April 30, 2010 by Reader's Connection
Central Library´s Mary Kay Greenawalt gave us a female fantasy authors and characters list back in March (to which some other authors have been added in a comment), and now she has created another booklist. Long live MKG.
In the world of mystery fiction there is a subgenre known as the cozy – mysteries set in familiar settings with ´normal´ characters that could be just like you and me. A popular trend these days is to focus on specific professions, occupations and pastimes. Often containing how-to´s and tips, these mystery series can be a lot of fun to read.
Home repair and ‘fixer-uppers’ is a thriving niche genre:
Jennie Bentley writes the Dirty Business mystery series. Avery Baker, a former textile designer in New York inherits her Aunt’s old Maine cottage in Fatal Fixer-Upper. In the process of learning the ins and outs of do-it-yourself Avery uncovers clues to the disappearance of a professor.
The Georgiana Neverall series by Christy Evans begins with Sink Trap. Georgiana goes from a corporate lifestyle to plumber’s apprentice in Pine Ridge, Oregon. In the middle of unclogging a sink she finds the favorite brooch of a ‘retired’ librarian who supposedly moved to Arizona – but did she?
Sarah Graves, author of the Home Repair is Homicide series, opens her series with The Dead Cat Bounce. Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree is a former investment broker who has purchased a fixer-upper in Eastport, Maine. Amidst the ever growing list of ‘things to do’ she comes across the body of a dead billionaire with an icepick in his head in her storeroom.
Of course, in the midst of rehabbing one must do a little cleaning and there are series that deal with this:
Barbara Colley pens the Charlotte LaRue series which is set in New Orleans. The series opens with Maid for Murder. Charlotte LaRue runs the ‘Maid-for-a-Day housecleaning business with many of her customers living in the upper class Garden District. Things take a serious turn when she discovers the dead body of her most recent client while cleaning his house.
Mary Jane Maffini is author of the series that chronicles the activities of Charlotte Adams, a professional organizer who lives in Woodbridge, New York. In the series opener Organize Your Corpses Charlotte finds her new client, Miss Helen “Hellfire” Henley, dead under a pile of debris.
Once you get the inside of the house up to snuff you have to tackle the outside. Gardening is another cozy staple to enjoy:
Sheila Connolly writes the Orchard mystery series following the exploits of Meg Corey in Granford, Massachusetts. Meg has recently inherited her mother’s colonial home and apple orchard and is busy rehabbing with the idea of selling – until she finds her former flame floating in the septic tank.
Rosemary Harris is author of the Dirty Business mystery series dealing with Paula Holliday, a former media exec who starts her own gardening business. InPushing Up DaisiesPaula discovers a mummified body while restoring the gardens at a local landmark. In the process of investigating this she stumbles on more dirty secrets in this quiet little town.