John's Staff Picks

John McDougall, Event Coordinator at Murder By The Book since 2010

I love watching the parts of a mystery fall into place, but I think what really pulls me in is the characters. Cozies are so fun because you get to know these small towns and wish you could visit. Reading about Lady Emily in Tasha Alexander's books is like getting to catch up with an old friend. I want characters that break your heart like Marc Rochat in The Watchers, or make you laugh like Victoria Laurie and Mary Kay Andrews's characters always do. I love picking up a book like City of Dark Magic and thinking, ‘These things shouldn't really fit together, but they totally do.’ You can't help but want to hang on for the ride.

For additional cozy mystery recommendations, check out John's Cozy Corner.


John's 2017 Top 10:

1. I Found You by Lisa Jewell 
2. The Book of Dust Vol. 1 by Philip Pullman
3. Final Girls by Riley Sager 
4. Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine
5. Death In St. Petersburg by Tasha Alexander 
6. The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
7. The Address by Fiona Davis 
8. The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
9. Death on Tap by Ellie Alexander
10. The Fortune Teller by Gwendolyn Womack 

Discovery of the Year - Mary Kay Andrews

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The Glass Ocean: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062642455
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - September 4th, 2018

Some of my favorite authors writing about a heist during the last voyage of the Lusitania? What's not to love? - John

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The Air You Breathe: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735210998
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - August 21st, 2018

This book is so beautifully written. I can't even! It chronicles the story of two girls from their dreams of radio stardom in 1930s Brazil to Hollywood. Every time I picked it up I got completely lost in the pages. - John

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The Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765378385
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - July 3rd, 2018

A meteorite strikes the east coast, causing us to kick the space program into high gear. Elma, a former WWII pilot has dreams of being an astronaut. Perfect if you loved Hidden Figures. - John 

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The Third Wife: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476792194
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - February 23rd, 2016

Lisa Jewell is just SO good. I love watching her plots come together. If you want a binge read that you'll gobble up, this is it! - John 

Death on Tap: A Mystery (A Sloan Krause Mystery #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250190703
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Paperbacks - August 28th, 2018

Set in a PNW town that resembles a German village, Sload has left her husband and is working for a rival brewery when her soon-to-be ex is accused of murder. Quirky, but not silly, this one is everything I love about cozies! - John