This week we are featuring read-alikes for M.C. Beaton, a cozy mystery author. In cozy mysteries, the crime-solver is usually a woman who is an amateur sleuth with an interesting profession who lives in a small town. M.C. Beaton is known for two contemporary Mystery series -- one featuring amateur detective Agatha Raisin, and the other, Scottish police detective Hamish Macbeth. Both series offer readers a comfortable combination of eccentric characters, vividly detailed settings, expertly crafted plots and a strong measure of humor. Start with: Death of a Gossip.
Susan Witting Albert: Susan Wittig Albert is a versatile writer of four distinct Cozy Mystery series, all of which feature an interesting mix of colorful characters, multiple puzzles leading to ingenious plot twists, and carefully researched, richly described settings. Series include the Robin Paige Victorian-Edwardian series, the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, the China Bayles mysteries, and the Darling Dahlias mysteries. Her female protagonists are strong, intelligent women who fight injustice. Start with: Thyme of Death.
Rita Mae Brown: Rita Mae Brown writes witty, clever mysteries and mainstream fiction with a strong sense of place and memorable, if quirky, characters. She is currently best known for her mystery series, Julia and Louise novels, Mags and Baxter mysteries, Mrs. Murphy series. Her stories feature strong women characters, and also include non-human characters (cats, dogs, and horses) who are much wiser than their human counterparts. A gentle humor pervades her storytelling even when she explores issues from varying viewpoints. Start with: Wish You Were Here.
Katherine Hall Page: Page's series follows Faith Fairchild, a caterer and minister’s wife in a small village in Massachusetts as she solves mysteries. Being a caterer, food and recipes are always involved in these books. Start with: The Body in the Belfry.
Diane Mott Davidson: Diane Mott Davidson is known for the humor, quirky characters, and small town feeling of her cozy, culinary mysteries. Caterer Goldy Bear is a smart heroine, whose ability to juggle her work and personal life is admired. Start with: Dying for Chocolate.
Lilian Jackson Braun: Braun's Cat Who cozy mystery series features newspaperman James (Qwill) Qwilleran and his two Siamese cats, who help him solve the latest crime with their extraordinary powers of perception. Colorful characters, both feline and human, dominate these entertaining stories. Start with: The Cat Who Could Read Backwards.
Alexander McCall Smith: McCall Smith's Number One Ladies' Detective Agency features Precious Ramotswe, the very first female private detective in all of Botswana. Tactful, effective, and insightful detecting comes naturally to this very independent woman in this highly entertaining humorous cozy mystery series. Start with The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.