Murderers’ row of holiday cozies

The holidays are here, and now is the perfect time to get into the spirit with a cozy mystery or two!

A body found in a chimney interrupts everyone’s holidays in “Death at Holly Lodge” by Louise R. Innes.

Daisy Thorner, a hair salon owner, is enjoying the holidays in her small hometown of Edgemead, England, and the excitement caused by pop star Mimi Levante, renovating the historic Holly Lodge in town. Everything seems to be going alright until a body dressed as Santa is discovered in the chimney — and is determined to be a man who disappeared two years ago. Now Daisy and handsome Detective Inspector Paul McGuiness have to start investigating old crimes to find out who made a father of two disappear for good.

With a picturesque setting and plenty of murder and mayhem, there’s some great holiday cozy to be had in this book.

“Death at Holly Lodge” is published by Kensington.


Who doesn’t love Christmas cookies? Someone must not as they are involved in a murder in “Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off” by Darci Hannah.

Lindsey Bakewell is ready to enjoy her first Christmas in her lighthouse/bakeshop cafe. Her town of Beacon Harbor is having a bake-off, and she’s determined to win. But while she soon finds balancing work, the holidays and a bake-off a bit hard, she’s soon got more than she bargained for when the judge for the contest is found dead and covered in Lindsey’s cookie’s crumbs. But she’s not a killer, so who is? It’s time for Lindsey to uncover a killer before she’s either in jail or the next on the killer’s naughty list!

There’s sweets and murderous schemes that will give cozy readers lots to enjoy in this seasonal treat.

“Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off” is published by Kensington.


A holiday yard display gets a murderous surprise in it in “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder” by Marai DiRico.

Mia Carina has her catering hall to manage and plenty of events coming up including a Nativity-themed birthday party and another birthday party for a teen who wants an over the top Sweet Sixteen. But not only is work out of hand, so is her life, as her estranged mother is back and her friend Jamie is hanging out with a man who claims to be his long-lost brother Lorenzo. All Mia needs is a murder thrown on top of all the chaos, and that is exactly what happens. Will Mia be able to solve the murder, get all the events done and sort out her personal life as well before Christmas arrives?

This is a funny story with plenty of madcap characters that cozy readers will enjoy.

“It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Murder” is published by Kensington.


A snowman holds a scary surprise inside in “Murder at the Mistletoe Ball” by J.D. Griffo.

Alberta and her crime-reporting granddaughter, Jinx, get a Christmas surprise in a visit from Alberta’s estranged daughter, Lisa Marie. But it isn’t just for a holiday visit, Lisa Marie wants the duo to put their sleuthing skills to work to track down her 21-year-old son Sergio, who went missing after taking up with a new woman named Natalie. While the two start doing some investigating, it’s also time for the town’s Mistletoe Ball, a holiday fundraiser. And somehow their search comes to a close at the ball — when Natalie appears dead inside of a snowman with Sergio hiding behind some Christmas trees. Can Alberta and Jinx find out who murdered the woman, or will Sergio be spending Christmas behind bars?

With a bit of a “Murder She Wrote” vibe and plenty of humor, this story will have cozy readers looking at snowmen a bit differently!

“Murder at the Mistletoe Ball” is published by Kensington.


Cats and donuts, what could be better for the holidays? The Deputy Donut series continues with “Deck the Donuts” by Ginger Bolton.

Emily is decorating her popular donut shop (and the donuts inside) for the town’s Ice and Lights Festival, including a sculpture of Frosty the Donut. But things can’t go smoothly for Emily, as a tour bus wrecks, leaving stranded passengers and an injured bus driver. While the town, including Emily, offers up space in their homes for the passengers, the bus driver turns up dead beneath Frosty the Donut. Because of course he did. While no one seemed to particularly like the driver, and even claim he was under the influence driving and that caused the crash, Emily soon discovers the man also had a past with the town. Can she and handsome detective Brent find the killer and still have time under the mistletoe?

There’s romance, murder and some holiday hijinks to be had in this cozy mystery.

“Deck the Donuts” is published by Kensington.

Amy Phelps can be reached at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com.


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