Saturday, September 15, 2012

Dru's Cozy Report: September 2012 Reading List

Welcome to Dru's Cozy Report. This month we have four new series for your reading pleasure.
Lowcountry Boil by Susan M. Boyer is the first book in the new "Liz Talbot" mystery series. Publisher: Henery Press, September 2012

Private Investigator Liz Talbot is a modern Southern belle: she blesses hearts and takes names. She carries her Sig 9 in her Kate Spade handbag, and her golden retriever, Rhett, rides shotgun in her hybrid Escape. When her grandmother is murdered, Liz high-tails it back to her South Carolina island home to find the killer. She’s fit to be tied when her police-chief brother shuts her out of the investigation, so she opens her own. Then her long-dead best friend pops in and things really get complicated. When more folks start turning up dead in this small seaside town, Liz must use more than just her wits and charm to keep her family safe, chase down clues from the hereafter, and catch a psychopath before he catches her.
Private investigator Liz comes home to Stella Maris after inheriting her grandmother’s house to learn that her death may not have been an accident. With inside help, Liz’s search for a killer uncovers a devious plot that includes trickery and murder and she’ll have to act fast to unmask a killer to save her hometown.

This book oozes southern charm and a mystery that makes you feel like you are a part of the action with every page you turn. I love the way the author presented this lighthearted whodunit with unforeseen revelations as the story came to a close. Liz is my kind of person who carries a Sig and knows how to use it. Surrounded by a quirky cast of characters, this delightful book boasts engaging conversations and a southern charm that embraces you. This is a fun and enjoyable read and I can’t wait for the next book in this wonderful debut series.

Susan is the recipient of the 2012 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense

Visit Susan at

Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of this book

Foul Play at the Fair by Shelley Freydont is the first book in the new "Celebration Bay" mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, September 2012

As more and more tourists flock to Celebration Bay, New York, to enjoy their seasonal festivals, the town is in need of a professional coordinator. Enter Manhattan event planner Liv Montgomery, tired of big-city stress and looking for an idyllic spot where she and her Westie terrier, Whiskey, can put down roots. The Harvest by the Bay Festival is Liv’s first chance to prove herself, and everything from apple bobbing to pumpkin painting goes perfectly—until the body of an itinerant juggler is discovered stuffed into an antique apple press. With a murderer on the loose, town leaders threaten to shut down the upcoming Halloween and Christmas festivals. But the town’s livelihood is at stake, and there is no way Liv is going to let that happen, even if she has to solve the murder herself. No matter how many balls she needs to keep in the air, Liv is determined to find a killer who’s rotten to the core.
Life in her newly adopted town is like a celebration until a murder threatens her upcoming festival preparation. Fearing cancellation and her job, Liv takes it upon herself to solve this case before Celebration Bay is no longer.

This was a good read and I enjoyed the action from the start as the story moved forward. The author did a good job in keeping the mystery flowing with surprising twists and turns that kept me turning the pages as I wanted to know how it will all end. Liv is such a great character and I like that she wanted to do right by the town by finding the killer. The town of Celebration Bay with its quirky-named businesses is the perfect setting for this delightfully entertaining tale and I look forward to more festivities for years to come.

Visit Shelley at

Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of this book

Murder Unmentionable by Meg London is the first book in the new "Sweet Nothings Lingerie" mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, September 2012

Emma Taylor thought she knew what to expect when she abandoned life as a big-city fashionista to help her aunt, Arabella, breathe new style into Sweet Nothings, her waning lingerie boutique. As Emma settles back in to Paris, Tennessee—a world where pie is served with a parable and a pitcher of sweet tea is the cure for most of life’s ills—her escape seems smooth as silk. But when the town acquires a touch of unneeded je ne sais quoi with the arrival of Emma’s philandering French ex, an unseemly murder turns her world inside out. As the police’s top suspect, Emma is going to need more than fishnets to snare the real killer. And when she and Arabella refuse to let death threats wrapped in knifed nighties stall Sweet Nothings’ vintage-lingerie fashion show, it becomes increasingly clear that any garter may hide a gun and that bullet bras might have to live up to their name.
When her ex-boyfriend follows her to Paris, little did Emma know it would be the last time she sees him and in the same breathe accused of his murder. To clear her name and reputation, Emma and her friends will need to undress a killer before Emma is hung up to dry.

I like it. Mix an entertaining whodunit, some laughs and a little bit of romance and you got the makings of a great debut series. This was an enjoyable mystery that I could not put down. The writing flowed easily with crisp dialogue and a fun setting. With a great cast of characters from likable Emma, gentle Aunt Arabella, snarky Sylvia, best friend Liz and handsome Brian, this lighthearted and charming story is a welcome addition to the cozy genre and I can’t wait for the next happenings in Paris, Tennessee.

Visit Meg at

Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of this book

Last Wool and Testament by Molly MacRae is the first book in the new "Haunted Yarn Shop" mystery series. Publisher: Obsidian, September 2012

That’s the name of the spunky group of fiber and needlework artists founded by Ivy McClellan, Kath’s beloved grandmother. Though Ivy has recently passed on, the members still meet regularly at her fiber and fabric shop, the Weaver’s Cat, which Kath has now inherited. But that’s only the first in a series of surprises when Kath returns to the small town of Blue Plum, Tennessee, to settle her grandmother’s affairs. There’s been a murder, and it turns out her grandmother was the prime suspect. Before Kath can begin to clear Ivy’s name, she encounters a looming presence in the form of a gloomy ghost. It turns out the specter has just as much interest in solving the murder as Kath. So, with a little help from the members of TGIF—and a stubborn spirit from beyond—she sets out to unravel the clues and hook the real killer.
Learning that her recently deceased granny was a prime suspect in a recent murder, Kath with help from her friends, form a posse to collect evidence that will clear her granny’s name.

This was a fun book filled with mystery, mayhem and a little comical relief in the form a spirit who would not go away. The people of Blue Plum are an interesting lot and I can’t wait to know more about them, from Kath to Ten to Ardis and even Geneva. The author did a good job in keeping me on my toes with the many directions she took to keep me guessing and turning the pages. With a likable cast of characters, a small town atmosphere and good dialogue, this is a pleasantly appealing debut series and I look forward to more exciting times with the citizens of Blue Plum, Tennessee.

Visit Molly at

Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of this book

And check out these other September releases


Alicia said...

Looks like I'll be adding a lot of books to the TBR list.... thank you!

Linda McDonald said...

Great books! Thanks for post Dru!

Lacey Smith said...

Thanks for the great recommendations! I’ve been looking for a few new books to add to my “must read” list, and Lowcountry Boil sounds like a book I'd like. It kind of reminds me of the book I'm reading right now called “Tell Me When It Hurts” by Christine M. Whitehead. You can get check her out and get the book right off of her website, It's a great read! Thanks again for the post and suggestions!

Yvonne said...

All the books look so good, don't they? I have a few of them waiting for me to review them.

Dru said...

Thanks Lacey for the recommendation.

Aurian said...

Great reviews and recs again Dru! Thank you! But I have to say, that first book sounds good, but that cover really does not invite me to pick it up. For my cozy's I really prefer the colorful ones, the funny ones, the cozy ones :)