[Reviews] The Good Thief's Guide to AmsterdamA fun new mystery series, with interesting characters making the most of similarly interesting settings.
[Reviews] One for the MoneyA strong start to a series that (wouldn't you know it?) actually deserves to make all of those appearances on bestseller lists.
An interesting setting and characters should keep readers hooked, even though the mystery sometimes feels too fantastic to qualify as cozy.
Julie Hyzy has written a number of books in the generally solid Manor House Mystery series, and I read two of those before discovering an unrelated series of novels from the same author about a White House chef named Olivia Paras. The concept sounded interesting, so I jumped right in with the seventh installment, "Home of the Braised."
As the novel began, in the White House kitchen, I had no idea what was happening. The first chapter started out rather abruptly but things quickly improved as I got my bearings. The story that followed from there grew steadily better. The slow start is unfortunate, but at least it covered some important ground.
Another fun mystery about a shop owner and her intelligent cat.
"Plot Boiler," by Ali Brandon, is the fifth book in a series of novels about Darla Pettistone, a New York entrepreneur who runs a bookstore that she inherited from her aunt and solves crimes that occur in the local community.
Brandon's characters and setting make for a better cozy than average, plus there's a cat. People like cats.
As you might have guessed, the title "Words with Fiends" is a slight twist on the name of a popular mobile game that was all the rage several years ago, Words with Friends. It was a Scrabble knockoff that even inspired board games that some stores started selling instead of Scrabble. The app was ludicrously popular.
A satisfying first installment in a series I only got around to trying just now.
"Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder" is the first of more than 20 novels that author Joanne Fluke has written about Hannah Swenson, a baker living in the fictional Minnesota town of Lake Eden. I've seen the books around for years, but I only recently decided to give them a shot.
                                                            
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