April Wrap Up!

Copy of Camp NaNoWriMo & Wordsonthepageathon (1)

Hey hey my Cozy Companions! I hope that you are having an AMAZING day! I am super glad that April is over. I don’t know about you guys, but April was an extremely hard month for me. I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t get motivated, I just needed May to start so that I felt like the slate was clean! I read a whopping four books this month! Three of which were WONDERFUL! Let me know what you read this month down below or if you’ve read these books and what you thought of them!

Cozy Mystery Review (1)

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A Piece of Cake Mystery Series
Book 1
https://amzn.to/2HIJHCh

The first book that I read this month was a buddy read with Kayla from @literatureads! She is one of the sweetest people I have met from Booktube and Twitter. It was her idea to start this series together!

This book follows Rita Lucero. She is trying to start her life over, but there is one little thing holding her back. Her soon-to-be ex-husband refuses to sign the divorce papers even though he is the one that left her.

Rita hops on a plan from Arizona and flies to New Orleans willing to camp out in his reception area of his bakery until he signs the papers. This quick trip leaves Rita with the dead body of her ex-husband, a black lined bakery, and maybe becoming the next murder victim.

This was a really fun book to read. I loved the characters, the plot ran smoothly, and the whodunit was very well done. Overall this book has made me want to continue the series!

Cozy Mystery Review (2)

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A Spice Shop Mystery Series
Book 1
https://amzn.to/2JJRLUa

This book was April’s Cozy Mystery Bookclub Pick! This was such a fun series to start! If you want the complete book talk with the bookclub click here!

Pepper Reece is finally happy with her life. She left her cheating husband, left a well-paying job, and bought up the local Spice Shop in the heart of Seattle’s Pike Place Market!

The only thing Pepper has to worry about is getting her newest designs done for the shop. Should she stick with the old design that is true and loved? Or should she strike out on her own and put more of herself into the design of her new shop?

These thoughts are being put on hold however when a presumed homeless man is found dead in the front of Pepper’s shop with a paper cup with her logo on it near the body. The police show up, including her bike riding cop ex-husband.

Chaos ensues when one of Pepper’s employees is arrested for the murder of the unknown man. Will Pepper be able to keep her store afloat, find out who the mysterious man is, and save her coworker from prison? You’ll just have to read to find out!


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The next book that I read in April was “Then She War Gone” by Lisa Jewell. I really thought that this book was going to be like The Broken Girls, by Simone St. James.

Boy was I wrong. This book was not to my taste at all. I rated it a 2/5 stars on Goodreads. I actually can’t wait until I unhaul this book.

I really thought that this was going to have a better mystery, a better plot, and more character development.

Ellie Mack is the perfect child. Perfect grades. Gorgeous. Everything was coming her way. Until she goes missing. The police believe that she has runaway.

This story is broken up into multiple points of view, which is very confusing as you are reading. You follow Laurel, Ellie’s mother, Ellie, and others. I don’t want to give away too much information or it will spoil the book for you.

There are many parts in this book that were triggers for me and made me feel really uncomfortable. I got this book through my Book of The Month Club pick. This is something that I will not be re-reading again.


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The final book that I read in April was You Are A Badass! How to Stop Doubting You Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, by Jen Sincero.

As I stated at the beginning of this blog, I had a pretty rough month in April. I live in Oklahoma and am a teacher. There was a walkout for two weeks due to the fight for more funding in our classrooms and into education. I won’t get into politics with anyone, just know that children are my heart and I want the best for them!

You would think that with two weeks off that I would have devoured as many books as possible. I would have thought so too. That however wasn’t the case. I was broken-hearted, I believe. I couldn’t find the energy to read or to do much of anything.

I went and protested quite a few times during the walkout, twice in Oklahoma City. But I couldn’t bring myself to do much of anything. I needed to get out of this funk. I wanted to read a book that would help bounce me back!

This is when I saw this bright yellow cover that made me smile. Especially with its quirky and out of the norm title! I laughed and couldn’t stop smiling, so I put the book in the Amazon cart with The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**K, which I am currently reading.

This book really helped me see everything going on in the world in a different way. I needed to let myself become better. I needed to stop holding myself back. If you really want to see my reaction on this mind-blowing book watch this video!


So, that was my reading month for April. It wasn’t as extensive as the first three months of 2018, but I am still proud of everything that I read. All of them, good or bad, helped shape me into my thoughts of today.

I hope that you have an amazing reading month in May! What are you planning on reading in May? I’m horrible at TBRs! Haha!

A Cozy Rating System

I have recently revamped my Cozy Mystery Rating System. There are just some things that are required when there is a Cozy being read. I have created this Rating System, if you will. It consists of five main categories: Characters, The Whodunit, Relationships, Series, and Punniness. Each of these are rated with 1-4 Cleo The Cat’s, as shown below, and then the total is averaged!

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Why did I choose Cleo The Cat, you ask? Well, for one, I do have a cat named Cleo. She is extremely feisty, curious, and highly photogenic. It helps that A LOT of Cozies have fur children in the series. I thought that it would be fun to use Cleo as the mascot.

I mean look at how cute that kitty cat is!!! How can you not want to rate with her?! The only thing that would make her cuter is if she had a bow!

 

Characters is the first category that I rate. If the main protagonist isn’t likable I don’t care how much potential the story has, I can’t get into it. I have to feel close to the characters, like they can be my friends.

The Whodunit is the next category. Was the author actually able to fool me to a reasonable degree on who the antagonist/killer was? If they were they would get 4 Cleo’s. For how many mysteries  have read it is sometimes hard for an author to trick me or lead me astray. I love it when they can!

Relationships is the third category that I rate. This is the relationship or romance that is within the story line. I love the secondary characters just as much or sometimes more than the main character. If there are not well written and drawn out relationships within the series then it is not worth reading to me.

Series is the fourth category. There are two different ways that I rate with this. If it is the first book in the series than I would rate this as whether or not I am going to want to continue with the series. If I am in the middle of the series I will rate it to the degree in which the series is progressing. Is it getting better? Are the characters growing?

Punniness is the last category. I know, I know, Punniness technically isn’t a word. BUT it is a word to me. One of the reasons why I picked up Cozies in the first place are the amazing titles. Curiosity Thrilled the Cat?! Meet Your Baker?! A Killer Read?!? Yes, this is amazing. I am buying a book by its cover and title. You do too. Don’t tell me you don’t. I want to see how fun and funny a series is.

Look below at a visual for the Cozy Mystery Rating System!

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Top 5 Cozies| For Kids

Cozies for Beginners

Hey my lovely Cozy Companions! I hope you are having an amazing day! I am currently waiting for the work day to really start. I woke up this morning super spacey! I only have the urge to drink a hot beverage, not talk to another human, and read a good book. HA! Alas, I that will have to wait!

This is the BEST month of the year! Why? You may ask? Well, for one, it is March Mystery Madness! I hope you are attacking your ever-growing TBRs, because I am! We’ve got this! BUT it is also Middle Grade March! As a teacher I taught 5th grade and eventually 7th and 8th. I have loved getting my students into reading. Falling in love with new worlds, escaping into Hogwarts or to Narnia. I thought that it would be fitting to mix the two Readathons! So, without further ado, here are my Top 5 Cozies/Mysteries for kids!

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A Wells & Wong Mystery
By: Robin Stevens
http://amzn.to/2FmPGQ2

Deepdean School for Girls, 1934. When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up their very own deadly secret detective agency, they struggle to find any truly exciting mysteries to investigate. (Unless you count the case of Lavinia’s missing tie. Which they don’t, really.)

But then Hazel discovers the Science Mistress, Miss Bell, lying dead in the Gym. She thinks it must all have been a terrible accident – but when she and Daisy return five minutes later, the body has disappeared. Now the girls know a murder must have taken place . . . and there’s more than one person at Deepdean with a motive.

Now Hazel and Daisy not only have a murder to solve: they have to prove a murder happened in the first place. Determined to get to the bottom of the crime before the killer strikes again (and before the police can get there first, naturally), Hazel and Daisy must hunt for evidence, spy on their suspects and use all the cunning, scheming and intuition they can muster. But will they succeed? And can their friendship stand the test?

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Mr. Lemoncello’s Library
By: Chris Gradenstein
http://amzn.to/2oUfxVk

Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative game maker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library.

Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high.

In this cross between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and A Night in the Museum, Agatha Award winner Chris Grabenstein uses rib-tickling humor to create the perfect tale for his quirky characters. Old fans and new readers will become enthralled with the crafty twists and turns of this ultimate library experience.


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Book Scavenger Mystery Series
By: Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
http://amzn.to/2toHPfk

A hidden book. A found cipher. A game begins…
Twelve-year-old Emily is on the move again. Her family is relocating to San Francisco, home of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger, a game where books are hidden all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles.

But Emily soon learns that Griswold has been attacked and is in a coma, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold and leads to a valuable prize. But there are others on the hunt for this book, and Emily and James must race to solve the puzzles Griswold left behind before Griswold’s attackers make them their next target.

11737313Mo & Dale Mystery Series
By: Sheila Turnage
http://amzn.to/2G7dPaK

A hilarious Southern debut with the kind of characters you meet once in a lifetime

Rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, where everyone’s business is fair game and no secret is sacred. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she’s been making waves ever since. Although Mo hopes someday to find her “upstream mother,” she’s found a home with the Colonel–a café owner with a forgotten past of his own–and Miss Lana, the fabulous café hostess. She will protect those she loves with every bit of her strong will and tough attitude. So when a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known.

Full of wisdom, humor, and grit, this timeless yarn will melt the heart of even the sternest Yankee.

13555073Lakewood & Co. Mystery Series
By: Jonathan Stroud
http://amzn.to/2DaHo7Z

When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in . . .

For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.

Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest, most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.

Set in a city stalked by spectres, The Screaming Staircase is the first in a chilling new series full of suspense, humour and truly terrifying ghosts. Your nights will never be the same again . . .

PLEASE NOTE THAT SOME OF THE LINKS ABOVE ARE AFFILIATE LINKS, AND AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU, I WILL EARN A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE AFTER CLICKING THROUGH THE LINK. PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT I HAVE EXPERIENCED ALL OF THESE COMPANIES, AND I RECOMMEND THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE HELPFUL AND USEFUL, NOT BECAUSE OF THE SMALL COMMISSIONS I MAKE IF YOU DECIDE TO BUY SOMETHING THROUGH MY LINKS. PLEASE DO NOT SPEND ANY MONEY ON THESE PRODUCTS UNLESS YOU FEEL YOU NEED THEM OR THAT THEY WILL HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS.

Top 5 Best Cozies for Cooking

As I have STATED many many times I have a slight weakness for Baking Mysteries, Food Mysteries, Wine Mysteries, and so on. Okay, okay, maybe not a SLIGHT weakness…a huge giant weakness for them. I love that I can get my sugar fix basically without any calories. I love that I learn about new recipes. I love that the authors love baking and cooking as much as I do. I have tried so many different recipes from my favorite authors, that I thought that I should go ahead and do a WHOLE blog and video on the different Cooking Cozies I read.
Top 5| Cooking Cozies Video

Friday there will also be a blog about baking and a video about a Cooking with Cozies inspired Baking Box. So stay tuned! If you aren’t subscribed to my Youtube channel you should be! So, without further ado here are MY favorite Cozies that have cooking, baking, and food in it!

downloadBakeshop Mystery Series By: Ellie Alexander
The Bakeshop Mystery series revolves around an amazing mother and daughter duo, Helen and Juliet Capshaw. They own the amazing Torte bakery.
Juliet has come home from being on the high sea for the past ten years and she is finally seeing what she has been missing when she moves home to Ashland, Oregon.
Of course things start out a bit rocky like a ship on rough water when a well-known, but not well liked supporter of the Shakespeare Festival is killed.
Jules makes it her job to figure out the ‘whodunit’, but can she do it without getting sunk?

download-1Magical Bakeshop Mystery Series By: Katie Lightfoot
The Magical Bakeshop Mystery following Katie Lightfoot, her Aunt Lucy and Uncle Ben, in the amazing Honeybee Bakery in Savannah, Georgia. The bake shop is named after Lucy’s cat Honeybee.
This is such a fun and quirky Cozy Mystery series. Katie has quit her job and has moved to Savannah to follow her life long dream of opening a bakery and getting to make edible art for a living. She is so excited to be spending time with her Aunt and Uncle and settling into her new life.
No one ever said that the life of a business owner was easy though. There are always going to be people who you can’t please. Not everyone will be able eat a sweet and change their sour demeanor. But Katie never thought that she would have to lose a customer in such a tasteless way.
After the customer leaves in a huff she was murdered, leaving the main suspect to be Katie’s Uncle Ben. Katie makes it her goal to figure out what happened so that the police’s over baked ideas don’t burn her Uncle.

imagesPeridale Cafe Mystery Series By: Agatha Frost
I found this Cozy Mystery series on my Kindle when I signed up for Kindle Unlimited on Amazon. The books are normally .99 cents to $2.99. But they are free on Kindle Unlimited.
This series is based in Peridale, London and follows one of my favorite families I have ever had the pleasure of reading about. Julia South has moved back home from London after finding that her husband is a lying cheating man.
She has opened her very own bakery and couldn’t be happier. She thought that her life was going to be sweets, talk, and peppermint licorice tea. She was incredibly shocked to find a dead body in her cafe however, the town’s most awkward citizen. And the new Detective Inspector doesn’t want Julia to put her nose into the investigation. He under estimated her ability to talk to others in town and getting herself into trouble. Jules is going to find the killer and bake a damn good chocolate cake.

download-2  A Chocolate Covered Mystery Series By: Kathy Aarons 
Growing up my best friend Breann and I have always wanted to own our own bookstore. Heck, it is still a dream to this day. We’ve always wanted to share our love for literature, comics, and bookish goodies with everyone that we can get in contact with. I know what you’re thinking, “Courtny, why are you talking about this? You should be talking about the Cozy Mystery series.” Well, I am leading up to it! Gosh!
The Chocolate Covered Mystery series by Kathy Aarons is Friendship Goals. Seriously. I live vicariously through best friends Michelle Serrano and Erica Russell. They have combined their bookstore and chocolate store into heaven. Seriously. If you ask me, NOTHING is better than a great cup of joe, a piece of chocolate cake, and an amazing book.
To celebrate the combining of their store they are hosting the towns Great Fudge Cook-Off during their Memorial Day weekend Arts Festival. Things are off to a great start! Everyone is super excited for the judging and even the local photographer is excited to capture this fun and amazing weekend!
However, it seems like the photographer has taken her last picture when she is found dead in Chocolate and Chapters apparently poisoned by Michelle’s chocolates. Is their dream of owning their own store crumbling like a cookie? Will they be able to whip up the killer and get the shop back on the right foot? Go check it out!

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A Coffeehouse Mystery series By: Cleo Coyle
This series really does amplify my love for coffee and also my desire to learn. This isn’t just any old Cozy Mystery. Nope. Cleo Coyle has extensive knowledge about the coffee process. From the ground in which they come from, the place, the soil, the process of getting them to the perfect flavor, and more.
I swear when I started reading her series this past summer I drank an extra cup of coffee everyday…maybe two extra cups!
This series follows Clare Cozi and her life as the Manager of the renowned Village Blend. She has been asked, by her ex-mother in law to come back to the city and help run the shop.
Even though Clare wants nothing to do with her ex-husband she can’t say no. She will be closer to her daughter who is starting her first year in college and it helps that Madame is letting her life in the plush and exquisite apartment on top of the coffee-house!
Clare has started moving her things into the apartment upstairs one more and finds the coffee-house not shut down the way it should have been the previous night. As she investigates she finds her night manager murdered, coffee beans scattered everywhere, but no sign of forced entry. Two night cops deem this unfortunate death to be an accident. Clare however does not believe this to be an accident. She thinks that her manager was murdered and that she might be next.
This is such a fun series! Not only is there amazing coffee recipes inside the book but there are also food recipes! This is one of my favorite Cozy Mystery series that I have read. I highly suggest it!

All of these reviews are of my own opinion. I have not been paid to talk about any of these books or authors. I think they are all amazing authors and series. The links to the 1st book in all of the series are affiliate links, I do receive a SMALL commission from them. If that makes you uncomfortable don’t feel like you have to use them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Cozies: Bookish Themed

Cozies for Beginners
Hey hey you guys! I hope that you are having a stupendous week! I know I am! Here in Oklahoma the weather is driving me insane! One minute it is below freezing and the next it’s almost 70°F. My allergies would SURE LOVE IT if the weather decided to make up it’s mind! How’s the weather where you are at? Let me live vicariously through you!
I don’t know about you but I am LOVING making these Top 5 Cozies blogs/videos! They are so much fun to try and find books and series that match up with the theme I have chosen. That is one of the things I love about the Cozy Mystery genre. There are so many different themes, places, animals, and elements that go into the different types of mysteries that you find within this sub-genre of Cozy Mysteries.
One of my MOST favorite themes/subjects to read about in a Cozy are books themselves. This could be a person that is a librarian as the protagonist, a book club, or even an author. I love it when the characters have the same love and passions as myself. Today I am bringing you my Top 5 Cozies that are Bookish Themed.

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One of my most favorite Cozy Mystery series would have to be A Magical Cats Mystery series By: Sofie Kelly. This series, starting with Curiosity Thrilled The Cat, gives me everything that I need when it comes to a library fix and  kitty cat needs.

Kathleen Paulson is leaving her live in Boston to help breath life back into Mayville Heights’ Library which has seen better days. You follow her on her journey of forgetting her past and living for th present. She is trying to become the happy person that she knows she can be.

She didn’t know that with this new start to her life that she would be adopting some fiesty and very humanlike cats, Hercules and Owen. She might have bitten off more than she can chew when she comes to the realization that her cats have powers that are beyond those of jumping from great heights and landing one all fours, or having nine lives.

That isn’t all murder seems to become part of her life, where in the first book she finds herself as a prime suspect. With the help of her fine felines she tries to prove her innocence.

This is such a fun series. I love watching Kathleen grow into her new home, making friends, falling in love, and seeing her make decisions that need to be made in the face of danger. I love how when she is working in the library she really does try and get everyone the book that is best for them. She is changing the way that the library is viewed and people are flocking to it. Makes my dream of owning a bookstore or being a librarian even more powerful.

She also writers under Sofie Ryan, Pam Whitty, and Karen Davidson.

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The next book series is A Black Cat Bookshop Mystery by: Ali Brandon, the first book is Double Books for Death. This series is based inside a bookshop. And AMAZING bookshop, by the way. Darla Pettistone is tired of her life in Texas, all of the southern expectations of a girl have pushed her over the edge. When her Great-Aunt Dee has past away and left her New York Bookshop to Darla she is ready to high tail it out of Texas.

As the new owner of Pettistone’s Fine Books Darla is bound and determined to show that she can run the shop and make it successful. Even when it comes to dealing with prima-donna authors who think that they are better then the average peon. However, since the author is the hottest, most popular Young Adult writer at the time Darla is willing to look past her shirtiness and have her at the shop for a signing.

It seems that karma has reared its ugly head at the affluent author when she is killed in what appears to be an accident. However, the police seem to be looking into the wrong clues. Hamlet, Darla’s Aunt Dee’s shop cat, who is more well read then most adults, finds a clue to point at the fact that the author wasn’t killed in an accident, that it was premeditated.

This is such a fun series to read. I have read the first 3 and have the 4th one in my TBR pile for this year. I will have to say that Hamlet is actually my favorite character. It is highly unlikly to like a side character more than the main character, but he is just so sassy and puts Darla in her place that it cracks me up everytime.

She writes under other names, such as, Dian A.S. Stuckart, Alexa Smart, and Anna Gerard.

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Another sub-genre of the Bookish themes that I love readng are Book Club Mysteries. One of my favorites would have to be An Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery Series by: Erike Chase. The first book in the series is A Killer Read. I love how the author mixes a mystery bookclub into a Cozy Mystery series. It is like a world within a world. I know that if I ever found myself in the middle of a murder investigation that I might act like some of the members of the book club. There are so many different types of people in the club, which I love. Teenagers, teachers, high socialites, middle class, upper class, lower class. They all join each other every meeting and talk about the book that someone from the club had chosen. I LOVE IT!

Another reason why I love this series so much is that I can relate to the main character’s occupation, Lizzie Turner is a reading specialist for her school district. As a teacher, I can relate to a lot of the things that she talks about during her work day. She also tries to tutor the students who are at risk for dropping out and not graduating. She is a girl of my own heart.

Other than the fact that I love this character as a real person. I love how the book club gets pulled into a real murder mystery during their first meeting as the Ashston Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straw Society at Molly Mathew’s Southern Mansion. A stranger shows up asking to use the telephone. Molly, and her Southern Manners, obliges. After hearing arguing on the phone, the book club pretends to be interested in other things as the stranger leaves.

Later the strangers body is found with a very interesting clue, an antique pistol that belonged to Molly’s late husband. This puts her as the prime suspect. Molly, who is like a mother to Lizzie, is questioned. Lizzie cannot allow this to happen. She can’t lose another parent…the plot thickens as Lizzie finds a manuscript in her mailbox sheding light on something in the Mathew’s past.

This is such a fun series. I have read the whole series and have loved it. Apparently Erika Chase also writes under the name Linda Wiken and writes the Dinner Club Mystery Series. 

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Another series, that I can’t put down is A Booktown Mystery series,  by: Lorna Barrett. There are 12 books in this series starting with, Murder is Binding.  Stoneham, New Hampshire is the home of the Booktown. Stoneham was hit pretty hard with resession and needed a new make over. The owner of the town’s main street decided to make Stoneham a tourist destination by having bookshops of all different genres up and down both sides of the street.

This is perfect for Tricia Miles, owner of Haven’t Got a Clue, it is a wonder place to find a great mystery to read! Tricia loves it in Stoneham. Away from the busy city and the past that she is trying to forget. She is met with welcoming faces, fun competition, and the challenge of running her very first business.

However, a fellow bookshop owner, Doris Gleason is found murdered in her own Cook Book Shop with a knife sticking out of her body. Being the newcomer, Tricia is looked at as the killer. “To clear her name, Tricia will have to take a page out of one of her own mysteries-and hunt down someone who isn’t killing by the book.”

This is such a fun series, I love all of the chararacters including Tricia’s sister Angelica. Watching their relationship grow throughout the books has been so much fun!

Lorna Barrett also writes under the pen names, L.L. Bartlett and Lorraine Bartlett.

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And last, but certainly not least is the Cozy Mystery Bookclub book of the month for February, Lending A Paw,  by Laurie Cass. This is part of A Bookmoblie Cat Mystery Series. 

I will admit, that I haven’t finished this book yet! But I am super excited about it. Has anyone else ever had the dream of opening their own book store *RAISES HAND HIGH*? My best friend, Bre, and I were talking about opening up a Bookmobile in our home town. Maybe a lending library or something along those lines. That way we can dip our feet in the book owner’s water and see what we think. I can’t wait to dive more into this book and see what that might be like!

Minnie Hamilton is our protagonist and librarian in the tourist town of Chilson, Michigan. She is starting out her maiden voyage of the bookmoblie. However, she will not be going at it alone. Try and she might Minnie can’t seem to shake her rescue cat, Eddie, from joining her. It looks like she has a copilot, whether she wants one or not!

She believes that the day is going out pretty well! People are enjoying the ease and convience of the bookmobile. Thinking that their day is over she heads to her last stop. Eddie darts out of the van and straight into a dead body. Minie believes that she is going to leave the crime stopping to the local police, but Eddie seems to turn up evidence that points to murder. “Together, they’ll work to find the killer–because a good librarian always knows when justice is overdue.”

I am super excited to finish reading this book. I just know I’ll love it, I already have the first four in the series!

Top 5 Cozies: Kindle Unlimited

Cozies for Beginners (2)

Top 5 Cozies: Kindle Unlimited Video
Hey everyone! I hope you are having an AMAZING Saturday! Today is a wonderful day for me. If you have been following me on Twitter or Instagram you know my Dad went into the ICU this week with diabetic complications. He is coming home today! YES! This is why I haven’t been as present here on Courtagonist this week. But I am back!

I recently had a subscriber asking me about Cozies on Kindle Unlimited. I actually redescribed to Kindle Unlimited to do this Top 5 and I am SO happy that I did. I have found some of my new favorite authors and character through doing this.

If you are not familiar with Kindle Unlimited, click this link. It will tell you about all of the ins and outs. basically KU is a subscription that is 9.99 a month that allows you access to hundreds of thousands of books that you can download to your Kindle or Kindle App. There is a limit on how many books you can download at once, I believe it is 10 at a time.

I have noticed that Cozies that are written and published on Amazon are shorter than those that are published into mass market paperbacks. On average Cozies are written between 50,000-75,000 words. And it seems that the average of Amazon Cozies are between 25,000-50,000 words. That does not mean that they aren’t just as fantastic as other’s who are published through Berkley or something like that. But they are quicker reads and might not be as throughly written as others.

I did not realize how many HUNDREDS of Cozies there are on KU! Seriously, there are SO many! It was extremely hard to choose the Top 5, but I had to limit myself. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

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Series: Sky High Pies
Author: Mary Maxwell
http://amzn.to/2EXcX6x

I have read the first book in this series so far, Murder By The Slice. This is a super fun and cute cozy mystery. The first book revolves around Kate Reed. She has returned to a small town in Colorado, Crescent Creek to run her family’s bakery/cafe Sky High Pies.

She is wanting to start out fresh. She is moving home from Chicago, where an unfortunate ‘accident’ happened. Her boss was killed. She believes that it was murder, while the police don’t think so. She decides that she is going to move on from her life in Chicago and start doing something with her life that she loves, baking.

However, her past life isn’t ready to let her go and it follows her to the sleepy town of Crescent Creek. “As she settles into a new routine in the Rocky Mountains, everything’s going as planned. Until, that is, perilous ripples from her previous life threaten Kate and everyone around her. When a FBI agent is killed and the suspected murder weapon is found at Sky High Pies covered with Kate’s fingerprints, she instinctively returns to PI mode to help local authorities identify the killer and prevent any additional deaths—including her own.”

I really liked the first book in this series. It was a fun and quick read. I am excited to read the rest of the series! I rated it 3/5 stars!

Series: Bewitched by Chocolatedownload-2
Author: HY Hanna
http://amzn.to/2EZPuSl

I am actually in the middle of the first book currently, but I am loving it so far. I have actually read all of H.Y. Hanna’s Oxford Tea Room Cozy Mystery series, which are also FANTASTIC, but not on Kindle Unlimited.

This series is about Caitlyn, her mother, a famous singer, recently passed away in a car accident. She leaves Caitlyn a letter divulging that she is not her actually daughter. She was found on the side of a road in England.

She flies halfway across the world to follow her past and try to find any trace of her family that let her go. She ends up in the quaint English village of Tillyhenge where she finds out a man has been murdered by what people are assuming is magic.

Tillyhenge seems to be encompassed with a certain feeling. Cell phones don’t work. The internet is sketchy at best. Caitlyn finds herself staying with the local “old witch”, rescuing a kitten, and meeting Lord James Fitzroy. “Not to mention discovering that she herself might have magical blood in her veins!”

When she’s dragged into the murder investigation and realises that dark magic is involved, Caitlyn is forced to choose. Can she embrace her witchy powers in time to solve the mystery and save those she loves?

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Series: Scarlet Cove Seaside Cozy
Authors: Agatha Frost & Evelyn Amber
http://amzn.to/2roQHR4

If you have read some of my other blog posts or my booktube videos you know that I love the author Agatha Frost. When I found out that she co-authored another cozy series with one of her really good friends I knew that I had to pick it up! I am so happy that I did!

Scarlet Cove is a wonderful small town in England that is surrounded by the sea, a castle, and some amazing characters.

Our main sleuth is someone who actually has some back ground in investigation, which is not a usual career for our protagonists. Liz Jones has retired as a detective as the age of 42, she is wanting to start her life over pursuing a career that her heart has always been set on, opening a craft store and painting everyday by the sea.

She never in her wildest dreams thought that her life from the big city would follow her into the sleepy town she now calls home. She is quietly painting on the beach when she notices a dog barking uncontrollably. Desperation in his voice. She spots the boat and that it appears as though there isn’t anyone steering.

“She falls back into old habits when she vows to discover the truth about the fisherman’s death, but will she do it before the murderer strikes again? With her retirement and dream life on the line, Liz must battle against the clock to restore peace to the sleepy town of Scarlet Cove before all is washed away.”

I rated it a 4/5 stars on Goodreads. It was such a fun book. The third book comes out this month!

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Series: A Peridale Cafe Series
Author: Agatha Frost
http://amzn.to/2EZLp0y

This is one of my favorite cozy mystery series that I found thanks to signing up for Kindle Unlimited.

This series follows Julia South. She has moved to her hometown Peridale to start her live out her dream of starting a cafe. She has spent all of her savings opening this shop and has put everything into keeping it open.

“Soon to be divorced Julia South never expected to be caught up in solving a murder, until she discovered the body of her cafe’s most awkward customer. With a new smug Detective Inspector in town who underestimates her every move, Julia makes it her mission to discover the real murderer, before her village friends are dragged into the frame, and more bodies are discovered.”

I gave the first book a 3/5 stars, but they get better as you read them. The characters develop more, the relationships, and I just love the family dynamic. I highly suggest you pick up this series!

download-3Series: Port Danby Cozy Mystery Series
Author: London Lovett
http://amzn.to/2FY5i9x

“Lacey ‘Pink’ Pinkerton has left behind a six figure job and her reputation as the million dollar nose—a nickname her super sense of smell earned her within the perfume industry.

With her pet crow Kingston and a tabby cat named Nevermore, she is settling right into her new life in the small coastal town of Port Danby. With a flower shop opening soon and a full cast of quirky neighbors and friends, her new digs are exactly what she’s been looking for.

Away from the hectic hustle and bustle of the city Lacey has found peace and happiness. However, her heightened sense of smell proves to be of use once again when a Port Danby neighbor turns up dead.

Lacey finds herself caught up in an unexpected murder investigation alongside the handsome local detective, James Briggs. She’s determined to find the killer and solve the murder mystery before any more bodies turn up.”

The covers of these books are what brought me to download them! I mean, how could you not?!?

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! It means that absolute world to me. Please consider following my reviews! I have new content coming out every week. You can also go to my other social medias where I put out tons of Cozy Mystery goodness! It’s so much fun to talk to others about all of the books that I love reading! Leave some comments down below if you have read any of these!
*Amazon links are affiliate links. If that makes you uncomfortable please don’t feel like you have to use them.

Top 5 Cozy Mysteries for Beginners

Cozies for Beginners (1)

Top 5| Cozy Mysteries for Beginners Video
Hey hey everyone! I hope you all are curled up where you love to read, a glass of wine or cup of tea/coffee next to you, and maybe a furchild curled up at your feet while you are reading this blog. Here in Oklahoma it is currently 26˚F or -3˚C. In some places that isn’t too cold, but here it is freezing. This is the perfect time to wrap myself in my coziest blanket into a burrito and read. As I was sitting here on my couch I started thinking about cozies, as I do, and I wanted to start some Top 5 content for you. Without further ado…
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*Nebula*-My Sister’s Puppy

I asked you all on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram what you would like me to vlog/blog about most for tomorrow’s Booktube video.

The most popular topic was the best cozy mysteries for beginners. There are so many Cozy Mysteries out in the subgenre that it can be overwhelming on what book to choose, what theme, what type of protagonist, and so much more. I am going to give you my top five from different themes.

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Meet Your Baker-Ellie Alexander

Theme: Baking 

http://amzn.to/2Dl8URY

As most of you know this is actually the Cozy Mystery Club’s January pick for the Bookclub this month. This is for a very good reason!

The Bakeshop Mystery series is a wonderful series to start on if you haven’t read a Cozy before. The characters are complex, have their own backgrounds, and are extremely relatable.

Reading this series you don’t feel as though you are missing anything. Everyone has eaten a baked good, made cupcakes, or have seen them in movies. It is something that is common and most of the time brings happy thoughts to a person.

The first book has Juliet Capshaw coming home from her life as a head pastry chef with a broken heart. You feel for Jules and how she is licking her wounds and starting back home.

She has moved home to one of the most breathtaking small towns I have ever seen, Ashland, Oregon. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is starting to bring in lots of visitors and that means more customers for Torte, Jules’ family bakery ran by her mom, Helen.

One of Torte’s customers and newest board member for the festival is found dead. Jules’ ex-flame Thomas is the investigator on the murder. It seems that even though the customer is dead, the love between Thomas and Jules might not be.

*self promo plug* If you want to join us for the Live Stream on “Why We Love Cozies” on January 17th @ 7pm CST that would be amazing! We are also having a wrap up on Meet Your Baker on January 31st @ 7pm CST -link coming-

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Curiosity Thrilled The Cat- Sofie Kelly    *in picture Tom Cat*

Theme: Magical Cats/Librarian

http://amzn.to/2D24cuG

This is probably one of my absolute favorite cat series. One thing you will probably notice if you go looking into the Cozy Mystery section of a bookstore is that there are a lot of furchildren that follow our protagonists.

I love kitties, if you couldn’t tell by my lovely Tom here. He looks JUST LIKE Hercules on the cover!

Hercules, the stocky tuxedo cat, and Owen, the tabby with a cat-nip addiction are feral cats that Kathleen Paulson found when she moved to the small town Mayville Heights, Minnesota to help remodel and build onto the local library.

Kathleen has left her life and broken heart in Boston. During the Wild Rose Summer Music Festival a murder occurs and Kathleen finds herself as the Prime Suspect. She also finds that her kitty cats are more special then she thought. I mean, I’m pretty sure that walking through walls and becoming invisible aren’t normal traits for felines. Am I riiight?

However off putting it may be to watch her one of her cats walk through a wall, she finds herself depending on their special abilities to help solve the crime and save her new reputation. Isn’t this just purr-fact?

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Pleating for Mercy-Melissa Bourbon

Theme: Sewing/Magical

http://amzn.to/2D5o28w

Harlow Cassidy is a special woman. When I mean special, I mean SPECIAL. All of the Cassidy women are special, they possess gifts. Gifts to help others. Harlow Jane Cassidy’s gift you ask? Creating beautifully stunning dresses. Not just aesthetically, but ones that help the owners grant their deepest desires.

When Harlow’s Great-Grandmother passes away and leaves her house to her, Harlow moves home from Manhattan to Bliss,Texas.

She was an extremely popular fashion designer and decides that she is going to turn her Grandmother’s old farmhouse into a custom dressmaking boutique! She feels as though she can feel her Great-Grandmother’s presence in the house with her, the memories are so strong.

One of Harlow’s very first customers is a childhood friend, Josie. She is needed a wedding dress and bride’s maid dresses, and quickly. However, things aren’t starting out like a Happy Ever After.

The bride, Josie’s, boss and maid of honor is found dead outside of the farm house and it looks like the bride-to-be is the prime suspect. It looks like Josie is going to need a lot more from Harlow then the perfect wedding dress, she needs this to be solved.

I love that this series has little elements of magic, ghosts, and a little bit of history mixed into it. If you love reading about powerful strong women, this is the Cozy for you!

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A Killer Read-Erika Chase

Theme: BookClub/Teacher

http://amzn.to/2DmMQqa

This series surrounds the members of the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society Book Club. Haha! I know, that is a mouth full! That’s what I thought when I read that. But it intrigued me.

Another thing that made me want to read this was the fact that the main character, Lizzie Turner, is a Reading Specialist and LOVES mystery books!

Does that sounds like anyone else?! I am a Digital Learning Specialist and I love Cozies. Erika Chase was pretty much writing this book for me. Am I right? Am I right?!? Whew. Okay, lets get back to it.

Lizzie is part of the ACMRaCSS (yup…) and they are having their very first meeting. A stranger knocks on the door to ask to use the phone of Molly Mathew’s whose southern mansion is the meeting place for the book club.

After making a ruckus and not being a very good guest the stranger leaves. Only to be found killed later with an antique gun that belonged to Molly’s late husband. Of course this makes Molly, the elderly woman, the lead suspect. Lizzie’s high school crush appears to be the police chief in charge of the investigation.

Not only does that make Lizzie even more determined to find out what happened to the strange but a chapters from a mysterious manuscript start showing up in her mailbox. Detailing things about the stranger that was murdered, Molly’s name surfaces in the chapters.

Is Lizzie prepared to find herself in the midst of a REAL mystery or would she rather be reading fiction?

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Double Booked for DEATH-Ali Brandon

Theme: Bookshop

http://amzn.to/2DnBMca

One of my biggest dreams is to own my very own bookstore/cafe. I know, that is most avid readers dream.

Raise your hand if you would love to be paid to read and drink coffee? Yup. Me too. I know it’s more than that, I ran my Nonnie’s shop for ten years, but I still think it would be cool.

Darla Pettistone left Texas and moved to Brooklyn to do just want I want to do. However, she didn’t have to build the bookstore from the ground up. It was left to her by her Great-Aunt Dee. The bookstore came with its very own ornery and stubborn mascot, Hamlet. *He is the most entertaining and deep character of the series…seriously…I love him so much.*

Darla is setting to prove to herself and her family back in Texas that she can run Pettistone’s Fine Books and keep a tight leash on Hamlet all while hosting the stores very first event since her Aunt Dee’s passing.

The hottest bestselling Young Adult author of the moment is coming to Pettistone’s Fine Books for a signing of her new book. Lines for this signing are wrapping around the corners and down the streets even the night before the signing. Fan and protesters alike. This even could bring big business to the new owner. I mean there is no such thing as bad publicity right? Right?!

Unfortunately, the author meets an unsavory end. This is not good for business. Even though it is ruled an accident loyal fans are blaming the bookstore and writing nasty reviews as well as picketing the store. Hamlet, on the other paw, finds a clue that points Darla to the conclusion that the death of the author wasn’t an accident.

Darla fears that the killer is out there watching her every move. “Can the interfering Hamlet point the paw at the culprit without losing one of his own nine lives?”

Well my Cozy Friends, those are the Top 5 Cozies for Beginners! I hope that you enjoyed them. Let me know in the comments if you have read any of these series, you have other suggestions, or if you are going to order them! I would love to talk with you about these amazing series.

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*All Links to books are affiliate links. If you click them and order the books I get a very small commission from it. If that makes you uncomfortable but you still want to read the books, please go to your local bookstore or online shop.