The most recent cozy mysteries I’ve read feature gay and lesbian besties of the books’ main characters. They lead interesting lives and do a bit more than pop over to Ms. Amateur Sleuth’s with a quip and invaluable insights.
Died in the Wool by Melinda Mullet
Series: A Whisky Business Mystery, #4
Died in the Wool is the first book of I’ve read from Melinda Mullet’s “Whisky Business” mystery series. Abigail “Abi” Logan is starting to get the hang of things at the Scottish whisky distillery she inherited from her uncle. Between whisky-ed at a university in Edinburgh, her new role on the board of a women’s shelter, and her unsettled love life, there’s a lot to enjoy. Abi also hosts an unofficial rest home for elderly sheep on her estate. Each sheep is named after a writer xD <333 A well-characterized cast of friends, coworkers, townsfolk, add to the mystery’s charm and lived-in feel. The progression of events sends Abi back and forth between city and countryside, giving readers the best of both worlds.
Whodunnit? The death of a shelter resident is more than suspicious, especially after a relocation of the facility is treated as a foregone conclusion by the building’s landlord and fellow board member. Abi investigates, despite repeated demands that she leave it to the police. She doesn’t go it alone, however, as any good amateur sleuth worth her salt has an equally good crew beside her. Melinda Mullet spins a yarn in which separating the culprit from a flock of plausible suspects is a wonderful challenge. Are anyone’s hands clean? Maybe. Maybe not.
While cozy mysteries are good at recapping events from previous installments (making it so you don’t necessarily have to go back and read ones you missed; though personally I feel like I miss out on character & story building if I skip), I’m looking forward to rewinding and reading the first three in this series.
BFFs: Patrick & Abi
Patrick Cooke, Abi’s friend from her days as an investigative journalist, is the editor-in-chief for the Whisky Journal, an Edinburgh-based industry publication. The two BFFs brainstorm ideas, divide and conquer information sources, and share glasses of finely distilled spirits. Heartbroken over a recent breakup, Patrick rebounds with the chef of a trendy new restaurant. While I was reading I imagined Mathew Horne; probably because he plays Agatha Raisin’s BFF Roy Silver in the BBC adaptation of MC Beaton’s series. (He’s fantastic)
The Bodies in the Library by Marty Wingate
Series: A First Edition Library Mystery, #1
Expected publication date: October 8, 2019
Fans of “Golden Age” mysteries written by female authors will connect the title of Marty Wingate‘s inaugural “First Edition Library Mystery“: The Bodies in the Library with Agatha Christie’s The Body in the Library. Wingate delivers a charming new cozy mystery, featuring a relatable amateur sleuth, that fans of books about books and stories set in England will especially enjoy.
Hayley Burke, curator #2 of the First Edition Society in Bath, England, has her hands full with reinvigorating the society after a rocky start. Charged with building up the society by connecting its collection of Golden Age mysteries with the public, Hayley is beset on all sides by a stringent coworker, an odious heir, a knotty love life, and of course, a rather rudely placed dead body. The beleaguered curator, meanwhile, has a secret of her own that the murder investigation may bring to light…
Bath is peopled with memorable characters, including members of an Agatha Christie fan fiction group, Society secretary Glynis Woolgar, and Hayley’s best friend and Society Board member, Adele. Key characters are introduced, along with nuggets from Hayley’s life and seeds for future series’ installments.
BFFs: Adele and Hayley
Adele Babbage, FES Board member ally, local school teacher, and stealth matchmaker. She and Hayley bonded over their shared experiences working at The Jane Austen Society. While they escaped wearing period costumes on the job, Adele was known to sport a terrific t-shirt: Was Jane Austen a Lesbian??? The pair often escape to their favorite go-to pub, The Raven. Adele’s current crush could be a murderer…. Hopefully she’ll make more appearances in future installments.