Saturday, August 11, 2012

Are You Dying to Read?

by Suzie Johnson

PJ Sugar and Josephine Tulip are two of my favorite female sleuths. Young, sassy, smart, down on their luck …stumbling in a mystery that turns into something more; they’re forever trying to prove their worth in their new world of private investigation.

Not gritty enough for romantic suspense, but too much a mystery to be classified as a mainstream romance or mainstream novel…where does this type of book fit into the inspirational romance genre? Is it even a romance? Usually there’s a male character introduced to readers who is either a current love interest for our intrepid heroine, an old boyfriend, or someone safe for her to confide over mocha fraps and almond biscotti. So while it’s not necessarily categorized as a romance, it does have romantic elements.

Though chick lit seems to have run its course (or so they tell me), I like to consider this type of a book with its hip heroine and fast paced writing style a cross between chick lit and a cozy murder mystery.

Dying to Read by Lorena McCourtney, the first book in The Cate Kinkaid Files, is a fast-paced novel with the above-mentioned sassy heroine who suddenly finds herself in over her head. When Cate Kinkaid goes to work for her Uncle Joe’s PI firm, all she has to do is track down a young woman so her rich uncle can give her an inheritance. Case closed, Cate picks up her paycheck and her worth is proven.

Yeah. Right.

If that’s all there was to this story, readers would have no reason to keep turning the pages. And as she stumbles onto a murder, Cate would undoubtedly agree.

When a member of the Whodunit Book Club is found dead at the bottom of a stairway, the woman Cate is supposed to track down soon becomes a suspect in the murder. But she’s not the only suspect. There’s a little matter of the Whodunit Book Club – each member an elderly lady with her own set of motives.

If you’ve read the Ivy Malone series, you’re already familiar with Lorena McCourtney’s sharp wit and breezy style. While Cate Kinkaid is considerably younger than Ivy Malone she’s just as likeable and endearing, and definitely earns her place on the pages of her own cozy mystery series.

So, cozy mystery lovers, Dying to Read marks the grand beginning of a great new series and I’m already looking forward to the next book in the series.

And if you haven't read all of her books, now is as good a time as any to get familiar with Lorena McCourtney's backlist of cozy mysteries, inspirational romance, and romantic suspense. You can visit Lorena's website at:

Suzie Johnson’s debut novel, No Substitute, a contemporary inspirational novel, will be released by White Rose Press later this year. She is a member of ACFW, RWA, and is the cancer registrar at her local hospital. The mother of a wonderful young man, who makes her proud every day, Suzie lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and naughty little cat.  You can visit her at the following places: 


  1. Sounds like some of Christy Barritt's mysteries. I really like them. They're chick lit meets cozy mystery for sure. We'll be publishing one called "The Good Girl" with WhiteFire.

  2. I'm glad you agree, Dina. Maybe we should call them "cozy chicks". I love this type of book, so thank you for the Christy Barritt tip!

  3. Oddly, I'm reading this book right now and you beat me to a review!

    Yeah, I'd call it a cozy. Only a lot of readers of Christian fiction have decided they don't like cozies (sigh)--which I cannot understand. Maybe they just didn't read the right ones.

    And I love cozies with that "chick-litty" voice and a touch of romance, so Lorena is one of my favorites, too.

  4. Ah, Barb, I'm sorry! You should post your review anyway!

  5. I love cozy mysteries...chicklit or not. Thanks for the review on this new one!

  6. Hi Janet! Thank you for stopping by. I love cozies of all types, too. You'll enjoy this one.

  7. Suzie, Christy Barritt's books like this are her squeaky clean series, and her other ebooks. The Love Inspired books are basic suspense. The WhiteFire book will be a cozy/sassy mystery too.

  8. Thank you Dina! It looks like everything she writes is something I like. I will definitely check her out. I think I may have recently ordered one of her LIS books because her name is familiar. I have a few I haven't read yet.

  9. I love cross-genre myatery/romances or chick lit/cozies or whatever you call them. I like outside-of-the-box fiction. Thanks for your review.

    Ann Gaylia O'Barr

  10. Me, too, Ann! I'm always happy when I find one like this.

  11. Ooh, this sounds fun. I'm so glad you reviewed it, Suzie! I truly enjoy a good cozy mystery and this one sounds delightful. One more for my TBR pile, which as you know, is staggering after RWA.

  12. Thanks Susie! Um, yes. I haven't even tackled that TBR pile. Oh. My.

  13. I am getting farther and farther behind on books. I have an Ivy Malone mystery which I have been anxious to get to and here you've given me a new series. While I never quite caught on to chick lit, I'm a big cozy fan and any compelling hero/heroine will work so I agree, it must be a perfect marriage with chick lit.

  14. I think I have a Christy Barrett book on kindle...just went through them all looking for something and I saw it and remembered I'd downloaded it. oops.
    I'm listening to another Amelia Peabody on Audio. I am a slave to my library's choices in audio.

    Thanks ladies!

  15. Thanks for all your nice comments about "Dying to Read." I had a lot of fun writing it, so I'm hoping readers have just as much fun reading it!


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