Back to Cool: Sammy's Fall Reading List

Autumn will soon arrive in New York! Fashion Week is right around the corner. The ginkgo trees along 10th Avenue are on the verge of turning a brilliant yellow. And the little urchins who've been coming into Leaves of Grass asking if they can charge their cell phones are headed back to school (by the way, I always tell the pint-sized monsters, they can charge their phones if they purchase a book—that usually gets them scurrying out the door pretty quickly).

I like to create a few fall reading lists for Leaves of Grass real patrons (of course my book, Effervescent Rainbow is the first one on the Literary Fiction list) and I thought I'd post my picks for Mysteries—one of the most popular sections of the store. Most of the books won't be released until October, but there're a couple to tide you over until then—and you can always investigate the author's backlist.

You'll notice there aren't any links to purchase the books online. Go to your local independent bookstore to buy them! You'll help some lovely, friendly employees keep their jobs. And you can probably charge your cell phone while you're browsing. Just ask nicely.

So, here are my picks:

If Catfish Had Nine Lives by Paige Shelton
The Country Cooking School Mysteries is a fun series. I thought I'd have issues with Betts conversing with ghosts—I do like my books grounded in reality—somewhat—but Paige Shelton's writing has pulled me in (this is the fourth in the series) and speaking with specters doesn't feel so far-fetched. And I love visiting the quirky town of Broken Rope—I imagine it's similar to some of the neighborhoods in Staten Island.

Gossamer Ghost by Laura Childs
I'm a huge fan of scrapbooks—in fact, I'm thinking of 'scrapping' my next novel—although my agent thinks it's a bad idea. Carmela Bertrand runs an adorable scrapbooking shop in New Orleans (the only city I could live in besides New York). When she's not giving scrapbooking classes or dealing with her ex-husband and his obnoxious sister—Carmela stumbles upon dead bodies. In Gossamer Ghost, one falls out of a curio cabinet in Oddities, a neighboring antiques shop. Can't wait to read this one. And inspiring scrapbook tips are always included.

A Crafty Christmas by Molly Cox Bryan
More scrapbooking! The croppers of Cumberland Creek are off on a scrapbooking themed cruise to the Caribbean. A great way to unwind before the holidays—until Shelia finds a famous crafter poisoned and she becomes the prime suspect. Then a storm strands the ship at sea. That's one of the reasons you'll never find this lad on a cruise—no matter where it's heading. 

Picked to Die by Shelia Connolly
You'll find great recipes and interesting tidbits about running an orchard in this series. After reading one, I'm always tempted to plant an apple tree in my plot in The Hell's Kitchen Community Garden and become an apple farmer—although I wouldn't quit my job at Leaves of Grass or give up my writing career. In Picked to Die, Seth—Meg Corey's fiancé—uncovers a skeleton under a building he's restoring and one of Meg's former apple-pickers is found dead behind the feed store. Of course, Meg will use her sleuthing talents to unravel the mystery. But she also has to bring in her apple crop before the winter sets in.

Lost Under a Ladder by Linda O. Johnston
A new series by the author of The Pet Rescue Mysteries. When Rory's fiancé is killed after walking under a ladder,  Rory wants to find some closure and maybe some answers, so she—and her dog, Pluckie (what a cute name!) head to Destiny—where superstitions are a way of life. A very intriguing premise.

Murder in the Mystery Suite by Ellery Adams
Another new series and now, my favorite book by Ellery Adams. Love the idea of a resort for book lovers! And wonderful, well-crafted characters. I especially like Jane Steward—our heroine and manager of Storyton Hall. She reminds me of a grown-up Nancy Drew. And she has a secret. I was on the edge of my seat reading this—read the whole thing in one night—and now I have to be patient until the next book comes out.  

A High-End Finish Suite by Kate Carlisle
I really enjoyed Kate Carlisle's Bibliophile Mysteries, so looking forward to this new one—featuring Shannon Hammer—a successful contractor with a dismal love life (I can relate to that). While on a blind date with a frisky real estate agent (Jerry Saxton), she defends herself from his wandering hands with a pair of pliers (can't wait to read that scene!). When Jerry is later found dead in a house that Shannon is restoring, the town's hunky police chief thinks Shannon might be the killer.

Death is Like a Box of Chocolates by Kathy Aarons
Not only a new series, but a new author. Set in West Riverdale, MD where two friends—Michelle and Erica have opened up a combo chocolate and book shop. What a fabulous concept—I'm going to suggest to Haley that we sell chocolate in Leaves of Grass. I'm sure it'll bring in more customers—although I'll end up with a butt so big it'll have its own zip code. 

Well, hope this list has given you a few clues on what to read next. And don't forget, Effervescent Rainbow is now in paperback.  It's destined to become a classic. Come into Leaves of Grass and I'll sign a copy for you.

What's on your reading list this fall—cozy mystery or otherwise?

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