Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Book Suggestions 2020


I join with Rick and everyone else here at Type M in encouraging you all to support your local independent bookstores. If you’re in the United States or Canada, you can find one near you by going to Indie Bound’s store finder at

It’s a little early for my reading wrap-up for 2020, but I thought I’d give you some book recommendations for those readers on your Christmas list. There are so many good books, it’s hard to pick which ones to recommend. I went through the books I’ve read so far this year and picked some favorites. Besides purchasing books by the authors here at Type M, here are my suggestions:

Cozy Mystery: 

There are a lot of good cozies out there. I’ve recently read and enjoyed the Nick and Nora Mystery series by T.C. LoTempio. It’s a three book series, Meow If It’s Murder, Claws For Alarm and Crime and Catnip. Nora Charles is a former investigative/crime reporter from Chicago who moves to California when she inherits her mother’s sandwich shop. Nick is a tuxedo cat, formerly owned by a missing private investigator, who adopts her.

The Alaskan Diner mystery series by Elizabeth Logan aka Camille Minichino. The first book in this series, Mousse and Murder, came out earlier this year. The second, Fishing for Trouble, was released a month ago. An enjoyable series set in an interesting state. You can’t go wrong with any book that Elizabeth/Camille/... writes. (She writes under a lot of different names.)

The Movie Palace series by Margaret Dumas. These are just delightful reads. There’s a ghost, an old movie palace and murder. What more can you ask for? Books in the series are Murder at the Palace, Murder in the Balcony, Murder on the Silver Screen.

Humorous Mystery:

Lost Luggage by Wendall Thomas. This is the first book in the Cyd Redondo series, a mystery filled with adventure and humor. Cyd is my kind of gal: positive, resourceful and prepared for anything. A top-notch travel agent who knows everything about the places she sends people, only she’s never traveled anywhere herself. When she wins a trip to Tanzania, it turns out not to be the vacation that she’d hoped for.


The Great Molasses Flood of 1919 by Stephen Puleo. This is a fascinating read about an event that I didn’t know about until I listened to a History Channel podcast. It referenced this book, so I had to get myself a copy. Well worth reading.

Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures by Robert K. Wittman. I’ve always been fascinated by accounts of art theft. This memoir is a very interesting account of some of the many cases this FBI agent worked on over the years. 

The Ravenmaster: My Life With the Ravens at the Tower of London by Christopher Skaife. The author is the current Ravenmaster at the Tower of London. He talks about what it’s like to take care of these birds and also about the history of ravens at the tower.

Speculative fiction:

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, first book in the Thursday Next series. These books have been around for a while, but I recently re-read this one. It’s set in Great Britain in 1985 in an alternate reality where the Crimean War still rages on, time travel and cloning are reality, and literature is taken very, very seriously. Thursday is a literary detective for Spec-Ops. There are 7 books in this series. This is my favorite. Fforde also has a website that talks about Thursday and her world:

Middle Grade:

I enjoy reading a lot of Middle Grade novels. There's a lot of really fun books out there.This year I enjoyed these in particular: 

Greystone Secrets by Margaret Peterson Haddix. There are two books in this series so far with another coming out in 2021. In the first one, The Strangers, the Greystone kids, Chess, Emma and Finn, discover that they aren’t who they think they are when three kids with remarkably similar names and ages are kidnapped. These books are filled with mystery and adventure. 

The Last Musketeer series by Stuart Gibbs is a fun swash-buckling, time travel adventure. There are three books in the series, which should be read in order. I listened to the audio versions of the last two, read by Ramon de Ocampo. de Ocampo does a terrific job as narrator, making it even more exciting.

Those are my suggestions. What about yours?


Frankie Y. Bailey said...


Have you read Dennis Lehane's "The Given Day"? His characters are witnesses to the molasses flood.

Sybil Johnson said...

Sorry, just saw this. I've read some of Lehane's books, but not that one. I shall have to check it out. Thanks!