215: Cuddle Up with These Cozy Mystery Recs
Are you looking for a perfect cozy mystery to add to your TBR stack? Listen in to hear these cozy mystery book recommendations from Sara, Jen, and Ashley. We feature Abby Collette’s A Deadly Inside Scoop, Jesse Q. Sutanto’s Dial A for Aunties, and Mia P. Manansala Arsenic and Adobo, and we share our thoughts about what works for it when it comes to cozy mysteries as well as thinking about what exactly qualifies as a cozy mystery!
Our Cozy Mysteries Recs
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Ashley was reading . . .
Kacen Callender’s King and the Dragonflies (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)
"Twelve-year-old Kingston James is sure his brother Khalid has turned into a dragonfly. When Khalid unexpectedly passed away, he shed what was his first skin for another to live down by the bayou in their small Louisiana town. Khalid still visits in dreams, and King must keep these secrets to himself as he watches grief transform his family.
"It would be easier if King could talk with his best friend, Sandy Sanders. But just days before he died, Khalid told King to end their friendship, after overhearing a secret about Sandy-that he thinks he might be gay. You don't want anyone to think you're gay too, do you?
"But when Sandy goes missing, sparking a town-wide search, and King finds his former best friend hiding in a tent in his backyard, he agrees to help Sandy escape from his abusive father, and the two begin an adventure as they build their own private paradise down by the bayou and among the dragonflies. As King's friendship with Sandy is reignited, he's forced to confront questions about himself and the reality of his brother's death.
"The Thing About Jellyfish meetsThe Stars Beneath Our Feet in this story about loss, grief, and finding the courage to discover one's identity, from the author of Hurricane Child."
Jen was reading . . .
Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)
"For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the Sliver of Infinity, reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison. Kelsier snapped and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.
"Kelsier recruited the underworld's elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Only then does he reveal his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.
"But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel's plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she's a half-Skaa orphan, but she's lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust, if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.
"This saga dares to ask a simple question: What if the hero of prophecy fails?"
Sara was reading . . .
Emily Stone’s Always, in December (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)
"It started with a letter. It ended with a love story.
"Every December, Josie posts a letter from her home in London to the parents she lost on Christmas night many years ago. Each year, she writes the same three words: Missing you, always. But this year, her annual trip to the postbox is knocked off course by a bicycle collision with a handsome stranger--a stranger who will change the course of Josie's life.
"Josie always thought she was the only one who avoided the Christmas season, but this year, Max has his own reasons for doing the same--and coincidence leads them to spending the holiday together. Aglow with new love, Josie thinks this might be the start of something special.
"Only for Max to disappear without saying goodbye.
"Over the course of the next year, Max and Josie will find that fate continues to bring them together in places they'd never expect. New York City. Edinburgh. The quiet English countryside. And it turns out, Max had every reason to leave and every reason to stay. But what does fate hold for Josie and Max as Christmas approaches again?
"A devastating, romantic, life-affirming love story, Always, in December will stay with readers long after they've finished the last page."
Our Cozy Mysteries Recs
Abby Collette’s A Deadly Inside Scoop (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)
"This book kicks off a charming cozy mystery series set in an ice cream shop--with a fabulous cast of quirky characters.
"Recent MBA grad Bronwyn Crewse has just taken over her family's ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and she's going back to basics. Win is renovating Crewse Creamery to restore its former glory, and filling the menu with delicious, homemade ice cream flavors--many from her grandmother's original recipes. But unexpected construction delays mean she misses the summer season, and the shop has a literal cold opening: the day she opens her doors an early first snow descends on the village and keeps the customers away.
"To make matters worse, that evening, Win finds a body in the snow, and it turns out the dead man was a grifter with an old feud with the Crewse family. Soon, Win's father is implicated in his death. It's not easy to juggle a new-to-her business while solving a crime, but Win is determined to do it. With the help of her quirky best friends and her tight-knit family, she'll catch the ice cold killer before she has a meltdown..."
Jesse Q. Sutanto’s Dial A for Aunties (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)
"What happens when you mix 1 (accidental) murder with 2 thousand wedding guests, and then toss in a possible curse on 3 generations of an immigrant Chinese-Indonesian family?
"You get 4 meddling Asian aunties coming to the rescue!
"When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is inadvertently shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working at an island resort on the California coastline. It's the biggest job yet for the family wedding business--Don't leave your big day to chance, leave it to the Chans!--and nothing, not even an unsavory corpse, will get in the way of her auntie's perfect buttercream flowers.
"But things go from inconvenient to downright torturous when Meddy's great college love--and biggest heartbreak--makes a surprise appearance amid the wedding chaos. Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex back into her life, and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend?"
Mia P. Manansala's Arsenic and Adobo (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)
"The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes--one that might just be killer....
"When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She's tasked with saving her Tita Rosie's failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case.
"With the cops treating her like she's the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila's left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block..."
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