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November MysteryCAT: Cozies

2018 Category Challenge

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Edited: Oct 17, 2018, 9:40am Top

Cozy mysteries are "a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community." They often center on a female (not always) protagonist who acts as an amateur sleuth. There are tons of cozy series (serieses?) that cover all sorts of themes, such as:

Food Related

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder
State of the Onion (My favorite cozy series - I hate that it's over)
On What Grounds

Animal Related

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards
Dog on It
Murder She Barked

Book Related

Real Murders
Murder in the Mystery Suite
Guidebook to Murder

and More...

Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency
Abby Cooper: Psychic Eye

What will you be reading for November's MysteryCAT?

Oct 17, 2018, 11:51am Top

So many choices.....

Oct 17, 2018, 1:10pm Top

I don't read many cozies, but I happened onto a paranormal cozy by Angie Fox last year which I really enjoyed (the first Southern Ghost Hunter Mystery Series), so I'm going to read the next book there, A Skeleton in the Closet.

Oct 17, 2018, 1:18pm Top

Two of my favourite cozy mystery series have books coming out in November/released recently, but I probably won't get them from the library in time.
Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding by Rhys Bowen, the Royal Spyness series. I'm #14 on 2 copies
The Colours of all the Cattle by Alexander McCall Smith, the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, which are barely mysteries, but I still count them as she is a detective. I'm already #6 in line and it isn't even released yet!

Edited: Oct 17, 2018, 7:53pm Top

I will probably read Shards of Murder by Cheryl Hollon for this one as it also fits AlphaKIT and ColourCAT but other possibilities are:

Agatha Raisin and the First Two Tantalising Cases by M. C. Beaton
Murder Most Convenient by Robert Colton
The Novel Habits of Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith

Oct 17, 2018, 9:10pm Top

I have lots of options, but if I have any ARCs, remaining at the end of the month that fit, those will get priority--then I'll figure out which other ones I want to read.

Oct 17, 2018, 11:17pm Top

I have lots of series I could continue, but these are at that top of what's appealing to me right now:

Murder on the Half Shelf / Lorna Barrett
Classified as Murder / Miranda James
Mew is for Murder / Clea Simon
Death Overdue / Mary Lou Kirwin

Oct 18, 2018, 12:59am Top

I also don't read very many cozies but I think the Phryne Fisher mysteries by Kerry Greenwood would qualify, so I will be reading Death At Victoria Dock, and I also consider Agatha Christie mysteries to be cozies so I will also be reading The Big Four.

Oct 18, 2018, 2:10pm Top

I have lots of cozies on my shelves so there is a lot of choice. Will see what comes to hand.

Nov 6, 2018, 3:27am Top

My choice turned out to be not much of a mystery, as the two teachers do not do any actual sleuthing and stumble across the solution by sheer accident: Übertrieben tot. Ah well, one more removed from the shelves.

Nov 6, 2018, 7:06am Top

I finished Eaves of Destruction, the 5th book in Kate Carlisle's Fixer Upper series. It's become one of my favorite cozy series, and I'm not really sure why. The mystery of this one was a bit convoluted (most cozies are), but I really enjoyed it.

Nov 6, 2018, 12:33pm Top

I'm generally not a huge fan of cozies, but do enjoy the Flavia deLuce series. I've finished book 8, Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd. I enjoyed this one much more than book 7.

Nov 6, 2018, 2:40pm Top

Well, I finished Death Takes Priority but it's not one that I would recommend. One part of the plot line is just plain silly and the mystery is rather predictable.

Nov 6, 2018, 6:36pm Top

I have completed both the mysteries I set aside for this month, Death At Victoria Dock by Kerry Fisher and a lackluster Agatha Christie, The Big Four.

Nov 7, 2018, 12:36pm Top

Started reading Skeleton in the Closet this morning and fell right back into the series and characters--I can't believe it took me this long to pick it up. If you like cozies and you also like paranormal mysteries and/or ghosts, I'm not sure you can go wrong with Angie Fox's Southern Ghost Hunter Mystery series.

Nov 8, 2018, 7:20pm Top

I just read Sleep No More: Six Murderous Tales by P.D. James. I think that this is the first time I have read murder short stories; most of my reading of mysteries has been novels. The stories all had different characters. None of the perpetrators were punished, and most of the murders were just talked about with very little description of the violence involved; there was very little blood and gore. Some of the stories had surprise endings. This collection was published posthumously although all of the stories had been previously published. Two stories were Christmas stories.

Unless I hear that short stories don't qualify for cozies, I'm counting this book for this challenge.

(I also plan to read Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers.

Nov 8, 2018, 7:59pm Top

>16 sallylou61: cozy short stories definitely count!

Nov 8, 2018, 10:43pm Top

>17 virginiahomeschooler: . Thanks. I thought that it was interesting that none of the stories featured any real detective work although in at least one, police did some questioning.

Nov 9, 2018, 3:54am Top

I finished and enjoyed Tod am Semmering where retired teacher Ernestine Kirsch solves two murders in a hotel on the Semmering pass cut off by a snowstorm. I learned quite a few things I didn't know about Austria immediately after WWI.

Nov 9, 2018, 7:23am Top

Started reading Leper of St Giles last night, and so far have found it mildly entertaining. It certainly does fit this category!

Nov 14, 2018, 6:44pm Top

COMPLETED Shards of Murder by Cheryl Hollon

My review:

Savannah Webb is invited to be a judge at a local art fair. When she's out running with her dog the next morning she finds the body of one of the winning contestant. As the person who found the body and the last known person to see her alive, Savannah is a prime suspect. She and her friends try to solve the case to clear her name.

I wasn't overwhelmed with the first in this series but I thought I'd give it another chance. I wish I hadn't bothered. Too much exposition, what appear to me to be continuity errors (the same information being given twice in the same conversation as if the first half of the conversation didn't exist, a character who specifically asked to be addressed as Miss Carter and was, then being referred to and addressed as Helen on her next appearance), and the murderer being obvious.

Nov 14, 2018, 7:56pm Top

I finished Bloodroot by Susan Wittig Albert.

Nov 16, 2018, 12:12am Top

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards / Lillian Jackson Braun
3 stars

Qwilleran, a reporter, has taken a job writing an art column at a newspaper, though he knows nothing about art. He moves in underneath another art reporter who has a Siamese cat who he says reads the newspaper… backwards. Qwilleran often ends up taking care of the cat, Koko. Some time after Qwilleran has met and interviewed the owner of a local art gallery, that owner is murdered.

Have to admit I was a bit disappointed. I kept wondering where the cat from the title was! He was introduced about 1/3 of the way in to the book. Then, his name (Kao Ko-K-something); sadly, when I want to shorten a long name like that, I tend to use initials – not so good in this instance. The main character, luckily, shortened it to Koko, but every time I saw the name written out entirely, my head went to KKK. Then, the murder didn’t happen until ½ way through the book. By then, I was also questioning whether or not this was actually a mystery of some type! Anyway, I thought it took too long to get going. Once the murder finally happened, it got a bit more interesting, but I’m going to leave it as “ok” and I don’t have current plans to continue the series.

Edited: Nov 16, 2018, 10:02pm Top

>23 LibraryCin: I enjoyed the "Cat Who" books at the time they were written; however, there is a definite point where the books began declining in quality. I think I read a later one before I read the first one, having discovered them on a newsstand which only had the latest paperback. I quickly found the rest of the series at the main library in Cincinnati, devouring them. I remember being disappointed in the first book when I went back and read it. I think cozy mysteries begin hitting their stride around the 3rd book. I suspect that was the case with that series.

Nov 16, 2018, 10:13am Top

>23 LibraryCin: >24 thornton37814: I enjoyed the first few "Cat Who" books, but started to lose interest at one point. I still prefer them to every Christie I've endured.

Nov 16, 2018, 7:05pm Top

LOL! Interesting. It seems that different people have different reactions and prefer different ones!

Nov 16, 2018, 9:19pm Top

>24 thornton37814: I read all the Cat Who books as they came out, and I agree, I was so disappointed when they went downhill. The last few really did not hang together well.

Nov 16, 2018, 10:05pm Top

>27 LadyoftheLodge: I often wondered if it was due to the author's age. I also wonder why an editor didn't insist on resolving some of the issues. I guess they were trying to keep to the once a year publication schedule for a successful series and not doing revisions was their answer.

Nov 21, 2018, 1:42am Top

The first cozy I read for the month was by Dorothy Gilman, the author of the Mrs. Pollifax series, which I love. The Clairvoyant Countess was ok but lacked the sparkle of the Mrs. P novels.

Nov 21, 2018, 12:00pm Top

Finished The Skeleton in the Closet by Angie Fox--there's just something about this series that I adore :)

Nov 22, 2018, 9:03pm Top

Just finished And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

What can I say about this that hasn't already been said? I love the puzzle aspect of Christie's stories and this one is a classic. In 1939, when this was written, no one else came close to Christie's ability. I first read this when in my early teens. I enjoyed it just as much this time, maybe even more, because this time my version was an audiobook with outstanding narration by Dan Stevens. I'll keep it because I just might want to listen to it again even though I know the ending.

Nov 24, 2018, 5:38pm Top

Murder on the Half Shelf / Lorna Barrett
3.5 stars

There’s a new inn in town, just about to open up, and bookstore owner, Tricia, and lunch counter owner and Tricia’s sister, Angelica, win tickets to stay one night at the new inn. Unfortunately, no one gets to stay that night, after one of the people running the inn, Piper Comfort, is murdered. She is, of course, found by Tricia. To Tricia’s surprise, it turns out Piper’s husband is someone Tricia used to date, and everyone thought he was dead!

This was good. I enjoyed it. I listened to the audio, and it was done well. For now, at least, I’ll continue on with the series (although I’m not impressed with Tricia’s newest employee!).

Nov 24, 2018, 7:24pm Top

>32 LibraryCin: Maybe I should try that series in audio if it's available that way. It might work better for me.

Nov 25, 2018, 1:09am Top

>33 thornton37814: I think this is the first of this series I've done on audio. I don't think they are outstanding in either format, but I have enjoyed them enough (so far) to keep going. To be honest, though, it took me quite a long time to finally pick this one up!

Nov 25, 2018, 1:39pm Top

>34 LibraryCin: I haven't been crazy about the print versions. They may drive me crazy in audio, but I can give them a try if available on Overdrive or RBdigital.

Nov 25, 2018, 2:37pm Top

>35 thornton37814: I got mine through Overdrive via my library. True, it doesn't hurt to give it a try to see what you think!

Edited: Nov 25, 2018, 3:43pm Top

>36 LibraryCin: If it's in our collection. I'll check when I need a new audiobook.

ETA: The next in series is on my Overdrive wishlist. It just hasn't been available, and I haven't placed a hold on it.

Nov 25, 2018, 9:52pm Top

>37 thornton37814: Good luck! Hope you like it a bit better than the print (or ebook) format!

Nov 29, 2018, 1:49am Top

Starting Agatha Raisin and the First Two Tantalising Cases by M. C. Beaton. Hoping to at least get the first one done by the end of the month.

Nov 29, 2018, 10:30am Top

Read and absolutely loved The Skeleton Makes a Friend by Leigh Perry. This may be my favorite cozy series right now.

Nov 29, 2018, 10:34am Top

Nearly finished with As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust . Good old Flavia.

Nov 29, 2018, 3:34pm Top

I started Goodbye Ms Chips by Dorothy Cannell that has been gathering dust on the tbr shelves for too long. I'm quite enjoying it but if I hope to have it finished this month I'll have to drop everything else.

Edited: Nov 29, 2018, 6:54pm Top

Oops...never mind...

Nov 30, 2018, 6:58pm Top

One last cozy for the month, Played by the Book the fourth book in the Novel Idea Mystery series. The life of Lila, literary agent, and supporting characters continues to hold my attention so I will continue the series.

Dec 1, 2018, 5:15am Top

As I finished one of the novels in this omnibus in November I'm going to count it even though I finished the other at lunchtime on 1 December.

COMPLETED Agatha Raisin and the First Two Tantalising Cases by M. C. Beaton

My review:

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death

Agatha Raisin cheats in a village baking competition by using a shop-bought quiche. Unfortunately when the judge decides to eat her quiche at home he ends up dead, poisoned.

I didn't find this as funny as the TV version, but that may be down to circumstances. Perhaps it just doesn't mesh with life in the tropics in the way it does with Christmas telly in the UK. I found it more enjoyable when the coffee shop started playing Christmas carols.

Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet

A handsome vet opens a surgery in the village, much to the delight of the female population. So, when he turns up dead from an injection meant for a horse there are plenty of suspects.

Although I'm enjoying the main characters, the minor ones are not differentiated enough and so nearing the end of this one I found I'd forgotten who was who amongst the suspects, which is not what you really want in a mystery.

Dec 2, 2018, 3:47pm Top

I read The Dead Ringer by M.C. Beaton. It wasn't up to the rest of the Agatha Raisin series, which I do enjoy. This mystery was loaded with copy editing errors.

Dec 2, 2018, 11:05pm Top

I finished A Cold Day for Murder by Dana Stabenow, from the Kate Shugak series set in Alaska, and Death of a Hollow Man by Caroline Graham, from the Chief Inspector Barnaby series. After reading Graham's book, I had to rewatch the Midsomer Murders episode based on it!

Dec 2, 2018, 11:08pm Top

>47 mathgirl40: Any excuse is good for watching Midsomer Murders!

Dec 2, 2018, 11:11pm Top

>48 Familyhistorian: Indeed! It's been a long time since I've watched the first season. I'd always liked Troy in the series but in the novel, he's a rather unpleasant character!

Edited: Dec 2, 2018, 11:58pm Top

>49 mathgirl40: I agree, I didn't like BookTroy at all while TVTroy is a sweetie.

Edited: Dec 3, 2018, 1:12am Top

>49 mathgirl40: >50 Robertgreaves: Is he? I'll have to have a look for the book.

Group: 2018 Category Challenge

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