by Edith Maxwell/Maddie Day
Here is the latest installment of our new column, Top 5 Mysteries I Have Read During the Pandemic, this one from mystery author Edith Maxwell/Maddie Day. As we continue to spend most of our time at home, we are all looking for book suggestions so we asked mystery authors and reviewers to share the top 5 mysteries they have read during this pandemic. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Candy Slain Murder and a link to purchase it.
Thanks for having me over at Kings River Life with my top-five pandemic reads. I’m celebrating the release of Candy Slain Murder, my eighth Country Store Murder, and I’ll give away a signed copy to one commenter.
So I’ve been reading a lot during the pandemic. More than usual. I know some friends lost their reading mojo, and some author pals found it hard to write. I’ve lost neither, thank goodness, and blessedly no one I am close to has gotten sick. My writing has actually been a respite, a way to shut out the messy scary world and lose myself in writing a story where I know things will turn out okay in the end.
But it’s been a tough six months, and it’s not over, not by a long shot. In the first few months, I picked up cozy mystery after cozy mystery – and put them down again. What? Shouldn’t I want to read something on the lighter end of the spectrum? Instead (and bear with me, I know I’m cheating), I binge-read all seven of Ann Cleeves’ Shetland books. Straight through. They are dark and atmospheric and completely absorbing.
Then I threw myself into 1929 Chicago with Susanna Calkins’ Fate of Flapper, the second Speakeasy Mystery. A bar server during Prohibition, Gina Ricci, is also a photographer and cares for her father. Gangs, cocktails, flappers, and murder make a perfect combination.
When Cate Conte’s first Full Moon Mystery came out, I had to dive in. I loved Witch Hunt and the complicated slightly paranormal world Cate, aka Liz Mugavero, set up. This is going to be a great series, people. (Full disclosure: she and I are Wicked Authors blogmates, and great friends.)
Similarly, Sherry Harris (whom I also blog and pal around with) started a new series this summer with From Beer to Eternity, the first Seaglass Saloon Mystery. The setting on the Florida Panhandle is sunny, salty, and full of intrigue, as is the cast of regulars. I can’t wait for the next one.
Finally, with possibly questionable judgment, I read The Orphan Collector by Ellen Marie Wiseman. It’s a richly researched, deeply drawn, and rather disturbing tale of a poor Philadelphia thirteen-year-old in the 1918 influenza pandemic. Pia’s mother dies, she loses track of her infant twin brothers, and she falls sick herself, ending up in an awful orphanage. The details of the disease are horrifying, and its waves of recurrence and how people dealt with it have way too many parallels with today. Still, it’s beautifully written. Things actually do turn out well in the end, which is why I included it in my top five list.
Readers: What are you reading? Dark, light, in between?
In Candy Slain Murder, Country Store owner Robbie Jordan’s life seems merry and as bright as the Christmas lights glistening around South Lick, Indiana, until a man claims to be the long-lost half-brother of Robbie’s assistant. A fire destroys the home of a controversial anesthesiologist, exposing skeletal remains in his attic. The twin of the long-dead woman is murdered. Unavoidably intrigued, all Robbie wants for Christmas is to stop her winter wonderland from becoming a real nightmare.
You can listen to the first chapter of one of the Country Store mysteries on Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast!
To enter to win a signed copy of Candy Slain Murder, simply comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 3, 2020. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. Please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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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. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. A new episode just went up this week!
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.