Several posts ago I mentioned buying a couple of paperback cozy mysteries at our new Books A Million. (here‘s the post) The titles were If Fried Chicken Could Fly by Paige Shelton and The Cocoa Conspiracy by Andrea Penrose. I lucked out! Both were well written and the type of cozy that I like: adventure and mystery with a clean action plot. By clean, I mean that there is no graphic description of violence, and no graphic sex–the main character is not jumping into the sack with another character and describing it. And for a bonus, both books include recipes. Since I enjoy collecting recipes and cooking, I like books which throw in a few recipes. Some I’m even tempted to try!
Almost all romances–historical, contemporary, and Regency (my personal favorite of romances)–long ago went the way of the long, graphic sex scene. I can’t really call them love scenes. Now, more and more of the science fiction, fantasy, and cozy mysteries are including sex. If it’s a love scene and it’s not graphic, I can deal with it, but too many books currently being published have long involved sex scenes that, to me, just interrupt the story.
I can’t be the only one that prefers a clean story. 😦
But I digress. Back to my two cozy mysteries. If Fried Chicken Could Fly is the first in a series called A Country Cooking School Mystery. (A recipe for fried chicken is included in the back of the book.) The main character and her grandmother have started a cooking school. They have a day course and a more brief night course going at the same time. The discovery of a dead body inside their building brings big complications and an accusation of murder against Betts grandmother. Gran isn’t giving Betts the information she needs to clear her name. Fortunately a ghost in the town appears to Betts and helps her with finding out the who, what, and why. The ghost is worked in very believable and adds to the story. I liked it well enough that on Tuesday I bought one of Page Shelton’s Farmer’s Market Mysteries.
The Cocoa Conspiracy is right after my own heart, fitting two of my genres together. This is a cozy mystery set in Regency times with two unusual main characters. The Earl of Saybrook and his unconventional wife, Lady Arianna Hadley, now Countess of Saybrook, get involved in an international conspiracy which takes them from London to Vienna where one misstep could lead to their deaths. Both main characters enjoy cooking and Lady Arianna shares many gourmet chocolate recipes with the reader. Yum. Unfortunately, this is the second book in this series. Sweet Revenge is the first one, which I read second. Even though I knew the main characters had to survive to appear in the second book, there was still plenty of suspense as Arianna and Sando try to figure out who tried to kill the Prince Regent and why, without getting themselves killed.
If you like good clean mysteries, then you should try these books.
If you like good clean fantasy, try my book A Singular Gift. If you like good clean romance/mystery, try my book A Man For Sylvia. Both are available for 2.99 at Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble.