It isn’t any wonder I love cozy mysteries with strong female sleuths and quirky characters. Growing up in a small town with plenty of delightful, if not sometimes cantankerous people and a mother who loved reading P.D. James, Agatha Christie, and Martha Grimes, I naturally read what she passed down and listened attentively as stories were passed around the kitchen table. My fate was happily sealed and I tried my hand at writing for the first time in second grade. Many years later, I picked the bug up again and tried to write about what I know: good friends, art, antiques, and small towns.
Helen and Martha Mystery Series
By Sigrid Vansandt
The Helen and Martha cozy mysteries are about the value of true friendship no matter when it finds us in life. Set in beautiful Yorkshire, England, these two new friends find themselves solving unexpected mysteries surrounding valuable art and lost manuscripts. It’s a fun, light-hearted cozy series with plenty of adventure, romance, and a dash of history
I enjoyed every minute if this book. These two ladies crack me. They are funny, interesting, and they sure do get into trouble at the drop of a hat. These are not really cozy mysteries, those usually aren’t as dark and the plots in a cozy are pretty mundane. This book was a bit dark in places, but I read a lot darker stuff (Reichs, Cornwell, Grisham, Coulter) so I wasn’t bothered by the violence. Unique characters, surprises, and a few laughs made this an enjoyable read on a cold winter day.
It’s a beautiful summer and the busy village of Marsden-Lacey, England, has murder on its mind. Someone just whacked everyone’s least favorite villager, Sir Carstons, on his villainous head. That’s when American expats, paralegal Martha Littleword and book expert Helen Ryes, find themselves knee-deep in Yorkshire murder. Spirited empty-nesters, they throw their newbie detective hats into the ring, only to discover that a murder mystery can quickly turn from adventurous lark into personal peril.
With a dash of Southern charm and humor, and the help of a few quirky villagers, the girls just might survive. They’ll also have to figure out how to handle the local catch-of-the-day, Piers Cousins, and the cantankerous Chief of Police, DCI Johns. Will they or won’t they? If they do, they might solve a murder, or two, along with a hundred-year-old mystery involving a Brontë sister and a famous piece of English history.
Thank you and Happy reading!
“We’ve got gypsies!” Old Grimsy, Marsden-Lacey’s cantankerous town gossip, warns the patrons of The Traveller’s Inn one golden autumn afternoon. Soon, the quaint Yorkshire village is playing host to a family of exotic Romanis, three colorful narrowboats, and a rough bunch of Russian mafiosos who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on a royal treasure lost to time.
Martha Littleword and Helen Ryes find themselves up to their necks in chasing mobsters, running from Russians, inciting ghostly visitations and wreaking havoc in their love lives. Chief Johns has his work cut out for him keeping the villagers from rioting, corralling two adventure-loving Southern girls and investigating the frightful deaths of two innocent women who knew too much.
For good measure, Martha and Helen will throw in some sassiness, mix well with laughter, and add three heaping helpings of love from two cats and one fearless canine hero, Amos. It’s mystery and high jinks that only two Southern women can pull off with fun, flair, and the occasional bowl of jambalaya served cajun style.
Thank you and Happy Reading!
Snow is falling, puddings are rising and hearts are heating up in Marsden-Lacey this Christmas. Helen and Martha enter the village’s First Annual Pudding and Pie Bake-Off and quickly find themselves up to their elbows in meringue, marmalade, and murder.
But before the baking teams square off, the girls are invited to a lonely, ancient estate to evaluate a manuscript that’s been buried in a dusty Jacobean library for hundreds of years. Martha is sure the old house is haunted and Helen wants Mr. Brickstone, their client, to keep his hands to himself.
The girls will have to blend no-nonsense Southern charm with Yorkshire grit to avoid running afoul of a half-baked killer. With a sprinkle of fun and a dash of love, Martha and Helen will tempt hearts and try to taste sweet success at the most treacherous bake-off Yorkshire has ever whipped up.
Thank You and Happy Reading!
Martha and Helen are having a spring to die for!
Helen’s ex-husband, George, has arrived to stir up trouble, and Martha gets sentenced to anger management classes for her illicit gun-wielding issues. Sounds like a pair of good reasons to get out of town, so when they’re invited to Germany to be guests on the beloved talk show, “Get Going with Gotts,” they happily accept.
Is stardom in their future? The girls hotly disagree, but when they get a call from a retired librarian who saw them on TV and is in desperate need of their help, Helen and Martha buck-up, kiss-up, and bring their A-game to retrieve a Da Vinci masterpiece. Hopefully, the girls will solve the mystery and make it home in time for a much-anticipated wedding…Helen’s!
It’s a ripping, good race across Europe to grab a priceless treasure coveted for centuries by popes, emperors, aristocrats and conmen alike. Come along for another Martha and Helen adventure but pack light: comfy chair, hot tea and plenty of chocolate.
Thank You and Happy reading!
“There doesn’t seem to be a person on board he hasn’t inflicted hurt upon…”-Martha Littleword
What does a famous rock star, a wealthy software engineer, a Swedish boat captain and Helen Ryes-Cousins all have in common? Murder!
When Reny Redfern, a vicious extortionist and corporate blackguard, is killed aboard the elegant Luxemotor hotel barge, The Caledonian Queen, everyone is a suspect—especially Helen.
Invited for a luxury trip up the bewitching Caledonian canal, Martha and Helen are asked to assess the value of a rare sixteenth-century manuscript. But it’s all a ruse. Their chic-trip goes deadly when someone stuffs a dead man in Helen’s closet and uses her clothes steamer to cosh him on the head.
The deep, mysterious lochs of Scotland may have fish, but none are as big as the one being used to bait in a monster.
Grab a cup of tea, tuck yourself in somewhere cozy, and nibble on a few pieces of shortbread. The girls are on an adventure of Highland proportions.
Thank You and Happy reading!
“There’s gold in them thar hills, but if you know what’s good for ya, leave it be. It belongs to The People and they don’t take kindly to anyone sniffin’ around in those mountains.”
—Ned ‘Tater’ Potter
“Nice lookin’ fellow, too. She found him curled up like a baby behind a pile of ammo in an exhibit at the Briar Ridge Military Park with an Arkansas Toothpick run through his back.”
When Martha’s Aunt Tilda runs afoul of a Cuban mafioso, the wig-loving queen of the poker tournament circuit goes on the run with her partner in crime, Jackie ‘Boy’ Divine. Terrified they will end up as divalicious shark bait, Tilda calls in Helen and Martha to find a priceless family heirloom, a sapphire and ruby necklace, she hopes will pay off her gambling debt.
The Roller Necklace is worth a king’s ransom, but it has a stormy past. Duchesses, pirates, bushwhackers, and lovers down through history have brushed up against its magic only to hold it for a short time. Now lost for over a hundred and fifty years, the necklace lies deep in a cave on Bob’s Knob, a rugged, pine tree-laden hill in the Ozark Mountains.
Enlisting the help of an irascible mountain man and a tough-as-nails water department manager, Helen and Martha race to find the necklace’s last resting place before The People can get their hands on it. This treasure hunt isn’t for the faint of heart. Come along for the girl’s southern homecoming, but beware. There are watchers in the woods, human and feline, and both have murder on their minds.
The Willow Valley Mystery Series
By Sigrid Vansandt
The Willow Valley series features a small, charming Midwestern town, its lively characters, and the kind-hearted Sonya Caruthers who with the help of her dog, Willard and her ghost companion, Laird Fritswilliam Dunbar, solves cozy mysteries with a paranormal twist. She’s a great cook and an even better gardener, two things I’d love to be.
Five stars for the Novel and Five Laughing Stars for the dialog that had me in stitches. I ended not even caring if there was a murder or not…just wanted the book to continue. I hope this becomes a series. I’ll look at her other series now.
Got ghosts? The Whispering Pines RV Park does and this ghost is looking for love in all the wrong places. When poor Mr. Pepper wakes up to the loving snuggles of a ghostly femme fatale, his dead wife isn’t happy and does her best to kick the interloper to the curb. That’s when the park’s owner calls in Sonya Caruthers, local ghost whisperer. Sonya’s on the job to convince the ghoulish home wrecker to rest in peace somewhere other than Mr. Pepper’s bed.
But when human bones are uncovered at the site of the RV park’s new pool, the police get involved. They aren’t crazy about a spirit therapist sticking her nose into their murder investigation. Sonya has to move fast. Ghosts can turn dark if they’re left to wander. She’ll need all the help she can get from her two best friends, Lord Fitswilliam Dunbar, a dead but definitely high-spirited Scottish Laird, and her adorable little dog, Willard. These two don’t always get along, but when dealing with the living and the dead, they’ve got Sonya’s back.
Come share in the hometown hijinks. Don’t forget to bring a healthy appetite for good food, romantic entanglements, and some lighthearted adventure. There’s always room for one more at Sonya’s kitchen table.
Thank You and Happy Reading!
It is Dog Days in Willow Valley and every dog lover for miles around is fluffing and grooming their favorite canine in hopes of winning the coveted Golden Paw Award. Unfortunately, competition is breeding malice and even murder in this pretty midwestern town known for its Victorian charm and beautiful gardens.
Sonya Caruthers, the resident ghost wrangler, and Sheriff Zeb Walker are up against a rabid serial killer who’ll stop at nothing to be top-dog in Willow Valley. With a little help from their friends, both human, canine and ghostly, Sonya and Zeb put on their deer-stalker caps and track down a cold-blooded murderer.
Get ready for high-spirits, pups-on-parade, and a warm welcome on Sonya’s front porch. There will always be a hot cup of coffee and a delicious home-made treat waiting for her friends around her table.
Thank You and Happy reading!
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