Fantasic Firsts Cozy Mystery Series Starters

Just for fun, we want to help cozy mystery readers find new series they can love and look forward to reading for years to come. We hope you will welcome these new authors and /or new series ... for many years to come.

  • Sign up for one year and get 10 to 12 books we highly recommend and believe are likely to be collectible ... books you’ll value having on your shelves. There is no fee to join.
  • Subscribers receive 20% off cover price of selected titles with one-year subscription. To qualify for this discount, you are agreeing to purchase all of our club selections.
  • We will keep your credit card information on file in a secure location and charge you each month as titles are available.
  • You may pick up your new book at either Mysterious Galaxy location.
  • Standard shipping rates apply for shipped titles. Titles held for pick up in store will be billed and shipped if not picked up within two weeks of notification.
  • This is a great gift-giving opportunity. We are happy to send our selections each month as a gift to the book lover of your choice.
  • Some, but not all selections will be signed.

To sign up, or for more information, contact the staff in San Diego (858-268-4747). Club membership lists will be maintained by the San Diego location, but all fantastic titles can be picked up in either store, or shipped to you!

A new title will be revealed each month!

 

$7.99
ISBN: 9780425278383
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - July 7th, 2015

Our July 2015 Pick:

To help run the family peach farm during her parents' absence, Nola Harper returns to her childhood home of Cays Mill, Georgia, and soon discovers that things back at the farm aren't exactly peachy. A poor harvest and rising costs are threatening to ruin the Harpers' livelihood, and small-town gossip is spreading like blight thanks to Nola's juicy reputation as a wild teenager way back when. But Nola really finds herself in the pits when she stumbles upon a local businessman murdered among the peach trees. With suspicions and family tensions heating up faster than a cobbler in the oven, this sweet Georgia peach will have to prune through a list of murder suspects--before she too becomes ripe for the killer's picking. Includes recipes!


$7.99
ISBN: 9781617737510
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Kensington Publishing Corporation - May 26th, 2015

Our June 2015 Pick:

Description


When Krissy Hancock and her best friend Vicki decide to open a bookstore café in their new town of Pine Hills, they decide to call it "Death by Coffee," after Krissy’s father’s most famous mystery novel. Little do they know how well the name fits…

On their very first day of business, Brendon Lawyer huffily takes his coffee…to the grave. It seems he had a severe allergy to peanuts…but how could there have been nuts in his coffee? And who stole his emergency allergy medication?

Fortunately, Krissy’s love of puzzles and mysteries leads her not only to Officer Paul Dalton, but also to many of her new neighbors, who aren’t terribly upset that the book is closed on Brendon. But one of them is a killer, and Krissy needs to read between the lies if she wants to save her new store—and live to see how this story ends…

About the Author


Alex Erickson has always wanted to write, even at a young, impressionable age. He’s always had an interest in the motive behind murder, which has led him down his current path. He’s always ready with a witty—at least in his opinion—quip, and tries to keep every conversation light and friendly. Alex lives in Ohio with his family and resident felines, who provide endless amounts of inspiration. You can visit him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AEricksonbooks and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/alexericksonbooks.


$7.99
ISBN: 9780425274019
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - May 5th, 2015

Our May 2015 Pick:

Description


In California wine country, the town of Cypress Cove may seem peaceful. But someone’s about to pop their cork…

After losing her job as a photojournalist, Penny Lively is trying to get her life back in focus. Inheriting the family winery from her late aunt may be the fresh start she needs. Thankfully she’s got her niece Hayley and her handsome winery manager Connor to help. But the person in need of more urgent assistance is Antonia Martinelli, the owner of the neighboring winery, who has her own barrel full of problems. Someone’s spoiling her wine, and with the upcoming Autumn Festival, she needs Penny’s nose for clues to sniff out the culprit.

But Penny’s search for answers sours after the body of a staff member is found in a grape crusher. Since Hayley was the last to see him alive, she’s the prime suspect in the case. Now Penny must hurry to find the real killer before Hayley withers on the vine…

About the Author


Carlene O’Neil grew up in the heart of Northern California Wine Country and is a wine specialist, certified by the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. A former television writer, she currently makes her home outside Los Angeles, where she can be found sailing in the Santa Monica Bay or doing research for her next novel. Clearly, any novel set in wine country requires extensive research. One Foot in the Grape is her debut novel.

Praise for One Foot in the Grape…


"One Foot in the Grape has the bouquet of fine wine (and mysteries): piquant, heady, and satisfyingly surprising."—Carolyn Hart, New York Times bestselling author of Don’t Go Home

"One Foot In The Grape is a barrel full of textured plot twists, robust characters, and sparkling suspense. O'Neil has written a mystery of the highest reserve. It left me thirsty for more, and I can't wait for her to pour me another." -Jenn McKinlay, New York Times bestselling author of Dark Chocolate Demise


$7.99
ISBN: 9780451470836
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New American Library - April 7th, 2015

Our April 2015 Pick:

Description


Amy-Faye Johnson’s book club, the Readaholics, enjoys guessing whodunit in mysteries like The Maltese Falcon. But when a murder happens in their midst, they discover that solving crimes is harder that reading about them…

Amy-Faye has always loved her idyllic Rocky Mountain town of Heaven, Colorado. Her event-planning business is thriving, her fellow book-obsessed Readaholics are great, and her parents live only a few blocks away. But lately her hometown has felt a little less heavenly. First, she agrees to plan a wedding without realizing the groom is her ex-boyfriend. Then, Ivy, one of her fellow Readaholics, dies suddenly under mysterious circumstances.

The police rule Ivy’s death a suicide by poisoning, but Amy-Faye and the remaining Readaholics suspect foul play. Amy-Faye soon discovers that Ivy was hiding dangerous secrets—and making deadly enemies. Taking a page from her favorite literary sleuths, Amy-Faye is determined to find the real killer and close the book on this case. But finding the truth could spell her own ending…

About the Author


The author of more than a dozen mystery novels, including the Mall Cop Mystery series (Malled to DeathAll Sales Fatal) and the Charlie Swift novels (Swift RunSwift Edge), Laura DiSilverio is a former Air Force intelligence officer and president of Sisters in Crime. She lives in Colorado.

Praise for The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco: A Book Club Mystery…


Praise for SWIFT JUSTICE
“[A] winning debut….DiSilverio shifts seamlessly between breezy banter and the weightier tone the investigation takes once murder enters the equation. Just as importantly, she creates an engaging community of characters readers will want to revisit.”—Publisher’s Weekly

“[M]ay appeal to fans of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum and Lula. DiSilverio deftly mixes light, zany humor with the darkness of the crimes. Readers will leave this one impatient for the next book in the series.”—Starred Booklist Review

Swift Justice is a delightfully sure-footed mixture of light and dark, and it signals the debut of what promises to be a wonderful series."--Margaret Maron, Edgar Award-winning author of Sand Sharks 

"Laura DiSilverio is a tremendous new talent, and her Charlie Swift is a feisty heroine you'll root for from the very first page. This is a magnificent mystery, and I can't wait to find out what Charlie and Gigi get up to next."--Cornelia Read, author of Invisible Boy

"Swift Justice has rapidly become my favorite new P.I. puzzler. It’s smart and sassy with tons of humor and a whole lot of heart. With unforgettably fresh characters, it’s a real high-speed read!"--Chris Grabenstein, Anthony and Agatha Award-winning author of Mind Scrambler

Praise for SWIFT EDGE
"DiSilverio has a bit of Sue Grafton’s tone about her, with a dash of Janet Evanovich thrown in…..Expect to laugh...with this enjoyable read."--Library Journal

Praise for DIE BUYING
“One hell of a great novel! This novel will crack you up with DiSilverio’s humor and razor’s-edge wit.”—Suspense Magazine

“Charming, fun, and refreshing.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“Laura DiSilverio hits it out of the park…Readers will be enchanted.”—New York Times Bestselling Author Carolyn Hart

“Witty and fresh.”—National Bestselling Author Sally Goldenbaum

Praise for Laura DiSilverio and her mysteries

“[A] wonderful series."--Margaret Maron, Edgar Award-winning author of Sand Sharks “Tons of humor and a whole lot of heart. "--Chris Grabenstein, Anthony and Agatha Award-winning author of Mind Scrambler

“DiSilverio has a bit of Sue Grafton’s tone about her with a dash of Janet Evanovich thrown in…Expect to laugh.”—Library Journal
“This novel will crack you up with DiSilverio’s humor and razor’s-edge wit.”—Suspense Magazine


$7.99
ISBN: 9780425271681
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - March 3rd, 2015

Our March 2015 Pick:

Description


Reality TV meets murder in the first in a new mystery series from the author of the Maternal Instincts Mysteries and co-author the New York Times bestselling Scrapbooking Mysteries.

When brokenhearted Georgia Thornton goes looking for romance on reality TV, she has nothing to lose—apart from a good man, a cash prize, and maybe her life…

What was Georgia thinking? Sure, some cad ditched her at the altar, but can she really find love on TV? Her best friend—and producer of the reality show Love or Money—thinks so. Ten men. Ten adventure-filled dates. What can go wrong? For starters, a faulty bungee cord that hurls Georgia’s first date into a tragic spiral off the Golden Gate Bridge.

He’s replaced by Paul Sanders, Georgia’s former fiancé. But the cop isn’t looking for a TV gig. Suspecting that the lover’s leap was no accident, Paul’s going undercover. When another bachelor gets a fatal kiss-off, the reality is that someone has killer new plans for the show—and for Georgia herself. Now, under the threat of permanent cancellation, Georgia fears that the only man on the set she can trust is the one man she just can’t count on…

About the Author



Diana Orgain is the author of the Maternal Instincts Mysteries and coauthor of Gilt Trip with Laura Childs in the New York Times bestselling Scrapbooking Mysteries. She holds an MFA and BA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University with a minor in Acting. Diana’s plays have been produced at San Francisco State University, GreenHouses Productions, and PlayGround in San Francisco. She lives in the city with her husband and their children.


$7.99
ISBN: 9780451470935
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New American Library - February 3rd, 2015

Our February 2015 Pick:

Description

Get bound up in murder in the first Lighthouse Library mystery!

For ten years Lucy has enjoyed her job poring over rare tomes of literature for the Harvard Library, but she has not enjoyed the demands of her family’s social whorl or her sort-of-engagement to the staid son of her father’s law partner. But when her ten-year relationship implodes, Lucy realizes that the plot of her life is in need of a serious rewrite.

Calling on her aunt Ellen, Lucy hopes that a little fun in the Outer Banks sun—and some confections from her cousin Josie’s bakery—will help clear her head. But her retreat quickly turns into an unexpected opportunity when Aunt Ellen gets her involved in the lighthouse library tucked away on Bodie Island.

Lucy is thrilled to land a librarian job in her favorite place in the world. But when a priceless first edition Jane Austen novel is stolen and the chair of the library board is murdered, Lucy suddenly finds herself ensnared in a real-life mystery—and she’s not so sure there’s going to be a happy ending....

About the Author

Eva Gates began her writing career as a Sunday writer: a single mother of three high-spirited daughters, with a full-time job as a computer programmer. Now she has more than ten novels under her belt, all in the mystery genre, published under the name Vicki Delany. She lives in Ontario.

Praise for By Book or By Crook: A Lighthouse Library Mystery…

By Book or By Crook is a smart whodunit. Assistant librarian Lucy, is a likeable heroine among an engaging cast of supporting characters.”—Sofie Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of the Magical Cats mysteries

“A library in a lighthouse? And a cat? Sign me up! A fun read for all cozy fans.”—Laurie Cass, national bestselling author of the Bookmobile Cat mysteries

“This is a first-rate cozy mystery featuring a spunky librarian, a captivating book collection, an intriguing lighthouse, and plenty of twists and turns to keep you reading until dawn.”—Daryl Wood Gerber, national bestselling author of the Cookbook Nook mysteries

 


$7.99
ISBN: 9781250054234
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - December 30th, 2014

Ring in the New Year with January's Pick

Description

Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the treats are so good that, sometimes, it’s criminal…

After graduating from culinary school, Juliet Capshaw returns to her quaint hometown of Ashland, Oregon, to heal a broken heart and help her mom at the family bakery. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is bringing in lots of tourists looking for some crumpets to go with their heroic couplets. But when one of Torte’s customers turns up dead, there’s much ado about murder…

"Sure to satisfy both dedicated foodies and ardent mystery lovers alike."

--Jessie Crockett, author of Drizzled with Death

The victim is Nancy Hudson, the festival’s newest board member. A modern-day Lady Macbeth, Nancy has given more than a few actors and artists enough reasons to kill her…but still. The silver lining? Jules’s high school sweetheart, Thomas, is the investigator on the case. His flirtations are as delicious as ever, and Jules can’t help but want to have her cake and eat it too. But will she have her just desserts? Murder might be bad for business, but love is the sweetest treat of all…

"Alexander weaves a tasty tale of deceit, family ties, delicious pastries, and murder.” ―Edith Maxwell, author of A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die 

 

About the Author

ELLIE ALEXANDER is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research. You can friend her on Facebook to learn more!

Praise for Meet Your Baker…

Praise for the Bake Shop Mysteries by Ellie Alexander
“This debut culinary mystery is a light soufflé of a book (with recipes) that makes a perfect mix for fans of Jenna McKinley, Leslie Budewitz, or Jessica Beck.” —Library Journal

“Alexander weaves a tasty tale of deceit, family ties, delicious pastries, and murder against a backdrop of Shakespeare and Oregon aflame. Meet Your Baker starts off a promising new series.” ―Edith Maxwell, author of A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die 

“With its likable characters, tightly plotted storyline, and innovative culinary tips, Meet Your Baker is sure to satisfy both dedicated foodies and ardent mystery lovers alike.” ―Jessie Crockett, author of Drizzled with Death

 


$7.99
ISBN: 9780425271629
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - November 4th, 2014

Our November Fantastic First 2014 Pick ...

Description

Miss Ophelia Flax is a Victorian actress who knows all about making quick changes and even quicker exits. But to solve a fairy-tale crime in the haunted Black Forest, she’ll need more than a bit of charm…

1867: After being fired from her latest variety hall engagement, Ophelia acts her way into a lady’s maid position for a crass American millionaire. But when her new job whisks her off to a foreboding castle straight out of a Grimm tale, she begins to wonder if her fast-talking ways might have been too hasty. The vast grounds contain the suspected remains of Snow White’s cottage, along with a disturbing dwarf skeleton. And when her millionaire boss turns up dead—poisoned by an apple—the fantastic setting turns into a once upon a crime scene.

To keep from rising to the top of the suspect list, Ophelia fights through a bramble of elegant lies, sinister folklore, and priceless treasure, with only a dashing but mysterious scholar as her ally. And as the clock ticks towards midnight, she’ll have to break a cunning killer’s spell before her own time runs out…

About the Author

A finalist for the 2004 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award, Maia Chance is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Washington. She is writing her dissertation on nineteenth-century American literature.

Praise for Snow White Red-Handed…

"Deliciously gothic, intriguingly different, this story plunges us into the world of Brothers Grimm fairytales where the greed and evil are all too real, and everyone has something to hide." – New York Times bestselling author Rhys Bowen


$7.99
ISBN: 9780425265826
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - October 7th, 2014

Our October Fantastic First 2014 Pick ...

Description

National bestselling author Hannah Reed brings mystery lovers the first in a brand-new series, in which a young writer finds herself swept up in a murder amidst the glens and lochs of the Scottish Highlands…

After the recent death of her mother and the dissolution of her marriage, thirty-something Eden Elliott is seriously in need of a fresh start. At the urging of her best friend, bestselling author Ami Pederson, Eden decides to embark on an open-ended trip to the picturesque village of Glenkillen in the Scottish Highlands, to do some hands-on research for a book of her own. But almost as soon as Eden arrives in the quaint town, she gets caught up in a very real drama…

The town’s sheep shearer is found murdered—clipped with his own shears—and the locals suspect Vicki MacBride, an outsider whose father’s recent death left her the surprise heir to his lucrative sheep farm. Eden refuses to believe the affable heiress is a murderer, but can she prove that someone is out to frame her new friend before she finds herself on the receiving end of more shear terror?

About the Author

Hannah Reed is the national bestselling author of the Queen Bee Mystery series, as well as the Scottish Highland Mysteries. Her own Scottish ancestors were seventeenth century rabble-rousers who were eventually shipped to the new world, where they settled in the Michigan Upper Peninsula. Hannah has happily traveled back to her homeland several times, and in keeping with family tradition, enjoyed causing mayhem in the Highlands. 

Praise for Off Kilter…

“If you fancy a quick, inexpensive trip to the Scottish Highlands, then Off Kilter is your ticket. Join writer Eden Elliott as she journeys to Glenkillen to research and write her first book, then go along for the investigation into the death of the town’s sheep-shearer. Hannah Reed’s new series will please Scotophiles everywhere, and they’ll soon be eager for another trip to Glenkillen.”—Miranda James, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Cat in the Stacks mystery series

“Hannah Reed’s series debut captures the appeal of the Highlands, and features a plucky, determined heroine surrounded by a cast of quirky but believable characters.”—Sheila Connolly, New York Times bestselling author of the County Cork Mysteries

 


$7.99
ISBN: 9780425267233
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - September 2nd, 2014

Our September Fantastic First 2014 Pick ...

As if Michele Serrano and Erica Russell, roommates, best friends, and business partners, didn’t have enough to do running their shop Chocolates and Chapters, they may have to add sleuthing to their resumes. When Denise Coburn, photographer and fellow shop owner, is found dead in their shop with chocolate froth around her mouth, Chocolates and Chapters is closed due to the crime scene, and the health department threatens. This fast-paced, entertaining read demonstrates all sides of small town life, and introduces a cast of characters with complicated, messy, interwoven lives. I found every page compulsively readable and couldn’t put it down until the final stunning conclusion. Like Michele’s chocolates – try it, you’ll like it.

– Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale

FIRST IN A NEW SERIES

Includes Scrumptious Chocolate-Making Recipes!

More Praise for Death Is Like a Box of Chocolates…

“Any lover of chocolate and books will find this story the perfect combination of savory, sweet, and deadly.”—Jenn McKinlay, New York Times bestselling author of Sugar and Iced

“Kathy Aarons's deft blend of delicious chocolate and tasty mystery will delight the reader’s palate.”—Victoria Hamilton, national bestselling author of Muffin but Murder

 


$7.99
ISBN: 9780425270288
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - August 5th, 2014

Our August 2014 Pick ...

Description

First in a new series!

Nestled in the barrier islands of Florida’s Gulf Coast, Fort Myers Beach is home to Mary “Sassy” Cabot and Bridget Mayfield—owners of the bookstore café, Read ’Em and Eat. But when they’re not dishing about books or serving up scones, Sassy and Bridgy are keeping tabs on hard-boiled murder.

Read ’Em and Eat is known for its delicious breakfast and lunch treats, along with quite a colorful clientele. If it’s not Rowena Gustavson loudly debating the merits of the current book club selection, it’s Miss Augusta Maddox lecturing tourists on rumors of sunken treasure among the islands. It’s no wonder Sassy’s favorite is Delia Batson, a regular at the Emily Dickinson table. Augusta’s cousin and best friend Delia is painfully shy—which makes the news of her murder all the more shocking.

No one is more distraught than Augusta, and Sassy wants to help any way she can. But Augusta doesn’t have time for sympathy. She wants Delia’s killer found—and she’s not taking no for an answer. Now Sassy is on the case, and she’d better act fast before there’s any more trouble in paradise.

Includes a buttermilk pie recipe! 

About the Author

Short-listed twice for The Best American Mystery Stories, Terrie Farley Moran is delighted to introduce mystery fans to the Read ’Em and Eat café and bookstore, where murder and sweet tea are always on the menu. The only thing Terrie enjoys more than wrangling mystery plots into submission is playing games and reading stories with any or all of her grandchildren.


$7.99
ISBN: 9780425267950
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - July 1st, 2014

Our July 2014 Pick ...

Description

FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!

Stained-glass aficionado Georgia Kelly packed up her city life for the quiet of small town Wenwood, New York. But the sleepy village’s peace is about to get shattered—by murder…

After a banking scandal loses Georgia her job and fiancé, she decides that a change of scenery will help piece her life back together. But escaping to her grandfather’s house in the old-fashioned, brick-making Hudson River hamlet of Wenwood, New York, turns out to be less relaxing than she expects. Not only is the close-knit community on edge about their beloved brickworks being turned into a marina to draw in tourists, one of those most opposed to the project winds up dead—cracked over the head with a famous Wenwood brick.

Georgia wouldn’t be broken up over the news except for the fact that the main suspect is the deceased’s biggest adversary—her grandfather. Now, to remove the stain from her grandy’s record, Georgia will have to figure out who in town was willing to kill to keep the renovation project alive, before someone else is permanently cut out of the picture…

About the Author

Jennifer McAndrews’ love of mystery began in middle school, and despite the occasional foray into romance fiction, she is happiest when weaving puzzles on the page and leaving a trail of clues for the reader to follow. She resides in the greater New York metro area with her husband, children, four cats, and three rescue dogs.

 


$7.99
ISBN: 9780425265239
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Prime Crime - June 3rd, 2014

Our June 2014 Pick ...

Description

Tucked away in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York is the charming town of Gracious Grove, where time moves slowly, gossip spreads quickly, and the scones are to die for…

When her fashionable Manhattan restaurant goes under, Sophie Taylor retreats to her grandmother’s cozy shop, Auntie Rose’s Victorian Teahouse, where serenity is steeped to perfection in one of her many antique teapots. The last thing Sophie expects is a bustling calendar of teahouse events, like her old friend Cissy Peterson’s upcoming bridal shower.

Not everyone is pleased with the bride-to-be’s choice of venue—like Cissy’s grandmother, who owns a competing establishment, La Belle Epoque, and has held a long-simmering grudge against Rose for stealing her beau sixty years ago. Tensions reach a boiling point when Cissy’s fiancé’s mother dies while sampling scones at La Belle Epoque. Now, to help her friend, Sophie will have to bag a killer before more of the guest list becomes a hit list…

About the Author

Amanda Cooper is a pseudonym for Victoria Hamilton, the national bestselling author of the Vintage Kitchen and Merry Muffin Mystery series.

 


$7.99
ISBN: 9780425262450
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - May 6th, 2014

Our May 2014 Pick ...

Description

FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!

After her dreams of romance are crushed, Piper Lamb decides to pursue her dream of opening her own shop of pickles and preserves, called Piper’s Picklings, in the idyllic small town of Cloverdale. But she isn’t in town long before she encounters a barrelful of trouble…

The Cloverdale fair offers Piper a sweet opportunity to promote her business. With her new assistant, Amy, she sets up a booth centered around an eye-catching display of the ever-popular dills in an old-fashioned barrel of brine.

But things soon turn sour when fairgoers witness a fight between Amy’s boyfriend, Nate, and town council blowhard—and bagpipe player—Alan Rosemont. When Rosemont is found floating in Piper’s barrel, Nate becomes the prime murder suspect. With Amy’s boyfriend in a pretty pickle, there’s no time to dillydally. But as Piper searches for the real killer, she needs to be careful to preserve her own life…or she may end up a pickled Piper herself.

INCLUDES RECIPES

About the Author

Mary Ellen Hughes is the author of the Craft Corner Mysteries, including Wreath of Deception, String of Lies, and Paper-Thin Alibi, as well as the Maggie Olenski Mysteries. She lives in Maryland with her husband, Terry, who has long provided her with bounties of homegrown vegetables for preserving and pickling as well as unique inspirations for mysteries. Mary Ellen is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. 

Praise for The Pickled Piper…

“A one-of-a-kind mystery with homemade food, small-town secrets, and winsome characters.”—Ellery Adams, New York Times bestselling author

“This warm-hearted mystery…had me turning the pages late into the night. Encore!”––G. M. Malliet, Agatha Award–winning author

“A charming new sleuth in a peck of pickles and murder.”––Connie Archer, national bestselling author

 


$15.00
ISBN: 9780758290823
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Kensington Publishing Corporation - March 25th, 2014

Our April 2014 Pick ...

From Publishers Weekly:

Set in Newport, R.I., in 1895, Maxwell’s pleasant series debut introduces 21-year-old Emmaline Cross, a poor member of the wealthy Vanderbilt clan. She earns her own living, drives her own carriage, and helps rescue her half-brother, “Brady” Gale, from many minor brushes with the law. At the housewarming of Cornelius Vanderbilt’s newly completed home, the Breakers, Vanderbilt’s financial secretary, Alvin Goddard, is viciously murdered. The police arrest Brady, who’s found dead drunk at the scene with railroad plans he has stolen from Vanderbilt in his hands. Coming to his defense once again, Emma discovers that an old friend’s troubled marriage, the secret assignations of Vanderbilt’s son, and a charismatic stranger who is not what he seems may all be linked to the crime. Maxwell’s language and situations can be anachronistic, but Emma’s ebullience and the glittering details of Newport’s gilded age past give the novel a brisk energy. Agent: Evan Marshall, Evan Marshall Agency. (Apr.)


$7.99
ISBN: 9781250031075
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - February 25th, 2014

Our March 2014 Pick ...

Description

Introducing an animal-loving Gal Friday with a telepathic cat, a shapeshifting dog, and a ghost of a chance of solving supernatural crime…

 

Meet Deirdre “Foxtrot” Lancaster. Trusted employee of eccentric zillionairess Zelda Zoransky, Foxtrot manages a mansion, a private zoo, and anything else that strikes her boss’s fancy. Her job title is Administrative Assistant, but chaos handler would be more accurate. Especially after she glimpses a giant ghost-beast in Zelda’s pet cemetery. For some strange reason, Foxtrot is seeing animal spirits. And, ready or not, in this mystery from Dixie Lyle, the fur’s about to hit the fan…

 

A TASTE FUR MURDER

 

Still reeling, Foxtrot comes home to find her cat Tango—her dead cat Tango—alive and well and communicating telepathically. But that’s not all: There’s an ectoplasmic dog named Tiny who changes breeds with a shake of his tail…and can sniff out a clue like nobody’s business. So when a coworker drops dead while organizing closets, Tiny is on the case. Can Foxtrot and her new companions ferret out the killer among a menagerie of suspects—human and otherwise—before death takes another bite?

About the Author

Dixie Lyle, author A Taste Fur Murder from the Whiskey, Tango and Foxtrot Mysteries from St. Martin's Books, loves animals, mysteries, books, reading, words, bad puns (are there any other kind?) and once had a torrid summer romance with an entire library. Did I mention the books? Oh, and definitely doesn’t believe in the supernatural. Nope, not me. Hey, what was that sound? Where’s that spooky green glow coming from? Oh, hello, didn’t see you standing there in the corner, what with you being all see-through and everything. Want a cup of tea? Moan once for yes, twice for no.

Allegations that Dixie Lyle has a goofy sense of humor are entirely unfounded, and should be forwarded to the unfounded and unlost department.

 


$7.99
ISBN: 9780425261408
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley Prime Crime - February 4th, 2014

Our February Pick ...

Description

Lindy Blanchard has devoted five years of her life to saving the pecan trees on her family’s farm—but someone is going to deadly lengths to see that she fails…

Riverville, Texas, is pecan country, and the Blanchard family farm is famous for its acres of tall pecan trees and the delicious pies and cookies sold at the Nut House, the aptly named family store. Miss Amelia, Lindy’s feisty grandmother, makes the best pecan pies for several counties and the farm is attracting visitors from far and wide to sample the wares.

Until the day Lindy walks into the greenhouse to find her uncle Amos murdered and her new stock of trees destroyed, with the best of the bunch stolen. Who is out to ruin the Blanchard family? And who wanted Uncle Amos dead? With the sheriff stumped, it’s up to Lindy and Miss Amelia to save the ranch and tree a killer.

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES

 


$7.99
ISBN: 9780451239501
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Signet Book - January 7th, 2014

Our January 2014 Pick

Description

Izzy McHale wants her new Trendy Tails Pet Boutique in Merryville, Minnesota, to be the height of canine couture and feline fashions. But at the store’s opening, it turns out it’s a human who’s dressed to kill…

Izzy’s own beloved pets are dressed to the nines for the grand opening of Trendy Tails. Feisty feline Jinx is large and in charge, and happy mutt Packer is lapping up the attention. Izzy and her best friend Rena have their hands full meeting Merryville’s menagerie and serving tasty pupcakes and kitty canapes from their “barkery.” The last thing they need is the town’s local activist, Sherry Harper, scaring off customers and getting tongues wagging by picketing the event.

The two manage to stop Sherry’s protest in its tracks, but the trouble for Trendy Tails is just beginning. Sherry is found murdered in back of the shop, and Rena is immediately named as the lead suspect. Now Izzy and her furry friends have a new pet project—collaring a killer.

FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!

About the Author

Annie Knox doesn't commit--or solve--murders in her real life, but her passion for animals is 100% true. She's also a devotee of 80s music, Asian horror films, and reality TV. While Annie is a native Buckeye and has called a half dozen states "home," she and her husband now live a stone's throw from the courthouse square in a north Texas town, in their very own crumbling historic house.

 


$7.99
ISBN: 9780451415462
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Obsidian - December 3rd, 2013

Our December 2013 Pick

Description

With the help of her rescue cat, Eddie, librarian Minnie Hamilton is driving a bookmobile based in the resort town of Chilson, Michigan. But she’d better keep both hands on the wheel, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride…

Eddie followed Minnie home one day, and now she can’t seem to shake the furry little shadow. But in spite of her efforts to contain her new pal, the tabby sneaks out and trails her all the way to the bookmobile on its maiden voyage. Before she knows it, her slinky stowaway becomes her cat co-pilot!

Minnie and Eddie’s first day visiting readers around the county seems to pass without trouble—until Eddie darts outside at the last stop and leads her to the body of a local man who’s reached his final chapter.

Initially, Minnie is ready to let the police handle this case, but Eddie seems to smell a rat. Together, they’ll work to find the killer—because a good librarian always knows when justice is overdue.

FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!

 


$7.99
ISBN: 9780758287106
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Kensington Publishing Corporation - November 5th, 2013

Our November 2013 Fantastic First Pick

Allie McMurphy is beginning to believe the grand opening of the historic McMurphy Hotel on Mackinac Island will never happen and that she will never perfect the adult fudge recipes she has created. First Joe Jessop is found dead in the upstairs utility closet. Then the electricity in the hotel is turned off and, when she attempts to turn it back on, Allie learns she is classified as an outsider and has to meet stringent requirements to reinstate her lights. She also finds out the citizens of Mackinac Island are taking sides over the most pressing issue – did Allie murder Joe Jessop?  With the blue ribbons which represent the Jessop clan outnumbering the green ribbons representing her family, Allie enlists the help of her best friend who is an event coordinator. Together they have to convince the townspeople she is not a murderer as well proving to the historical society all the renovations represent the correct styles for the time the hotel was built. Vilified by the hunky grandson of the murdered man and suspected of murder by the ruggedly handsome cop investigating Joe’s death, Allie is determined to prove she is innocent of wrong doing while making friends of the islanders. This engaging book is enhanced by original fudge recipes, two appealing heroines, one gorgeous rancher, and a cop that could be a Vin Diesel knockoff.  Enjoy. I did. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale

 


$7.99
ISBN: 9780451415141
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Obsidian Mysteries - October 1st, 2013

Our October 2013 Fantastic First Pick

Description

Hit whodunit writer Victoria Rienzi is getting back to her roots by working at her family’s Italian restaurant. But now in between plating pasta and pouring vino, she’ll have to find the secret ingredient in a murder....

When Victoria takes a break from penning her popular mystery series and moves back to the Jersey shore, she imagines sun, sand, and scents of fresh basil and simmering marinara sauce at the family restaurant, the Casa Lido. But her nonna’s recipes aren’t the only things getting stirred up in this Italian kitchen.  

Their small town is up in arms over plans to film a new reality TV show, and when Victoria serves the show’s pushy producer his last meal, the Casa Lido staff finds itself embroiled in a murder investigation. Victoria wants to find the real killer, but there are as many suspects as tomatoes in her nonna’s garden. Now she’ll have to heat up her sleuthing skills quickly…before someone else gets a plateful of murder. 

First in a new series!

RECIPES INCLUDED!

About the Author

A Jersey girl born and bred, Rosie Genova left her heart at the shore, which serves as the setting for the Italian Kitchen Mysteries. An English teacher by day and novelist by night, Rosie also writes women’s fiction as Rosemary DiBattista. She lives in central New Jersey with her husband, her two younger sons, and an ill-behaved fox terrier.

Praise for Murder and Marinara: An Italian Kitchen Mystery…

Praise for Murder and Marinara

“The tastiest item on the menu with colorful characters, a sharp plot, and a fabulous Jersey setting.  I enjoyed every bite.”Jenn McKinlay, New York Times bestselling author

“Clever and intriguing….It definitely left me hungry for more.”Livia J. Washburn, author of the Fresh Baked Mystery series

 


$7.99
ISBN: 9780425255841
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - September 3rd, 2013

Our September 2013 Fantastic First Pick

The premise for this series starter is at once hilarious and made (impossibly) believable. Georgia Thackery is an English Professor and single mom to teenage daughter, Madison. They have just moved back to her home town, Pennycross, Massachusetts, where she has accepted another in a very long series of adjunct positions teaching freshman English. Her current job is at McQuaid University, the same university where her renowned parents have been teaching for almost 20 years. Georgia is not only happy to have a job and a free place to live (her parents are on a duel sabbatical), but she is also reunited with her best friend Sid … who just happens to be the family skeleton. Yep, that’s right – Sid is a talking skeleton who rescued Georgia from a would-be kidnapper 30 years ago, and has been a welcome “family member” ever since. The two of them become intrigued with finding out where Sid came from and who he was in in life, after he recognizes a professor at the Mangachusetts conference (celebrating everything manga and anime) taking place on campus. When the professor turns up dead, their sense of urgency accelerates, as does the number of suspicious events around McQuaid and Georgia’s beloved town. Fun dialog, great characters, and an engaging set supporting cast make this a series readers will want to return to.

– Terry


$8.39
ISBN: 9780758280152
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Kensington Publishing Corporation - August 6th, 2013

 

Our August 2013 Pick: 

Murder on the Rocks offers a lethal mix of an enjoyable, fast paced romp with well-rounded, engaging characters, a pleasant environment, two intriguing murders, and some lethal alcoholic concoctions. When Mackenzie Dalton, owner of Mack's Bar, stumbles across a body in the alley behind the business, she suffers sensory overload. Between no morning coffee and finding the second body in that location in less than a year, Mack's synesthesia drives her from the scene. The lights, colors and shapes blocking her vision, the cacophony of musical sounds assaulting her ears, and the odors compounded by her neurological disorder cause her to become disoriented -- unfortunately not before she picks up a portion of the cardboard covering the body. During her interview she tries to explain her reaction to the police and one observant detective in particular. Detective Duncan Albright suspects the killer is either a bar employee or a patron. Going undercover as a new hire, Albright begins lessons in bartending and waiting on tables. As the attraction between the cop and his primary suspect grows, tension and danger heighten. The secondary characters are as quirky and entertaining as the byplay between the two main characters.  This laugh-out-loud pleasure can be finished in a day and is well worth the time.

-Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781451684681
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Pocket Books - June 25th, 2013

Our First July 2013 Pick (we couldn't choose):

Description

BURNING CALORIES AND SOLVING CRIMES

 

Meet Jen Stevens—a hungry New York City event planner who’s 31 years old, 30 pounds overweight, and flirting with disaster when it comes to sticking to her diet. Working for the food-centric Yummy Channel, it’s hard to resist temptation. But when there’s a crime for Jen to solve, it’s easy as pie. . . .

 

Baker extraordinaire Bess Brantwood is one of the Yummy Channel’s brightest stars—and biggest divas. Despite the off-camera drama, Jen has to admit that Bess’s chocolate buttercream cupcakes drizzled with caramel are simply to die for—and kill for, as it turns out—when Bess’s body, like a baked good gone bad, is discovered . . . in a Dumpster.

 

Who iced the cupcake queen? Jen is determined to find out. With the help of her BFFs—fab foodblogger Gabby and lively life coach Elizabeth—she starts sifting for clues. She’s got all the ingredients to solve the perfect crime, including one delectable detective, one divalicious diary, and enough industry rivals for a battle of the network stars. But is Jen prepared to risk her life as well as her waistline? No matter how you slice it, revenge is sweet—and loaded with carbs.

About the Author

Sarah Steding has cut carbs, calories, white foods, yellow foods, packaged foods, and fatty foods (not all at the same time, or any for more than a few well-intentioned days). She’s tried grapefruit, cayenne-spiced lemonade, macrobiotics, and even gummy bears. While crusading against thunder thighs, she has developed quite a sense of humor about the whole ordeal. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with three little boys and a husband who has learned to say she looks quite slender in those jeans.


$7.99
ISBN: 9780425258040
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Prime Crime - July 2nd, 2013

Our Second July 2013 Pick: 

Description

FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!

In need of a change, Jenna Hart leaves the high-pressure world of advertising to help her aunt, Vera, open a culinary bookshop and café. Back with her family in Crystal Cove, California, Jenna seems to have all the right ingredients for a fresh start—until someone adds a dash of murder.

As a marketing expert, Jenna wants to make sure the grand opening of the Cookbook Nook draws a crowd, and no one is better at getting attention than her old college roommate, celebrity chef Desiree Divine. But when Desiree arrives in quiet Crystal Cove to do a cookbook signing, the diva stirs up more trouble than business…especially when she turns up dead.

Known for stealing husbands and burning bridges, Desiree left behind plenty of suspects—including Jenna. Though the celebrity’s life always appeared to be an open book, Jenna will have to read between the lines in order to clear her name, and catch a killer before another body is served cold.

Includes recipes!

About the Author

Daryl Wood Gerber is an Agatha Award-winning author who writes the Cheese Shop Mystery series under the pseudonym Avery Aames. Like her protagonist, Daryl is an admitted foodie and an avid reader of books, including cookbooks. Prior to writing, Daryl acted onstage and television, including on Murder, She Wrote.

Praise for Final Sentence…

“There’s a feisty new amateur sleuth in town and her name is Jenna Hart. With a bodacious cast of characters, a wrenching murder, and a collection of cookbooks to die for, Daryl Wood Gerber’s Final Sentence was a page-turning puzzler of a mystery that I could not put down.”—Jenn McKinlay, New York Times bestselling author of the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries

“Murder, revenge, secrets … and cookbooks! Final Sentence, the first book in Daryl Wood Gerber’s yummy new Cookbook Nook mystery series, is a delectable page-turner with a tasty mix of characters, crime, and cookbooks, blended beautifully in a witty, well-plotted whodunit that will leave you hungry for more.”—Kate Carlisle, New York Times bestselling author of the Bibliophile Mysteries


$7.99
ISBN: 9780425257753
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Prime Crime - June 4th, 2013

Our June 2103 Pick:  

Description

At a local Chinese restaurant, it's the owner who gets taken out...

Most folks aren’t forced by court order to attend a library-book discussion group, but that’s just what happens to B and B proprietor and ex-Manhattanite Bea Cartwright, hippy cat lover Chandra Morrisey, and winery owner Kate Wilder after a small-town magistrate has had enough of their squabbling. South Bass, an island on Lake Erie, is home to an idyllic summer resort, but these three ladies keep disturbing the peace.

The initial book choice is Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, and that sets their mouths to watering. The Orient Express is the island’s newest Chinese restaurant. They might not agree about much, but the ladies all love the orange chicken on the menu. But their meal is spoiled when the restaurant’s owner, Peter Chan, has the bad fortune of getting murdered. Now, with Christie as their inspiration, the League of Literary Ladies has a real mystery to solve…if they can somehow catch a killer without killing each other first.


$7.99
ISBN: 9780425252109
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - May 7th, 2013

Our May 2103 Pick:

Description

Gluten-free baker Toni Ryder may not cook with wheat, but when there’s a criminal on the loose, she’ll do what it takes to figure out who has their finger in the pie… Even though Toni is used to going against the grain by preparing allergy-safe, gluten-free products for her online bakery, Baker’s Treat, opening a storefront in the middle of wheat country Kansas might be biting off more than she can chew. The town is already skeptical of her flour-free ways, but when a local wheat farmer is murdered outside her patisserie, skepticism turns into outright suspicion. With the help of her eccentric grandmother, her handsome lawyer, and the sexy new widower in town, Toni is determined to find the real criminal before bad publicity and increasingly personal acts of vandalism shut her down. But when another suspect winds up dead, Toni realizes that this half-baked killer isn’t just trying to get her to close shop—he’s trying to make sure that she’s made her last gluten-free cookie…forever.

INCLUDES GLUTEN-FREE RECIPES

About the Author

Nancy J. Parra lives in the Midwest with her trusty Bichon-Poo, whom she refers to warmly as “Little Dog.” Parra’s 2010 novel, The Counterfeit Bride, was named “one of the top ten romances of 2010” by Booklist. Hard at work on her next mystery, Nancy loves to hear from readers.

Praise for Gluten for Punishment…

“A mouthwatering debut with a plucky protagonist. Clever, original, and appealing with gluten-free recipes to die for.”—Carolyn Hart, national bestselling author

“This baker’s treat rises to the occasion. Whether you need to eat allergy-free or not, you’ll devour every morsel.”—Avery Aames, Agatha Award-winning author of the Cheese Shop Mysteries
“Nancy J. Parra has whipped up a sweet treat that’s sure to delight!”—Peg Cochran, national bestselling author of the Gourmet De-Lite Mysteries “A delightful heroine, cherry-filled plot twists, and cream-filled pastries. Could murder be any sweeter?”—Connie Archer, national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mysteries “A lively, sassy heroine and a perceptive and humorous look at small-town Kansas (the Wheat State)!”—JoAnna Carl, national bestselling author of the Chocoholic Mysteries


$7.99
ISBN: 9780425252048
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - April 2nd, 2013

Our April 2103 Pick:  

Description

Set in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, J. J. Cook’s thrilling new mystery series features Fire Chief Stella Griffin, who solves crime with the help of her predecessor, who just happens to be a ghost…

NO MATCH FOR MURDER

After knocking the lights out of her boyfriend when she catches him cheating on her, Chicago fire fighter Stella Griffin hops on her Harley and heads for Sweet Pepper, Tennessee, where she ends up becoming the small town’s fire chief. When her dear friend Tory Lambert dies after her gingerbread-style house is set ablaze, Stella suspects arson and foul play.

As Stella investigates, she gets help from a most unlikely source—the ghost of Eric Gamlyn, Sweet Pepper’s old fire chief. And if that isn’t enough to rattle her, attractive police officer John Trump seems to have taken an interest in her. But Stella’s got to stay focused if she hopes to smoke out a killer before her own life is extinguished.

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES!


$7.99
ISBN: 9780425255285
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - March 5th, 2013

Our March 2103 Pick:  

A heroine who comes from a family of thieves, a mystery involving a missing Agatha Christie play, an avid (and cranky) book collector, a hunky librarian, quirky relatives, and an intriguing young detective. What more could you ask for in a new series? Jordan Bingham has returned to Harrison Falls, New York and is living with the not-too-law-abiding uncles who raised her. She is in debt and in need of a job. So even though that job comes from Vera Van Alst, the most hated citizen of Harrison Falls, Jordan is intrigued and has the right skill set (and connections) to hunt down the aforementioned missing manuscript. Which is why it was March’s Fantastic First Cozy Mystery pick!

– Terry

Description

In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared—making headlines across the world—only to show up eleven days later at a spa under an assumed name. During those eleven days, did she have time to write a play?

Jordan Kelly needs a new job and a new place to live. She’s back in Harrison Falls, New York, living with her not so law-abiding uncles, in debt thanks to a credit card–stealing ex and pending grad school loans.

Enter the perfect job, a research position that includes room and board, which will allow her to spend her days hunting down rare mysteries for an avid book collector. There’s just one problem: her employer, Vera Van Alst—the most hated citizen of Harrison Falls.

Jordan’s first assignment is to track down a rumored Agatha Christie play. It seems easy enough, but Jordan soon finds out that her predecessor was killed while looking for it, and there is still someone out there willing to murder to keep the play out of Vera’s hands. Jordan’s new job is good…but is it worth her life?  

About the Author

Victoria Abbott is a former mystery bookstore owner. 


$7.99
ISBN: 9780425251898
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley Books - February 5th, 2013

Our February 2013 Pick:  

First in a new series featuring Maura Donavan and the small Irish Village where her grandmother was born, this promises to be another winner for Connolly. Readers are introduced to Maura when she begins her first trip out of the U.S.  after the death of the grandmother who raised her in Boston. She is not leaving much behind and is open to the possibilities as they present themselves beginning with a job offer at the local pub. When a body is discovered in a nearby bog, Maura unwittingly finds herself in the middle of the investigation just as she begins discovering who she is and where she comes from. The scenes from small town life in Ireland provide a great background for the series,  as do the locals who all seem to be related to Maura! It will be a pleasure to spend time here again.

– Terry