Monday, December 14, 2020


Title: Cozy Case Files, A Cozy Mystery Sampler, Vol 10
Author: Ashley Weaver, Carolyn Haines, Ellie Alexander, Jane K Cleland, Donna Andrews, Vivien Chien, Elizabeth Penney, Diane Kelly, Cate Conte and Susan Cox
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Pages: 300
My GoodReads Rating: 

A Deception at Thornecrest by Ashley Weaver: A pregnant woman, Amory Ames, is disturbed when a young woman, Imogen Prescott, tells her that she has married Milo Ames, Amory’s husband, a few months ago. In the rest of the novel, Amory, heroine of her own book series, will go on to solve the mystery behind the killing of the stable-hand.

Hidden Treasures by Jane K Cleland: Josie Prescott and her husband Ty buy a new house. The previous owner, Maudie, has been moved to an assisted living facility by her nieces. Then the nieces want a trunk that, they claim, Aunt Maudie forgot to move.

Author Jane K Cleland, according to her bio, once owned her own antiques and rare books business. Her personal experience and knowledge enhance the book.

In a Midnight Wood by Ellen Hart: The body of Sam Romilly, a high school student who disappeared, is found 20 years after the fact. The body is found buried beneath the grave of the principal’s wife.

A Garland of Bones by Carolyn Haines: Private eye Sarah Booth, on a road trip with her best pals during the Christmas season, finds herself encountering one accident too many. When too many people begin to get hurt, she is determined to catch the wrongdoers.

Gift of the Magpie by Donna Andrews: Meg is part of the Helping Hands for the Holidays project, volunteering to help neighbours with things they can’t get done. She is assigned to help Harvey Dunlop with his hoarding problem. But then Harvey gets wondered and  Meg begins to wonder which of his hoarded possessions led to his death.

A Whisker of Doubt by Cate Conte was good. Even though I am not a cat lover at all. Maddie James runs a cat café and volunteers to help feed feral cats in a gated community. But some of the residents aren’t pleased with their efforts. There is a lot of friction, and then one of the residents is found dead.

Without a Brew by Ellie Alexander: Sloan Krause and her boss, Garrett, run an inn which specialises in beer. One of the brewery patrons, Liv Paxton, has an unpleasant encounter with some other patrons. The unpleasantness escalates until Liv disappears.

Bending the Paw by Diane Kelly: The police team of Megan and her dog, Birgit, are called to the scene of a brutal murder. But the strangest thing is that while there is blood everywhere, there is no victim. For once, they will have to find both murderer and victim.

Thread and Dead by Elizabeth Penney: Iris Buckley’s apron shop is doing well. When the rich and reclusive spinster Eleanor Brady calls her home to have a look at her trunks full of vintage fabrics and buy whatever she likes, it’s an offer that Iris just cannot resist. But Ms Brady has rented her house to a team of environmentalists, and one of them is killed.

Killer Kung Pao by Vivien Chien: Lana Lee runs her family’s Chinese restaurant, not an easy task. Then she witnesses a car accident in the parking lot and finds herself involved in more than she can handle.   

The Man in the Microwave Oven by Susan Cox: Theo Bogart has left her old life and town behind and started a new life with a new name and history. Fleeing from a tragedy in the past, Theo finds that the peril from her past is far from over and that someone she knows might be a murderer.

In each case, we get the synopsis and about three to four chapters of each novel. I felt as literary agents must feel when they have to make up their minds about a book based on a few chapters.

This is certainly a good way for readers to be introduced to new authors, and for new authors to make a splash with their target audience.

Garland of Bones and The Gift of the Magpie took too long to come to the point, and at the end of it, Garland of Bones had lost me. Other than that, I liked most of the others, and look forward to reading them.

(I read this book through NetGalley. Thank you, NetGalley, the author and the publisher.)

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