John's Staff Picks

John McDougall, Event Coordinator at Murder By The Book since 2010

I love watching the parts of a mystery fall into place, but I think what really pulls me in is the characters. Cozies are so fun because you get to know these small towns and wish you could visit. Reading about Lady Emily in Tasha Alexander's books is like getting to catch up with an old friend. I want characters that break your heart like Marc Rochat in The Watchers, or make you laugh like Victoria Laurie and Mary Kay Andrews's characters always do. I love picking up a book like City of Dark Magic and thinking, ‘These things shouldn't really fit together, but they totally do.’ You can't help but want to hang on for the ride.

For additional cozy mystery recommendations, check out John's Cozy Corner.

 

John's 2019 Top 10 Cozy Mysteries:

1. A Cup of Holiday Fear by Ellie Alexander
2. Coached to Death by Victoria Laurie
3. Murder Once Removed by S.C. Perkins
4. And Then There Were Crumbs by Eve Calder
5. Death in a Budapest Butterfly by Julia Buckley
6. The Calamity Cafe by Gayle Leeson
7. Wonton Terror by Vivien Chien
8. The Loch Ness Papers by Paige Shelton
9. Against the Claw by Shari Randall
10. Apple Cider Slaying by Julie Anne Lindsey

Non-Cozy Top 3:

The Right Sort of Man by Allison Montclair
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
Swipe Right For Murder by Derek Milman

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A Cup of Holiday Fear: A Bakeshop Mystery Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781250214348
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Paperbacks - September 24th, 2019

It’s Christmastime and everyone is heading to Torte, the most cheerful bakery in town. There’s no place like home for the homicide…


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Coached to Death Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781496720337
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Kensington - October 29th, 2019

When Catherine Cooper settles in the Hamptons on the heels of a nasty split from her long-time husband, the luxurious coastal community seems like the perfect place to get back on track in style. But as Cat soon discovers, starting fresh on the East End can be deadly . . .
 


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Murder Once Removed (Ancestry Detective #1) Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250189035
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - March 19th, 2019

S.C. Perkins' Murder Once Removed is the captivating first mystery in the Ancestry Detective series, in which Texas genealogist Lucy Lancaster uses her skills to solve murders in both the past and present.


And Then There Were Crumbs: A Cookie House Mystery Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781250312990
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Paperbacks - July 30th, 2019

She’s a talented pastry chef—with a secret recipe for solving crimes…


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Death in a Budapest Butterfly (A HUNGARIAN TEA HOUSE MYSTERY #1) Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781984804822
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley - July 30th, 2019

Hana Keller serves up European-style cakes and teas in her family-owned tea house, but when a customer keels over from a poisoned cuppa, Hana and her tea-leaf reading grandmother will have to help catch a killer in the first Hungarian Tea House Mystery from Julia Buckley.


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The Calamity Café (A Down South Café Mystery #1) Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781101990780
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley - June 7th, 2016

First in a new cozy mystery series featuring Southern cooking that is to die for.

Aspiring chef and small-town Virginia native Amy Flowers is ready to open her own café offering old-fashioned Southern food. But her dream may go up in smoke when someone kills the competition...


Wonton Terror: A Noodle Shop Mystery Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781250228345
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Paperbacks - August 27th, 2019

In the fourth in Vivien Chien's Noodle Shop delicious mystery series, Ho-Lee Noodle House is ready to take the Cleveland night market by storm—until a brand-new food venue literally explodes onto the scene.


The Loch Ness Papers: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250127815
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - April 2nd, 2019

Bookseller Delaney Nichols befriends a Loch Ness monster enthusiast; when he stands accused of murder she'll do whatever it takes to learn who the killer is—and whether Nessie herself is really lurking in the Scottish waters.


Against the Claw: A Lobster Shack Mystery Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781250116727
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Paperbacks - July 31st, 2018

Finger-licking delicious, Shari Randall's Against the Claw is the second in the Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack series.

Welcome back to the seaside village of Mystic Bay, where someone’s been found sleeping with the fishes. . .


Apple Cider Slaying (A Cider Shop Mystery #1) Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781496723475
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Kensington - October 29th, 2019

Apples are at the core of the family business run by Winona Mae Montgomery and her Granny Smythe. But this year’s crop is unseasonably ripe with murder . . .
 
ONE ROTTEN APPLE
 


The Right Sort of Man: A Sparks & Bainbridge Mystery Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250178367
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - June 4th, 2019

"A delightful immersion in the period and personalities, with that touch of depth that transforms a good series to a great one." —Laurie R. King


The Starless Sea: A Novel Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780385541213
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - November 5th, 2019

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world—a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea.


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Swipe Right for Murder Cover Image
By Derek Milman, James Patterson (Foreword by)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316451062
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: jimmy patterson - August 6th, 2019

An epic case of mistaken identity puts a teen looking for a hookup on the run from both the FBI and a murderous cult in this compulsively readable thriller.