Cozies and books set in small towns.

That's the next topic for the next meeting of the Readers Advisory Interest Group to which I belong. Once a month we gather, a group of librarians from all over the library system, to discuss a specific genre announced at the previous meeting. We each choose books from the genre, no need to tell anyone beforehand what we're reading, partly because we don't even know until we start poking around. Then we go around the table and share what we've read, if we'd recommend it, what other books it's like, etc.

For next month's topic I started reading Alexander McCall Smith's The Sunday Philosophy Club, an Isabel Dalhousie mystery, but now I'm wondering how cozy it is considering a man takes a header from the upper level of an opera house in the first paragraph of the book. Is that actually cozy, something you'd like to read sitting with a cup of tea perched on the arm of your overstuffed chair?

Maybe so, maybe not. But now that I've started I want to know how it ends. I've just always loved the title of this series, the philosophy part at least. And Isabel Dalhousie is a great character name.


I suppose what I'll do is read it, bring it along, and sheepishly admit maybe it doesn't technically meet the standards, but it's set in Scotland, people! Few places are as wonderful. SWOON.

As I was looking through the stacks another series of books caught my eye, those by E.F. Benson. I knew about them but had forgotten – isn't that always the way. If ever there were cozy reads, these qualify.

From Amazon:

Product Description:

"Mapp and Lucia is the hilarious centerpiece of E.F. Benson¹s now-cult series of Lucia novels, marking the debut of the eponymous middle-aged doyennes of polite, 1930s British society."

Does it get more polite than the Brits? I thought not. So, that's one definite, along with the McCall Smith.

Then, there's Miss Read, author of another series of books set in Britain:


The Brits do two things exceedingly well: cozies and murder mysteries/psychological thrillers. Cozies in the form of humorous, bumbling characters, or those including spinsters, are my favorites. If there are any about librarians I'd be in heaven. And, the great thing is, there are…  SEE:  Dereske, Jo and her Helma Zukas mysteries. Light reads they are, and not my usual fare by a long stretch. But a LIBRARIAN as a detective. That's just brilliant.

Then, Ian Samson's Mobile Library series. I own the first, numbers two and three we had on the shelves, and he's just sent me number four! All set with that, and they're set – I believe – in the same town, so that hits both categories.

Seems I have plenty – more than enough – to read for the next meeting. The problem may lie in hauling them all inside the building…

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