Cozy Mysteries: Top Five Female Sleuths

Hello Everyone,

I have always been an admirer of crime fiction. Ever since my teens when I first stumbled upon Sherlock Holmes, I was in love with crime solving. But I wanted a female detective. I wanted to see women taking on the case. Sure I knew about Nancy Drew, but I had yet to discover the pleasures of Miss Marple by Agatha Christie, let alone all the others. Here’s a collection of my top female detectives in crime!:

First is the delightful Miss Marple:

I searched around on Google and found that the first Miss Marple books were actually short stories published back in 1927… quite a long time ago, or so it feels to me. I have barely begun to read these delightful tales of murder and mayhem but I am forever going out of my way to collect all things Agatha Christie. I so far have a tiny collection of six books but I’m happy to keep it growing next year. Miss Marple is set in the 1950’s and Interestingly her age is never mentioned in the series according to google, and I hope to eventually confirm that.

Second Favorite Woman Detective:

Miss Peabody is another detective that I became absolutely enthralled with. I first read Crocodiles on the Sandbank a few years ago and am waiting for a binge read of the rest of the series, after-of course-rereading the first book. The first book came out in 1975, and was the start of a long historical mystery series. The Author, Elizabeth Peters, is a pseudonym of Barbara Louise Mertz, and she also has another author name of Barbara Michaels. I have many Barbara Michaels books, though sadly only a few of the Elizabeth Peters. I’m hopeful to eventually collect all of them. The Amelia Peabody character is a Victorian lady who is quite smart, brave, and warm hearted as well as open minded. The first book was quite a fast read and I will eventually make my way through the rest of the series soon as I get my hands on them.

My Third Favorite Detective:

I discovered Maisie Dobbs about past the time I discovered Miss Marple. I enjoy both women solving crimes. Ms. Dobbs is set in between the years 1910 and 1929, and is quite entertaining. I love the writing and the characters grow on you from the start. As I’ve only read the first book (same with every series it seems) I can’t say much except there’s expected to be another new one of this series this coming year by March 22, 2022 called A Sunlit Weapon. I desperately need to catch up on the series but it seems as though I have far to much to read!

My Forth Favorite Sleuth:

Told in diary format, these delightful novels are fun, fast, and I am actually almost caught up on the series! The main character is a woman named George, who is 34 in line to the throne of England. Set during the year 1932, London. There’s all sorts of humor in these books and they never fail to entertain. I hope to own the whole set on day, but I will be content enough that a new book, book number fifteen (I’m on book twelve) is already out and titled God Rest Ye, Royal Gentleman and I cannot wait to be all caught up!

And finally…

M.C. Beaton is another author I’ve found and adore in reading her Agatha Raisin mysteries. They’re fun, witty, and quite clever at times. I love her writing and there are currently 31 books in the series. I believe I’ve only read a maybe six of them so far but I like these as well as her Hamish character who has his own series. I still hope to collect these books along with all the others.

~•~•~•~•~

Well there you have it. Those are my top five favorite women detectives. I’d love if you have suggestions of your own favorites, or if you shared any here that you loved a lot. If you want more exposure on a series I’d be happy to make another post about it. There’s probably going to be a lot of cozy mysteries along with thrillers and the like shared on my blog. If you have any suggestions please comment below.

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Review: The Dead of False Creek

Hello Everyone,

Two Netgalley reviews in a month? Who is this girl and where has she been all this time? 🤔 Anyhoo…

The Dead of False Creek is a twisty murder mystery not quite involving time travel. I say “not quite” because no one actually goes back in time. Instead two people communicate through a journal and that premise intrigued me into requesting the book.

Book Title: The Dead of False Creek

Book Author: Sarah M. Stephen

Book Publisher: ? (I’ve searched on Google and Netgalley but am unsure of the publisher. If you know please let me know!)

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Page Count: ?

Goodreads Summary:

He chases crooks. She dusts off maps. With important men vanishing, can one key document prevent death? Vancouver, 1897.

Jack Winston refuses to let his bloodline decide his vocation. Keeping his family connections secret as he joins the Constabulary, the rising detective works hard to make a name for himself on his own merit.

But when he investigates a missing young lawyer, he’s shocked to find his own journal connects him to a woman claiming to be from the future. Vancouver, 2017. Riley Finch adores history.

With life pulling friends and family further away, the archivist throws herself into her new position cataloging police files from the nineteenth century. And her excitement with her research bears thrilling results when she finds a way to contact a policeman from the past.

Despite his well-founded suspicions, Winston still struggles to wring answers out of his list of prime suspects. And as Riley risks her job to unearth useful information, she’s inexplicably drawn to Jack’s great-grandson but forced to keep both men in the dark. Can the pair forge a partnership across decades and solve an impenetrable crime?

The Dead of False Creek is the compelling first book in the Journal Through Time historical mystery series. If you like endearing duos, split narratives, and stunning twists and turns, then you’ll love Sarah M Stephen’s time-bending tale.

My Thoughts:

Set in 1800s Vancouver and present day, this story is told between a male detective and a woman archivist. They begin communicating through the journal, as the male detective searches for missing men. There is a bit of a slow burn romance building and the mystery itself wasn’t what kept me going it was the journal. Unfortunately I will have to wait until summer of 2022 for the next book in the series as it ended on a bit of a cliffhanger. I really enjoyed it and I’m eagerly awaiting the rest of the series.

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Review: Murder at Morrington Hall (Book 1 of a delightful new series!)

Murder at Morrington Hall

Title: Murder at Morrington Hall
Author: Clara McKenna
Series: Book 1
Genre: Mystery, Historical
Publisher: Kensington Books
Page Count: 300
Type of Book: Arc, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 5/5 stars
Review Word Count: 1,000
Notes: My, that was a lovely read!

This was utterly delightful, and exactly the kind of book I’d been hoping for here as of late. A cozy mystery but with plenty of drama, a tiny spark of rebellious romance, and a good old fashioned ‘who-dun-it’ air!

Stella is an excellent female detective, and I loved her personality. While I hated most of the others around her, who are overbearing and downright hateful towards her at times, I did enjoy her steadfastness and intelligence, her wit and her daring throughout the book. She drove the old American cars without caring who saw. She wore trousers beneath skirts, rode horses and cared for them, baked in a kitchen despite the fact it was far beneath her station, was kind to servants and remembered their names and helped them whenever she could…just a basic, all american good lady.

Yet she’s taken aback and furious when she learns that the reason she and her family are visiting in England at a prestigious families house isn’t for the upcoming Derby and her horses, but because of an arranged marriage her father had created between her and Lyndy. She hates to be thought of as nothing more but a prized stallion to be bartered with and traded about. Even worse the implication once she’s done her duty and produced an heir and a spare, then he could just push her aside and find plenty of mistresses to fill his time with, never giving her any time of day unless it was important enough for him to do so.

There’s a fair bit of ‘women aren’t meant to do that’ in this book, which was infuriating to say the least, but Stella remains stubborn and prideful, though the others call her head strong and dangerous. I mean really, just because she bucks tradition, she’s considered to be ‘full of herself’? That’s ridiculous! I understand it was the times back then, but many women and men I very much wish to strangle. Grr…

Stella and Lyndy both talk, and get to know one another as they are now for all intents and purposes, engaged to be married. Stella wishes to speak with the vicar, and so while giving her a tour of the house, the two of them wind up to the library where they find the vicar…quite obviously dead, and in no mood to talk.

There’s an eventual missing horse, missing jewels, a meeting with the King while at the Derby, and more exciting adventures throughout this wonderful first novel. Stella is a true inquisitive lady, determined to figure out who killed the priest that was supposed to be the one to marry her, while Lyndy attempts to figure out who stole the jewels and their families latest and newest horse that was part of the wedding deal from Stella’s father.

(No harm comes to the horse at the end of the book, for those that are worried. It’s returned safe and sound, with not even a scratch on him-bonus points to the author for making sure the animal remains unharmed!)

I really enjoyed this book, and am now adding this author to my favorites list. This was clearly well written and researched, and there was a large cast protrayed so that one could continue to guess and still be surprised by the end of the book. I was half-right in who committed a certain crime, but the author surprised me completely with who was actually the killer, so more bonus points towards her as well. Though I’d paid attention, there were a couple of things I hadn’t considered towards the end of the book, and that was how she’d managed to surprise me, the sly writer.

5/5 stars for a splendid read, and I definitely aim to read more of this series as time goes on. For those that like Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness series, you might give this a try. Same kind of style, though not in journal format, it’s still got the adventurous feel and strong female character to enjoy reading throughout.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

ARC Review: A Brazen Curiosity

A Brazen Curiosity

Title: A Brazen Curiosity
Author: Lynn Messina
Series: Book 1
Genre: Historical Mystery/Romance
Publisher: Potatoworks Press
Page Count: 175
Type of Book: ARC, Kindle Ebook, Netgalley Read
Review Word Count: 400
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: Apparently, I’m in the mood for historical books, instead of all the fantasy I’ve been reading!

This was a fun book, almost as delightful as The Highlander Who Protected Me! With smart characters, a charming heroine, and an equally amusing hero (duke), I really liked this one and will probably add it to my list of favorites on Goodreads. It’s not a completely original mystery-body in the library, who did it?-kind of theme going on, but it’s well written, enjoyable, and completely believable.

Another good read for the start of fall, I found myself really loving the main heroine, and how she was eager to solve the mystery of who killed Mr. Otley in the library. Coming upon the body and the Duke, she sets about to see if it was the Duke who killed Mr. Otley, or someone else. Of course, the Duke doesn’t want her to interfer because she’s just a woman and doesn’t need to go diving into such a grim business as murder, but doesn’t try to really stop her either which I found a refreshing change.

There were a few women in the book that I found rather annoying. The elderly women who fainted at the mere mention of a dead body, or having to be ‘soothed repeatedly for five minutes’ before getting to the confession of the killer. Come on, really? I mean, I know it’s the time period, but it just makes me feel rather annoyed at them all for being such insipid characters.

Overall, it was a fun mystery with a hint of romance towards the end of the book. I really liked the characters, the way it all turned out, and the satisfying feeling it gave me at the end. I’m rating this a 4/5 stars, because while it was a fun book overall, there were times when the characters were just annoying. I definitely look forward to the next book in the series, and may even attempt to get an arc of it. If not, I’ll see about picking it up some other way.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

ARC Review: A Necessary Murder

A Necessary Murder

Title: A Necessary Murder
Author: MJ Tjia
Series: Book 2
Genre: Mystery, Historical
Page Count: 280
Publisher: Legends Press
Type of Book: ARC, Netgalley Read
Review Word Count: 300
Rated: 2/5 stars
Notes: I wish I had book one to start with!

A Necessary Murder drew me in by its beautiful cover. Sadly, when requesting it on Netgalley, I didn’t realize that it was actually book two of a series. I mucked my way through about half of the book before giving up. My mind wasn’t in the mood for a mystery it seemed, even though this seems to be along the same lines as mystery author Victoria Thompson and/or historical fiction author Anne Perry.

Its a well written book, but I just had no connection to the characters. I wanted to-they were all likeable enough, but I’m not sure if I just wasn’t in the right headspace for this kind of novel, or what the issue was. I just didn’t care for anybody in particular at all.

I’m sorry that this isn’t a more positive review. I wish it was. I really wanted to like this book, but it just fell flat for me. I hope others enjoy it more than I did, and as it stands I’m giving this book 2.5/5 stars, mainly for the cover and the interesting description of plot.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley, but I think this is a series that I’m going to pass along to someone else from now on.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

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