Get cozy with themed mysteries

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 14, 2011

By Sara Grajek
Rowan Pubic Library
These days, there are many themes for murder mysteries. Some are written to keep you guessing throughout the book, wondering whodunit. Some keep you jumping at every turn of the page, with plot twists and turns.
Others can be defined as cozy mysteries. These usually feature an amateur detective, are set in a small town or village and are gentle reads. The murder is not gruesome or graphic and may even take place out of sight with only a quick description. Most of the book takes place with the main character (who is usually very likeable) tracking down the killer, with the help of the local police (who is often very handsome).
Sub-categories have even developed within cozy mysteries, with culinary, quilting, animals and home repair themes. Culinary mysteries may be set in a restaurant or catering business and recipes are usually included for the dishes that are mentioned in the story.
In Jessica Beck’s Donut Shop mysteries, Suzanne Hart is owner of the local donut shop. When she finds her friend and loyal customer dead in front of her shop she quickly takes on more than just baking. With the help of a hunky state police officer, she becomes an amateur investigator, determined to find out who killed her friend. A cast of characters including an ex-husband, a wacky best friend and an ex-cop who gives inside information all add up to create a fun, light-hearted mystery. Start with “Glazed Murder” and work your way through to the most recently published “Tragic Toppings.” Pair with your own Krispy Kreme doughnut and a cup of coffee for extra fun.
While you are making your coffee, you can start Cleo Coyle’s Coffeehouse Mystery series. With titles such as “Through the Grinder,” “Roast Mortem” and her newest, “Murder by Mocha,” Coyle serves up a shot of mystery and love in each offering. Set in New York City, the Coffeehouse Mysteries are written by a husband and wife team under the pseudonym of Cleo Coyle and each book is set in a popular NYC location. Tidbits about coffee and coffee making are interspersed with a murder mystery as barista Claire Cosi tracks down murderers in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and sleuths with NYPD firemen.
Laura Childs has several popular mystery series, including one set in a tea shop. “In Death by Darjeeling,” the Indigo Tea Shop is a local Charleston favorite. At a catered event, one of the guests is found dead due to drinking tea. Naturally, the shop owner, Theodosia Browning, is the first suspect. She must take the investigation into her own hands in order to prove her innocence and save the tea shop. Look for other titles in the series such as “Shades of Earl Gray” and “Scones and Bones.”
For light mysteries that will make you hungry for more, stop by Rowan Public Library for one of these delicious reads today.
Computer classes: Classes are free. Sessions are approximately 90 minutes long. Class size is limited and on a first- come, first-serve basis. Dates and times at all locations are subject to change without notice.
Headquarters — Thursday, 9:30 a.m., Introduction to Excel.
South — Monday, 7 p.m., Introduction to Excel.
East (registration required for East Branch only, call Edward at 7047-216-7737) — Tuesday, 1 p.m., Introduction to Excel.
Children’s Storytime: Weekly Storytime runs through Nov. 18. For more information call 704-216-8234.
Headquarters — Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m., Toddler Time (18- to 35-month-olds); Wednesdays, 11 a.m., Baby Time (6- to 23-month-olds); Thursdays, 10:30 a.m., Preschool Time (3- to 5-year-olds) and 4 p.m., Noodlehead (4- to 8-years-old).
South— Mondays, 4 p.m., Noodlehead (4- to 8-years-old); Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m., Baby Time (6- to 23-month-olds), 1:30 p.m., Preschool Time (3- to 5-year-olds); Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., Toddler Time (18- to 35-month-olds).
East — Mondays, 10:30 a.m., Baby Time (6- to 23 month-olds); Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m., Toddler Time (18- to 35-month-olds); Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., Preschool Time (3- to 5-year-olds).
Salisbury Symphony’s Musical Petting Zoo — Headquarters, Tuesday, 6 p.m., RPL Children’s Room. RPL has a special event planned for all elementary school children sponsored by Salisbury Symphony. Members of the symphony will introduce children to the music of different instruments. Light refreshments will be served. For questions or more information, please call 704-216-8234.
Book Chat for Children:South only — Friday, 4:15 p.m., “The Magician’s Elephant,” by Kate Dicamillo, grades four and five. Children in grades 2-5 (different grade each month) may participate in “Book Chats,” at South Rowan Regional Library in China Grove. Registration is required and space is limited. Please call 704-216-7728 for more information.
Teen program: All 5:30-7 p.m. Headquarters, Nov. 22; East, Nov. 21; South, Nov. 29. Free monthly programs for middle and high school students. Game day at your library provides an evening of various types of games, from board games to video games. For more information call 704-216-8234.
American Girl Club: Headquarters, Nov. 19, 11 a.m., a book discussion group about the life and times of the American Girls characters. This year’s discussion will be about Addy.
Book Bites Club: Nov. 29, 6:30 p.m., “The Dry Grass of August,” by Anna Jean Mayhew. Book discussion groups for adults and children are held at South Rowan Regional Library and will meet the last Tuesday of each month. The group is open and anyone is free to join at any time. There is a discussion of the book and light refreshments at each meeting. For more information please call 704-216-8229.
November library hours — Nov. 23, all locations close at 1 p.m.; Nov. 24-25, all locations closed for Thanksgiving.
Displays: Headquarters, Doll Society, Art Gang by Coleen Walton; South, jewelry by Esther Sims; East, holiday by Mary Earnhardt.
Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.