Books To Take You Away From It All

Tag Archives: Cozy mystery

Advertising copywriter Leigh Koslow doesn’t pack heat–just a few extra pounds. And she doesn’t go looking for trouble. When she moved into her cousin Cara’s refurbished Victorian house, she wasn’t planning on discovering a corpse–certainly not one that had been embalmed ten years before. But as anyone in the small Pittsburgh borough of Avalon could tell her, her cousin’s house has a history attached. A history dating back to two mysterious deaths in the summer of 1949. Someone wants Leigh and Cara out of the house–someone who has something to hide. But that someone doesn’t know Leigh’s impetuous cousin, and when Cara digs her heels in, Leigh looks to her old college chum, local policewoman Maura Polanski, for help. But the answers the trio find only point to more questions. Were the scandalous deaths of fifty years ago really an accident and a suicide? Or were they murder? The nearer the women get to the truth, the more desperate someone becomes. Because some secrets are better off kept. Especially when they hit close to home!

Sissy:  We decided to do a new thing this Friday–revisit some previously reviewed favorite authors and tell you what else they have for you to read!  Because if you’re like me, when you read a good book you want to read everything else that author has written.  I remember when Agatha Christie died in 1976 (zip it, Bubby, I know what you want to say) and I felt so sad that re would be no more books in her own beloved yet specific style.  We originally reviewed Long Time Coming by Edie Claire in February of 2013, and thought you might like to know about her Leigh Koslow series.  There are nine books in the series so far, and the latest just came out this month.  Never Buried is the first book in the series.

Bubby:  You’ve got to love a story that starts off with a dapperly dressed dead man in the backyard hammock!  I may never be able to nap in my hammock again!  I loved all the twists and turns in this wonderfully written cozy mystery.  I especially enjoyed the relationship between Leigh and her cousin Cara, even though I have to admit I wasn’t too fond of Cara’s husband Gil.

Sissy:  Since when were you ever in a hammock?  And what’s wrong with Gil?

Bubby:  I’ve spent many happy hours in hammocks, thank you very much, and hope to install one in my current backyard soon.

Sissy: Your imaginary hammock?  And you don’t have any trees from which to suspend it.  But,  first thing when you get some trees and a hammock, I am going to install a surprise there for you!

Bubby:  I guess they didn’t have hammocks with their own frames back in your day….like 1976.  And I do have trees.  Very small trees.  And there’s nothing wrong with Gil, except that he is overbearing and ever protective and thinks that money can solve all problems.

Sissy:  Anyway, the thing about Never Buried by Edie Claire is that it starts off with a wallop and careens crazily from caper to caper in a most entertaining fashion.  Bet you’ll never guess “who done it” or why or even how until it all shakes out at the end.  4 pasty, corpse-like bubbles from the geriatric!

Bubby:  Great story.  I fully intend to get the rest of the series immediately.  I might even let Sissy borrow them if she’s nice.  4 bubbles from me too.

Click HERE to buy Never Buried by Edie Claire from

© 2014 Bubble Bath Books





Pru Parke always dreamed of living in England. And after the Dallas native follows an impulse and moves to London, she can’t imagine ever leaving—though she has yet to find a plum position as a head gardener. Now, as the sublet on her flat nears its end, the threat of forced departure looms. Determined to stay in her beloved adopted country, Pru takes small, private gardening jobs throughout the city.

On one such gig in Chelsea, she makes an extraordinary find. Digging in the soil of a potting shed, Pru uncovers an ancient Roman mosaic. But enthusiasm over her discovery is soon dampened when, two days later, she finds in the same spot a man’s bludgeoned corpse. As the London police swarm her work site, ever inquisitive Pru can’t quite manage to distance herself from the investigation—much to the dismay of stern Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse. It seems that, much as he tries, even handsome DCI Pearse can’t keep Pru safe from a brutal killer who thinks she’s already dug up too much. (From

Bubby: Unfortunately for our readers, both Sissy and I are zombies today. I think that perhaps if I fill the bathtub with diet Coke and submerge myself, I might be able to have half a brain. I think Sissy is worse off though, and cannot be saved. Given these circumstances, I am so glad we have a great book to review. Right Sissy? Sissy? SISSY!

Sissy: I’m here. In body. I thought about bringing you a diet Coke on my way here but obviously that wouldn’t have been nearly enough to bring you out of your current coma. As I was NOT sleeping at 2:00 this morning, I was ruminating about how fab it would be to just take off and go live in England for a bit. My son lives in England right now and even though he loves the people he has met, the thing he talks about most is how wet and cold he is all the time. What a fantasy killer. Nevertheless, all the while reading The Garden Plot I was pulling for Pru to get a job so that she could stay in England, where her heart was. I though it was very clever how Marty Wingate puts a rejection letter from prospective employers at the beginning of every chapter.

Bubby: It was quite clever, especially as each of them talked about different strengths and qualities of poor Pru. If she had been a Brit instead of an expat American, I think many of those jobs would have been hers for the asking!

Sissy: She actually had dual citizenship because her mother was British.  Bubby and I are almost totally British American (there are whisperings of some French Huguenots in there somewhere but nobody can prove it) so I think we should be welcomed with open arms, should we ever cross the pond, by “our people.”  Notwithstanding the revolution and all that. Get over it, already!  One of my new British friends I have met through my son has told me she is trying to get rid of his American accent and turn him into a proper English gentleman.  Speaking of which, Pru meets a lovely one, and the ensuing romance is quite satisfying.  Kudos to the author for making middle-aged women vital and sexy!

Bubby:  Wow, sissy, it looks like you might have finally awakened!  I loved detective inspector Christopher Pearse and the romance that unfolds between him and Pru.  He keeps finding Pru in “hinky” situations, any one of which would cause one to consider abandoning the relationship, but he perseveres!  We see so much showy, flashy, overly physical romance in the books which become available to us, so it was refreshing to have a romantic lead who sees our girl’s heart first and falls for her–patiently waiting for and believing in her.

Sissy:  Most of all, I identified with Pru and was so grateful for her happy ending!  That is not a spoiler because I refuse to read books that don’t have a happy ending; therefore you can rest assured that there will be no book reviewed herein that does not meet a certain requisite happiness quota.  My adult children are always helpfully on the lookout for me–in conversations about movies one might often hear “No, mom should not see that.”

Bubby:  I agree.  I refused to see the play that my son and his friends were involved with at the high school last year because it was too sad.  I don’t want to see the one they are currently doing for the same reason, but I have been told I will be labeled an unfit mother if I don’t attend, so…

Sissy:  The Garden Plot is a charming cosy mystery/romance full of interesting characters and a very relate-able heroine.  Beware creepy neighbors who attach climbing rungs to your shared back fence!  4 bubbles.

Bubby:  Yeah for a delightful contemporary story set in England!  Yeah for English gardens and handsome detective chief inspectors!  4 bubbles from me.

Click HERE to buy The Garden Plot by Marty Wingate at

© Bubble Bath Books 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder is the first of Joanne Fluke’s delectable murder mystery series featuring amateur sleuth and cookie store owner Hannah Swensen. The series is set in Lake Eden Minnesota, where Hannah was born and raised. When Hannah isn’t baking and selling cookies or stumbling upon a murder, she is dealing with her lovable but meddling mother and sister or spending time with her two equally wonderful boyfriends, Norman (the dentist) and Mike (the police officer). Full of humor, intrigue and great recipes, the Hannah Swensen Mysteries are a must-read for any lover of cozy mysteries.

Bubby: So I will just get this out there before Sissy has a chance to spread vitriol about my Friday Favorites pick. Yes, it is another cozy mystery – book after book of random dead people in a little town, totally statistically unlikely and unbelievable and why wouldn’t Hannah move to someplace safer already! I don’t care. I like cozy mysteries. It’s supposed to be fictional – it’s o.k. if it doesn’t seem plausible. Yes, it’s another book/series featuring food and/or chocolate. Yep. I like food. Especially chocolate food. I like books about people who make food. Deal with it. Yes, it’s another strong female lead. And? Is there a problem with that? I don’t think so! The Hannah Swensen Mysteries are GREAT READS. I don’t care what stinky Sissy says. Now I am done. Sissy, do you care to rebut?

Sissy: Speaking of butts, someone has a burr up theirs today. Since you’ve ruined all chances for my witty commentary about your ridiculous obsession with foodie cozy mysteries I’ll just say yep. I’ve read them. They are readable. People die a lot. People eat a lot and don’t get fat. That really bugs me because if I eat a lot I gain a lot of weight.

Bubby: Readable? That’s the best you can do? They are funny. Entertaining. The characterizations are excellent – tell me you don’t love the interaction between Hannah’s mom (a beautiful well-kept widow who knows best about everything) and Norman’s mom (also a widow who meddles a lot in her children’s lives)! What about the relationship between Hannah and her sisters? And Hannah and Mike and Norman? Epic.

Sissy: A bunch of tall Swedes who eat a lot and don’t get fat. And talk about food and put the recipes for their food in their book when I am trying to live a whole and non-processed food lifestyle.

Bubby: Who has a burr where?

Sissy: I am also tired of the love triangle between Bessie, Norman and Mike. What’s her name? Should be Crumbcake. That’s how I think of her. Anyway, Norman is stable and committed and responsible AND has chemistry with HannahCrumbcake. But she can’t choose between him and dangerous, player bad-boy Mike. Duh! Are we 15? You can tell that I have an interest in these characters and their stories are well written, so I’ll give you that.

Bubby: I have to admit, I do think she should just marry Norman and get on with life. But Mike is seriously yummy and a good kisser and, well, sometimes it’s hard to choose between oatmeal raisin and double fudge. Oatmeal raisin is better for you and tastes good but sometimes double fudge is all you want. Or two double fudge. Or three. (Unlike Sissy I find that cookies fit quite nicely into my whole and non-processed food lifestyle). I enjoy Joanne Fluke’s detailed descriptions of small town life. Having grown up in a ridiculously small town myself, I can relate!

Sissy: Bubby has been feeding me (get the pun?) these books for years now so yes, I am invested in the series. They are fun to read, fluffy, entertaining and don’t make me have to ponder my purpose in the universe, which is a good thing sometimes. The covers are big pictures of delectable desserts which is not necessarily a good thing, depending on my state of mind. Like last night. When I had a sudden, intense craving for something carb and sugar laden. But I ate some protein instead. Wouldn’t it be nice if Hannah Swensen had a side business of colorful organic veggies? On the cover?

Bubby: I see that someone has missed lunch and is experiencing irritability due to low blood sugar. Evidently the beef jerky that Sissy stole from my pantry an hour ago has worn off. Suffice it to say that whatever your personal nutritional philosophy, you will enjoy these books. If you are on a fitness and diet kick, as many are at this time of year, then read them for the mystery and humor aspect. If you are extending the holiday sugar and fat overload, then read them for the recipes. Either way, the Hannah Swensen Mysteries by Joanne Fluke are winners. I rate them 4 stars overall.

Sissy: Righto. 3 bubbles (but only organic, whole-grain, protein-rich bubbles) from me.

Click HERE to buy Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke from

Click HERE to buy Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke from

© Bubble Bath Books 2013