A great start to a funny mystery series of ten books thus far

Working Stiff (Mattie Winston Mysteries Book 1)

By: Annelise Ryan

Rating: 5 of 5

I started this series by reading book number 7. I enjoyed it thoroughly but realized that I wanted to start the series at the beginning.

“Working Stiff” is the first book in the Mattie Winston series. Mattie has just discovered that her husband isn’t the man that she thought he was. Unfortunately, what woke her up was an incident that happened at work. She was so uncomfortable with her co-workers talking about her (she was an OR nurse and her husband a surgeon), that she quit her job and found a new one.

The new job is as an assistant to the medical examiner. The work is somewhat close to what she was used to but in many ways, worlds apart.

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A feel good novel with a heroine with some OCD issues

I Owe You One: A Novel

By: Sophie Kinsella

Rating: 4 of 5

Fixie Farr is a young woman who works in the family business (retail store). She and her mother more than carry their own weight since her father died years before. His motto was “Family first” and Fixie tries to adhere to it, though her siblings are a bit of a trial.

Neither her brother nor her sister seem to have the same work ethic. Brother Jake is busy making posh deals that seem more like pie in the sky than anything concrete and meaningful. Sister Nicole is into appearances over substance and has a fixation on yoga and Instagram.

Fixie does the works and fixes things that her siblings and co-workers at the family business cause to “break”. When her mother leaves for a vacation, she leaves all three in charge with their uncle to keep things running. Without her mother’s vote, Fixie has to keep things from coming unglued.

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First entry in a new series by Julie Mulhern

Fields’ Guide to Abduction (The Poppy Fields Adventures Book 1)

By: Julie Mulhern 

Rating: 5 of 5

I’ve enjoyed Julie Mulhern’s Country Club murders mysteries. When I saw that she had started a new series, I bought the first one without a moment’s hesitation.

I’m glad that I did, though the subject matter is quite different. It is still a mystery series and is funny as a hoot. However, this series is set present day versus the 1970s.

Because of the change in time, a lot of modern thinking is to be found in the book versus that of the society around fifty years ago.

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Transitional book in the Flavia de Luce series – perhaps the beginning the Arthur W. Dogger & Associates stories

The Golden Tresses of the Dead: A Flavia de Luce Novel

By: Alan Bradley

Rating: 4 of 5

I’ve enjoyed every book that I have read in the series. I was captivated by the character of Flavia de Luce right from the very first. Her character has grown considerably even though she is still only twelve years old.

She is still working with her poisons which continue to captivate her but she is also actively solving mysteries as part of the Arthur W. Dogger & Associates, Discreet Investigations group (of two – Dogger and herself.) With the maturing of the group, there has been a change in how the mysteries are being solved.

Dogger has emerged as a kind of Sherlock Holmes type character. He seems to the the individual who comes up with conclusions while Flavia is more of a Watson type who has access to her laboratory for testing bits and pieces for poison, et al. She sits in admiration as Dogger states the case, proposes action, and comes up with solutions. He also seems to know the chemical essentials of what Flavia will be testing, so Flavia is relegated to almost a technician status.

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Another laugh out loud entry is this cozy mystery series

Back Stabbers (The Country Club Murders Book 8)

By: Julie Mulhern

Rating: 5 of 5

I have read and enjoyed every single book in this mystery series. I enjoy it so much, I recommend it whenever I can. As far as cozy mystery series go, I don’t know if you can do better.

The series is set in Kansas City during the 1970’s. The characters are part of the upper crust, country club herd.

Ellison Russell is our sleuth extraordinaire. While she is part of the country club group by birth, she is busy trying to break out and make a life of her own. Well, except it is pretty nice to have the money and the house and the… you name it. She also has a teenage daughter who is as flip as you can imagine.

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This new mystery entry has a more serious undertone but still as funny as the rest

Killalot (An Ivy Meadows Mystery Book 6)

By: Cindy Brown

Rating: 5 of 5

This is one of my favorite cozy mystery series. It is funny and has great plot lines which parody well known places, plays or movies. In this book, the parody is of Camelot. I won’t give away the parody line as it is a surprise.

Ivy Meadows is an actress who, under her real name Olive Zweigart, is a private detective in training (under her uncle who admits he is the best PI in the state of Arizona.)

Ivy shimmies and jingles her way through a Renaissance fair as a mute belly dancer. Why mute? Because her “Cockney” accent grates on everyones nerves. She is there to investigate a murder on behalf of the fair.
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A slice of life book with characters who come alive

The Songbird

By: Marcia Willett

Rating: 5 of 5

This is the second book I have read by Marcia Willett. As with the first, I found the story to be one that felt like real life. It was if I dropped into the middle of the lives of a group of people and could see into their pasts (through their thoughts) and their fears for the future.

The group is brought together in ways that are woven into one by the end of the story. There are moments of cheer and moments of deep sadness. There are times when you wish you could step in to help.

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A book of short stories featuring the sleuth adventures of Jaya Jones

The Cambodian Curse and Other Stories: A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Collection

By: Gigi Pandian

Rating: 5 of 5

I’m a fan of the Jaya Jones mystery series. It is like Indian Jones and Amelia Peabody rolled into one and set in a current day setting with a feisty sleuth.

Jaya is a professor who seems to like to venture outside of the classroom to solve mysteries (Jones and Peabody in one!) She always seems to be put into the heart of the action whether she wants it or not (but she usually is happy to be right in the midst of it.)

In this book, we are given nine short stories which feature Ms. Jones. She is given a series of “unsolvable” mysteries and guess what? Does she solve them? Well, you’ll have to read the book for yourself.
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A change of directions for Madison in a new mystery

Lover Come Hack (A Madison Night Mystery Book 6)

By: Diane Vallere

Rating: 4 of 5

I have read all of the books in this series and have enjoyed every one. This one is a good one but not one of my top favorites. I think the reason is because the long term story takes a sharp turn.

It’s not that I mind the turn it’s because of how abrupt it is. I can understand that the author may have been less inspired by potential storylines including certain characters and saw more from others. However, readers have come to know and care for these characters after five books and, perhaps, the change could have been accomplished with a little more care.

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Another fun entry in this catering mystery series

Murder With All The Trimmings (A Red Carpet Catering Mystery Book 6)

By: Shawn Reilly Simmons

Rating: 4 of 5

I’ve read the books in this series and enjoy this new one as a solid entry. It isn’t my favorite but it is a fun and fairly quick read.

Penelope Sutherland is once again the caterer on a project that her best friend/roommate, and rising star, Arlena, is involved in.

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