by Sunny Frazier
Being Coronavirus stuck at home is a good time to start a new series. Check out three I’ve discovered. And, what better way to keep calm than the purr of a kitten (even if one is a witch’s familiar).
It’s 1905 and Stella Kendrick is a Kentucky heiress and aspiring horse trainer. Invited to attend a wedding in England, she discovers her father is giving her away in marriage to a Viscount with no money. She finds she likes the man and is willing to be married until they find the vicar dead. Now the couple teams up to find the killer. Murder at Morrington Hall is the first in the Stella and Lyndy mysteries by Clare McKenna.
It’s Mousse and Murder when Chef Charlie Cooke gets a chance to leave San Francisco and go home to Elkview, Alaska. She’s taking over her mother’s Bear Claw Diner. She plans to update the menu, which her head cook finds hard to swallow. Is he willing to die to make his point? With her career, freedom, and life on thin ice, Charlie has to pull it together and solve the crime. This is the first in the Alaskan Diner mysteries by Elizabeth Logan.
Parker Valentine has always dreamed of opening a winery in Boulder, Colorado. But when a food and wine critic shows up at Vino Valentine on opening day, he collapses and dies right after drinking the chardonnay. The death puts Parker’s business all over social media and the enterprise might be doomed. To restore her reputation, Parker has to investigate the murder herself. A Killer Chardonnay is the first Colorado Wine mystery by Kate Lansing.
Bizzy Baker runs the Country Cottage Inn in Cider Cove, Maine. She’s also able to read human and animal minds. The inn is being featured in a movie and Hollywood has descended on the town. When she stumbles across a body of a lead actor, she looks for help solving the murder from a kitten named Fish, a mutt named Sherlock Bones, and a handsome detective. Cat Scratch Cleaver is the eighth Country Cottage Mysteries by Addison Moore & Bellamy Bloom. Recipes are included.
I’m not sure if Kinley Skeenbauer can read Meri the kitten’s mind, but both are excited to be part of the Midnight Magic Festival in Coventry. The town is the home of powerful witches and Kinley was supposed to be their leader. She escaped that future and is now happy to own Summoned Goods & Sundries. Kinley is working on swag bags and decorations for the festival. Is the new witch and shop owner of The Summoning Scroll going to be a problem? Apparently, since Kinley comes to work only to find her windows broken, decorations destroyed, and swag bags missing. Thirteen hours later, her witchy competition is sitting in a rocking chair on the porch of Kinley’s store, dead with a cocktail in her hand. Midnight Magic is the second in the Familiar Kitten mysteries by Sara Bourgeois.
Another magical cat shows up in Linda Reilly’s The Girl with the Kitten Tattoo. Lara Caphart takes care of the cats at High Cliff Shelter for Cats in her aunt’s New Hampshire Victorian home. Her best friend is getting married, and she’s wondering when her own boyfriend will propose. Jealousy rears it’s head when her man’s former flame shows up in Whisker Jog. Blue, the Ragdoll cat that only Lara can see, takes a shine to the rival. When the woman’s ex-boss is found dead, Lara has to follow Blue’s clues and clear the woman of a murder charge. This is #5 in the Cat Lady series.
Kathi Daley gives us A Mew Beginning in the twentieth Whales and Tails mystery. Four generations of Caitlin Hart’s family have lived on magical Medrona Island in the San Juan Islands off Washington State. She helps run Harthaven, her aunt’s cat sanctuary. There are lots of changes in Cait’s life lately, including a move from her cabin and trying to reopen her friend’s coffee shop/bookstore/cat lounge, Coffee Cat Books. But the strange feeling in her gut warns her that something terrible is going to happen.
Author Amanda Flower hasn’t forgotten that May means Mother’s Day. It’s a busy time for Bailey King and Swissmen Sweets, the Amish candy shop she runs with her grandmother in Harvest, Ohio. For the church tea she’s making her mom’s favorite butterscotch fudge. When a sticky-fingered thief steals all the money raised for a women’s support group, suspects abound. Recipes are included in Botched Butterscotch, the twenty-fifth Amish Candy Ship mystery.
BEST OF THE REST
Laurien Berenson—Bite Club Melanie Travis #23
Francine Mathews—Death on Tuckernuck Merry Folger #7
A.R. Winters—Bed and Breakfast and Cruises Cruise Ship Cozy #10
Kirsten Weiss—Hostage to Fortune Tea and Tarot #2
Lorraine Bartlett—A Murderous Misconception Victoria Square #7
Beth Byers—Death in the Beginning Poison Ink #9
Karen Rose Smith—Murder With Clotted Cream Daisy’s Tea Garden #5
Constance Barker—Freaks and Felons Hocus Pocus #2
Bree Baker—A Call For Kelp Seaside Myst #4
Carolyn Haines—The Devil’s Bones Sarah Booth Delaney #20
Agatha Frost—Black Cherry Betrayal Claire’s Candles #2
Elise Sax—Conspiracy in Crime Partners in Crime #2
Alexis Morgan—Death by Auction Abby McCree Mystery #3
Amanda Flower—Marshmallow Madness Amish Candy Shop #5
Molly Fitz—Deer Duplicity Pet Whisperer P.I. #14
Bree Baker—A Call For Kelp Seaside Café #4
Addison Moore—A Dreadful Meow-ment Meow For Murder #2
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode went up this week!
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