Ma-row! Let's close out 2023 with some great upcoming cozies for November/December! (And a sneak peek at January too)
MURDER UNDER THE MISTLETOE by Sherry Lynn
Berkley Mass Market; November 7, 2023
Landscape artist Kinsley Clark is back in a fresh new Maine-set holiday cozy, the second installment in Lyn’s Mainely Murder Mystery series. Kinsley has been re-hired to decorate the town of Harborside of the upcoming holiday season and boat parade, decking out the town with décor featuring local elements found in Maine. When local alderman Chris Chesterfield, dressed up as the Grinch, falls off the pier and into the icy Atlantic all eyes turn to Kinsley. Turns out Chris didn’t fall after all and what’s even more shocking is a revelation—he was looking to replace Kinsley with a different decorating team. Kinsley and friends must unearth the truth before she takes the fall in this “solid series”, according to Kirkus Reviews, out this fall.
Have to agree with the "solid series" review. Setting always brings to mind another Maine based series (Hint: Cabot Cove, the murder capital of Maine). Four and a half paws!
BULLETPROOF BARISTA by Cleo Coyle
Berkley Prime Crime Hardcover; on sale November 14, 2023
Village Blend coffee shop is the scene of a true crime in the latest entry in the beloved Coffeehouse Mysteries from New York Times bestselling author Cleo Coyle. Kirkus Reviews raves, “Scads of red herrings, peeks behind the show-biz curtain, and bountiful appended recipes will leave fans smiling contentedly.” When a hit TV show choses to spotlight the shop and its crew of baristas, master roaster Clare Cosi is beyond thrilled, especially when her superb bulletproof coffee lands her a craft services contract. Star Jerry Sullivan frequented the shop early in his career, but the past may hold more than nostalgia for Jerry. Then a real bullet is fired from a stage gun, and Clare becomes convinced something sinister is afoot. While Jerry’s production moves to exciting new locations, Clare keeps the coffee flowing—and her investigation going—even as a murderer lurks in the wings. But can she root out the rotten player in this Big Apple production before the lights go out on her?
This is one of our favorite series. We always root for Clare Cosi to find the clue that will solve the mystery. Five paws for an inventive plot and a series that never seems to run out of steam.
CYANIDE AND SENSIBILITY by Kate Oliver
Berkley Prime Crime Mass Market; on sale December 12, 2023
While Phaedra Brighton might not have a Mr. Darcy (yet), she's quite content with her loving family and loyal cat. Phaedra’s sister Hannah is the Jane to her Elizabeth, and she’s ecstatic that Hannah is moving home for her next adventure—opening her very own patisserie. All of Laurel Springs comes out to celebrate the grand unveiling of Tout de Sweet, including local celebrity Rachel Brandon. But the celebration turns sour when one of Hannah’s confections sends Rachel’s assistant to the hospital with poisoning. Phaedra must help her sister save her reputation and her budding business, but first she must figure out: who was the cupcake actually meant for? And how far is the culprit willing to go to take their target off the menu—permanently?
Kirkus Reviews calls it, “Strictly for readers who think ‘choosing a gift for a romantic partner was a puzzle fit for Sherlock Holmes’,” but I’ll let you be the judge of that! Great for readers who like to blend their cozies with a dash of romance.
THE DOG ACROSS THE LAKE by Krista Davis
Berkley Prime Crime Mass Market; on sale January 2, 2024
While relaxing on her terrace, Holly Miller spots an unfamiliar reddish-gold pooch across the lake. She’s intrigued, knowing most of the animals in Wagtail, but she never expected to find the very same dog smiling at her in bed when she wakes the next morning! Turns out, the wayward pooch belongs to Holly’s cousin Josh, whom she hasn’t seen in over a decade. He’s camping with his girlfriend across the lake, and Holly returns the cute dog to Josh’s campsite twice, but the second time, Josh and his girlfriend are nowhere to be found. Instead, a guest of the Sugar Maple Inn is dead in their tent. Now it's up to Holly and Trixie to suss out a sneaky killer. According to Library Journal, “Fans of the series will enjoy this latest, as will those who enjoy pet-centered mysteries.”
Another tried and true series featuring animals, of course! A definite thumbs up and five paws.