In looking for some nice cozy reads for the long Valentine’s Day weekend, I found a few romances, a couple of poetry collections – and a crazy amount of mysteries. Is there something about this holiday that inspires death – other than the inevitable mountain of chocolate we consume? Maybe there’s a little reality in the idea that the only thing that separates love and hate is a thin line…
So, here’s a list of some fun (and funny) Valentine’s Day inspired murder mysteries. Just in case you need a little bitter to temper all that sweet stuff this weekend.
As Gouda as Dead – Avery Aames
- When her impending nuptials to artisanal cheese farmer Jordan Pace are postponed due to murder, Charlotte Bessette, devastated by the delay, vows to find the killer and save her wedding day. Includes recipes. (#6 in the Cheese Shop series)
Bleeding Hearts – Jane Haddam
- Former FBI agent Gregor Demarkian races to prevent a Valentine’s Day murder that would keep the perpetrator of a long-unsolved crime secret forever. (#11 in the Gregor Demarkian series)
Buttercream Bump Off – Jenn McKinlay
- When Mel’s mother is accused of murdering Baxter Malloy on their first date, Mel and her business partner Angie must look into Malloy’s past to discover who wanted him dead. (#2 in the Cupcake Bakery series)
Cat Playing Cupid – Shirley Rousseau Murphy
- While uncovering a link between two murders located more than five hundred miles apart, Joe Grey, feline P.I., and his pals Dulcie and Kit, must stop a hate-filled crime spree on Valentine’s Day. (#14 in the Joe Grey series)
Catered Valentine’s Day – Isis Crawford
- Caterers and sisters Bernie and Libby, while attending the funeral for a client’s mother, are plunged into a bizarre mystery when the corpse of Ted Gorman, the owner of Just Chocolate, who supposedly died in a fiery car crash weeks earlier, is found in someone else’s grave. (#4 in the Mysteries with Recipes series)
Chocolate Covered Murder – Leslie Meier
- As a reporter for the Pennysaver, Lucy is assigned a puff piece on upscale Chanticleer’s Chocolates. But when a local fisherman drowns suspiciously, Lucy’s certain her investigative skills could be put to better use. (#18 in the Lucy Stone series)
Death of a Valentine – M.C. Beaton
- The most famous of Highland bachelors, police sergeant Hamish, is planning to marry. While locals think Josie, Hamish’s newest constable and bride-to-be, is quite a catch, Hamish has a case of pre-nuptial jitters. After all, if it wasn’t for the murder of a beautiful woman in a neighbouring village there wouldn’t be a wedding in the first place. (#25 in the Hamish Macbeth series)
Lethal Treasure – Jane K. Cleland
- Joining the crowds at abandoned storage units being sold at auction a week before Valentine’s Day, antiques dealer Josie Prescott is compelled to use her unique skills to solve the murder of a friend who is killed immediately after the auction. (#8 in the Josie Prescott series)
Murder by Kindness: The Gift Quilt – Barbara Graham
- With the town’s Valentine’s Day gala approaching, Tony Abernathy, sheriff of Park County Tennessee, is dealing with what passes for a crime wave—several stills blowing up and burning, a missing woman, and a bar fight. Even worse, a body is found at what is assumed to be his ex-wife’s house; then five women turn up, all claiming to be the dead man’s widow. (#7 in the Quilt Murder Mysteries series)
Marked Down for Murder – Josie Belle
- When her nemesis Summer, who is desperately trying to steal her boyfriend away from her, is accused of murder, Maggie Gerber and the Good Buy Girls, as much as they all would love to see Summer get what she deserves, hunt for the real killer while searching for bargains. Includes recipes. (#4 in the Good Buy Girls series)
Murder for Love – edited by Otto Penzler
- A collection of sixteen Valentine’s Day mysteries that blend love and murder encompasses stories by Ed McBain, Anne Perry, William J. Caunitz, Mary Higgins Clark, Jonathan Kellerman, Joyce Carol Oates, Elmore Leonard, Sara Paretsky, Bobbie Ann Mason, and other notable authors.
Murder in the Paperback Parlor – Ellery Adams
- While organizing a week of activities for love story fans at her book-themed resort, Jane finds herself investigating the murder of the most celebrated author in attendance. (#2 in the Book Retreat series)
Plum Lovin’ – Janet Evanovich
- Diesel returns to Stephanie Plum’s life in this “between-the-numbers” title in the series. Stephanie is looking for Annie, a relationship expert and matchmaker and finds her in the protective custody of none other than old flame, Diesel. In order to collect on Annie, Stephanie is going to have to play the part of matchmaker to several lonely people.
Valentine Murder – Leslie Meier
- Knee-deep in cupcakes with pastel frosting and candy hearts, Lucy Stone is shocked when new librarian Bitsy Howell is murdered and Detective Horowitz announces that the murderer is among them, so she casts aside her culinary concoctions to investigate and comes face to face with a killer. (#5 in the Lucy Stone series)
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