Thursday, October 29, 2009

There's a Mystery for Every Interest


There are mysteries of all kinds, covering all sorts of interests, for all different readers. There are hard-boiled mysteries, Noir, urban fantasy, cozy mysteries and all sorts of combinations. There are mysteries for readers who like to cook, who like to read, who like scrap booking, tea drinking, falconry, needlepoint, collecting antiques. You get the idea. How about for collectors of teddy bears and knitters? You bet!

DIED IN THE WOOL: A Knitting Mystery by Mary Kruger is the first in a series of cozy myteries. Ariadne Evans is the proud owner of her very own knitting shop. She enters her store one day to find longtime customer Edith Perry strangled to death with homespun yarn. Now Edith wasn’t the easiest person to get along with so there is a long list of suspects. Detective Joshua Pierce, may or may not have designs on Ariadne (a little romance never hurts in a cozy mystery). Ariadne decides to do some sleuthing of her own. Hopefully, the killer isn’t as crafty as she.

I’m behind the times as this book was first published as a paperback in 2007. I thought it was well done and I like the characters -- something that is very important in cozy mysteries -- and I’d like to visit Ariadne in her shop. I do love yarn and the description of the purple heather hand spun, hand dyed yarn used to kill Edith really sounds lovely! There are several more books in this series and I’m looking forward to getting to know Ariadne and her friends better.

THE CRAFTY TEDDY: A Bear Collector’s Mystery by John J. Lamb is the third book in this “sort of cozy” police procedural. I say sort of because Mr. Lamb is a retired homicide detective and hostage negotiator. He has all the police procedural part of the books down to a science. He and his wife collect teddy bears (at last count had over 600), so he also knows the teddy bear business. Definitely an interesting combination and one I have really enjoyed.

From the back of the book:

“Retired San Francisco cop Brad Lyon is settling into a quieter life with his wife, Ashleigh, in Virginia’s mountain country, where they collect and create teddy bears. But even here, stuff happens...

The peace of the Shenandoah Valley is shattered when an intruder breaks into the Lyon home and makes off with the antique Farnell Alpha teddy bear -- one of the most celebrated stuffed animals in history, and also Brad’s gift to Ash on their twentieth wedding anniversary.

Afterward, life seems to be getting back to normal -- until a trio of Japanese gangsters inexplicably shows up in town, and then the local museum director is found dead. Even though it all seems a bit fur-fetched, Brad knows he’s got a 187 on his hands -- that’s California penal code for murder ...”

These are fun books. Well written and fast paced. Not too cozy or too hard-boiled. Brad and Ash, Tina Barron the County Sheriff and Sergei Zubatov (Brad’s best friend and the owner of Pinckney’s Brick Pit barbecue restaurant and former Soviet military attache -- or, in other words, spy) are all wonderful characters. Add the great information about bears (there are always ideas about where to buy bears and usually a bear artist or two are featured in the books) and a well written mystery -- well -- it’s the perfect brain candy for a rainy afternoon. I’m glad I have two more in my stack!

Even a rainy day brings JOY!


i brake 4 dreams said...

very wonderful to meet you as well ;o)

thank you so much for your visit to my blog and for sharing these books.....i'm a book addict, lol.

love + luck + bliss,
missysue xox

sherry ♥ lee said...

These sound wonderful Snap! I'm off to make some tea and snuggle up with a good book!!

Barb said...

Hi Snap,
A question about an author - not a writer of mysteries, though. Have you read anything by Sylvia Boorstein? I came across a quote by her that I enjoyed. When I looked up her books, there are 2 recents - don't know which I'll try. The one I put on my list is "Happiness Is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life." She writes about Buddhist teachings.

Sharon said...

Oh Snap, I really must be bad, so bad as I cracked up laughing when I read she was strangled with "homespun" yarn. I must get this one to read. I had heard about the teddy bear fellow, (maybe from you) and have him on my list. Snap you should write a book. I'd buy it, promise! Sharon

Janet said...

I guess if you're going to be murdered having it done with purple heather hand spun, hand dyed yarn is the way to go! This book sounds like one I might like!! At least the color is right on the yarn!

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

Don't tell me you have had some long awaited rain?! I love spending that kind of afternoon with some good books. It's been a while since I've been able to do that, but every now and then the opportunity comes along and I jump!

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

I love a good that makes a rainy day perfect for staying inside and snuggling under a blanket. We're having a lot of those lately so I just may have to check one of these out!

Margo said...

they sound great! I get so over serious sometimes with my reading and I tell you - these sound like exactly what I want to read right now :)

Carole said...

I actually enjoy Tim Myers candlemaking mystery series, but he seems to have put that one on the back burner as there haven't been any new ones in quite some time.