozy about murder? Not just one but TWO? What is cozy about people who think more about money than the environment that we all have to live in humans, fauna, and flora alike?

At least the author uses this as an educational moment. That is what brought it up to four stars. Otherwise, I would have said I was rather bored. Though the excitement of the mystery gets wrapped up, the parts of the book I cared about, the main character’s mother’s husband’s health. It is the cliffhanger of that issue that brings this rating down to a three again. I didn’t like this story where the men of this book were being talked about. If women can grow, let’s show that men can grow, too. Many have been raised with sisters or single moms so they know the issues and don’t need to be cavemen.

I loved learning about the herbs and plants.

I never knew about the shooting-fish-in-the-barrel type hunting and moving the game to places they shouldn’t inhabit and the problems that brings. I will have to look into our area and see if that is here. I don’t have a problem with hunters. I hope we never get desperate enough to look to that as a food source, but if we do I guess I will have to accept it. Plenty of people around here do that for their food source. There are laws to keep it safe and less draining on the environment while filling the freezers with protein for cold winters. I’m a vegetarian because I don’t like the texture of meat, not a preachy one telling others what they should or shouldn’t eat. Anyway, the things I learned here made the rating roundup.

I don’t like to cook. Most of the foods in the recipes here did not appeal to me but I take no points away from the book for these. There are people who will love that aspect. I do appreciate that most of the recipes are at the back of the book where they don’t interrupt the story flow.

One more thing, I did get my eyes checked and will be getting new glasses soon. Meanwhile, I couldn’t read the hardback for very long at a time. Luckily, the Kindle version was available on our e-library to borrow. Once into that version, I was able to immerse in the story and rest my eyes as needed.

Check it out and tell me what you think of this book, regardless of version

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Forest Park: Logan Book 2 (The Logan Series)Forest Park: Logan Book 2 by Valerie Davisson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I finished the Audible version of this a few days ago. I just never got around to reviewing. That and I wasn’t sure what to say.

There are many aspects of this book I dearly love. The author explores education from an angle I was able to be a part of in my past and hope others get the idea to put some of these ideas into action.

I loved the care for homeless and drug abusers. The book makes a person stop and examine their own theories. Also discussed: Racism and gangs and how people’s ideologies are formed and can be changed.

With all of the theories played out in a fictional form, I felt it easier to wrap my mind around them. There is also a murder mystery and a bit of romance. But neither are overpowering. Mostly we get to know the main character as she reacquaints herself with life after death in her life.

This and book one move slowly and seem to lack the tension most people like in their books. But I found it nice to just explore with the main character/ author through fiction.

Oh and since this was the Audible version, I should mention that the reader kept the book interesting. She wasn’t my favorite narrator but did the job.

This series is well worth the read. Curl up with cocoa, tea, or coffee and take the ride.

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Shattered: Logan Book 1Shattered: Logan Book 1 by Valerie Davisson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an interesting story. I could have done without the mystery, especially the murdery bit. But I kept reading beyond when the book didn’t work for me.

As I have stated before, I have trouble reading tree-books. It has to do with my tracking abilities. But I am a life long reader that doesn’t give up that easily. So I set up my Kindle with black background and largish white font. Then I use the text-to-speech to track with what I do read. I don’t do well with just audio as I tend to ADD away with shiny things. But with both modalities working I can get into stories very deeply.

This version was difficult for me. I don’t know what happened but I couldn’t use the black background/white font. It only wanted white background black font or everything went black. The text-to-speech worked but I couldn’t follow with my eyes. I finally gave up. At about 60%! I do hope the author and or the publisher got that all fixed. Since I was asked to review this book I have to be honest, the font/formatting, was the worst for me.

I let it go for a couple months but the story kept haunting me. I wanted to know what happened. I had loved the research shown about glassblowing. Native American bits. And seeing what seemed to me a realistic look at bereavement. I loved the realism of teaching and use of music. Honestly, I didn’t need the murder bit. I did like the character that did the killing and I thought it gave her a humanity having lupus and all. But I guess some people like to have the tension a good old murder gives a book. Just not me.

Still, I can’t wait to see what happens next. For book two I have the Audible version. I’m getting better at keeping my hands busy doing sudoku, knitting, or drawing. So in the next few days I will review that one, too.

I think others will enjoy this story, too.

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13 Little Blue Envelopes with Bonus Material 13 Little Blue Envelopes with Bonus Material by Maureen Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sorry I didn’t send you all postcards. I didn’t have time to stop for souvenirs. Ah, but aren’t road trips the best? That’s how I felt as I was reading this charming book. Like I have been from New York to visit a lot of Europe. I met so many people and saw so many sights. I might have learned a thing or two along the way.

Every moment of this book was fun, even the angsty ones. These weren’t the usual teen/romance angsts but rather of getting lost or being shy or missing a loved one. Anyone can relate to those feelings, no matter what their age or gender. I loved the characters and their growth throughout the book. I so wanted to give Gin, the MC a hug on a few occasions. That’s how real she felt to me.

You know, I only have one bad thing to say about the book. That is about the bonus part. That is the first bit of the next book. You see, this book was free, way back in–was it 2011 or 2012? In fact, I couldn’t find the B004T5V4L6 edition on Amazon. At any rate, it was the lead up to book two that was the bonus. Picture me with a fish-hook through my mouth. So I went to look for the next one and found it to be way to expensive for my meager book allowance. AND neither this book or the next are lending-enabled. BOO! So I am on a waiting list for the library version. Hope the font is large enough for me.

Anyway, want to travel? Pick up this book. $1.99, I think. Compared to the cost of the flight alone, that is a bargain! Enjoy!

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Agnes Barton Senior Sleuth Mysteries Box Set, cozy mystery (Books 1-3)
Agnes Barton Senior Sleuth Mysteries Box Set, cozy mystery (Books 1-3) by Madison Johns
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, I have finished with the first combined book that encompassed books 1-3. I have to admit that it was fun. By reading the books this way I was able to watch the characters grow into believable people. The story became more and more real. I felt the humor the author sprinkled in as hugs from a friend.

If you want to see the reviews for each of the books here:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/912149747
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/936450786
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/939739919

I bought them all individually but chose to read the books with the box set so as to get more deeply into Madison Johns’s cozy mysteries. Besides, when I find someone doing what I think is right, I try to support them with my money, meager as it is. In this case, I had been researching stories that featured older womyn. I don’t like mysteries, especially the murder-y kind. I would rather read science fiction or fantasy with crones, senior ladies, being the ones getting to have the adventures. When I think that the baby boomers are the largest generation, then having stories about us, especially the womyn, should be easy to find. But alas, that isn’t the case. Anyway, that is how I found this series and invested into it.

Cozy isn’t the word I would apply to murder of any sort. These books do contain that wicked element. But the author doesn’t spend time dredging up the blood or other details I’d rather not have in my head before going to sleep. The thrill is in watching the main characters sort through the facts and figure out the whodunnit and why. So I suppose that is how it rates the ‘cozy mystery’ tag.

These are great beach reads or quiet reads to accompany tea. One needs lighter reads like that, occasionally. By the way, I do have the next boxed set ready to read but I have a lot on my read-to-review shelf that I need to read first. I do plan to continue enjoying Aggie and El again, soon.

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Senior Snoops
Senior Snoops by Madison Johns
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This third in the series was better than the other two combined. The Senior Snoops are getting to winter in Florida. Nice! If they thought it would all be beaches and tans, though, they got a rude awakening long before they got to their destination. So murder and mysteries abound.

After the two previous books I feel I know Agnes and Eleanor as good friends. They have spunk and are active seniors. They are sexually active and enjoy the men in their lives with enthusiasm. And they are snoopy! They can get in more trouble than any twelve teens.

I did enjoy this book. There are a few editing issues, but they don’t get in the way of the story. I think my biggest gripe was the making Agnes become a sudden prude on nude beaches or in the strip club. I didn’t see her that way before this book so the few remarks that made her that way stopped the story short for me. Still, I have the next set of books set up. I have a few other books I am supposed to be reading first, but I’ll be happy to see what Madison Johns has these snoops up to next.

These are great light reading for when you need a break from heavier literary pursuits.

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Grannies, Guns and Ghosts
Grannies, Guns and Ghosts by Madison Johns
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Though I am giving this book a separate review, I am actually reading the boxed set with books one through three. I want the credit toward my reading goal of individual books while having the convenience…

That went nowhere. On to the actual review.

Ghosts. Really? Sigh. I don’t want to give any spoilers so I won’t get into it. This was a shorter book than the first one, maybe a novella rather than a novel. I was glad. This book felt less put together than the first. Editing is badly needed.

What did I like? I like Agnes and Eleanor. Those crazy ladies are fun even though they get into more trouble than they solve. There is a lot of humor in spite of the story being about murders. I am so glad someone has taken the time to write stories about senior womyn. For that reason alone I plan to read all these Senior Snoopers.

In fact… I’m off to read the next book.

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Armed and Outrageous
Armed and Outrageous by Madison Johns
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Though I am reading the three-book boxed set, I think it is fair to give a review of each individual book. Since I did buy both, and as I want to encourage writing for seniors, the reals ones not the ones in twelfth grade in high school. Besides, it doesn’t hurt my reading goals to review individually. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It is so exciting to actually read something that includes people, womyn, who are not teens. Was it as well-written as I would like? Not so much. I would give this three and a half stars. This needed more editing. And did we have to fall into the trap of the romance? I like when womyn can think for themselves and stand without a man coming to their rescue. Agnes did that for the most part, but she got all weak kneed and girlie when the man of her dreams comes into view. I loved Eleanor, the ninety-something sex crazed side-kick better than the main character. She pulled no punches and got what she needed from the world.

That world is Tawas, Michigan. I’ve never been there so it seemed like another country, to me. The author did make it sound like the kind of place I’d like to visit sometime.

I love how Madison Johns, the author, captures all kinds of senior citizens within this book. She laughs at some who seem like they would enjoy the joke while holding respect and sympathy for those not so blessed or able. And I love how Ms. Johns addresses fem issues. You wouldn’t think that the issues would be so strong once womyn were no longer in the work force, but it seems to affects us all a lot more. Ms. Johns doesn’t draw attention to these issues, but rather, states them as is and moves on, leaving the reader to draw their own conclusions.

The tags ‘mystery, thriller, suspense’ are the most accurate. Chic-lit or cozy mystery seem too light for the contents. Rape, murder, and sex-trafficking are some topics involved which are dealt with in a serious manner. I found that fact a little too much to deal with. I don’t like reading stories that are too realistic. I get that on the news. Give me a good sci-fi or fantasy to get lost in, any day. But all in all this was a good read and I will continue the series with delight. Go, Seniors!

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Tears of the Giraffe
Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the series. For my review of the first book go here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/395919607

I didn’t think I would go on and read the next book. But I saw that my library had the Kindle version AND the audio CDs to go along with it. And as luck would have it I was able to check them out at the same time!

I can’t tell you how marvelous it is to listen to the narration of Lisette Lecat and her accent. Yes, I could have read the Kindle version without the text-to-speech and no audio version to help me. After all, I did read three chapters before the CDs showed up for me to check out. But that voice brought a reality to the characters of Botswana’s No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.

What a beautifully told story! It does stray from my goal of reading books written by females with strong female characters. By the way, that goal is swiftly narrowing down to wanting to read mostly OLDER females. I’m tired of Young Adult books. But, though this is written by a male, I find the older female and her co-characters written so well that I dearly love this series.

I hear that it has been made into HBO series. I can understand why. Yet I can’t imagine it is as wonderful as these books. How can visual arts capture inner thoughts? But I will watch them and give them a chance.

Since I can’t afford to buy this series I will have to take it slowly as the library has the copies of Kindle and audio available.

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