Tuesday, July 12, 2016

#SaveOurCozies | Extended Haul

Because I’m so excited about #SaveOurCozies, I had to stock up on a few new titles.  Many listed has always been on my radar, but never quite made it home.  These are books I’ve noticed time and time again in stores, but have yet to slide into.  Until now!  But to be extra, extra clear, I had to be sure they were each the first in their respective reading order.  Never trusting the read order placed inside the first few pages of any given series, I took my time investigating these suckers.  Nothing’ll piss me off more than picking up a new series midway through; a personal aggravation of mine, if you will.  So let me list and share what each series (as well as their individual hooks) is about.  At least for those who are new to them like myself.  And no, the Nora Roberts Public Secrets (1990) book isn’t a cozy.  Though there is a kidnapping and possible murder involved.  I’ve just always wanted to read the damn book and found it for 25 cents!  (For those who have read it, please share your thoughts.  I’m an on/off Roberts reader outside of her J. D. Robb series.)

1.      Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia Macneal. (2012) Not precisely a cozy, but still a mystery all the same.  Historical mystery to be exact, as the series takes place in 1940’s London during World War II.  The series follows the exploits of a hyper-intelligent graduate name Maggie Hope.  Her intelligence grants her a position within the British intelligence–but only as a secretary.  (Heartbreaking, but a perfect hook for those–like myself–who enjoys the “underestimated female sleuth" one-up scenes.)  Given clearance by the prime minister, Maggie’s job allows her in and out of places.  While underneath the invisibility cloak of, well, being a lady among soldiers.  From the synopsis, I haven’t quite gathered what “murders and mayhem” Maggie will unravel.  But it doesn’t matter, the period and clever secretary hook says plenty.  Along with Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series, this series has begged to go home with me for years.  I just got lucky in finding a copy of Maggie Hope’s debut first.  I’m still coming after you Maisie Dobbs.  Be on the lookout, girl!
2.      Die Buying by Laura Disilverio. (2011) I noticed this book for the first time last week; glad to see it was still there and upset with me for not taking it the first time.  Nonetheless, what caught my interest with this cozy it its hook: a female mall cop!  That’s new.  So many cozies feature knitting, book clubs, and tea time murders.  Then here's a mall cop rolling around on a Segway stopping shoplifters and murderers.  I can only imagine what Disilverio comes up with, but I’m pumped to find out.  In Die Buying’s case, Disilverio’s mall cop sleuth, E. J. Ferris, finds herself unraveling the murder of a local land developer found dead in a boutique window.  Let the Segway sleuthing begin!  (Oh yeah.  It appears Ferris’ grandmother is a retired CIA operative, and spends her time spying on customers.  I hope Disilverio's humor stands up.)
3.      Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen. (2007) I think everybody who loves cozies is familiar with this series and author.  I’ve seen her everywhere, anyway.  Until now, I more or less took the bait.  But with the debut to the series planted right in my face for $1, why the hell not?  This cozy series comes tinted with history as well.  Taking place in 1930’s London, the sleuth, Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, is the 34th in line for the family throne.  And, as the daughter of the Duke of Atholt and Rannoch, you would think Victoria has cake (monies) beyond belief.  But, evidently, she’s broke and cut from her brother’s allowance.  Frustrated by her lack of finances, she leaves Scotland for London.  Here she begins working a cosmetics counter and play housekeeper for a couple of bucks.  Odd jobs aside, Victoria finds herself summoned by the Queen to spy on her playboy son. However, it isn’t until Victoria finds a Frenchman dead in her bathtub does she don her detective cap neccessary to clear her name.
4.      Snow White Red-Handed by Maia Chance. (2014) Now this one is fresh and new to me, and its hook is both period and fairy-tale based.  The book opens in 1867 where a Victorian actress named Miss Ophelia Flax has quit her “variety hall engagement” job.  Before long she finds herself working as a lady’s maid for an American millionaire.  He, in turn, takes her to an ominous castle located in the haunted Black Forest.  As for Ophelia's murder and sleuthing, the blurb goes: “The vast grounds contain the suspected remains of Snow White’s cottage, along with a disturbing dwarf skeleton.  And when her [Ophelia] millionaire boss turns up dead–poisoned by an apple–the fantastic setting turns into a once upon a crime scene.”  Now make do with that as you will.  To me it sounds alluring.  Just the era sold me.  The fairy-tale elements were an extra plus.

So what do you guys think?  Yay or nah for any of them?  Have you read any of them and want to sound off on its worth?  Or are there any other series out there linked to the hook, setting, and/or protagonist in any of these four?  Share your thoughts below!

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