Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mysteries, Cozy and Not So Cozy

Interested in a good mystery? Here are the recommendations from the Mystery Readers Group, which is sponsored by the Friends of the Library in Visalia. For March we decided to read a book by a “new-to-us” author. Most of these books can be found at your local library.

Susan read Head Hunters by Norwegian writer, Jo Nesbø
Head Hunters in this case refers to Roger Brown, a headhunter for an Oslo employment agency.
His wife, Diana, owns an art gallery that is losing money, so he decides to supplement his income by stealing expensive works of art. It's a twisted tale with creative killings and near misses numerous enough to keep a reader turning the page. Susan said she plans to read more of his books.

Viviane read Murder at The Monk’s Table by Sister Carol Ann O’Marie
In this cozy mystery, two nuns, Sister Eileen and Sister Mary Helen receive the gift of a trip to Ireland for an oyster festival. While there, they visit an eating establishment called The Monk’s Table, and find a hated reporter is stabbed to death in the ladies’ room. Sister Mary Helen puts her uncanny sleuthing ability to work to uncover the culprit. This book is light and fun with not a lot of Irish stereotyping.
Charlotte read A Fine Italian Hand by William Murray.
The place is Milan, Italy. The main character, Shifty Lew Anderson, who is a magician, is there to speak at a magician’s conference. He befriends a naïve young model who is murdered. When the police head in the wrong direction to solve the crime, the young woman’s father comes from the U.S. and hires Shifty to investigate. It has a surprise ending and vivid descriptions the life and culture of Italy.
Deidra read Waiting For Armando by Judith Ivie.
Legal secretaries will be thrilled with this book. The protagonist, Kate Lawrence, works for a law firm. When one of the law partners is murdered and his secretary is the main suspect, Kate and her fellow secretaries ban together to solve the crime and clear her name. A fun read in spite of its flaws.
Sharon read The Stone Cutter by Camilla Lackberg.
This book is a Swedish psychological thriller. The scene is a small resort town in the off-season. A lobsterman hauls in his net and finds a seven-year-old dead girl tangled in it. At first it’s thought she drown, but when the autopsy finds bath water in her lungs, it is evidence of murder. Detective Patrik Hedstrom’s investigation uncovers warring neighbors and unhappy couples. The layered story delves back into history of the townspeople in the ‘20s, and it turns out that several people might have committed the crime. But in the end all the threads of the tale tie together.
Kathy read A Plain Death by Amanda Flower.
The story takes place in an Ohio Amish College town. The protagonist is Chloe Humphrey, a computer whiz at the college. She befriends an Amish teenager, who has just been tossed out of her home and takes her as a roommate. Without Chloe’s knowledge, the girl takes her car to look for a job. The brakes fail, she hits an Amish buggy and a church Bishop is killed. When it’s discovered that the brake line had been cut, murder is suspected leading Chloe to become a sleuth to learn who the intended victim really was.
Sheryl read Moon Spinners by Sally Goldenbaum
The Seaside Knitters are at it again. The murder occurs in a small town on the coast of Massachusetts when the wealthy aunt of a local café owner drives off a cliff. Tampered brakes signal murder and the Knitters join forces to discover who is responsible. This cozy has an intriguing plot in a town full interesting characters.
I read Generous Death by Nancy Pickard
Money is at the root of three murders and one near miss in this cozy mystery that takes place in Port Frederick, MA. Jenny Cain, director of the Civic Foundation, knows about the plans of the town’s wealthiest citizens to remember The Foundation in their wills. When these individuals are found dead and a nasty rhyme is found at the scene, murder is suspected. In each instance, their money is not destined for The Foundation. Is the killer intent on ruining The Foundation or is it Jenny who is the target? A well-crafted book with a little romance for good measure.


  1. So many books, so little time. Are you a member? It seems so. What did you read? Did you introduce Lottie's Legacy to the group. Sounds like the perfect opportunity. What did they say? Tell us more.

  2. I've been a member of the Mystery Readers almost from the group's beginning. It's a great way to find out about books to add to my bucket list. The book I read was the last one listed in the above post. I liked it so much that I searched for several others by the same author to add to my own library. The unique thing about this book club is that we rarely read the same book as a group. We pick a subject, such as a mystery in a cold climate, or one that takes place in a foreign country. That way we get to hear about many different books and authors.
    I didn't miss the chance to introduce Lottie's Legacy. Some of them even bought a copy to read, and in fact Charlotte used it as one of her reports last year.