Any suggestions...?

TalkCozy Mysteries

Join LibraryThing to post.

Any suggestions...?

This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.

1demonkitty
Aug 8, 2011, 6:41am

Love English country house mysteries. You know, the ones where there is usually a map of who is sleeping in what room, someone is killed and the race is on to figure out the culprit is. Like Clue.

I haven't found any in some time so any suggestions would be appreciated.

2AnnieMod
Aug 9, 2011, 7:14pm

Uhm... that might be not so easy - for some reason the contemporary authors are not writing a lot of these. What had you read so far from the classic ones?

Do you insist on the English country house ones or do you use it as an example of a classical locked room mystery and you are open to any of those?

3demonkitty
Aug 10, 2011, 8:47am

I can't even tell you which I've read because it's been so long since I've found any. My "read" list only goes back to 1986 and they predate that. Locked room mysteries are great, too, so I'm up for those. Read several Clayton Rawson books years ago when the library still had them, but they're hard to find now.

4rretzler
Aug 26, 2011, 11:39am

Since you can't remember what you read - I'll go with some obvious ones first: Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, Margery Allingham, Georgette Heyer. For a more contemporary author, you can try G.M. Malliet .

Although these authors are not necessarily country house mysteries, they write very good mysteries set in the UK that are considered cozies: M.C. Beaton, Emily Brightwell, Caroline Graham, P.D. James, Simon Brett, Rhys Bowen, Peter Lovesey, Martha Grimes.

There are many, many more but these are the ones that are more of what you describe where all the clues are usually there, and you have to figure out "Whodunit."

5rretzler
Aug 26, 2011, 11:57am

Here are some links that might help you find the books you like:

http://www.cozy-mystery.com/
http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/c/agatha-christie/
http://www.sldirectory.com/mystery.html
http://www.jocolibrary.org/upload/library/docs/pdf/booklists/Cozymysteries.pdf
http://www.browsersbookstore.com/cozy.html
http://www.mystery-cozy.com/Mystery-Cozy-British-Cozies.html

Madison Public Library (http://www.madisonpubliclibrary.org) used to have a "Don't Miss List" for Cozy Mystery authors which was great, however, when I went to the link I'd bookmarked, it was no longer there.

6demonkitty
Aug 27, 2011, 6:54am

Thanks so much for the suggestions. I'll be sure and check them out!

7Booksloth
Aug 27, 2011, 7:26am

There is beginning to be a bit of a resurgence in this kind of thing just lately. You might like some of the books by Anna Dean, including A Moment of Silence, A Woman of Consequence and A Gentleman of Fortune or the Flavia de Luce books by Alan Bradley (Flavia is the teenage heroine in a series of 'country house' murders such as The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag etc

8rretzler
Aug 27, 2011, 2:58pm

I love these types of mysteries too. I hadn't heard of Anna Dean, so I'll put her on my list. I do have a Flavia de Luce by Alan Bradley on my list to read.

It seems like a lot of contemporary authors are trying to write cozies with a theme - the caterer, the cupcake baker, the psychic, the cat owner, etc. Some of these work...and some don't, but none are nearly as good as those of the golden age.

For instance, I greatly enjoyed the first half of the "Cat Who..." series by Lilian Jackson Braun (second half not worth reading in my opinion), and tolerate Diane Mott Davidson's Goldy Schultz - more for the characters than the mystery. But I didn't really enjoy Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swenson first mystery, although I may read more just for the characters.

I generally find that I enjoy authors who are members of The Detection Club -

http://gadetection.pbworks.com/w/page/7930445/Detection%20Club,%20The

but not always. I know a lot of people enjoy Ian Rankin, but I found Inspector Rebus a little too dark and depressing. I've only read Knots and Crosses though, so perhaps I'll give him another chance.

Although Reginald Hill would probably not be considered a cozy writer, I do enjoy Dalziel and Pascoe very much - Hill is an excellent writer and his books just seem to flow for me.

9Alice_Wonder
Aug 29, 2011, 9:30am

I love the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley. My suggestion is to read them in order. I am glad people have mentioned this series. This reminds me to check and see when the next book comes out. I want to be sure that I have pre-ordered it.

10momgee
Sep 2, 2011, 7:42am

This is not a country HOUSE mystery but it is set in a country village. I loved the set up and the mystery was good. Try Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet

11Berlin68
Nov 22, 2011, 10:52am

I read a classic English country house mystery with maps and and many typical motives recently: Stableford by Rob Reef. Thought it was a Golden Age mystery (the setting is 1936) but actually it is from 2010 and written by a German Author. Guess there is a translation available.

12MaryChase
Apr 15, 2012, 2:00pm

Louise Penney's Inspector Gamache series have very much the feel of the country cozy. Fabulous characters, deep thinking detective, great writing. Set in Quebec.

13rainpebble
Jun 29, 2012, 6:01am

I am loving the Laura Lippman little mysteries along with the Agatha Christie's, and the delightful Maisie Dobbs series.

14PinkKitty23
Sep 14, 2012, 2:06pm

# 4 & 5...I'm learning is this how you respond to someone?

If so...ty for all the suggestions.

15PinkKitty23
Edited: Oct 18, 2012, 9:12am

ty I've added it to my wish list.

should have added what book...
wicked autumn

16Betty30554
Sep 15, 2012, 8:38am

Susan Wittig Albert has several good cozy series - the Darling Dahlias Series, the Beatrix Potter series, and the China Bayles series. Also the Mrs. Murphy series by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown. They are all fun and light reads, but still good who-dun-its.

17gmathis
Sep 15, 2012, 8:47am

I believe it's Susan W/Albert and her husband that wrote Death at Bishop's Keep and the ones that follow under the pen name Robin Paige. Cozy tea-and-crumpetty Victorian settings.

18rretzler
Sep 19, 2012, 11:28am

#14 Thanks PinkKitty23. It's a pleasure to recommend my favorite type of books. Not too many people seem to be interested in the good old-fashioned mystery these days .

#7 & #9 - Thanks for the recommendation for Flavia de Luce by Alan Bradley. They were wonderful. After I read the first, I went right out and bought the rest of the series, and am now waiting for the new one to be released.

19TheFlamingoReads
Sep 19, 2012, 12:50pm

Although not technically a "cozy house" type of mystery I love the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear. Maisie is a 'investigator and psychologist' and the setting is post-WWI London. I love a good cozy myself and this series is wonderful.

20PinkKitty23
Sep 21, 2012, 5:41pm

T Flamingo-
I'm confused...I tried reading Maisie Dobbs & it felt like it was for a much younger group. Is this an adult book? I maybe the one confused LOL

Ty 4 any help....

21MDGentleReader
Sep 22, 2012, 9:25am

PinkKitty- Maisie Dobbs is definitely an adult series. She is private investigator in Great Britain between WWI and WWII who was a nurse in WWI. As has been said, not, strictly speaking, cozies. The subject matter involved in the various mysteries is too serious, but I really enjoy the series.

I am pretty sure that I have heard of the Maisie that you are thinking of, but I haven't been able to come up with the series. Maisie the kitten who lives in Edinburgh? I think there is a Maisy Mouse, too.

22donnao
Edited: Sep 22, 2012, 2:05pm

I've read a few of the Maisie Dobbs books and they deal are definitely adult. I also like that Maisie is a woman who must make her own way in the world , at a time when most women were expected to play more traditional roles.

23PinkKitty23
Sep 23, 2012, 11:39pm

Thank you MDGentleReader...I will look them up...in the meantime have you read the Penny books? They are kinda cosy & set in Europe.

They are written by CA Belmond.

24secondhandrose
Sep 26, 2012, 8:02pm

I found the first Maisie Dobbs book at an op shop last week so will look forward to reading that (based on recommendations here.)

25TheFlamingoReads
Sep 27, 2012, 8:17pm

PinkKitty23: We must be talking about different Maisie's. She is the only daughter of a widower working as a costermonger in the city of London. Through the benevolence of her aristocratic employer she goes to college and, when WWI begins, volunteers to be a nurse. She suffers physical, emotional, and psychological trauma during this time and after returning home. All of her backstory is told in the first book of the series, Maisie Dobbs which has a lesser mystery than the following books in the series. I recommend reading them in order. Maisie is a strong character who also seems fragile, solitary yet social, and modern yet contemporary.

26MDGentleReader
Oct 2, 2012, 4:18pm

#23 - PinkKitty23- A Rather Charming Invitation has been on my TBR for some time now. My library doesn't have any of the series, sadly. The Kindle edition is rather pricy - $12.99 so I have resisted so far.

27PinkKitty23
Oct 4, 2012, 12:02pm

I understand...if I still had it I'd lend it to you. I read it in pb form so I'll just have to add it to my kindle. When you get the chance the entire series is adorable.

28EdSolar
Jun 12, 2013, 8:21am

Don’t know if it is appropriate for me to suggest my wife’s books. She has written 3 cozy type mysteries so far. She is currently writing her fourth and last in the series. She calls it the Four Season Mysteries, one of each season. They are Lethal Leaf Peepers, Sinister Snowbirds and Murderous Magnolias and are available on Kindle and (in print) from us directly at fourseasonmysteries.com. She has also written a novel based on our neighbors life (lived to 103), about life in rural New England.

29Bjace
Jun 12, 2013, 8:41am

If you can find it, try C. H. B. Kitchin's Death of my aunt It's really very good. There are a few sequels whose titles I don't remember.

30HarryMacDonald
Jun 13, 2013, 9:13am

Curious how the language has modified the sense of "cozy house mystery", through just-plain "cozy mystery" to "cozy" being defined, in the US anyway, as a mystery involving nice old(er) people. Or at-least this was my observation as a working librarian for far too many years. Anyway, under that latter definition, I'd like to offer The Bag Lady War. Much better than the title might suggest. Happy hunting!

31AnnieMod
Edited: Jun 13, 2013, 3:20pm

>30 HarryMacDonald: cozy can as well have young protagonists, at least lately - a lot of the cozy series do. It is used for non-gore/minimal blood/clean language mysteries...
Although before the spike of the food/drink/whatever series, you are probably right in the definition of cozy being old nice people centric books...

32LA12Hernandez
Jun 14, 2013, 3:34am

I really enjoyed the Mrs. Pollifax series by Dorothy Gilman. A widow who decides to join the CIA.