Restless and Reading During the Pandemic

Oct 7, 2020 | 2020 Articles, Terrific Tales

by CL Bauer

Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of The Poppy Drop by CL Bauer and a link to purchase it.

Here is the latest installment of our new column, Top 5 Mysteries I Have Read During the Pandemic, this one from mystery author CL Bauer. 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.

I wrote like a fiend the first few weeks of the pandemic. My own wedding and event flower business was shut down, and I was on my own. I have worked at home for years, but this was different. I couldn’t go get my favorite coffee, or enjoy happy hour with friends over chips and salsa. After two months, even I was going stir crazy, so I decided to revisit one of my favorite books, and branch out to read other mysteries. There was comfort in books.

The Secret History Of The Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig is one of my favorite books (and series) of all times. It’s not just the introduction of this great series, it was the first book I read by Lauren Willig. She’s a rockstar when it comes to historical fiction. This book goes back and forth between contemporary and the years during the French Revolution. If you like swashbuckling tales such as the Scarlet Pimpernel, this could be your next favorite read. American Eloise Kelly is in England to study, and to discover the identity of the Pink Carnation. Her research brings her to Lord Richard Selwick who oversees his family’s rich heritage, and books that make Eloise swoon. By the end of this first novel in the series, Eloise and Richard begin to “like” each other, and we discover the identity of the great spy, The Pink Carnation. Fun read.

A Mother’s Day Murder (The Mt. Abrams Mysteries Book 1) by Dee Ernst is a delight. This quick and witty women’s mystery reminded me of the television show, Desperate Housewives. Ellie Rocca lives in a Mayberry-like small town. She is there with her two daughters, and works at home as an editor. Nothing ever happens. But the women in her circle walk their dogs, drink their coffee, and go to their community meetings. Then something happens…there’s a missing woman. Neighbor Lacey Mitchell has disappeared, and her husband is acting strangely. Eventually, a dead body is found and Ellie begins to investigate on her own, well, along with the delicious detective she meets along the way. I read this in one afternoon, and smiled at the great dialogue.

Louisiana Longshot (A Miss Fortune Mystery Book 1) by Jana DeLeon is one book that offers a slice of good old-fashioned Southern hospitality and introduces the women who serve it up. CIA assassin Fortune Redding needs to get away. She is sent into hiding to Sinful, Louisiana by her boss. She is to do nothing but hide out until things cool off with a nemesis who wants her dead. Her undercover persona is that of a makeup wearing former beauty queen who has pink luggage. Fortune prefers sleeping late, sneakers, and nothing that settles her down. But the ladies of Sinful take her into their circle, once she sprints to get the best banana pudding in the world. (She beats the Catholics!) A dog finds a human bone which is uncovered in the bayou and soon Fortune has her own mystery to keep her entertained, oh, and she has the ladies! They are a hoot. This is another read that makes you laugh out loud and makes you want to find your own dish of banana pudding!

Dead Girl Running (Cape Charade Book 1) by Christina Dodd is a mystery with more twists and turns than the cozies I read. It is a moving book featuring Kellen Adams. Kellen has a memory problem that possibly has something to do with the gunshot scar on her forehead. She’s running from a year she can’t remember, but she does know she’s ex-military. To find a safe place to renew, she takes a job at a resort, but soon discovers that the past she can’t remember may be catching up with her. When a murder occurs, the guests and her fellow co-workers become the suspects. You’ll need coffee and pie for this intense drama with a complex plot. Christina Dodd never disappoints. This was the “serious” mystery I read.

Fields’ Guide To Assassins (The Poppy Fields Adventures Book 2) by Julie Mulhern is a book I picked because the main character, Poppy Fields, goes to Paris, and I needed the distraction! Still learning her spy trade, Poppy takes on an assignment in the most beautiful city in the world. Her famous mother is there so it makes perfect sense. Soon, Poppy is in trouble and gunshots are flying. There’s a Russian oligarch and a drug lord after her, and she’s teamed up with a very handsome man whom her mother wouldn’t mind getting her hands on. And if that’s not enough, there’s a terrorist plot that could make the City of Light go dark permanently. I’d recommend reading book 1 first. I didn’t and I should’ve! But it was still a delightful, action-packed read by a fellow Kansas City author.

And my book, The Sweet Pea Secret (The Lily List Mystery Series Book 4) by C.L. Bauer was published Mother’s Day weekend during the pandemic. Of course, I would encourage you to read the first three books, but if you begin with this one, you won’t be disappointed. You’ll be introduced to my favorite character, Lily Pierce and her band of merry men. As a wedding florist, Lily spent her time around women, and she had a perfectly “normal” existence. Once she met and fell in love with dashing DEA agent, Devlin Pierce, her entire life became one of adventure and mystery. In book 4, Lily must protect the man she loves from a revengeful terrorist and is aided by a SEAL, a super agent, an over-the-top bestie, a priest, and a hovering brother-in-law. Using her post-it notes, organizational skills, and her uncanny ability to notice every little detail, Lily will risk it all to have it all.

To enter to win a copy of The Poppy Drop, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “poppy,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 17, 2020. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE AWARE THAT IT WILL TAKE MUCH LONGER THAN USUAL FOR WINNERS TO GET THEIR BOOKS DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS.

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 Play, and Spotify. A new episode went up this week!

You can use this link to purchase this book from Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

C. L. Bauer resides in her hometown of Kansas City, home to some of the best barbecue, restaurants, theaters, and football (when the Chiefs are having a good year) in the country. In 2018, she returned to writing with the publishing of her first novel The Poppy Drop, a Lily List Mystery. She blended humor with wedding flowers (her family has owned the same flower business since before World War II) to create a world for her character, Lily. When you are involved in the wedding industry, there are plenty of stories and characters. It’s easy to write a novel based on events that have actually happened and people you’ve enjoyed meeting over the years.
C. L. Bauer loves meeting her readers and listening to what they think will happen next and their pleas to not kill a certain character they love. When she’s not writing or designing wedding flowers, she keeps in touch with her family and friends, enjoys a good cup of coffee and going out to breakfast, traveling, binging on English murder mysteries, and anything Disney. She’s particularly fond of Eeyore, Chip and Dale (the furry ones with hips) and always cries when she sees the castle.
C. L. Bauer can be reached on social media everywhere including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Her website is

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.


  1. Poppy sounds like she’ll be
    lots of excitement. Haven’t read
    the first yet. I’ve read
    a couple of the others and
    agree with the assessment.

  2. New author for me, sounds good! tWarner419(at)aol(dot)com

  3. We have a winner!


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