Book review

Cozy Mystery Series Rankings

I’ve posted two book reviews recently and wanted to give a quick ranking of the cozy mystery series I read.

Four series are my favorites. The stories have a decent plot that is well-paced, there are no glaring inconsistencies, and they have well developed animal characters that feature prominently in the story. The authors have a writing style I find enjoyable and they don’t commit two of my pet peeves: constantly using short sentences or trying to prove they own a thesaurus.

  • Cat in the Stacks Mystery by Miranda James (I’ve read 6 books),
  • Magical Cats Mystery by Sofie Kelly (8 books),
  • A Black Cat Bookshop Mystery by Ali Brandon  (5 books),
  • A Bookmobile Cat Mystery by Laurie Cass (4 books).

I just read over at Melissa’s Mocha’s Mystery, and Meows that Twice Told Tail (book #6) will be the final book in the Black Cat Bookshop Mystery series.  😦

The next two series are ok, but not my favorites. I like the writing style of both authors, but there are things I dislike about the books and probably won’t continue with them. 

  • A Southern Ladies Mystery by Miranda James  is a spin-off from the Cat in the Stacks Mystery, but I didn’t enjoy it as much I hoped and stopped after the second book (there are three now). Unlike her Cat in the Stacks Mystery series where the cat Diesel is interesting and well integrated into the story, I don’t think the cat and dog in this series are developed or integrated as well as they could be.  
  • Bad Luck Cat Mystery by Kay Finch (2 books). I like Hitchcock the cat, but I get annoyed with the main character’s rudeness. I read cozy mysteries to escape the incivility of everyday life and don’t want to follow a character who is unbelievably rude. Also, the stories have some inconsistencies in the characters or their motivations. This might improve as the series continues, but it may be a flaw in the writing & editing process.

The next one was a dud for me.

  • A Nick and Nora Mystery by T.C. LoTempio. I read the first book and thought there were a lot of missed opportunities for the author to show that her main character actually liked her cat. I haven’t read any other books in this series. 

Finally, a good book, but the cat wasn’t a prominent character, despite the cover image. 

  • A Brewing Trouble Mystery by Joyce Tremel. I read Tangled Up in Brew after winning it in a giveaway. I entered the giveaway because the book features a cat prominently on the cover, but the cat doesn’t have much of a presence in the book. I enjoyed the mystery and the writing style but I read other series where the animal is an interesting character that is more prominently featured that I probably won’t continue with this one. The second book also features the cat on the cover, but I don’t know if kitty is prominent in the story.


p.s. Raven said she’s ready for her close-up photos, so the next post will show her newly grown furs. Besides, I have nothing else to share and stall for time while her fur grows!

Book review

Two Cozy Mystery Book Reviews

PawsAndEffect-book-cover.jpgPaws And Effect is the eighth book in A Magical Cats Mystery series by Sofie Kelly. Kathleen, with the help of her magical cats Owen and Hercules, are determined to clear the name of Kathleen’s boyfriend Marcus who is suspected of murdering a college friend.

I’ve enjoyed all the previous books in this series, and this one is no different. The mystery moves at a good pace, I enjoy the writing style, and all the characters – both human and feline – are engaging.

Sophie Kelly also writes Second Chance Cat Mysteries under the name Sofie Ryan, so I’ll have to check those out.

BlackCatCrossing-book-cover.jpgThe Black Cat Knocks on Wood is the second book in A Bad Luck Cat Mystery series by Kay Finch. In typical cozy mystery fashion, Sabrina and her black cat Hitchcock are tangled up in the murder of a local business woman.

I didn’t like this book as much as the first book in the series. The mystery is fairly easy to figure out and Hitchcock the black cat is a great character who plays a prominent role in the story. I disliked Sabrina’s rudeness and only 30 pages in I had to decide to keep reading despite how off-putting I found her behavior. Fortunately, it got a bit better. I thought some of the underlying themes needed more consistency: her reasons for being involved in solving the murder kept changing, and her anti-rodeo animal welfare opinion versus toting (literally) Hitchcock around town on a hot summer day or having him in a harness for hours seemed contradictory. I like Hitchcock’s personality, but I’ll probably wait to read some reviews of the third book before deciding if I continue reading this series.

Book review

Plot Boiler – Book Review

Here’s book review #2 for today.


Plot Boiler is the 5th book in Ali Brandon’s A Black Cat Bookshop Mystery series. Darla is coordinating a neighborhood Fourth of July block party where, you guessed it, someone turns up dead. I was surprised that it took 125  pages before the dead body made it’s appearance since the book is just shy of 300 pages long. This didn’t make the book any less enjoyable, it was just something that caught my attention. The first part of the book sets up various characters and lines of suspicion, and the story progresses quickly after Livvy is found dead (no spoiler there as it’s on the back cover). All the characters in this series are interesting and it’s enjoyable to follow their lives. We also get to see more of Roma, a little Italian Greyhound who belongs to one of Darla’s young employees. Roma isn’t Hamlet’s favorite bookstore visitor, but I hope they become better friends as time goes on. Hamlet is an engaging kitty character. He’s a typical cat with “catitude”, but he’s also intelligent, observant, spunky, and enjoys walking around the neighborhood on a harness.

Four paws up for Plot Boiler. Hopefully it won’t be too long before the next book in this series is available.

Book review

Pouncing on Murder – Book Review

Mom took today off because I need to go to the vet later this afternoon. While I enjoy sun puddles and naps in the closet, she’s going to post two more book reviews while she kills time before tormenting me with the carrier, a long car ride, and a visit to the vet. Actually, my vet is really nice and very gentle, but I’d rather not visit him.  We’ll give you an update later this weekend about my health. It’s nothing critical, but mom has some concerns about the underlying cause of my continued determination to remove my lower-body furs and wants to talk to the vet about it.


Pouncing on Murder  is the 4th book in Laurie Cass’ A Bookmobile Cat Mystery series, where Minnie and her cat Eddie are on the road again in the library book mobile. Of course there’s a murder that needs to be solved, and Minnie and Eddie are sure to play a part in catching the killer.

After reading Arsenic and Old Books by Miranda James, which does’t have a lot of “chatter” about the characters’ personal lives, I realized that the author of the Bookmobile Cat Mystery series provides much more back story about the main characters and the inhabitants of the little town where Minnie & Eddie live. I tend to read those parts fairly quickly, but others may really enjoy that aspect of these books. In Pouncing on Murder, there are some significant changes in Minnie’s personal life, and hints at more changes to come.

I want to give this book 4 paws up, but there’s a critical element at the end of the mystery that didn’t make sense to me. So, I have to hold back just a bit and give 3 paws up & a little questioning mrreow.