Thursday Reviews: One Book in the Grave & Hollywood Homicide

One Book in the Grave, by Kate Carlisle

51w3wvqvdll._sy346_One Book in the Grave is the first book in Kate Carlisle’s cozy, Bibliophile Mystery series.  It opens with the line, “Hello. My name is Brooklyn Wainwright and I am a book addict.” Being a bit of a book addict myself, Carlisle won me over immediately. There are lots of fascinating bookmaking details in this story and I like it when I get to learn something new when I’m reading a mystery. Filled with endearing, quirky characters the cozy made me smile a lot.

The plot is truly intriguing and the men are sexy, but I found myself slowing down in the middle. The banter between the characters became predictable and tiring. I give it four stars and I’m posting my review on Amazon, Bookbub, and Goodreads.

I recommend this book for younger cozy mystery lovers.


Hollywood Homicide, by Kellye Garrett

51t10xrtstlHollywood Homicide, the first book in the Detective by Day series, won the Lefty in 2018 (i.e., an award was given at the Left Coast Crime Conference) and the second book in the series is nominated for a Lefty in 2019, so I had to read one for myself.

I quickly learned that Hollywood Homicide also won the 2018 Anthony award and the 2017 Agatha award for the best first novel.

I was impressed. Filled with quick-witted one-liners and humorous situations Hollywood Homicide made me smile a lot. Consider this line, “Hollywood is high school with prettier clothes and better lunch options.”

The story opens with the down-and-out heroine, Dayna Anderson, applying for a job as a half-naked barista. She has three one-dollar bills left to her name, her father is losing the family home, and her once lucrative job as an actress is over. That’s when she sees a fifteen thousand dollar reward posted for information about a deadly hit and run accident, which she almost witnessed.

While I enjoyed the humor, I found the banter repetitive and predictable, I think, to be fair to the writer it’s aimed at a younger audience. I give it 4 stars and I’m posting my review on Amazon, Bookbub, and Goodreads.

As always, click the covers for a buy link.


Do you like your murders cozy?

Here is a hilarious discussion about Cozy Mysteries

“Cozy mysteries, also referred to simply as “cozies,” are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community. The term was first coined in the late 20th century when various writers produced work in an attempt to re-create the Golden Age of Detective Fiction” (Wikipedia)

I love the discussion in the You Tube Clip above. As Craig Ferguson says a cozy mystery, “… sounds quite sexy.”

I confess I am pulled by the genre, because:

1. You know you know who did it, but you don’t know who did it. This intrigues me from the opening to the end.

2. All the characters are regular folk (Think: Murder She Wrote). They’re like your neighbors, except one of them is dead and another one is a murderer. When you place the most heinous of crimes – murder – in the middle of an ordinary group of people it exaggerates it in wonderfully dark ways, making the murder more despicable, more abhorrent… more evil. And above all more scary.

3. I always think I have a chance of figuring out who-done-it. The stories don’t just entertain me, they challenge me. I become a detective.

My favorite old-time cozy mystery writer is Agatha Christie. I have fond memories of reading her stories as the wind howled outside in the wilderness of the Haida Gwaii. Her stories made me want to write mysteries. Heck, I’ll be honest, her plots make me drool.

My current cozy mystery fave is Cleo Coyle (Coffeehouse mysteries). The books are written by a husband and wife team. They’re funny, devious and full of coffee trivia. What more could I ask for? When I’m tired they comfort me like a well-worn quilt.

Over all, I consider myself to be an eclectic reader, but I like to slide into the world of a cozy at least once a month.

 Your turn. Do you like Cozy Mysteries? Which authors do you read?