I've been on a silly mystery kick for the last little while. Here is what/who I have discovered:
Donna Andrews- Meg Langslow mysteries
This young lady has a family that would drive a saint to drink but it's tremendously funny. Her father is a doctor who gets into all sorts of trouble trying to get involved in the investigations of the murders that occur in their area. Her uncle is a crime scene analyst who just happens to be more comfortable in a gorilla suit. Her cousin has a pet duck named Duck who goes broody in all the wrong places. There is a delightful bit of romantic comedy as well. The first book is Murder with Peacocks and Meg is trying to be the maid of honor in three weddings that are taking place within 2 weeks of each other. Oh and the brides, all seem to think it's her job to make thing go right. I love these books; they always make me laugh.
Mary Daheim- Bed and Breakfast mysteries
Carrie loaned these books to me. When we meet our heroine she's a 50 something lady trying to make a go of running a bed and breakfast out of her old family home. Her late husband ate himself to death. The love of her life, ran off on the eve of their wedding and got married in Vegas...but that was a very long time ago. Her cousin, is her regular side kick and together they make every effort to wrangle their mothers without going insane. The first book is Just Desserts. This series is notably more cynical about life, men, and human nature. However, I have enjoyed the sarcastic humor a great deal.
Kate Collins- Flower shop Mysteries
The female lead is a law school drop out who has purchased a flower shop and loves what she does. However, she has a habit of, dare we say, meddling. Her meddling leads her to big trouble when she gets involved in a murder. The series starts with Mum's the Word. I enjoyed the characters but had a hard time believing anyone could be quite that meddlesome and in someways stupid. I will read the second book because I got involved with the characters and then I will reassess. At this point, this seems to be my least favorite series.
Rhys Bowen- Constable Evans series.
A lot of good humored fun while still an interesting mystery. The series takes place in Llanfair, a Welsh village in the mountain country. The focus is a young copper named Evan Evans(Yes, he curses his parents naming preferences daily). Evan is the fourth of the Evans in the village, Evans-the-Meat (butcher) and Evans-the-milk, Evans-the-Post and now he is Evans-the-law. The presents of a young bachelor in a village provokes some rather amusing feminine wiles. The author has delightful characters with very human foibles. The first book in the series is "Evan Above" and yes all of the titles are some sort of pun on the hackney equivalent of 'Evan.
Hailey Lind- Art lovers mysteries.
This is an interesting premise: the heroine is a young lady who's artistic genius led her to paint an perfect copy of the Mona Lisa at a very young age, for which she is lauded. At 17, another copy lands her in a Parisian jail as a forger. Now 20 something she's struggling to overcome her reputation as a forger in the art world. Her strength, is that, as a former forger, she's an expert at deciphering fake from original. In the first book, Feint of Art, a $15 million purchase for the museum is a fake but everyone who knows it turns up dead, save her. The book is fast paced and wild but still believable. She gets caught frequently when doing stupid things and there truly is no honor amongst thieves. At points the action becomes overwhelming but it was a fun book all around.
Elizabeth Peters- Amelia Peabody Mysteries
Marian turned me onto this series which starts in the late 1800's and progresses forward. These mysteries are about an outspoken woman in her early 30's who in the first book, views herself, by the time's standards, as firmly on the shelf. She is everything a proper Victorian lady is not and proud of it. With her newly acquired fortune she decided to take herself to Egypt to see all the things she's only studied about. She rescues a young lady along the way and they head off to Egypt. By accident, they discover a love of archeology and some interesting companions. Miss Peabody is caustic to those she disdains but also quite warm hearted. She is a thoroughly lovable character. The series starts with Crocodile on the Sandbank. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series (And Marian I did find Curse of the Pharaohs and the Mummy Case at the used book store)
I already posted about Maggie Sefton's Knitting Mysteries. I enjoyed the first one a great deal and I'm forcing myself to read the other authors before I pick up the second book)
I also picked up the first book(s) in a couple of other mystery series, but haven't yet gotten to them:
Monica Ferris- Needlecraft mysteries (1. Crewel World)
Ellen Byerrum- A Crime of Fashion (1. Killer Hair)
Maddy Hunter- A Passport to Peril (I haven't found the first one yet but the main character is accompanied on her trip by her transgendered ex-husband Jackie. It sounds like a romp)(1. Alpine for you)
Michele Scott- Wine Lovers mysteries (1. Murder Uncorked)
Robin Paige- Victorian Mysteries (1. Death at Bishop's keep)
So... that's my reading in review.