How? How have I never run across M.C. Beaton? A number of circumstances led me to her, happily so. First, a new customer, new to Manitowoc, who is working on her masters long distance through a university in the United Kingdom mentioned her. After she and her husband spent 20 minutes decoding the secrets to utilizing my TV and DVD player so I could watch an episode of "Grantchester", she asked if I had ever seen "Agatha Raisin". Second, I watched "Agatha Raisin" on PBS and was quickly hooked. Then, at our Friday night book discussion, Mary said that she had read all the AR books and since I was headed to the library on Saturday to return Pete (more on that in a minute,) I decided to pick one up.
It's OK with me that PBS decided Agatha had to be younger and less frumpy than Beaton portrays her. Agatha left her high profile London PR firm to move to a Cotswold village.. Little did she know she would spend her days bumbling, flirting, gossiping and stumbling across dead bodies. In this particular book, she simply hopes to kindle a romance with a new neighbor while investigating rumors of a haunting. Paul turns out to be a cad, the rumors prove false, but there is a murder which she sets to investigating despite warnings from the local authorities to stay out of it.
The Raisin books are typical cozy mysteries - fun, quick reads. You won't find bloody crime scenes or partially decomposed bodies in these books. Sex takes place behind closed door. Much like Agatha, the sleuths are generally women, and all have a primary job - dog walker, tea shop owner, caterer, librarian, scrapbooker. There's a cozy mystery series for just about every occupation and interest. There are even cozies with Wisconsin connections. Here's a list of those for you:
Mystery authors who feature
in their books:
Allyson K. Abbott (aka
Ryan & ): Mack’s
Bar Mystery Series –
Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton is the owner of a bar who serves up justice. Beth Amos
Laura Alden: PTA Mystery Series –
is the owner of a children’s
bookstore. Beth Kennedy
Sandra Balzo: Maggy Thorsen Mystery Series – Maggy is a woman who runs her own coffee shop while solving crimes.
Mystery Series –
is a retired nurse who volunteers at the local free clinic. Kay Driscoll
Christine DeSmet: Fudge Shop Mystery Series –
is the owner of a copper-kettle
fudge shop who sleuths while sharing space in her grandpa’s bait shop. Ava Oosterling
Mystery Series – Chloe is the curator of a living
history museum in Chloe Ellefson
during the 1980s. Wisconsin
Fishing Mystery Series – Loon Lake
is the police chief who enjoys fly fishing while thinking up whodunnit. Lewellyn Ferris
Mary Grace Murphy: Noshes Up North Mystery Series –
is a retired turned food blogger
who lives in Nell Bailey . Wisconsin
Hannah Reed (aka
Baker): Queen Bee Mystery Series –
manages her bees while also managing to solve mysteries. Story Fischer
Annelise Ryan (aka Allyson K. Abbott & Beth Amos): Mattie Winston Mystery Series –
is an ex-nurse who currently serves as a deputy coroner, which comes in handy
in her investigations.
Pete the Cat stopped by LaDeDa on Saturday to dance and visit. Here he is with my buddy, Wyatt. We sure had fun and I have to thank the Manitowoc Public Library for making Pete's visit possible. I wish you could have seen the kids' faces when Pete walked into the store. I think they were picturing a little cat in a yellow shirt, and were surprised to see how big he was - at least 6 feet - (we measured him against a 5"12' friend who came with Wyatt). Pete signed autographs and posed for pictures. He even stuck around after most people had left so he could dance again with two friends, one who arrived late and missed the dance party, and another who was too shy to dance with the other 20+ kinds who were here. That Pete. What a guy.
Thanks for stopping by.