December 2021 Cozy Mystery Book Releases

Welcome aboard, train wreck.

December is in a few days. And with a new month comes new books and new book releases. I’m giving you this list now so you can add it to your wish list from Santa.

If this is your first time here, welcome aboard, train wreck. Glad to have you here. If this isn’t your first time here, I’m still glad to have you. Please like, comment,
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Please consider donating to help keep this going. $1 and I’ll ask you what your favorite book is so we can talk about it. $5 and I’ll write a review of a book you suggest. $10 and I’ll write a blog suggested by you. I do post affiliate links in my blogs. I get commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post. But this comes at no extra cost to you. So, thank you.

Not like I don’t already have a TBR that would take me into 2023 if I read one book a day. But I just can’t help wanting to read all the good books. On to the list.

Bake, Borrow, and Steal: A Bakeshop Mystery (A Bakeshop Mystery, 14)

Book Release Date – December 28, 2021

by Ellie Alexander

Ellie Alexander’s Bake, Borrow, and Steal, the most delicious installment yet in the Bakeshop Series set in Ashland, Oregon!

As the autumnal hues of November fall over the Shakespearean hamlet of Ashland, Oregon, Jules and her team at Torte are working on their biggest event ever. They’ve been invited to create chocolate showpieces for the gala opening of a new exhibit, Shakespeare’s Lost Pages at SOMA. The museum, located on the campus of Southern Oregon University, is getting ready to unveil the Bard’s lost manuscript, Double Falsehood, which is being touted as the greatest artistic discovery of modern times. In addition to molding luscious, silky chocolate into magnificent structures, Torte will be serving an authentic Elizabethan feast straight from the pages of a sixteenth century cookbook featuring Lardy cakes, Frangipane tarts, and jellies with chestnut cream.

Jules has underestimated the amount of work required to pull off such a culinary feat. She finds herself in the strange position of feeling frazzled and stressed as the day of the gala approaches. However, her team rallies around her and once the massive works of chocolate art are safely installed at the museum, she can finally let out a sigh of relief and revel in the excitement of the grand celebration. But her relief is short-lived. Right before the unveiling, news quickly begins to spread that Shakespeare’s lost manuscript is missing. Not only that, but the security guard tasked with keeping the priceless artifact safe has been killed. Is this a case of a heist gone terribly wrong? Or could it be that a killer is lurking in the museum archives?

Crime Strikes a Chord (The School of Hard Rocks Mysteries Book 2)

Book Release Date – December 21, 2021

by Christy Barritt

When Camryn Paine’s student assistant asks for her help, Camryn finds it hard to say no. The Gleason family, alumni of the music conservatory where Camryn works, hired a company to assist with a move across town. Now the company, along with a truck full of their possessions has vanished.

The family is desperate to find their belongings, especially a violin that goes back multiple generations. The request strikes a sentimental chord with Camryn.

Camryn attempts to use her refined audio abilities to pinpoint anyone who may be trying to pass the violin off as their own—and she suspects it’s someone at the music conservatory.

But the guilty party is determined to keep Camryn silent—permanently, if necessary.

A Plus One for Murder (A Friend for Hire Mystery)

Book Release Date – December 7, 2021

by Laura Bradford

Entrepreneur Emma Westlake is reinventing herself as a hired friend when murder gets in the way in this exciting new mystery series from USA Today bestselling author Laura Bradford.

Emma Westlake has always wanted to be in business for herself. As a kid, she had her own successful lemonade stand and dog-walking business. And when she entered adulthood, Emma sunk all her cash into her dream job of travel planning. But as her customers became more and more internet savvy, the need for her services declined. At a loss for what to do next, she turns to an elderly friend who suggests she try to get paid for doing something she’s really good at–being a paid companion. Emma thinks it’s a crazy idea until requests start pouring in. Big Max from down the block wants her to act as his wingman at the local senior center’s upcoming dance, nurse practitioner Stephanie needs a workout partner, and writer Brian Hill asks Emma to be his cheering section at an open mic night.

Brian will be reading from his latest work and wants to know someone will clap for him when he’s done. When Emma balks at the notion that people wouldn’t, he tells her the room will be filled with people he’s invited–most of whom will likely want him dead by the time he’s done reading. Assuming he’s joking, she laughs. But when Brian steps up to the mic and clears his throat to speak, he promptly drops dead. Emma is one of the last people to see him alive, and so she becomes an immediate suspect. Now she’ll have to cozy up to a killer to save her skin and her new business.

Absence of Mallets (A Fixer-Upper Mystery)

Book Release Date – December 7, 2021

by Kate Carlisle

Contractor Shannon Hammer steels her nerve to pin down a killer in the latest Fixer-Upper Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Premeditated Mortar. . . .

Shannon could not be happier that her hunky thriller-writing boyfriend, Mac, has moved in, and it is a good thing they are living together because they are both busier than ever. Mac is hosting writing retreats at his now vacant lighthouse mansion, while Shannon and her crew build Homefront, a quaint Victorian village of tiny homes for veterans in need. Mac’s latest guests are proving to be a handful though, and Shannon has heard some grumbling from the luminaries of Lighthouse Cove about her latest passion project. But nothing can throw a wrench in their plans except a malicious murder.

When one of Shannon’s new friends is found brutally bludgeoned with a mallet near the lighthouse on Mac’s property, the couple hammers out a suspect list and searches for a motive. As they drill deeper for clues, more violence strikes and a new victim winds up in a coma. The pressure is on, and Shannon and Mac will have to move fast to find an unhinged killer dead set on demolishing anyone who gets in their way. . . . 

Jane Austen’s Lost Letters: A Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery (Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries, 14) 

Book Release Date – December 14, 2021

by Jane K. Cleland

ane K. Cleland returns with Jane Austen’s Lost Letters, the fourteenth installment in the beloved Josie Prescott Antiques series, set on the rugged New Hampshire coast.

Antiques appraiser Josie Prescott is in the midst of filming a segment for her new television show, Josie’s Antiques, when the assistant director interrupts to let her know she has a visitor. Josie reluctantly pauses production and goes outside, where she finds an elegant older woman waiting to see her.

Veronica Sutton introduces herself as an old friend of Josie’s father, who had died twenty years earlier. Veronica seems fidgety, and after only a few minutes, hands Josie a brown paper-wrapped package, about the size of a shoebox, and leaves.

Mystified, Josie opens the package, and gasps when she sees what’s inside: a notecard bearing her name―in her father’s handwriting―and a green leather box. Inside the box are two letters in transparent plastic sleeves. The first bears the salutation, “My dear Cassandra,” the latter, “Dearest Fanny.” Both are signed “Jane Austen.” Could her father have really accidentally found two previously unknown letters by one of the world’s most beloved authors―Jane Austen? Reeling, Josie tries to track down Veronica, but the woman has vanished without a trace.

Josie sets off on the quest of a lifetime to learn what Veronica knows about her father and to discover whether the Jane Austen letters are real. As she draws close to the truth, she finds herself in danger, and learns that some people will do anything to keep a secret―even kill.

Witch Trial (A Full Moon Mystery)

Book Release Date – December 28, 2021

by Cate Conte

In the second installment of Cate Conte’s charming new series featuring crystal shop owner and witch Violet Mooney, the murder of one of her customers launches her into a case that conjures up both supernatural and mortal enemies…
 

Double, double toil and trouble,
A witch’s life is quite a muddle.

The Full Moon crystal shop in North Harbor, Connecticut, offers healing stones for all sorts of ailments. Unfortunately, there’s nothing among the gems that can help owner Violet Mooney learn how to wield the magick she inherited from both sides of her family—the legendary Ravenstar and Moonstone clans. As if being an apprentice witch weren’t difficult enough, Violet’s tutors are her estranged mother Fiona, a sister she never knew she had named Zoe, and a familiar in the form of a black cat, Xander.

Between learning spells, Violet is being investigated by the Magickal Council. A reporter out to debunk spiritualists was “genied”—her soul imprisoned inside a bottle—in Violet’s shop, and she can’t prove she didn’t do it. Meanwhile, her non-magickal life has become complicated when one of her crystal shop customers, Nicole St. James, goes missing and turns up dead, a victim of murder.

Determined to solve both crimes, Violet taps into powers she doesn’t understand, much less control—and finds herself conjuring up both supernatural and mortal enemies…

Renewed for Murder (A Blue Ridge Library Mystery)

Book Release Date – December 7, 2021

by Victoria Gilbert

Librarian Amy Webber dances with death in critically acclaimed author Victoria Gilbert’s sixth Blue Ridge Library mystery.

August in Taylorsford, Virginia finds library director Amy Webber and her new husband, dancer Richard Muir, settling into married life–and a new project. Richard and his dance partner, Karla, are choreographing a suite based on folk music and folk tales, while Amy scours the library’s resources to supply background information on the dance’s source material. But the mellifluous music comes to a jarring halt when an unknown woman’s body turns up in Zelda Shoemaker’s backyard gazebo.

Chief Deputy Brad Tucker puts Zelda at the top of his suspect list, thanks to a blackmail letter he finds in the dead woman’s pocket. Zelda’s best friend, Amy’s aunt Lydia Talbot, begs Amy to use her research skills to clear Zelda’s name. But the task is confounded by Zelda’s very out-of-character refusal to reveal why the victim might have blackmailed her.

Complicating matters further, Amy unearths records of a long-ago tragedy that casts doubt on Zelda’s innocence. She enlists hubby Richard, Aunt Lydia, art dealer Kurt Kendrick, Mayor Sunny Fields, and sundry other quirky townsfolk in a quest to exonerate Zelda. But will revealing the truth end up forcing Zelda to spend the rest of her life behind bars?

Meanwhile, the killer is still out there. Amy had better be fleet on her feet, because death is on her dance card, and her number may be up.

Murder Under A New Moon: A 1930s Mona Moon Historical Cozy Mystery Book 8 (A Mona Moon Mystery)

Book Release Date – December 25, 2021

by Abigail Keam

Robert Farley is now a bonafide duke, and solicitors from the Duchy of Brynelleth have come to negotiate his marriage contract to Mona Moon. When the three solicitors demand that Mona relinquish Moon Enterprises and live in England full time, she threatens to give Robert back his engagement ring and call off the wedding.

She says quite frankly, “I’m not going to give up one of the largest mining conglomerates in the world just so I can host dinner parties at Brynelleth for your snotty friends.”

Robert, caught between the responsibilities demanded by Brynelleth and his deep love for Mona, is furious with his solicitors for not being more diplomatic. However, the matter resolves itself when the three English solicitors are caught visiting the notorious bawdy house of Belle Brezing, the most famous madam in the South. Ooops! Events are made worse when one of them turns up dead in the bed of a lady-of-the-evening.

Now Mona and Robert must find the culprit before their reputations are torn to shreds by their enemies. Fast-moving events threaten to turn Mona’s world upside-down as she is confronted with seemingly impossible decisions to make.
Should she marry Robert Farley or not?

A Deadly Endowment (A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mystery)

Book Release Date – December 28, 2021

by Alyssa Maxwell

Set among the landed gentry of post-WWI England and perfect for fans of Downton Abbey, Alyssa Maxwell’s latest historical mystery finds sleuthing duo Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, hunting a killer after the decision to open Foxwood Hall for guided tours turns deadly…
 

To make ends meet, Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, have decided to open up Foxwood Hall to guided public tours. Not everyone is pleased about it—even to the point of committing murder…

The lean times following the Great War continue to require creative solutions for England’s noble class. But Lady Phoebe’s proposal to open up the Renshaw estate to guided tours for additional income strikes many in the family as a “vulgar enterprise.” Phoebe’s grandfather, the Earl of Wroxly, however, reluctantly concedes the necessity.

Their first tour group consists of members of the Historical Society, a magazine writer, and a flock of students. It’s a large group for Phoebe, her sister Amelia, and Eva to manage, and when the widow Arvina Bell goes missing, Eva goes in search of her—only to find her in the library, strangled with a silken drapery cord.

The schoolchildren are promptly sent home, but the members of the Historical Society—many of whom also wandered off at times—remain for interrogation. There is also, curiously, a framed photo missing from the library. As the police hastily zero in on a suspect, Phoebe and Eva weigh the clues. Does the crime have to do with rumors of hidden treasure at Foxwood Hall? But they must make haste to solve the widow’s murder—before someone else becomes history…

Death by the Finish Line (An Abby McCree Mystery) 

Book Release Date – December 28, 2021

by Alexis Morgan

With her inherited house, an unusually large dog, and a jam-packed committee calendar, Abby McCree keeps busy in her adopted town of Snowberry Creek in the Pacific Northwest even when she isn’t investigating the occasional murder! When a dead body turns up on a 5K charity race route, Abby hits the ground running to catch a killer in this fifth installment by USA Today bestselling author Alexis Morgan.
 

Overcommitted Abby has once again been drafted to use her organizing superpowers—this time for a 5k charity run that’s part of the Founder’s Day Celebration in Snowberry Creek, Washington. At least she has help, albeit from an unlikely source: Gil Pratt, a member of her handsome tenant Tripp Blackston’s veterans group and co-owner of a motorcycle repair shop with his brother. Abby and Gil may seem like an odd couple, but they work great together.

The event seems to be running smoothly—until city council member James DiSalvo is found murdered in a ravine along the race route. Unfortunately, Gil’s brother Gary had a very public argument with DiSalvo minutes before the race, making him the prime suspect. Now the two race organizers must again team up to prove Gary’s innocence—before the real killer makes a run for it. But one wrong step and Abby may be the next one to come in dead last…

Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door (A Jane Darrowfield Mystery)

Book Release Date – December 28, 2021

by Barbara Ross

Jane Darrowfield is using her retirement years to work as a professional busybody in her West Cambridge, Massachusetts community–but this time her client is a woman next door who thinks someone is following her…
 

Megan, who’s purchased the house next to Jane’s, needs some help from her snooping neighbor. Megan’s been having blackouts, hearing voices—and feeling like someone’s following her. Are these symptoms of an illness—or signs that she’s in danger?

Considering the extensive security system in Megan’s house, it seems like she should be safe—yet she soon vanishes into thin air. Some think she’s run away, but would this ambitious young lawyer on the partner track really miss a meeting with an important client? And where’s Megan’s cat?

The mystery is about to deepen when the cat is finally located in a hidden panic room—and as Jane and the police look into Megan’s friends, family, and past, it may be time to sound the alarm…

Well, there you have them. The cozy mysteries coming out in December. Did you see any you want to add to your TBR? Let me know in the comments. Again, if you like what I post, please like, comment, share, and subscribe. Please consider donating to help keep this going. $1 and I’ll ask you what your favorite book is so we can talk about it. $5 and I’ll write a review of a book you suggest. $10 and I’ll write a blog suggested by you. That’s all I’ve got for today, train wrecks. All aboard.

To help you get through your TBR, I’m giving you this bookmark. You can print it out on cardstock and/or laminate it so it lasts longer. Hope you enjoy.

Could you imagine curling up on the couch with this? Are you kidding me? I need it. I may get one just for work.

https://shopstyle.it/l/bASN4 Remember, I earn a commission when you click and/or buy but it doesn’t cost you anything extra. So, thank you.

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