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Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:33 AM

How many of you DUers read cozy mysteries?...

I have on occasion.

The two cozy authors I like best so far are Carolyn Haines (Mississippi Delta Mystery Author) and Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum series). I enjoyed the Evanovich series much more in the early books than the later. Though I have to admit Carolyn Haines is by far my favorite.

Cozies can provide some much needed light hearted laughs every now and again.

What about you guys, have you read any cozies you would recommend?

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Reply How many of you DUers read cozy mysteries?... (Original post)
Little Star Nov 2012 OP
LiberalEsto Nov 2012 #1
Little Star Nov 2012 #2
Lydia Leftcoast Nov 2012 #3
LiberalEsto Nov 2012 #6
LiberalEsto Nov 2012 #5
fadedrose Nov 2012 #10
DUgosh Dec 2012 #18
getting old in mke Nov 2012 #4
Little Star Nov 2012 #7
SheilaT Nov 2012 #8
Little Star Nov 2012 #9
fadedrose Nov 2012 #11
Little Star Nov 2012 #12
sueh Nov 2012 #13
Union Scribe Dec 2012 #14
Shrike47 Dec 2012 #15
fadedrose Dec 2012 #16
raccoon Dec 2012 #17

Response to Little Star (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:44 AM

1. MC Beaton & Margaret Maron nt

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:36 AM

2. What's the name of their series? I've never read either and..

had no idea they wrote cozies. On second thought, I have another question, are all cozies written as a series?

Thanks for the recommends!

I'm out the door soon (gotta shower first, lol). Have plans to see the movie Lincoln today. Was suppose to go on Tuesday but we had snow and below freezing temps here in MA. Rescheduled for today's noontime matinee. I hate winter, lol!

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Response to Little Star (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:04 AM

3. MC Beaton has two series: Hamish Macbeth (a policieman in a Scottish village)

and Agatha Raisin, which I have never read. Hamish Macbeth was made into a TV series starring Robert Carlyle, and it's available on DVD.

Margaret Maron writes books that take place in the American South.

I used to read cozies, but I've gradually drifted into more realistic mysteries, especially those written by the Brits and Scandinavians.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:14 PM

6. A tv series!

I had no idea. Thanks for telling us.

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Response to Little Star (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:10 PM

5. Beaton is British

She writes the Agatha Raisin series, set in the idyllic Cotswolds in England, and the Hamish MacBeth series, set on the northwestern tip of Scotland. The Agatha Raisins can be hilarious. Agatha is a 50-something retiree. Hamish is a lazy policeman in a tiny town in the Highlands with an uncanny skill at solving mysteries and solving problems affecting the people in his village. Both give good pictures of contemporary life in the UK - the slang, the crime, the massive unemployment, the junk food people subsist on, the soulless housing developments, the influx of people from other cultures.

I recently went to Beaton's web site and discovered that she writes other books under different pen names.

To answer your question, I don't know the answer. Some writers have only one or two books in them, or their first one is such a dud that publishers won't handle a second one. Others write not just one series, but two, three or more.

Margaret Maron is from North Carolina and writes about contemporary North Carolina in her Deborah Knott series. Knott is a judge. The books tackle issues like racism, sexism, poverty, alcoholism, development and much more, but are well written and fun to read. Maron also lived in NYC for some years and has a series set there with a woman police detective named Sigrid Harald. I have never been able to get into those.

Another write I love is Charlotte MacLeod, who died several years ago. She wrote a series set in Boston, the Sarah Kelling series. The other series revolves on Peter Shandy, an agriculture professor at an unusual ag college in northeastern Massachusetts. Both series are incredibly witty and very funny. She also wrote under the pen name Alisa Craig. Her Inspector Madoc Rhys series, set in Canada, is wonderful. The other one, about a Canadian garden club called the Grub-and-Stakers, always left me cold. It's too silly for my taste.

I found out about some of the women writers from other ones. There is a big group of them who are friends and plug each others' books. They slyly insert mentions of one another's books in their own. At one point some of them formed a band and performed a few country western songs at writer events. The group includes or included Phyllis Whitney, who died a few years ago; MacLeod; Barbara Michaels/Elixabeth Peters, who wrote the popular and funny Amelia Peabody series set in Egypt during the Victorian era; Joan Hess, who writes the hilarious Maggody series set in rural Arkansas and the Claire Malloy series set in a college town in Arkansas; Maron; Dorothy Cannell whose work I'm not much into, and some others whose names I don't recall. And lest I forget, Sharyn McCrumb,whose writing is brilliant, and who writes about contemporary and historic Appalachia. McCrumb also wrote a series featuring Elizabeth MacPherson, a forensic anthropologist, some years ago but stopped writing those after "The PMS Outlaws".

The group recently threw an 85th-birthday party for Barbara Michaels, who lives about 30 miles from me in Maryland (though I've never met her or the others). It was Egyptian-themed (Michaels, aka Barbara Mertz, has a PhD in Egyptology) and got a nice write-up in the Washington Post.

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:06 PM

10. I just finished all of Hamish & Agatha

Every book in both series.

These books come in so handy, for one thing, because they're short. Another, they have just enough gore to satisfy any mystery fan, the plots are fairly good, and, because they have light humor, they offer a great relaxing read in between reads that are longer, more complicated, etc.

Beaton's Agatha is a unique character. She has made her so interesting - human, bossy, domineering, who has an inferiority complex and a need for love that only her closest friends see. She is, beneath it all, shy, frail, easily hurt, and ashamed of being old, and imperfect, and goes to all forms of torture and expense to hold on to her youth.. Agatha is a work of art, whether you like the stories or not.

Hamish is macho and lovable, and knows it. I love him.

DUgosh is pretty well caught up on Beaton too...

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Response to fadedrose (Reply #10)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 09:30 PM

18. I do love my Aggie

I totally relate to her, except when she goes all boy crazy. Hamish is a good quick read, but not my favorite of the two.

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Response to Little Star (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:20 AM

4. "Traditional Mysteries"

is apparently the newer preferred term by at least a number of authors who felt that "Cozy" belittled them. Anyway, there was a big push at Bouchercon this year for terminology change.

I'll read them from time to time, particularly if I've met or or heard an author talk and like them. I've enjoyed the White House Chef mysteries by Julie Hyzy and especially the Stella Hardesty "Bad Day for ..." series by Sophie Littlefield.

Amazon setup for Stella: "Stella Hardesty dispatched her abusive husband with a wrench shortly before her fiftieth birthday. A few years later, she’s so busy delivering home-style justice on her days off, helping other women deal with their own abusive husbands and boyfriends, that she barely has time to run her sewing shop in her rural Missouri hometown. Some men need more convincing than others, but it’s usually nothing a little light bondage or old-fashioned whuppin' can’t fix. Since Stella works outside of the law, she’s free to do whatever it takes to get the job done---as long as she keeps her distance from the handsome devil of a local sheriff, Goat Jones."

Despite that setup, they really are cozy/traditional mysteries instead of revenge novels. And funny.

I don't know that Lisa Lutz's Spellman series counts...but maybe...limited character list for who did what. Very, very, funny. And she doesn't do murders.

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Response to getting old in mke (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:05 PM

7. If you hear any more regarding cozy vs traditional mysteries keep us...

updated if you think of it. I'll try to keep my eyes and ears open too.

We really should use the terminology the authors prefer. At least I'd like to.

Thanks!

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Response to Little Star (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:43 PM

8. I've recently discovered

Rhys Bowen, who has a series that takes place in the 1930's, in England. The heroine is an impoverished (fictional) minor member of the Royal Family. I'm currently reading The Twelve Clues of Christmas, the most recent.
This is the sixth novel in this series. I've read the first two, found this one in the New Books section of my library a few days ago. I'll need to go back and read the ones I've missed.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:15 PM

9. You might be in for more of a treat with this author...

I just looked up her wiki page and she has two additional series, Constable Evan Evans books and Molly Murphy books.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Quin-Harkin

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Response to Little Star (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:08 PM

11. I think Doss is cozy - was . . .

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Response to fadedrose (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:33 PM

12. I think you might be right. I've still got more of him to read....

Yes. Doss passed in May of this year,

Aunt Daisy makes me smile.

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Response to Little Star (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:27 AM

13. I just discovered MC Beaton. Right now I'm reading "Christmas Crumble". Really enjoying it.

I'm sure I'll get hooked and read all of the Agatha Raisin series. I watched the Hamish Macbeth TV series when it ran on BBC America.


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Response to Little Star (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 08:41 AM

14. Cozies are awesome

I love that basically anything you're into, there's a cozy series about it. I've read the Books by the Bay series by Ellery Adams, about a group of aspiring writers in an East coast shore town. A great resource for cozies is Must Read Mysteries on FB or Twitter, they link to free and low cost ebook mysteries.

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Response to Little Star (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 05:13 PM

15. Try Joan Hess

Two series, Claire Malloy and the Maggody books. Local library probably has both. They are set in Arkansas. Some of them cross-reference with Elizabeth Peters books. The Amelia Peabody books by E. Peters are a hoot, the earlier ones being better. Start at the beginning of the series if you can. Amelia Peabody is an Englishwoman who goes to Egypt in the 1880's ( I think ) and has amazing adventures.

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Response to Shrike47 (Reply #15)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 10:25 PM

16. I just finished my first Peters book a couple of weeks ago...

enjoyed it, and I have it from the library in a my reading pile.

I looked up Joan Hess, and the titles of her books make you want to read them....(like, A Really Cute Corpse"). Thanks for the recs..

http://www.stopyourekillingme.com/H_Authors/Hess_Joan.html

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Response to Little Star (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:02 PM

17. Funny you'd mention Haines...I just started "Bonefire of the vanities." Found it in new fiction

at my local library. I'd never heard of that series before. A few chapters into it, so far so good.

I prefer cozies now. I don't like my mysteries to be too graphic.

I really enjoyed Anne George's mysteries about two sisters who live in Birmingham, AL.

http://www.mysterynet.com/george/author.shtml Sadly, the author is dead.



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