Die-eting

I was lucky it was my day off today because I was too sick to go to work. The creeping cold is seeping out of my head and down towards my lungs – sniffle-cough-sniffff.  Since it’s also a grey rainy day, I’ve been craving comfort food, like the chocolate pudding my grandmother used to make for me when I was sick, and resisting the urge to find solace in calories.

All this made Carbs and Cadavers, a re-release of a mystery written by Ellery Adams and originally published under the nom de plume JB Stanley, the perfect read for the day.

James, our hero, is a fat, divorced, and lonely librarian who joins a diet supper club of other less-than-slender people – the Flab Five. He’s hoping to gain friends and lose pounds but he certainly doesn’t expect to nearly lose his life tracking down a murderer.

The themes of friendship and temptation run strong through the book, something the author excels at, and the characters and their flaws were a welcome relief from some of the too-perfect heroines we often find in cozy mysteries. The second in the series, Fit to Die, has also been re-released and will head to the top of my TBR pile.

In the meantime, I’m going to make a bowl of air-popped popcorn, chase it with coffee and Benadryl, and try very hard not to think about chocolate pudding.

Required disclaimer: I was provided an advance reader’s Kindle copy of the book through NetGalleyNote in exchange for an honest review, which is what this is. If you are interested in reading the book and you click on its title in this blog, I may get a few pennies to help fund my reading habit. #Carbs&cadavers #NetGalley

A different discomfort

There are days when you don’t feel well and just want to huddle under a blanket with  a comfortable read.  This time I picked Southern Discomfort by Caroline Fardig off my digital shelf. It’s the start of a news series by the author of the popular Java Jive mysteries.

Despite an overused title, Southern Discomfort is a bit different from the usual paranormal cozy. It does have a plucky heroine, but Quinn tries desperately not to rush in blindly, and she’s the one who doesn’t see the resident ghost at the B&B she runs with her sister and grandfather, and she doesn’t believe that they do, either. The plot flows well, the language is clean, there are nice bits of Savannah lore, and the rocky beginning of a romance. Oh, and a murder is solved as well.

The victim was a surly character who isn’t missed by many, leaving a nice number of suspects. I picked out whodunnit fairly early but there was enough misdirection that I was second-guessing myself and happy at the end that I’d figured it out instead of irritated that it was so obvious.

There are the requisite comfortably quirky characters and I’m hoping to see more of the grandfather in future books. The mother, though, could be replaced with a cat – she was annoying.

All in all, it was good book to read while I endure a head cold and I’ll be looking for the future books in the series to read even when I feel well.

Required disclaimer: I was provided an advance reader’s Kindle copy of the book through NetGalleyNote in exchange for an honest review, which is what this is. If you are interested in reading the book and you click on the title link in this blog, I may get a few pennies to help fund my reading habit. #SouthernDiscomfort #NetGalley

Out of Egypt

Sometimes, when you need to retreat from the world, it’s good to visit an old friend – like Amelia Peabody Emerson in Deeds of the Disturber.

Unlike most of the books in the series, this one isn’t set in Egypt. Instead, it follows the family back to England where they encounter foul deeds, including murder, at the museum while caring at home for Peabody’s unlovely nephew and niece.

I missed being in Egypt, and Abdullah, and the Master Criminal Sethos. London seemed so much stodgier, though not less fraught with danger, than the desert around the pyramids. But that didn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the book. I did, immensely.

It’s just the late Elizabeth Peters, who in real life was Dr. Barbara Mertz with a degree in Egyptology, made the pyramids, hotels, wadis, and alleys of Egypt so real that could feel the desert heat and smell the stink of unwashed donkeys (at least unwashed until Peabody got her hands on them.

If all of this has you wondering instead of nodding your head knowingly, you might want to start your adventures with Peabody and Emerson with the first book of the series, The Crocodile on the Sandbank.

I haven’t got a clue…

…but I plan to find some as I explore the worlds of cozy mysteries, nibble on some brownies, sip a little coffee, and assure the cats that their supper has not been forgotten.

I began reading mysteries as a child, devouring the Nancy Drew series before moving on to Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L. Sayers, and oh so many others. I explored locked rooms, found my way through classic puzzlers, processed procedurals, and finally, with a sigh of relief, wrapped myself in cozy mysteries.

I still read other types of mysteries with some history, biography, and fantasy thrown in for variety, but there is nothing so comforting as a good cozy. I take mine with chocolate, a cup or two of coffee, and a purring cat. How do you take yours?