Midsummer Murders

Do you need a light and easy read for the beach? – for the bus? – for the back yard? A bit belatedly (as we celebrate midsummer and Sankt Hans, St John the Baptist, on June the 23rd) I´d like to recommend a couple of modern cosy mystery series.

First Elizabeth Spann Craig, the American writer of the great series about Myrtle Clover, the smart but far from perfect octogenarian.

Elizabeth also writes under the name Riley Adams; the Memphis BBQ series. Here is my review of the first volume, and the second, Finger Lickin´ Dead, hit the shops a few weeks ago.

Len Tyler, British writer and creator of the Elsie and Ethelred series. Lots of humour, and you may see this series as a parody of the traditional cosy.

Rebecca Tope, British writer of the Thea Osborne series set in various Cotswold villages where Thea is a cottage-sitter while the owners are away. Nine volumes so far.

M.C. Beaton was born in Scotland; she writes the delicious Hamish Macbeth series (nearly thirty volumes) and also the Agatha Raisin series (loved by some readers, loathed by others because of the rather self-centered protagonist) consisting of twenty-two stories so far.

And finally a series which is a bit older, but still going strong. Martha Grimes, the Richard Jury series. More than twenty cosy mysteries, written by an American, but set in small, British villages. Realistic environments? Not really, but if you liked Lord Peter Wimsey, you may also love this one.

Happy reading summer!

About Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

I am a Danish teacher. In my spare time I read, write and review crime fiction.
This entry was posted in cozy mystery. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Midsummer Murders

  1. I am a great fan of the Agatha Raisin novels for a quick light read. Agatha is a wonderfully flawed sleuth by accident not design. However, living in a rural English village as I do, I have to suspect that Carsley must be a village in a time-warp! (Or to be cynical, I suspect it is a village designed to sell the novels to the US market.)

  2. Petty Witter says:

    I’ll be sure to look some of these up. Ma-in-law is a big fan of the Agatha Raisin series but I have to say I am not tempted by them. Now, the cover of Finger Lickin Dead intrigues me and I could see myself reading this.

  3. Margot Kinberg says:

    Dorte – Oh, you’ve mentioned some of my favourite writers of lighter series. I love Elizabeth/Riley’s series, of course, and M.C. Beaton’s, too. And of course Richard Jury and Melrose Plant are friends, too :-). Thank you for highlighting these authors.

  4. I’ve read M.C. Beaton but not the others. Thanks for the tips. I have read a few cozies this summer and waiting for a good time to post them! Have a good reading week.

    Book Dilettante

  5. Kelly says:

    Great suggestions! As you know, I love Myrtle Clover and the BBQ mysteries. I discovered Richard Jury and Melrose Plant a few years ago and fell in love with that series! Each title is the name of a pub mentioned in the book.

  6. Yvonne: oh, I thought the time-warp was part of the cosy mystery recipe? ;D
    Tracy: Elizabeth´s books are very fine, up-to-date cosies.
    Margot: I thought it was time for some cosies 🙂
    Harvee: you have something to look forward to.
    Kelly: the pub names and the different villages are part of what I like about Grimes´ series. Not strictly realistic, but a Britain one wishes did exist 😉

  7. Maxine says:

    What a good idea to recommend some light reads for the holidays (of whatever type!). I don’t usually read this type of fiction, but I’ve had Myrtle on my wish list for a while so maybe now is the time. I don’t think I can contribute any suggestions myself from what I’ve read recently, though A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes (1957) has some really hilarious set pieces (though v black) and One Day by David Nicholls, while not a crime novel, is very funny in an extremely English way.

  8. Maxine: I know that cosy mysteries are not really your taste, but Elizabeth´s Myrtle is really a character 😉
    Extremely English? Sounds like something I´ll have to try.

  9. Barbara says:

    The Richard Jury series is my favorite; I think I’ve always been half in love with Jury. Too bad he’s a fictional character. 🙂

  10. Barbara: I do admit he is charming, but surely he can´t beat Lord Peter Wimsey – or Inspector Morse 😀

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