April Fool’s Day: A cozy mystery roundup

Whenever an April Fool’s Day joke takes a deadly turn, you can be sure an amateur sleuth will be on the case. We recommend three great mysteries that celebrate the opening day of April.

April Fool's Day Murder

The April Fool’s Day Murder
By Lee Harris

When Christine Bennett notices a neighbor who appears to have fallen, she rushes to help, only to discover he’s been stabbed to death. After she reports the murder to the police, she learns that she was taken in by an April Fool’s Day stunt. But when Willard Platt is found truly dead a few hours later, Chris’s natural curiosity draws her into the case. The April Fool’s Day Murder is the 13th entry in Lee Harris’s cozy mystery series starring Christine Bennett, an ex-nun living in New York City. If you like realistic characters with complex motives and multidimensional personalities, you’ll like this well-constructed mystery of family secrets, troubled marriages and deeply held resentments.

April Fool Dead

April Fool Dead
By Carolyn Hart

Annie Darling owns a mystery bookstore on a small island off the coast of South Carolina, and she and her customers are excited about an upcoming signing event with a famous author. But when the fliers announcing the evening’s activities are replaced by posters accusing island inhabitants of vicious crimes, Annie and her husband, Max, decide to hunt down the person behind the not-so-funny April Fool’s prank. April Fool Dead is the 13th installment in Carolyn Hart’s Death on Demand series featuring a fun cast of quirky characters, including Annie’s wacky mother-in-law. Mystery book fans will love the multiple plot lines and will have fun spotting the references to real-life crime writers.

The Cruelest Month

The Cruelest Month
By Louise Penny

Spring comes slowly to Three Pines, a small town in southern Quebec. And this year, April is made all the more harsh when a newly arrived Wiccan convinces a group of townsfolk to attend a séance. After one of the participants supposedly dies of fright, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is called in to investigate. Although he’s quite capable of solving the murder, he’s much less prepared to face his own demons. Louise Penny’s Gamache books are not particularly cozy, but The Cruelest Month, the third entry in the series, is an award-winning, classic-style mystery that’s a must-read for April. The combination of a complex murder story with the inner turmoil of Inspector Gamache makes this a compelling read.

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