I read a lot of books. Not as many as some, but, a good amount. I guess I'm lucky because, in general, I enjoy all the books I read. Since expanding the blog, I've been fortunate enough to read some books I may not have normally chosen. I've had some wonderful surprises, and a few that I didn't like.
When it comes to liking cozy mysteries, I can fit the ones I read into 4 categories: 1. the rare: I don't like you, 2. the good solid bunch: I like you and there's a good chance I'll buy you, 3. the great ones: I really like you and can't wait for the next installment, and 4. the extra special ones: you have something extra special about you, I can't wait to read more, I must have you!
What does it take for a book to reach that super level? It's something quite subjective. What I may find fantastic, you may think just good. Attributes that lead to extraordinary for me, may not do it for you. So what is it about the top books that make them stand out for me?
First of all, they must be well written. I think that goes without saying. But just being well written doesn't do it. In fact, just being written by a specific author doesn't count. The author of one of my top series writes another series; a series I enjoy, one that I will buy, and recommend, but it doesn't make it into the top bunch.
What do my top cozy mystery series have it common? They have a main character I relate to-they are not necessarily like me, but I understand them and see where they're coming from. There's a touch of romance, in the extra special books there's a male character with whom I could fall for myself. There's subject matter beyond the mystery that I find interesting. In many cases, there is a hint, or more, of the paranormal.
I guess I have to say that the books that resound with me, that make my super special list have a certain je ne sais quoi! Have I piqued your curiosity as to my favorite series? The Nell Sweeney Mystery series by PB Ryan (Still Life with Murder is the first in this historical mystery series which has concluded), The Witchcraft Mystery series by Juliet Blackwell (Secondhand Spirits is the first), The Bibliophile series by Kate Carlisle (Homicide in Hardcover is the first), and The Magical Cats series by Sofie Kelly (Curiosity Thrilled the Cat is the first in the series) are all in my extra-special category.
What are some of your extra special cozy mystery series?