With over eighty cozy mysteries now in our catalog, it shouldn't be surprising to note that a few of them are holiday oriented. If you're craving a sweet, gentle mystery to cuddle up with this Christmas, of course, all of our mysteries are excellent choices. But here are five that are specifically oriented to/or set during the Christmas season:
1. PAPOOSED by Patricia Rockwell.
The Happy Haven Assisted Living Facility is a home for senior citizens--not newborn babies. So, when one of the kitchen workers asks ninety-year-old resident Essie Cobb to secretly care for his missing co-worker’s infant, she is flabbergasted, but determined. Along with her intrepid friends–Marjorie, Opal, and Fay–amateur sleuth Essie sets out to hide and protect the baby–and find his missing mother. Unfortunately, she isn’t expecting to have to deal with exterminators, suspicious neighbors, virus outbreaks, and the snowstorm of the century. Luckily, Essie is one smart cookie and if anyone can manage to reunite a mother and child right before Christmas–it’s Essie.
2. GRANNY SNOWS A SNEAK by Julie Seedorf
Granny may be retired as Fuchsia, Minnesota’s one-woman undercover sleuth for the Fuchsia Police Department, but that doesn’t mean she still doesn’t need a trusty weapon. Her weapon of choice? A pink snow shovel. When Granny runs over a dead body with her snowmobile, she unwittingly sets off a chain of events that involves mislabeled corpses, empty graves, and stolen money––lots of it! Who’s at the bottom of this years old crime? Granny has an idea, but she has little time to investigate, when in just days she’s scheduled to marry the love of her life, Franklin Gatsby, in a post-Christmas ceremony. So, Granny decides to enlist the help of her friends and neighbors. Add in Christmas holiday excitement and the arrival of Granny’s family, who are all there for her wedding, and mayhem ensues. Of course, Granny can always count on her many furry friends to provide her with moral support, but it’s quite possible that Granny––that is, Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt––has a secret or two of her own, which may very well be revealed as GRANNY SNOWS A SNEAK.
3. MURDER IS ELEMENTARY by Diane Weiner.
Susan Wiles is blissfully retired from her teaching position at Westbrook Elementary School. What a joy to be able to attend the holiday concert without worrying about how her student chorus will perform. But, wait a minute. Where’s the principal, Vicki Rogers? The concert can’t resume before she greets the parents and guests. Susan offers to go check the main office, only to find the missing administrator lying dead on the office floor. My goodness! Nothing like this ever happened when Susan had worked here. Of course, now that she’s retired she has time to help the local police (one of whom is her daughter Lynette) investigate the mysterious crime. Did the principal die of natural causes? The bruises on her face don’t seem severe enough to be fatal. But what about that cupcake sitting on her desk? Could she have been poisoned? Susan has just found the perfect retirement activity––much to her daughter’s chagrin. And when the dead woman’s teenage daughter and one of Susan’s former top students, begs for Susan’s help––how can she say no? Little does Susan realize that this crime will take her far from the schoolhouse doors, as she investigates a mystery that extends back into one family’s painful past.
4. MAIMING OF THE SHREW by Jacqueline Corcoran
Drew Westen, social work professor and mother of two young children, would agree that Sharon Abramowitz is a shrew, after meeting her only once at a pre-holiday party. But the next day, when Drew finds out that Sharon, the shrew, has been murdered, she doesn’t care who offed the unpleasant woman. That is, until the police arrest the dead woman’s maid Blanca for the crime. Drew knows the maid and believes in her innocence. She feels she must help exonerate poor Blanca, and resolves to find the real killer. Much to the annoyance of her husband, Drew throws herself and her two babies into the fray as she attempts to track down every lead to help free Blanca. On top of everything, Drew’s mother-in-law arrives from Florida for the holidays, and life at home suddenly becomes chaotic. Will Drew find the killer, save Blanca, and still manage to care for her babies? Never doubt this snarky mom.
5. WHISPERS IN WINTER by Allen B. Boyer.
Everywhere she looks in her retirement home, Bess Bullock finds that winter is a season for secrets. First, there is the secret of The Cross Stitch Six, a group of talented sewers who conspire to keep a secret about one of their deceased members. Then there is Donna Gilmore, who breaks her silence to Bess about a long held belief that she is being stalked by someone in the Honey Hills Retirement Center. Even Bess’s friend, Alma Crisp, is not immune from a secret that she harbors. A secret that inadvertently puts Alma’s moral reputation at risk. Yet, the most unsettling secret that Bess discovers involves the previous occupants of her home. When she learns that her neighbors suspect that a murder took place in her house right before Bess moved in, it leads her to question everything that she once loved about her “perfect home.” As a former police detective, Bess must summon up her skills for observation and detection to restore calm to her winter at the Honey Hills Retirement Center.
6. SEA CHANGE by T'Gracie and Joe Reese
Bay St. Lucy is a sleepy little Gulf Coast community––and that’s the way its residents like it. Most of them generally ignore the monstrous old Robinson mansion that sits in the center of town, until one day, insane old man Robinson dies and leaves the house and its accompanying fortune to the town. The residents are ecstatic and begin planning improved schools and cultural centers. Local retired school teacher and village elder Nina Bannister is sent to the man’s funeral in New Orleans and to represent Bay St. Lucy at the reading of his will. However, Nina returns from her trip saddened to report that a long lost Robinson relative has appeared to claim the entire inheritance. Almost immediately, the new owner––flamboyant Eve Ivory––arrives and announces her own plans to turn Bay St. Lucy into a extravagant vacation resort, not plans that anyone in this small town like at all and ones that will quickly lead to murder.