Cozy Reads for a Hot Summer

Thanks to my dear friend Jenny, I’ve gotten the chance to be an advance reader for Jessa Archer‘s new cozy mysteries.

Per her author bio, “Jessa Archer writes sweet, funny, warm-hearted cozy mysteries because she loves a good puzzle and can’t stand the sight of blood,” so have no fear, these are nice and safe and easy to recommend to… most people. There is a wee bit of romance and a wee bit of spirituality that would only offend the most delicate of sensibilities.

So far, I have read from from her Thistlewood Star, Legal Beagle, Coastal Playhouse, and Hand Lettering series. I started with Thistlewood, and was quickly drawn into this little Tennessean town and its journalist protagonist. I appreciate how the big mystery of her friend’s disappearance mentioned in book 1, A Murder in Helvetica Bold, was focused on in book 2, Palatino for the Painter. Have no fear, however! Book 3, A Seance in Franklin Gothic, quickly finds its way into another big story, with an ending that has a few loose ties to keep you wanting more! And there is a mini-mystery available to start.

The Legal Beagle series focuses on dog-loving-singer-turned-attorney Pepper Sullivan. I was hooked in just paragraphs when I started the first mini-mystery, Hound on the Sound (available for FREE on Kindle!), and love that there’s just enough romance — and other things that go bump in the night. Now I can’t decide if I need to move to Thistlewood or Misty-on-the-Sound!

In the Coast Playhouse series, we meet former teen TV detective Tig Alden, who moves back to the OBX after her dinner theatre closes. I let out so many “ha!”s while reading the first mini-mystery, The Phantom of the Opal, that Hampton had to ask what I was reading. Granted, I am a dinner theatre vet who lives in NC, but I’m pretty sure that, once again, Jessa will transport anyone to a fun little town full of interesting people.

The Hand Lettering series introduces us to artist Jamie Lang. While all of Jessa’s titles are punny and/or alliterative, Cursive: Foiled Again and Who Shot the Serif particularly made me giggle. While I know a thing or two about reporting, singing, and performing, hand lettering is definitely not part of my skill set. Nevertheless, I was quickly transported to Jamie’s world in Washington state. Who Shot the Serif is a bit more harrowing than her other books, but still well inside the cozy mystery world.

One of my favorite parts of Jessa’s writing is that is enough to keep you entertained, but light enough that you can easily keep up even if interrupted by orphans in the dressing room or suddenly realize it’s almost time for your next entrance. Plus, the free mini-mysteries for Kindle are a great way to check her out before committing. But if my intuition tells me anything, I think you’ll soon be a repeat fan, too. Look at me, making deductions and stuff just like a real life Jessica Archer heroine.

Also, gotta love a woman with great hair and spectacles. Not that I’m biased…. (;

Read on, friends!


I received complimentary ARCs, but all opinions are my own. 

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