As a public service, here are a few books in my cozy mystery journey that fell short of my expectations. Keep in mind that this is purely my opinion.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, by Joanna Fluke (Hannah Swenson #1)
I realize this is a beloved series for many, one that has even been turned into Hallmark movies, but that is exactly how it read. Too saccharine, with (again, my opinion) a very nosy main character named Hannah Swenson. I will never understand why her cop brother-in-law, who is up for promotion, asks for her help. 5/10 Stars
Deadlines/Fault Lines/Firelines (The Pecan Springs Enterprise Trilogy,) by Susan Wittig Albert
Again, a series by a beloved writer that I thought was poorly written and boring beyond belief. 2/10 Stars
Savannah Sleuth, by Alan Chaput (Vigilantes for Justice, #1)
I decided to read this book as a courtesy because the author sent me a friend request on Goodreads. Awkward… It is like a hybrid between the Real Housewives of Savannah (is there such a show?) and The DaVinci Code. Yes, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds. Too much unnecessary detail and way too many characters, all of them unrelatable. Just a painful read. 3/10 Stars
Carnations and Deadly Fixations, by Abby Reede (Fern Grove #1)
The most recent bumble in my quest for a great new series. Too bad, because it had potential if not for the amateurish writing. The beginning, especially, just cried out for better editing. 3/10 Stars
Final thoughts: Cozy mysteries, when done well, are an absolute delight. Creating believable characters and a plot that drives the reader is no easy task. It’s certainly a skill I don’t possess. But they cannot all be a success, just like books in other genres. These are a few that I really do not recommend.