A little bit of mystery is often a good thing in a book, especially when it’s cozy. So what makes a mystery cozy? The main thing is that the murder happens off screen, and there is little to no violence. They tend to be light in tone, and almost always feature an amateur sleuth. You can be sure that they will contain more than one of the following: cats, books, food, bakeries, small towns, libraries, ex lovers, and suspicious townsfolk. They may not always be the most believable or realistic, but they are always fun! The books this week are all the first in new series that came out in the last year.
Bait and Witch, by Angela Sanders – After uncovering corruption while working at the Library of Congress, Josie Way needs a place to hide while she waits for the trial. When she gets a job at the library in tiny Wilfred, Oregon, it seems like the perfect place. She quickly gets more than she bargained for when she learns that the library, housed in a Victorian mansion, is set to be bulldozed soon to make way for a tourist retreat. Things get worse when she finds a dead body in the woods near the library. Throw in her newly discovered witchy ancestry and magical powers, and Josie’s new life is anything but the quiet she hoped for. The people of Wilfred are quirky and entertaining, and the small town drama is irresistible. This one is a fun blend of fantasy and mystery, and it will keep you guessing until the big reveal. This is the first book in the Witch Way Librarian series, and the next one, The Seven-Year Witch, comes out in August.
The Thursday Murder Club, by Richard Osman – Four friends living in Cooper’s Chase retirement community gather each Thursday in the Jigsaw Room to talk about and try to solve cold murder cases. When a construction contractor is murdered, it’s their chance to finally solve a real crime. As the bodies pile up, it’s up to them to find the real killer before it’s too late. The characters are lovable, and the book is laugh-out-loud funny. The mystery is gripping, and will have you at the edge of your seat until the end. This is the first book in the Thursday Murder Club series, and the next book, The Man Who Died Twice, comes out in September.
For Whom the Book Tolls, by Laura Gail Black – When Jenna Quinn’s life takes a turn for the terrible, her Uncle Paul offers her a place to stay and a job at his antique bookshop in small town Hokes Folly. The morning after she arrives, however, she finds her uncle dead at the bottom of a staircase. When it turns out that she is his sole beneficiary, she becomes the prime suspect. In order to clear her name, and save herself from becoming the next victim, she has to find the real killer before it’s too late. Full of intrigue, plot twists, and small town drama, this one is both thrilling and fun. The next book, Murder by the Bookend, comes out in September.
You can find a list with these three books and plenty more new cozy mystery series here.