On Deadly Tides

On Deadly Tides by Elizabeth J. Duncan

The 11th Penny Brannigan title in the series is a cozy mystery set in the north of Wales. Our main character, Penny, has gone away on a painting weekend where she stumbles into a murder mystery by finding a dead body washed up on the shore. Like the other 10 titles preceding this one, On Deadly Tides fits squarely in the ‘cozy mystery’ category. As Penny conducts her amateur sleuthing, she meets an attractive single man who seems to return her interest. Although earlier Brannigan mysteries had some romantic interest for Penny, this one goes deeper and I was happily surprised at the development. More than the solving of the mystery, the familiar characters return from previous books and round out the story line. A satisfying, simple read. Enjoyable.

“Dead Water”

Dead Water (Shetland Island Quartet #5) by Ann Cleeves. This is #5 in the Shetland Island series. (#6 “Thin Air” is just being released). Another location, cozy mystery set in the Shetland Islands starring police detective Jimmy Perez. He has been on leave since the last novel, since his fiancee was killed and he has been entrusted to help raise the 7 year-old daughter she left behind.  “Dead Water” begins with the dead body of a journalist found in a boat. Soon after the body of John Henderson, to be married in 6 days, is discovered. Evie was the girlfriend and fiancee of both men. What is the connection to the deaths of the two men? Jimmy reluctantly comes out of his self-imposed leave to help track down the killers.  Under the watch of a new female detective, Willow, Jimmy knows the island ways and people and finds ways to get people to talk that noone else can.

Ann Cleeves’ novels have been made into a popular TV series in England (Vera Stanhope starring Brenda Blethyn). I hear a TV series of the Shetland books is in the makings, too. Fans of Alexander McCall Smith might enjoy Cleeves’ novels as well.

Steeped in Evil by Laura Childs

This title is # 15 in the “Tea Shop Mystery” series.The owner of a charming tea shop in Charleston, South Carolina, Theodosia Browning, solves murder mysteries in her spare time away from her shop. This title centers on the death of a local winery owner’s son, who is found in a barrel of wine at a community tasting. Theodosia and her sidekick, Drayton, an older man and co-worker, investigate the locals thoroughly in order to find the murderer. This series definitely falls in the “cozy mystery” genre and is perfect for anyone who wants a mystery on the quieter side. Also included are recipes for the food served in the tea shop during the novel, tea time tips, tea publications, websites and interesting blogs, including Downtonabbeycooks.com (for fans of the show).