The Cozy Mystery

The Cozy Mystery
I confess. I love fiction, and mysteries are my favorite. The problem is that it’s getting difficult to find a good mystery that isn’t built around adults-only themes. I’ve been forced to skip pages, just to keep the ugly scenes out of my mind. This is what drew me to the cozy mystery.

A cozy mystery is a subgenre of crime fiction that steers away from adult themes. I explain it with, “Yes, there is usually a murder but it isn’t stressful.” These mysteries traditionally take place in a small town or confined setting, with nice people-people you’d like to know.

The books Heart Strings, Heart Beat, and Murderous Heart are the three volumes of the Evelynton Murder Series, cozy mysteries taking place in small town Indiana. The reader begins getting to know the residents of Evelynton in the first chapter of Heart Strings, and continues with them through the three book series.

Each volume features a death and a mystery. Each book also offers a take-away. Something to think about after the mystery is solved.

Heart Strings

In this first of the series, freelance writer Lauren Halloren moves back to her hometown to discover it isn’t as she remembers. At first glance, it appears to be the same dreary burg she left twenty-five years earlier, but the more she attempts to reconnect with the community, the more she finds an undercurrent of secrets and lies.

Lauren hopes the mysterious happenings will provide writing fodder to fund her move back to the city, but when one of her newest acquaintances is found murdered, the mayhem gets too close for comfort.
She’s certain she knows who the killer is, but will she be brave enough to confront the murderer for the scoop of a lifetime?

The take-away from Heart Strings? How much are you willing to forgive? Who deserves forgiveness?

Heart Beat

The second book of the series finds Lauren in her second year after her homecoming. Hoping the turmoil of the first year is over, she is ready to settle down to enjoy tranquil small town living. All she wants is to write and work her part-time receptionist job at The Rare Curl.

Peace proves not to be in her future when she arrives at work to find the neighborhood salon in chaos. Lauren stumbles over one problem after another when attempting to solve petty theft. While her boss gives up and is ready to move on without a solution, Lauren’s curiosity won’t let her rest.

The stakes are raised when she discovers a corpse in the park. Mysteries compound as Lauren follows the trail of crime from the hair salon. Is it tied to the local nursing home? Is her petite neighbor a cold-blooded killer?

Heart Beat asks "Do you know of someone in a nursing home or assisted care facility who may be living a lonely, solitary life? Do you assume they have visitors?"

Murderous Heart

Lauren Halloren ekes out a living penning magazine articles extoling the comfort and security of small town America. And Evelynton, Indiana treasures its wholesome small town values. Ask anyone. Streets are safe to walk. People look out for one another. Marriage vows are treasured. Murders are solved.

In this third volume of the Evelynton Murder series, Lauren, along with friends, Clair and Anita stumble over another body. The partially mummified remains turn out to be an Evelynton resident. But how, in this close knit community, could a woman be deceased for over six months without being missed?
And that’s the take-away from this book. Could this happen in your neighborhood? Your town? To one of your neighbors?

There are now FOUR in the series. Check out to read about Caffeinated Murder

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