sherlockI grew up on Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, so mysteries have always been a favorite genre. In fact, the first play I ever wrote (for my grade school classroom) was a murder mystery complete with a ghost. My primary problem with more modern mysteries is that so many authors feel the need to paint the crime scenes in vomit-inducing detail. Consequently, my tastes lean to the cozy side.

 

Cinnamon Girl Explains it All by Jodi Bowersox

Four years after the tragic loss of her family, newspaper reporter C.G. Harrellson is still a splintered soul. Blaming herself, she denies herself any opinions save the syndicated opinion column she anonymously writes as a release valve: Cinnamon Girl Explains It All.

Even though Detective Wolf Hunter is in the midst of trying to track down a serial killer, he can’t help being intrigued by the strange, little reporter who has been assigned to meet with him weekly to write a crime report.

Despite C.G.’s initial fear of the brown eyes that remind her of her late husband and the tender touches that make her feel not just new love but old pain, Wolf patiently pulls her out of her numb, emotionless existence to start again. Meanwhile, Wolf’s partner notices similarities between the Cinnamon Girl column and the murder scenes, sending Wolf in search of the elusive Cinnamon Girl, herself.

Little does he realize, she’s as close as a kiss.

A detective, a reporter, her best friend, a cheating husband, a serial killer, Bingo…

Cinnamon Girl Explains It All

A Long, Hard Look by Joel D Canfield

A short, fat banker. A willowy, buxom blonde. Phil Brennan’s latest client is the former. He prefers the latter — until he gets to know her better. She and her family back Brennan into a corner. His only way out is to choose between truth and love.

With this family, there’s a third choice, just for good measure.

Death.

Avery Barks Cozy Dog Mysteries by Mary Hiker

Avery Barks dedicates all of her spare time to training search and rescue dogs and helping the animals. That dedication soon lands her unemployed and out of options.

While helping an elderly friend, Avery and her butterfly loving dog, Chevy, find the unthinkable – a dead body. The sleepy North Carolina mountain town she calls home is shocked and shaken to the core.

With her trusty canine companion by her side, Avery must follow the clues and solve the murder mystery before she winds up on the suspect list.

I’ve read the first three of these books, and they’d all make the list.

Raining Men and Corpses by Anne R. Tan

Graduate student Raina Sun is on a quest to collect an outstanding loan from her college adviser. When she stumbles on his dead body, she becomes the prime suspect. And the only man she ever loved reappears as the lead detective and wants to reignite their passion (or at least he’s sending out smoke signals). She must summon her sleuthing skills to find this cunning killer before she becomes the next victim. There’s no place for an amateur when it comes to murder…

Cozy Suburbs Mysteries by Lisa B. Thomas

Burned-out high school teacher Deena Sharpe is ready for a change. She has no idea a fifty-year-old murder case is about to turn her life upside down.
The Perry County Sheriff’s office has found a skeleton in the closet…literally. When they identify the man’s body fifty years after his disappearance, his family turns to Deena to uncover the truth about his murder. The clock begins ticking when she discovers a mysterious writer is about to implicate the victim in his latest conspiracy theory book. She must channel her inner super-sleuth to solve the puzzle and protect her family name. With the help of her off-beat brother and others from the cozy town of Maycroft, Texas, Deena takes on a quest that leads to more questions than answers.

This series has four books so far, all of which qualify for this list!