First of all, I love reading cozy mysteries. I started out like a lot of others, reading Agatha Christie. One of my bookshelves is still taken up with lots of her Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple novels. I even read my share of Tommy and Tuppence.
After I ran out of her novels, I discovered Martha Grimes and Elizabeth George, Nancy Pickard and Carolyn Hart. I fell in love with M.C. Beaton’s Hamish MacBeth. I finally ventured into reading a few grittier mysteries—Barbara Hambly’s historical FEVER SEASON and Caleb Carr’s THE ALIENIST, among others, but when I’m in the mood to read just for pleasure, I turn to a cozy.
I like the feeling of a small world that they create—a small town, a village, a hamlet—a place where people know one another. I also like tripping over dead bodies instead of vividly watching the murder as it happens. I appreciate shock value occasionally. I just finished reading J.D. Robb’s first gritty futuristic mystery, NAKED IN DEATH, and being a voyeur can be fun sometimes. But again, when I want to curl on the couch and relax, I’d rather have all the gory details off-stage. Continue reading “Why I love writing cozy mysteries by Judi Lynn”
I grew up in Ohio, in a family of four. My grandparents on both sides also lived in Ohio and it was about a four-hour drive (felt like forever to us) in either direction to visit them. These long drives were before iPods and iPads and DVD players in cars. My father didn’t even like to play music. It was either boring news, silence, or arguments. My sister and I were left with books, playing I Spy, or SEE ABOVE: (Arguments). On the trip to my father’s parents in Ashtabula Ohio, there were two things we looked forward to on the ride. One was McDonald’s half-way through, (double cheeseburger, large fries, vanilla shake) and the other was just before we turned on the road to my grandparents’ house. It was a large white barn set off the road with a giant sign: TRASH OR TREASURES.
Trash or Treasures was basically a large flea market in a barn. Filled with dusty shelves and old items, for me it was truly like being on an adventure in search of treasure. I loved getting lost in the dark over-sized barn, searching the shelves for a bit of magic, something that sparked or spoke to me, pawing through glass bottles, and door knobs, and old photographs of strangers. Continue reading “Trash or Treasure by Carlene O’Connor”
Spend the day at the zoo. Pretend you can secretly talk to one species of animal. The first animal you make direct eye contact with– that’s the one you can secretly talk to. Imagine you’re there to give them a message– and get one back from them. Imagine. Everyone else is just there to see the giraffes and eat greasy food. You are on a mission. I can’t wait to see what wisdom the wild animals have for me today.
I’ve always wanted to own a telescope. I’ve lived in too many cities to make it worth it, unless I want to be one of those creepy people spying into condo windows. Although that does sound fascinating for a writer, it’s still a bridge too far. So this summer I’m going to have to make it somewhere with open, clear skies, and do some star gazing. It’s good for the soul. Continue reading “Things to Try this Summer by Carlene O’Connor”
My friends and family know that I’m a writer, and they know how much I love mysteries. We’ve taken a small bedroom at the back of our house and turned it into an office for me, and we lined it with bookshelves. The shelves aren’t just crammed with books, but I showcase some of the wonderful gifts I’ve been given that tie into my writing, too.
I love Agatha Christie, so my husband bought me a clever teapot that looks like a writer’s desk. The piece of paper in the typewriter has words “typed” on it from one of Christie’s novels. The pages tossed in the wastebasket are filled with her words, too. A handgun lies on manuscript pages. Here’s what it looks like:
My sisters bought me a typewriter, too, with little mice scampering across the keys. Continue reading “My Inspirations by Judi Lynn”
The name sounds complicated, but this is an easy recipe to follow. These cookies are just the sort of treat Mrs. Hubbard would bake for teatime at Storyton Hall.
Imagine that it’s mid-afternoon, and you’d like to take a break and read for a few minutes. Well, nothing goes better with a cozy mystery than a cookie and a cup of tea or coffee. In my mind, this mid-afternoon break food is best when it can be eaten with one hand. That way, you don’t have to put down your book.
These cookies fit the bill. After you bite off the chocolate-Nutella-dipped end, you can dunk the rest of your goodie in your hot beverage. Presto! Your day just got a little cozier.
- 1 cup salted butter, cold and cut up into pieces
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract (if you’d prefer the nut taste to be milder, use vanilla extract)
- ½ cup pecan pieces (I put mine in the food processor to get them nice and small)
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup Nutella
- ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 1 Tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
Continue reading “Chocolate-Nutella Dipped Pecan Shortbread Sticks By Ellery Adams”