Summer Murders

This summer I have decided to keep track of some of my favorite murder mysteries. So far, I have read sixteen. Not too shabby since I read a lot of other material as well.

Here they are:

1. An Ex to Grind in Deadwood (Deadwood Humorous Mystery Book 5)
Charles, Ann *

2. Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21)
Evanovich, Janet *

3. Death Without Company (Walt Longmire, #2)
Johnson, Craig

4. Ten Big Ones (Stephanie Plum, #10)
Evanovich, Janet *

5. To the Nines (Stephanie Plum, #9)
Evanovich, Janet *

6. Hot Six (Stephanie Plum, #6)
Evanovich, Janet *

7. The Great Jackalope Stampede (Jackrabbit Junction Mystery Series #3)
Charles, Ann *

8. Four to Score (Stephanie Plum, #4)
Evanovich, Janet *

9. One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, #1)
Evanovich, Janet *

10. Jackrabbit Junction Jitters (A Jackrabbit Junction Mystery #2)
Charles, Ann *

11. Better Off Dead In Deadwood (Deadwood Mystery # 4)
Charles, Ann *

12. Sweet Tea Revenge (A Tea Shop Mystery, #14)
Childs, Laura

13. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency #1)
Smith, Alexander McCall *

14. Blackberry Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen, #17)
Fluke, Joanne *

15. The Cold Dish (Walt Longmire, #1)
Johnson, Craig

16. For Love of Livvy (An Esposito Mystery #1)
Griffin, J.M.

UPDATE: Up to 20

17. Red Velvet Cake Murders (Hannah Swensen #16)”
Fluke, Joanne

18. Catering to Nobody (A Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery #1)
Davidson, Diane Mott *

19. Dying For Chocolate (A Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery, # 2)
Davidson, Diane Mott *

20. The Cereal Murders (A Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery, #3)
Davidson, Diane Mott *


Reading “grown-up” books

Janet Evanovich at a book signing at Borders B...

Janet Evanovich at a book signing at Borders Books and Music in Braintree, Massachusetts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am always hesitant to write “adult books” because people raise an eyebrow and I have to explain, “adult books are for grown ups to read, not pornography.”

I have admitted my unhealthy addiction to cozy books but I have to confess that I enjoy quirky ‘girl-kick-butt’ kind of books as well.

Janet Evanovich‘s Stephanie Plum series is one of those quirky series I enjoy reading. Just a bit raunchy but most definitely funny. Stephanie is just a neighborhood girl who needs to pay her bills, have a boyfriend, and visit family on a regular basis. Some crudeness, language, and sexual content included. Stephanie works as a bounty hunter for her somewhat sleazy uncle and teams up with the ex-prostitute file clerk in her office to catch her criminal. The criminals are just as colorful. Stephanie is torn between her mainstream cop boyfriend and her ex-coworker of a darker, shadier past. Mom, Dad, and Grandma round out her family on a regular basis as she tries to be as normal as possible. Not happening.

A photograph of Deadwood in 1876. General view...

Ann Charles’ Deadwood Mysteries series is another quirky series located in the wilds of South Dakota. Violet Parker is a single mom trying to stay afloat as a real estate agent while holding her personal life together as a single mother of two rowdy, rambunctious children. Her son keeps digging things up, literally, and her daughter keeps trying to find her a husband. Neither is she interested in. Living with her artist aunt, Vi is trying to start over in Deadwood. She meets interesting clients and sell houses, or tries to anyway. If the haunted houses of Deadwood didn’t make it hard to sell, the clients may be out to kill her first. The friends she has, girlfriend with questionable morals, and the new friends she makes, client/bodyguard/curmudgeon/ghost-whisperer…well, you get it. They are a motley crew.

I have also started reading new indie-authors who are self publishing. Some of these authors can be found on CleanAuthors and others I have discovered on GoodReads. Take advantage of free reads on Barnes & Noble and Amazon or the 99 cent sales to be found to discover some of these new authors.


Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum, #18) by Janet Evanovich

Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum, #18) by Janet Evanovich.

I really like the characters in the books. They are fun and quirky. This particular episode into the life of Stephanie Plum actually made me laugh out loud. Stephanie is a skip tracer/bounty hunter who seems to have the worst luck and the best friends. Lula the ‘ho, Uncle Vinnie, Ranger, Connie, Morelli and her parents round out her crazy life. She is constantly torn between two men and her morals aren’t particularly strong. She just wants to do her job, get paid and maybe make up her mind about which guy she wants to become monogamous with. Fun books to read for a laid back summer.