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Saturday, October 24, 2020

Seasonal Reads by Kait Carson

Seasonal Reads by Kait Carson

This is my favorite time of the year to pick up cozy novels. They’re a nice respite from the upcoming crush of holidays and from the uncertainty of holidays in the time of COVID-19. Will we have trick or treaters? Do we buy or offer Halloween candy? Do we invite the family to Thanksgiving dinner? How many people can we fit around the table and adhere to social distancing? Is it still feasible, and responsible, to host or attend a holiday party? In cozies the only worries are who is going to get knocked off, and how. No biggie since justice will be done in the end.

The holiday cozy reading season kicks off in late August. It begins with Halloween novels. There is an obvious connection between Halloween and mystery. The holiday itself is shrouded in spiritual and supernatural myths. True catnip to the cozy author and reader. The prime drop date for Halloween stories this year was August 25th. Early, but then, Halloween candy was on store shelves at about the same time. New releases this year? Ghost in the Gallery and Deja Diva both by Kathi Daley, Haunted House Murder by Leslie Meier, and Howloween Murder by Laurien Berenson.

I’ve read both of the Daley books and recommend them. They are light cozies that make good use of their settings (coastal Maine and Lake Tahoe, NV) and tell a well-plotted story. The Meier and Berenson books are both on my Kindle. If history is a guide, they will provide reliable entertainment.

Authors this year are skipping murder at Thanksgiving. If you will allow me an editorial comment, 2020 has been enough of a turkey on its own without writing about it.

Christmas releases are later this year based on an Amazon search. Most are occurring in early to mid-December. Perhaps to make up for the early glut of Halloween stories, or to catch the eye of those searching for timely gifts and to stock gifted e-readers. Joanne Fluke’s Christmas Cupcake Murders, Leslie Meier’s Christmas Card Murders, Jennifer S. Alderson’s Death by Fountain: A Christmas Murder in Rome, and Jodi Rath’s Yuletide Cast of the Iron Skillet are all due for release in December.

While it’s difficult to see a connection between Christmas and murder, the seasonal reads are fan favorites and much anticipated. Who doesn’t want to take a break from holiday logistics to settle in for a cozy little murder? The cozy world is a reliable one. The genre requires a tight-knit community where people care about each other. We can feel good about visiting, secure in the knowledge that that pesky murder is an aberration.

Do you look forward to seasonal releases? Who are your favorite authors?

6 comments:

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

My favorite Christmas short story is about Jack Reacher, stranded in England for Christmas.

Kait said...

That sounds wonderful! Do you recall the title or the publication if it was in an anthology?

KM Rockwood said...

I love seasonal readings, both novel length and short story.

I like my Christmas stories to have an unashamedly happy ending at least possible, even if the main character is left off at the bus station to attempt to reunite with someone and we never really find out what the outcome is.

Every year, some of us here at Writers Who Kill present short stories between Thanksgiving and Christmas as a gift to our readers. I'm working on my Christmas story now.

Shari Randall said...

I love seasonal stories, both short stories and novels. Christmas is definitely my favorite. I'm looking forward to all the seasonal short stories we'll run on WWK this year.
And your comment - 2020 has been enough of a turkey on its own without writing about it - too true!

Kait said...

I'm looking forward to it, Kathleen!

Kait said...

Thanks, Shari! I'm looking forward to the WWK seasonal shorts as well. Are you contributing?