The best captivating small town romance and cozy mystery novels

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child I was an avid reader, my brothers’ books, my mother’s magazines, and anything in the bookcase. The library was my favorite place to go and I was proud of my library card. Today, I am a romance and cozy mystery author who is passionate about writing books that feature strong, compassionate characters that I would want to be friends with in real life. I hope you enjoy the books I've recommended but remember to pace yourself as you read through these authors' extensive lists. Allow yourself to sink into their fictional worlds and save each story.


I wrote...

Hiding in Montana

By Lucinda Race,

Book cover of Hiding in Montana

What is my book about?

For Polly Carson, working the land on a Montana ranch is a dream come true. No one knows she’s on the run, carrying a secret that could endanger the big eclectic family she’s found on the ranch.

Something about Polly draws Clint Goodman, foreman of Grace Star Ranch. If only he could remember why she seems so familiar. She trips his trigger for sure, but he’s been burned before. Maybe a woman like Polly is worth taking a second chance. Polly’s a strong woman with a deep inner strength. Clint, the strong silent type, loves and respects her fierce independence. But just as their slow-burn romance is heating up, Polly’s past returns to threaten her future. As lies and secrets are revealed, no one on the ranch will be safe.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The books I picked & why

Book cover of Dance Upon the Air

Lucinda Race Why did I love this book?

First, I’m a huge Nora Roberts fan and the Three Sisters Island Trilogy is one series that I have read many times. I love the strength of the female characters, their connection to each other, and the passion to do what is right, no matter the challenges they must face. They’re stronger together and form their family and support system. The love each woman finds in each book only cements their connections not just to each other but also they find a home.

By Nora Roberts,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Dance Upon the Air as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Nell Channing arrives on Three Sisters Island, she hopes she has finally found refuge from her abusive husband. But even in this peaceful place, she feels haunted by fear. Then she discovers the island is suffering under a terrible curse and that she must find the power to save herself. Pbk: ISBN 0749932775.


Book cover of Magic Uncorked

Lucinda Race Why did I love this book?

I adore reading books where women over the age of 40 are celebrated and highlights that they have full and rich lives. Their romantic lives aren’t dead, nor is their zest for adventure. This series of four books features each woman who is strong on her own but with her friends they are unstoppable and funny and who doesn’t wish we all had a touch of magic at our fingertips too. I love reading books that inspire me to live a full and rich life and even write those kinds of characters too.

By Annabel Chase,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Magic Uncorked as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Witches are created, not born.
The only magic word Libbie Stark seems to know these days is ‘ibuprofen’ thanks to a headache-inducing job, two teenagers, one ex-husband, and a deadbeat boyfriend—until the death of a friend brings unexpected consequences. Libbie and the other members of her weekly cocktail club are shocked to discover that their eccentric friend was far more extraordinary than they realized and that they are the recipients of her magical assets. Libbie would’ve preferred to inherit an island beach house, especially when her life starts to unravel.
With the help of her friends and a handsome lawyer…


Book cover of Louisiana Longshot

Lucinda Race Why did I love this book?

This series, A Miss Fortune Mystery, begs to be devoured but like anything that is this enjoyable savoring prolongs the enjoyment. I so much love vising the small town of Sinful LA. Fortune, a CIA operative who needs a place to hide meets up with 2 kindred souls, Ida Belle and Gertie, who just happen to have mad skills after serving in the military as young women, over 50 years ago. Talk about strong women, men who adore them and all wrapped up with a cozy mystery. I must pace myself. Ms. DeLeon needs to write faster. 

By Jana DeLeon,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Louisiana Longshot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It was a hell of a long shot....


CIA assassin Fortune Redding is about to undertake her most difficult mission ever-in Sinful, Louisiana. With a leak at the CIA and a price placed on her head by one of the world's largest arms dealers, Fortune has to go off-grid, but she never expected to be this far out of her element. Posing as a former beauty queen turned librarian in a small bayou town seems worse than death to Fortune, but she's determined to fly below the radar until her boss finds the leak and puts the arms dealer out…


Book cover of Death on the Nile

Lucinda Race Why did I love this book?

If you love crime fiction there is no one who writes it better than Agatha Christie. Each one of her books transports you on an adventure where you become part of the crime scene, working to solve the murder before he or she gets away. In Death on the Nile, the vivid descriptions of the ship, the pyramids and the slow winding journey, and even the funny Belgian detective is so well developed you can’t help but be transported. It’s like traveling to exotic locals via armchair.

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Death on the Nile as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The tranquillity of a cruise along the Nile was shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway had been shot through the head. She was young, stylish and beautiful. A girl who had everything... until she lost her life.

Hercule Poirot recalled an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: 'I'd like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger.' Yet in this exotic setting nothing was ever quite what it seemed...


Book cover of On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Lucinda Race Why did I love this book?

Early in my author life I picked this memoir up to discover Mr. King's secret to his success. I had visited his home in Bangor Maine and of course it was quirky as I had expected but I was curious if his memoir would evoke that same feeling. When I finished this book there were some tips I gleaned from writing but I was inspired to never give up. I applied this to all aspects of life, not just as an author. His strength facing rejection, recovery from a horrible accident, and his discipline and balance in life was inspiring. 

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked On Writing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Twentieth Anniversary Edition with Contributions from Joe Hill and Owen King

ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE’S TOP 100 NONFICTION BOOKS OF ALL TIME

Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.

“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the…


You might also like...

Conditions are Different After Dark

By Owen W. Knight,

Book cover of Conditions are Different After Dark

Owen W. Knight Author Of The Visitors

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Visionary Compassionate Imaginative Conspiracist Apophenia (or apophenic)

Owen's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

In 1662, a man is wrongly executed for signing the death warrant of Charles I. Awaiting execution, he asks to speak with a priest, to whom he declares a curse on the village that betrayed him. The priest responds with a counter-curse, leaving just one option to nullify it.

Over four centuries later, Faith and James move to the country to start a new life and a family. They discover their village lives under the curse uttered by the hanged man. Could their arrival be connected? They fear their choice of new home is no coincidence. Unexplained events hint at threats or warnings to leave. They become convinced the village remains cursed despite their friends’ denials. Who can they trust, and who are potential enemies?

Conditions are Different After Dark

By Owen W. Knight,

What is this book about?

In 1660, a man is wrongly executed for signing the death warrant of Charles I. While awaiting execution, he asks to speak with a priest, to whom he declares a curse on the village that betrayed him. The priest responds with a counter-curse, leaving just one option to nullify it.
Over four centuries later, Faith and James move to the country to start a new life and a family. They learn that their village lives under the curse uttered by the hanged man. Could their arrival be connected?
Faith and James fear that their choice of a new home is…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in private investigators, Louisiana, and witches?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about private investigators, Louisiana, and witches.

Private Investigators Explore 282 books about private investigators
Louisiana Explore 107 books about Louisiana
Witches Explore 132 books about witches