Alphabetical Index of Mystery Reviews

Murder at the Spa

Murder at the Spa by Stefanie Matteson is the first of eight mysteries starring Charlotte Graham, an older actress. It was originally published in 1990 and is now out of print but available digitally through Open Road Media, along with the other seven books in the series. Charlotte is enlisted by an old friend, cosmetic mogul Paulina Langenberg (think Helena Rubinstein or Estée Lauder), to find out who is trying to sabotage her luxury spa. This was either the best […]

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A Study in Charlotte

There have been female takes on Sherlock Holmes before, but A Study in Charlotte beautifully blends the traditional detective with a teen romance and a young adult boarding school novel. James “Jamie” Watson is a new student at the Sherringford boarding school in Connecticut. Although American by birth, he’s previously been living in London with his divorced mom. He wants to be a writer but has to play on the rugby team for his scholarship. He’s the latest generation of […]

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Poison Is Not Polite

The schoolgirl detectives of Murder Is Bad Manners, Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong, return in Robin Stevens’ sequel, Poison Is Not Polite. Here, they tackle a murder during one of those classic English mystery situations: the manor house party. It’s the Easter holidays, so instead of going home to Hong Kong, Hazel is staying with Daisy and her family at their estate. Daisy’s parents, Lord and Lady Hastings, aren’t getting along, a situation exacerbated by Lady Hastings’ friend, Mr. Curtis, […]

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The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle

Now that the book club and its characters have solved the murder of one of their own (in the first book, The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco), it’s time to see if their abilities extend to another case. In The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle, the group is reading Murder on the Orient Express, a classic Agatha Christie mystery where everyone hates the villain. Similarly, Amy-Faye and her friends tackle a case where the dead man is widely hated. Only […]

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The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco

As soon as I heard the premise for this first in a cozy mystery series, I knew it was for me. The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco revolves around a mystery-reading book club organized by event planner Amy-Faye Johnson. She lives in a small Colorado town, where the other club members are her best friend, Brooke, a society wife; Lola, who runs a plant nursery and mothers her younger sister; the older Maud, a web designer, hunting guide, and conspiracy […]

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Decanting a Murder

In Decanting a Murder, sommelier-in-training Katie Stillwell investigates a mystery in California wine country. Her outgoing childhood friend Tessa is working at a secretive winery whose products are much in demand, and Tessa invites Katie to a private party there. The owner is found murdered in one of the fermentation tanks, and the cast of suspects includes his wife, the businessman owner of the neighboring vineyard, the bitchy assistant, the flirty vineyard manager, and Tessa. Katie gets involved in figuring […]

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The Final Tap

The Final Tap is a sequel to The Final Reveille, a murder mystery set at a living history museum, a reconstructed farm in Ohio, but it works perfectly well as a starting point if you haven’t read the previous. This time, instead of a Civil War reenactor getting killed, it’s a despicable, unliked expert on maple sugaring in this mystery by Amanda Flower. It’s spring at the farm, although the winter weather keeps hanging around. Kelsey, manager of the farm […]

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Death and the Lit Chick

If you’re interested in the world of publishing and the outsize personalities some authors portray themselves to be, you’ll enjoy the mystery Death and the Lit Chick. This is the second mystery by G.M. Malliet to feature Detective Chief Inspector St. Just, and it’s juicy. (The first, Death of a Cozy Writer, was one of those family sagas where the imperious father, in this case a famous author, has a flock of ne’er-do-well kids. They all gather to talk him […]

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