As you may have seen over on our twitter account a new member has joined the Crew! Her name is Maggie and today we are going to learn a bit more about her.

What was your reason for joining the Mystery Crew?  

I came across a tweet by the Mystery Crew on my Twitter homepage and I’m SO glad I happened upon it! The tweet stated that the crew was looking to add to the mystery team so I took a gamble and applied! Look! It paid off! LOL!

In addition, I, of course love mysteries and joining the crew is a great way to delve into and discover more mystery authors and series that I otherwise wouldn’t have encountered had I not joined the crew.

Plus, I’ve always wanted to blog with a team and I feel like *knock on wood* [I am superstitious] I fit right in with the crew; I certainly feel comfortable here!

I’m all about the mysterious and the unknown!

If you got stranded on an island and could only have five books with you forever, what five books would you choose?

OMG – this is a tough one! I do know for a fact that Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina would go with me; it is my all-time favorite book! Plus, it’s long enough that I could read it 1000 times, and I’m a slow reader! LOL!

The other four books would also need to be thick – I’m going to need to keep myself busy on that island I’ll be banished to soon!

My brain is telling me that I should also take along Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson as well as The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss. I think these ‘beachy’ reads would keep me busy – I’d probably have to read each book multiple times to figure out their entire plot lines anyway!

As for my final two, I’m going to cheat and say the ENTIRE Baby-sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin as well as the ENTIRE Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene! LOL!

Since this is a mystery site, what is your favorite mystery book or mystery author?

Carolyn Keene and Lilian Jackson Braun will always hold special places in my heart, but my current favorite mystery writer is Ellie Alexander, who pens the Bakeshop Mystery series.

Besides reading, what are some of your other things you do in your spare time?

I wish I could say I swim laps all the time – I love it – but I don’t! LOL! Anyhow, I adore TV and sports – especially basketball, both NCAA and NBA – football is seriously growing on me too!

I also love going to concerts, particularly those held in the great outdoors. I’m a full-time mommy at the moment, so I’m with my boys most days.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

 I think I’d choose to have the ability to freeze time! As in frozen time for everyone BUT me! It would be hilarious to see the poses people would end up being frozen into!

I’m not sure of all the rules of time freezing, but I’m certain that once I figured them out, it would be amazing.

I’d also love to have the power to read people’s minds…ONLY when they’re thinking positive things about me! LOL!

If you had three wishes, what would those three wishes be? (Minus the normal world peace or money answers)

  • I wish for contentment and inner peace
  • I wish I had the time to complete my TBR list
  • I wish everything happy and positive for my little boys

Is there anything else you think the readers of “The Mystery Crew” site should know about you?

Hmm…I could seriously type up random facts about myself FOREVER! However, I won’t do that to y’all! A few randoms about me can be found in my biography, which can be accessed through the menu bar.

It’s pretty obvious that I absolutely adore reading, writing, and blogging. I’m so glad to have put myself out there and to have had the chance to meet SO many fellow readers and/or bloggers!

Want to know more about Maggie? Leave your questions for Maggie in the COMMENTS!


There are a lot of misconceptions about cozy mysteries. The main one being that they are for older women mostly. The thing is…cozies are for everyone! (well, except maybe little children lol)

I love talking about cozy mysteries to people and today I am going to tell you why I love them so much.


Charming (and quirky) characters

The characters in a cozy mystery are some of the best you might ever read about! These characters are loyal to those they care about and are so kind. Many times the characters will have special or funny quirks that makes you love them even more. Of course there is usually the mean character, but you’ve got to have a villain, right?



Oh. My. Goodness. The settings in these books are so unique! Cozy mysteries can be about literally hundreds of different things! If you are wanting a certain theme for your cozy mystery read, I am sure that it is out there somewhere. You’ve got food cozies, career cozies, magical cozies, hobby cozies, paranormal cozies, fantasy cozies, historical cozies. The options are endless! I also love reading about the small, fictional towns that these books are set in.


Covers and Titles

Have you ever seen the cover of a cozy mystery? The artwork is amazing! There are usually a bunch of little hidden clues in the cover and I love searching through them to see what I can find. You can find a weapon like a gun or a knife. You can find a little skull and crossbones made from sauce in a food dish. A messy crime scene. And the titles? Oh my goodness. I love the puns in cozy mystery titles.

Some examples?
Dim Sum of All Fears
Buried in the Stacks
Eclair and Present Danger
Natural Thorn Killer

Aren’t they great?


Of course, the Mystery!

Don’t think that just because you’re reading a cozy mystery that you aren’t getting a good story. Sure, the murder isn’t as detailed and gory, but that mystery story line in a cozy will suck you in just like it will in a traditional mystery.


Those are just some of the main reasons I love cozy mysteries. Do you read cozy mysteries? What are some of your favorites?

If you don’t read them, have I convinced you to give one a try?!  🙂


The Vicarage Murder

By Faith Martin

PUBLISHED DATE: August 29, 2019
PUBLISHER: Joffe Books
SERIES: Monica Noble Series Book #1

Amazon / Barnes and Noble /  Book Depository 
*Not Currently Available at B&N or B.D.*


3 out of 5 Sherlocks

** I received this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley and Joffe Books. All opinions contained within are my own and have not been influenced by receiving this book for free. **

(From Goodreads)


Monica Noble is throwing a party to welcome the village’s new residents. The guests include Margaret and her cheating husband Sean. Also on the list are a celebrity chef, an Oxford university professor, a 40-something divorcee, and the owner of a chain of gyms.

Then as the drinks are flowing, a shotgun blast rings out. One of the guests is found dead.

DCI Dury and Sergeant Jim Greer are soon on the scene and discover that the victim had many enemies. Almost all the guests harbour secrets and motives for murder. Even Monica’s daughter comes under suspicion.

When another villager is strangled to death nearly a week later, the stakes are raised.

Can Monica help the local detectives save her daughter and solve the murders before anyone else pays the ultimate price?

That cover had me drawn into this book from the first moment that I saw it over on NetGalley. I knew that I had to read it, but like the old adage goes “don’t judge a book by its cover” held true here. A story that could have been a favorite was hindered by lack of focus on the main character and too many characters to truly become attached to any.

Martin introduces us quickly to almost every single character that will appear in the book. In the vicarage there are roughly 12 occupants thrust at us in the first several pages or chapters. This does not include other side characters that are also shown to us. Then we are introduced to two more when the murder takes place in the inspector and his fellow officer. This is just a lot of characters to get thrown at you, but it was the fact that most of them were thrown at us, the readers, right at the beginning of the book. It became a challenge to remember who was who exactly for a part of the book. 

The problem with there being so many characters on the page was that it greatly detracted from having any focus on the main character of the series, which was heralded as the vicar’s wife, Monica. There is supposed to be more books coming in the series, so it feels important to create some connection to the character that is in the “series” title. If I was to go off this first book I would not have much interest in continuing as I did not connect with Monica. She was not a sleuth nor did she seem invested in solving the crime. She instead was like other characters in the book finding out things as they were discovered. Numerous other characters give the police important clues to the crime, but Monica is the person that deduces exactly what happens. It was like Martin realized at the end of the book, “Oh yeah! This is supposed to be her series.” 

Yes, there were too many characters, but I can say that I enjoyed the plot of this book. I enjoyed the crumbs along the way that we were given that lead to the reveal. The reveal was probably the best part of the book. I had a good idea who it was and partially why, but there was some information that I thought that did not end up being part of the reveal. I was pleased that she used these as part of a red herring. It allowed me to feel a bit like she got me, but not enough to be upset by it either. I enjoyed also that part of the reveal came from a member of the parish that the vicar gives guidance to because it did not come from the overwhelming number of vicarage occupants. Martin gave all the information sprinkled throughout the book for the reveal, so it is solvable and it doesn’t come out of left field. 

My favorite characters in the book were hardly in it. There was a sweet older couple by the end of the book that I enjoyed and hope if there is more in the series that they become recurring characters that help Monica solve the capers that she comes across. Martin hasn’t hit a home run here, but she has created a mystery book that engages the reader. One that makes me at least consider reading the next book to see if she finds the footing of the characters. It kept me reading until the final page and honestly that is what a good mystery book should do, right? 


Have you read “The Vicarage Murder” or have a comment about mysteries with religious aspects in them?
Please leave a comment below!


We thought it might be a fun idea for us to take turns interviewing each other, so everyone can get to know us better! It’s my turn to interview Cass, so let’s get to it:

Hey Cass, thanks for taking the time to answer some of my questions, let’s start with something simple-ish:

I love the whole idea for the Mystery Crew, what prompted the idea of creating this?

I had been considering doing a collaborative blog for some time. At one point, I thought about just doing a totally book review site without a theme. I had been friends with fellow mystery crew member, Jackie, for awhile. We both really enjoyed mystery books. We would discuss them or a mystery TV show we both were watching. Heck, we buddy watched “Harlan Corben’s The Five” on Netflix. Finally, I settled that a mystery blog would be a wonderful idea, so the hunt for others to do the blog with me began. Jackie was a natural choice and then Dee & you, Ben, answered the call as well. Here we are!

Out of all the books you’ve read which book would be your favourite, which isn’t a mystery book?

This would be a tie, I feel that the Color Purple and The Joy Luck Club really speak well to the experiences of those particular minority groups and have always spoken to my soul on a very deep level. It shows the struggle of minority populations, which links up to my profession as a social worker.

Going with the theme of the site, surprise surprise, what was your favourite mystery book read in 2019?

Bahaha, so about that. This year, I haven’t had the time to actually read a mystery book! I know blasphemy. I was completing my Masters of Social Work and had to do a practicum placement, while also going to school still. This took up much of my 2019. I am just now being able to return to reading fully as now I am fully graduated from that program. I read a LOT of comic books this year because of this. The only thing with a msytery/detective slant was “Goldie Vance”, which I loved a lot because of the mystery sleuth angle.

If you could only repeat one word over for the whole day, which would would it be?

Fluffy! That is my go to word for things that I love, so I would be fine repeating it over the course of a whole day, but it would be awkward in any jobs that I am currently looking at. Imagine THAT job interview bahaha.

When you aren’t busy reading or blogging, what would you be most likely to do in your spare time?

I spend a lot of time on the DC Universe forums, talking with DC comic book fans. I was invited earlier this year to a fan event that was an all paid for expense trip to Burbank, California. I got to see all the Bat Suits from the movies, Bat-mobiles, costumes from other films, met other forum members, be on DC Daily, and just so many wonderful things happen that day that I can’t even speak about. As a result though, I spend my extra time there often.

How did you get into reading?

My father was an avid reader and would tell me that I should read everything, so that probably was a great contributor. I had preferences though for series like Sweet Valley High and Fear Street. There was a moment that changed me and made me an actual reader though. I was going through a vampire phase and I read a book entitled “Uncle Vampire” by Cynthia D. Grant. It was the first book that made me understand that a book could go to places that we could never predict and could move you on a deeper level. The book cemented me as a reader for the rest of my life.

What do you like most about the mystery genre?

I like trying to guess what is going happen. I love thinking it is one person and then going, “Hmm, could it actually be this other person?” Going back and forth during a book trying to figure it out before you get to that final page is a wonderful feeling. I also like that often in the cozy mystery genre the town and the characters are more important than the murder that takes place in the book. The relationships that are highlighted have always been something that I found intriguing. Seeing how these people in this world connect together and what could drive one to killing someone else in it is a fascinating study in the human experience through a totally unreal experience.

When it comes to Mystery TV Shows & Movies, what would be your favourite?

I grew up on “Murder, She Wrote” so that one holds a special part of my heart. I love seeing this little old lady in Angela Lansbury trying to figure out who in her world for that episode killed the victim. I love that it has that cozy mystery feel about it as well, so characters are always important to each episode. It is due to the love of this show that I eventually got into loving “Diagnosis Murder” as well. Seeing Dick Van Dyke solving mysteries is always a wonderful way to spend 45 minutes. I also really enjoyed the buddy watch of “Harlan Corben’s The Five” with fellow crew member, Jackie. That was a shocker of a show. I highly recommend it.

Last but not least – sum yourself up in one word!


Hello everyone! So excited to be writing this post, because today we are all going to get to know Jackie! This is a great opportunity for you all to get to know another crew member, but also for me to get to know Jackie.

So, lets begin!

Since we’ve all had to give an answer to this so far, it’s only fair that you tell us your absolute favourite book.

Well, I wouldn’t normally have an answer to this question because it is next to impossible to choose *one* favorite book. I have had so many favorites throughout the years. But! I can tell you my newest favorite book and I’m sure it’ll be one that stays at the top of my list for a very long time. It is a book that I literally just finished reading called Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover.

Sum yourself up in three words.

Quiet. Shy. Loyal.

If you were stuck on a desert island, what three things would you want to be left with?

Well, I’m going to have my two sons with me because I can’t live without them! They are my absolute world. As for the third thing, probably something to help us survive, whether that be a weapon or a means to make food, or something like that.

What attracted you to reading mystery novels? Are there any mystery books that particularly stand out to you?

I’m not really sure what got me into reading mysteries, honestly. I would just choose books that sounded interesting to me and the blurb for mysteries just had a way of pulling me in and leaving me wondering about the story. The mysteries that stand out to me the most are the Women’s Murder Club series by James Patterson and the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich.

What do you get up to when you’re not reading?

When I’m not reading, I like to work on my blog. I also spend a lot of time on social media, mostly Instagram (or bookstagram more specifically lol). I like to watch movies and catch up on my favorite TV shows. I like spending time with my kids and finding fun stuff for us to do together.

Name some of your favourite mystery TV shows or movies.

I really enjoyed watching episodes of Criminal Minds and Law and Order: SVU.

I hope you all know Jackie a little bit more, because I certainly do! Check back tomorrow to get to know Cass!

Hi everyone! Jackie here.

Today you are going to get to know Mystery Crew member Ben a little better since I will be interviewing him for Day 2 of our “Get to know the Crew” series!

So, Ben…

The question every book blogger dreads, hehe…

What is your all time favourite book?

Damn, that’s a hard question. I can only really narrow it down to two:

  • Turtles All The Way Down (contemporary YA)
  • The Truth About Keeping Secrets (YA Mystery)

What were your reading habits like as a child?

I read a lot when I was a child, I started reading with Harry Potter reading them with my Dad. Then I progressed onto His Dark Materials by Philip Pulman and the rest was history. My passion for reading was ignited and a habit for reading began which led me to where I am today.

What is a book that made you feel a lot, whether it was happiness, sadness, anger, etc?

The music of what happens. It made me feel every single one of those emotions! It might be a contemporary book, but it hits one of my other favourite genres apart from mysteries – being a diverse queer book focusing especially on latinx culture, which is amazing.

What do you like to do in your free time other than read?

Ahh, that’s a difficult question. I love to draw a lot, if you check out my YA Book Blog you’ll see that all the headers are drawn completely by me! I also do Taekwondo twice a week, and I’m one belt away from black belt. Music is another huge part of my life and I end up going to quite a few gigs.

Do you have any bookish pet peeves?

I don’t think so really!

Tell us about where you live. What is it like there?

I live in London, and it’s a lot of fun. As you can probably guess London is huge and it’s extremely busy, but as a plus side it means there is always something going on whether it be a book event or a concert or just something fun to do with some friends.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

I’ve always wanted to visit Australia & New Zealand and spent a few months travelling all the ins and outs of both countries. They both seem like stunning countries that deserve time to explore them properly.

Do you collect anything?

I collect books (obviously). Apart from books though I have a huge Vinyl collection from lots of artists that I adore including but not limited to:

  • Radiohead
  • Gorillaz
  • Biffy Clyro
  • Wolf Alice
  • The Japanese House

Hey! Cass here and today starts our next four days looking at the members of “THE MYSTERY CREW”. Today we are going to learn about crew member DEE! I am looking forward to interviewing her and learning more about her.

Hey Dee, first question is what made you interested in joining “The Mystery Crew” site?


I love reading mystery books to the point where they are pretty much my staple reading diet. The opportunity to be part of a group that celebrates the thrill and intrigue of mystery fiction that incorporates an air os suspense was too good of an opportunity to miss!


Your next question is the question we all get asked as people that enjoy reading, what is your favorite book?


I know it’s clichĂ© and overused by now, but I really do not have an absolute favourite book. Every time I read something new, I’m gripped by that book. However, a book that has kept me absolutely hooked since I began reading Young Adult fiction was With Malice by Eileen Cook.


Since this is a mystery site, what is your favorite mystery book or mystery author?


Again, there are just so many to choose from! At the moment, I’m absolutely lovely Karen McManus, Hannah Jayne and Courtney Summers.


Besides reading, what are some of your other favorite things to do in your spare time?


If I’m not reading, I’m sleeping 90 percent of the time. I love to be asleep. I do however, spend an increasing amount at the pub with my friends drinking fancy new gins. Oh, and I absolutely love taking my partner’s dog Spartacus for a walk up the River Skell!


If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

The ability to stop time because I spend way too long reading books that I always neglect the housework or my friends! It would be so useful to be able to pause time for a little bit, finish a book and pick up where I left off.


Last formal question that I have for you, if you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?


Iceland. I’ve always wanted to go and sleep out under the stars with the Northern Lights dancing above me. Of course, the only cons of that is hypothermia and the fact that things cost a lot more in Iceland in the UK.


Is there anything else you think the readers of “The Mystery Crew” site should know about you?


There’s nothing I can really think of off the top of my head. Just know that I am basically addicted to mystery novels.


It has been fun to interview you, Dee! I am glad you could share with the readers, so they could learn a bit more about you. Tomorrow, we get to learn more about crew member BEN!


Want to know more about Dee? Leave your questions for Dee in the COMMENTS!