Coziest Time of the Year

This year, in addition to getting back into the habit of reading one of the Little House Books each year during the holiday season (this year was On the Banks of Plum Creek), I added the tradition of adding holiday-themed books to the mix. 

In taking up this challenge, I found a new-to-me author, and a book that came out more than 40 years ago and still holds up today: Charlotte MacLeod’s Rest You Merry. 

I loved the main character’s quirky-ness and his total disregard for social cues. It was a fun romp across a small New England agricultural college campus for the winter holidays. There were twists and turns and danger, all the makings of an excellent cozy mystery. Plus a love interest thrown in to boot. How had I never heard of Charlotte MacLeod before? I’ve already bought the next book in the series.

For the very first time this year I was able to find a Hanukkah cozy mystery! It was wonderful. It was Libi Astair’s A Latke in the Library.

Although it was described as a collection of short stories, it is actually a single storyline in which each of the characters tell a mini Hanukkah-related cozy mystery in the context of a larger cozy mystery. It was delightful. I simply must find more in this sub, sub genre.

The final book I wanted to share doesn’t fit the holiday theme, but it is another cozy mystery that I loved: Libby Klein’s fifth novel, Wine Tastings are Murder.

I have read all of her work, and it is delightful. They are funny, with the perfect amount of twists and turns. Plus this one finishes up the background mystery that runs across her first five books, only to open up a new twist. To fully appreciate this one, you need to read the others first. Start with High School Reunions are Murder. You won’t regret it.

Since I’ve found two new-to-me cozy mystery writers just this holiday season, what in-genre authors can people recommend?

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