Tiffany Walsh shares her plan to indulge in some favorite cozy reads this summer. What are you reading?
I’m not entirely certain why the start of summer inspires me to chart out a reading plan for the months ahead, but it always does. I think part of it is the slower pace of life without school routines in the mix, and also the opportunity to sit during the warmest parts of the afternoon and read for a spell when it’s too hot in our un-air-conditioned home to do much else. Sometimes, I’ll pick a theme for my summer reading list -- this sort of organization is part of my nerdy nature as a librarian.
This year the theme is Cozy Reads. Are you intrigued and would like some ideas for your own summer reading? Read on!
Cozy fiction refers to a sub-genre within mysteries in which the narrative is quite wholesome and sans violent descriptions, and the action takes place in a small community surrounding a specific hobby or interest. My favorite cozy mystery writer is Amanda Flower, and she has a new book out this summer in her Amish Candy Shop series that I’ve been delightedly following. This series features Bailey, a talented chocolatier who moves from New York City to small-town Ohio to help her Amish grandmother when her grandfather falls ill. The latest book is Marshmallow Malice, and I highly recommend this sweet and fun series!
I’m also currently reading an earlier trilogy of Amanda’s, the Living History Museum Mysteries, available right now for a special price on Amazon Kindle. These books feature a historical museum director and the Civil War re-enactors that she seasonally employs. I know very little about historical re-enactments, and am learning a lot just from reading these books! I’m currently on the second book, called The Final Tap, which takes place during maple sugaring season on the museum farmland. I absolutely love escaping to this world!
I am a fiber arts crafter, and so cozy mysteries set around knitting and crocheting always appeal to me. My favorite cozy knitting community is the Seaside Knitters Mysteries by Sally Goldenbaum, and she has just started a new series within this same group called the Seaside Knitters Society. The first book is waiting for me on my Kindle, and is called Murder Wears Mittens. These books all take place in a small New England town, and the quaint setting calls to me each time I read one of these books. For crochet mysteries, I enjoy Betty Hechtman’s books, and I currently have By Hook or By Crook on my Kindle. This is book 3 in her Crochet Mystery series; she also has a series featuring a yarn retreat center. Doesn’t that sound delightful?
As I mentioned, I am a librarian, so I would be remiss if I failed to mention Miranda James’ Cat in the Stacks mystery series. Murder Past Due is the first book in the series, and there are quite a few, so there’s a lot of library centered reading to be had this summer!
Not cozy fiction, but also on my list this summer owing to a Lord of the Rings kick I’ve been on, is J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography, by Humphrey Carpenter. I love reading biographies and memoirs, so this fits my reading happy place as well!
Do you have a summer reading list or a summer reading theme? Are there any cozy mystery writers that you follow? I would love to hear from you in the comments!
About the Author
Tiffany Walsh is a wife and mother, a native western New Yorker, and a college librarian. She is a cradle Catholic who rekindled her childhood faith as a graduate student via her love of books, and is the author of Exploring the Catholic Classics, part of the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women series. She enjoys writing about faith, crafting, dance, fitness and wellness. Visit her blog at Life of a Catholic Librarian.