100 books like The Rocky Road to Ruin

By Meri Allen,

Here are 100 books that The Rocky Road to Ruin fans have personally recommended if you like The Rocky Road to Ruin. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Clammed Up

Debra H. Goldstein Author Of One Taste Too Many

From my list on sleuths who are frightened of the kitchen.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having had two books orphaned (Maze in Blue and Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery), I wanted to write a cozy mystery. Most cozy mysteries feature an excellent cook, baker, or craftswoman. I hate all those things. Stumped for a moment, I realized there were other readers like me—and that is how Sarah Blair, a woman who finds being in the kitchen more frightening than murder was born. Professionally and personally, I’ve been a writer, lawyer, judge, wife, mother of twins, step-mother, and community volunteer, but the Sarah Blair books combine my love of animals with my propensity for accidentally blowing up my kitchen.

Debra's book list on sleuths who are frightened of the kitchen

Debra H. Goldstein Why did Debra love this book?

Financial whiz Julia Snowden returns to her Maine hometown to rescue the family’s clambake business. Although she has financial acumen, she lacks true knowledge of how a clam bake works. She learns the hard way when a murder and a wedding reception don’t mix. I wasn’t familiar with the inner workings of clam bakes, from menu to preparation, but I learned with Julia. I also enjoy Ross’s writing style. The combination of the storytelling plus the facts interwoven make this a good book choice.

By Barbara Ross,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Clammed Up as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Summer has come to Busman's Harbor, Maine, and tourists are lining up for a taste of authentic New England seafood, courtesy of the Snowden Family Clambake Company. But there's something sinister on the boil this season. A killer has crashed a wedding party, adding mystery to the menu at the worst possible moment. . .

Julia Snowden returned to her hometown to rescue her family's struggling clambake business--not to solve crimes. But that was before a catered wedding on picturesque Morrow Island turned into a reception for murder. When the best man's corpse is found hanging from the grand staircase…


Book cover of Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder

Judy Alter Author Of Saving Irene: A Culinary Mystery

From my list on outrageous cozy mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a lifelong fan of cozy mysteries, starting with Nancy Drew. Although I have written primarily about women of the 19th-century American West, I always longed to write mysteries. The Irene in Chicago Culinary Mysteries is my fourth series but the first outrageous one. The books combine my love of all things culinary (I’ve even written cookbooks) and my love of Chicago, my hometown. What makes them outrageous? Irene’s diva-like deceptions and Henny’s snarky commentary.

Judy's book list on outrageous cozy mysteries

Judy Alter Why did Judy love this book?

Social media expert Maddy Montgomery, left standing at the altar, is #StartingOver in small-town Michigan after inheriting her great-aunt’s bakery and a 200-pound English Mastiff named Baby. Her plan to sell the bakery and go back to her sophisticated life is spoiled by a restriction in the will requiring her to spend a year in New Bison. Maddy doesn’t bake, and her Louboutins aren’t made for walking giant dogs, but the locals are friendly, and Lake Michigan is beautiful. Maddy feels ready to take on the challenge—until New Bison’s mayor is fatally stabbed, and her fingerprints are on the knife. When there’s another murder, she even begins to suspect the one person she has trusted. Maddy’s snarky dialog and clever use of hashtags, along with the irresistible Baby, make this a stand-out.

By Valerie Burns,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Snappy dialogue, a well-drawn supporting cast and an irresistible canine companion all add delicious flavor. Gulp this book down or savor it, but consuming it will guarantee a sustained sugar high.”– The New York Times Book Review

In a brand-new culinary cozy series with a fresh edge and a delightful small-town setting, the acclaimed author introduces Maddy Montgomery, a social media expert who’s #StartingOver in small town Michigan after inheriting her great-aunt’s bakery…and a 200-pound English Mastiff named Baby.

A CrimeReads Most Anticipated Book Of 2022

When Maddy Montgomery’s groom is a no-show to their livestream wedding, it’s a disaster…


Book cover of Class Reunions Are Murder

Paula Charles Author Of Hammers And Homicide

From my list on cozy mysteries with strong family ties.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a cozy mystery writer and reader who loves to suss out family dynamics in the books I’m devouring. My love of genealogy and turning family stories into fiction played a large role while writing my first book, Hammers and Homicide. Wherever my husband and I travel, we search for ancestors in ancient cemeteries and try to find out more about their stories. You’ll find a few of them between the pages of my books. I hope you’ll enjoy these books, all featuring some level of family ties, as much as I did! 

Paula's book list on cozy mysteries with strong family ties

Paula Charles Why did Paula love this book?

I can’t even tell you how much I love Aunt Ginny in Libby Klein’s Poppy McAllister Mystery series! She is an absolute hoot. While I love the whole series, the first introduction to Aunt Ginny in this book remains my favorite. 

Poppy is newly widowed and a grief-stricken disaster when she receives an invitation to her high school reunion. She heads home to Cape May and her eccentric Great Aunt Ginny’s house. As they do in cozy mysteries, a murder happens, and Poppy and Aunt Ginny are on the case.

Poppy and her aunt’s relationship, paired with Aunt Ginny’s crazy antics, always leaves me wiping tears of mirth out of my eyes. Such a fun read!

By Libby Klein,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Class Reunions Are Murder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fans of Jana DeLeon and Joanne Fluke will love Libby Klein! For fortysomething Poppy McAllister, taking a stroll down memory lane in Cape May, New Jersey, isn't just awkward--it's deadly.
 
Newly widowed and stuck in a middle-aged funk, Poppy has been running on cookies, infomercials, and one-sided chats with her cat for months. There's no way on earth she's attending her twenty-five-year class reunion--especially after receiving a very bizarre letter from Barbie, the popular cheerleader who taunted her all through high school. At least, not until Poppy's best friend practically drags her to the event . . .
 
Using the…


Book cover of A Trip with Trouble

Debra H. Goldstein Author Of One Taste Too Many

From my list on sleuths who are frightened of the kitchen.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having had two books orphaned (Maze in Blue and Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery), I wanted to write a cozy mystery. Most cozy mysteries feature an excellent cook, baker, or craftswoman. I hate all those things. Stumped for a moment, I realized there were other readers like me—and that is how Sarah Blair, a woman who finds being in the kitchen more frightening than murder was born. Professionally and personally, I’ve been a writer, lawyer, judge, wife, mother of twins, step-mother, and community volunteer, but the Sarah Blair books combine my love of animals with my propensity for accidentally blowing up my kitchen.

Debra's book list on sleuths who are frightened of the kitchen

Debra H. Goldstein Why did Debra love this book?

I recently read an advance copy of A Trip with Trouble (releases October 2022), the 2nd Mountain Lodge Mystery. In the first book in the series, protagonist Misty Murphy turned fifty, got divorced, and invested her settlement in a mountain lodge that she knew nothing about running. A Trip with Trouble finds the inn totally rented out to Dangerous Curves Motorcycle Club, a group of women who plan to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway. On a ride that Misty is invited to join, things go awry when the tail gunner (last rider) is found dead. Although I enjoyed the whodunit aspects of the book, Kelly’s vivid descriptions of the Blue Ridge Parkway area and the mountains grounded the book in reality. A quick read that I stayed up far too late so I could finish it in one sitting. (The book has certain chapters told through the eyes of…

By Diane Kelly,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Trip with Trouble as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When the ladies of the Dangerous Curves Motorcycle Club take over the Mountaintop Lodge for their annual autumn ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Misty Murphy couldn't be more thrilled. Every room is full and the adventurous women couldn't be more entertaining. The ladies even invite Misty and her assistant Brynn to join them on a ride to admire the colourful fall foliage. Hotel handyman Rocky Crowder is happy to keep an eye on the lodge for the day, and the ladies set out for a fun ride on the scenic road.

The skies are clear, the air is crisp,…


Book cover of Survival of the Fritters

Sarah Fox Author Of Six Sweets Under

From my list on culinary cozy mystery to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a cozy mystery lover with a sweet tooth, I devour dozens of mystery novels every year (many featuring food) and I love to sample new series while also following my long-time favorites. I have also written and published more than 15 cozy mysteries of my own, many of which have a culinary theme. Although I grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, I now live in a small town and I have a particular fondness for cozy small-town mysteries set by the ocean, as well as those featuring scrumptious treats.

Sarah's book list on culinary cozy mystery to satisfy your sweet tooth

Sarah Fox Why did Sarah love this book?

The donut shop at the center of this book is the perfect place for owner Emily Westhill to gather gossip and clues while solving a local murder.

The star of this series is, in my mind, the sweet and adorable cat, Deputy Donut. Survival of the Fritters might have left me hungry for donuts, but the mystery and characters also left me craving more of the series.

By Ginger Bolton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Survival of the Fritters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Emily Westhill runs the best donut shop in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, alongside her retired police chief father-in-law and her tabby Deputy Donut. But after murder claims a favorite customer, Emily can’t rely on a sidekick to solve the crime—or stay alive.

If Emily has learned anything from her past as a 911 operator, it’s to stay calm during stressful situations. But that’s a tall order when one of her regulars, Georgia Treetor, goes missing. Georgia never skips morning cappuccinos with her knitting circle. Her pals fear the worst—especially Lois, a close friend who recently moved to town. As evening creeps in,…


Book cover of Asking for Truffle

Sarah Fox Author Of Six Sweets Under

From my list on culinary cozy mystery to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a cozy mystery lover with a sweet tooth, I devour dozens of mystery novels every year (many featuring food) and I love to sample new series while also following my long-time favorites. I have also written and published more than 15 cozy mysteries of my own, many of which have a culinary theme. Although I grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, I now live in a small town and I have a particular fondness for cozy small-town mysteries set by the ocean, as well as those featuring scrumptious treats.

Sarah's book list on culinary cozy mystery to satisfy your sweet tooth

Sarah Fox Why did Sarah love this book?

I picked up Asking for Truffle because I love another series written by Dorothy St. James (the Beloved Bookroom Mysteries), and this series hooked me as well.

The quirky characters and seaside setting are the perfect ingredients for a delightful cozy mystery, and the chocolate at the center of the story adds a delicious note to the well-rounded and intriguing mystery plot.

By Dorothy St. James,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Asking for Truffle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Charity Penn receives a letter saying she won a trip to Camellia Beach, South Carolina complete with free cooking lessons at the town’s seaside chocolate shop, The Chocolate Box, she’s immediately skeptical. She never entered any contest. Her former prep school friend offers to look into the phony prize—only to end up drowned in a vat of chocolate.

Struck with guilt, Penn heads to the southern beach town to investigate why he was killed. But as wary as she is of the locals, she finds herself lured into their eccentric vibe, letting her defenses melt away and even learning…


Book cover of All Fudged Up

Sarah Fox Author Of Six Sweets Under

From my list on culinary cozy mystery to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a cozy mystery lover with a sweet tooth, I devour dozens of mystery novels every year (many featuring food) and I love to sample new series while also following my long-time favorites. I have also written and published more than 15 cozy mysteries of my own, many of which have a culinary theme. Although I grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, I now live in a small town and I have a particular fondness for cozy small-town mysteries set by the ocean, as well as those featuring scrumptious treats.

Sarah's book list on culinary cozy mystery to satisfy your sweet tooth

Sarah Fox Why did Sarah love this book?

All Fudged Up features one of the most charming real-life settings I’ve come across in cozy mysteries.

The series takes place on the delightful Mackinac Island, where there are horse-drawn carriages instead of cars and plenty of historic buildings like the McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop.

The main character, Allie McMurphy, spends her days whipping up batches of fudge, keeping the hotel running, and solving murders whenever her sweet puppy finds a body.

By Nancy Coco,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All Fudged Up as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Welcome to the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop--where life is sweet, revenge is sweeter, and murder is here to to stay. . .

You Can't Fudge An Alibi

Allie McMurphy is up to her neck in renovations at the grand old hotel that's been in her family for generations. With its quaint Victorian charm--and world-famous fudge shop--the place is one of Mackinac Island's most beloved landmarks.

Sure, every family has a skeleton or two in the closet. But Allie didn't expect to find an actual corpse inside hers, especially one Joe Jessup, who had a long-running feud with her…


Book cover of Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake

Sarah Fox Author Of Six Sweets Under

From my list on culinary cozy mystery to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a cozy mystery lover with a sweet tooth, I devour dozens of mystery novels every year (many featuring food) and I love to sample new series while also following my long-time favorites. I have also written and published more than 15 cozy mysteries of my own, many of which have a culinary theme. Although I grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, I now live in a small town and I have a particular fondness for cozy small-town mysteries set by the ocean, as well as those featuring scrumptious treats.

Sarah's book list on culinary cozy mystery to satisfy your sweet tooth

Sarah Fox Why did Sarah love this book?

As a chocoholic, I had to check out the Death by Chocolate Mysteries by Sarah Graves, and I definitely wasn’t disappointed.

Protagonist Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree and her best friend sell their delectable chocolate creations from their shop, the Chocolate Moose, in Eastport, Maine, while solving local mysteries.

Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake is sprinkled with intense, page-turning scenes and plenty of chocolate, making this a fun and delicious cozy mystery.

By Sarah Graves,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Life just got a little sweeter in the island fishing village of Eastport, Maine. Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree and her best friend Ellie are opening a waterfront bake shop, The Chocolate Moose, where their tasty treats pair perfectly with the salty ocean breeze. But while Jake has moved on from fixing up houses, she still can't resist the urge to snoop into the occasional murder. 
 
Jake and Ellie have been through a lot together, from home repair to homicide investigation. So when they decide to open a chocolate-themed bakery, they figure it’ll be a piece of cake. With Ellie’s old family…


Book cover of A Deadly Inside Scoop

Andrea J. Johnson Author Of Poetic Justice

From my list on cozy mysteries for readers who love culinary crimes.

Why am I passionate about this?

Cozy mysteries are one of the most misunderstood subgenres in fiction, so I’ve been advocating for their promotion for nearly a decade. Even going to far as getting my M.F.A. in the subject and writing a book, How to Craft a Killer Cozy Mystery. These stories focus on the puzzle or whodunit aspect of mystery and present any deaths in a bloodless manner. The focus typically centers on an amateur sleuth and their community rather than law enforcement or villains. My picks are all by female authors of color and have heroines whose culinary inclinations not only help them solve the crime but also leave audiences hungry for another helping.  

Andrea's book list on cozy mysteries for readers who love culinary crimes

Andrea J. Johnson Why did Andrea love this book?

If you love creamy desserts, downhome recipes, and close-knit communities, you’ll love the first entry in Abby Collette’s Ice Cream Parlor Mystery Series. Like all of the protagonists on this list, the story centers on a woman who has inherited a family eatery. In this instance, recent MBA grad Bronwyn Crewse isn’t able to get her new business off the ground when an early snow and a deadly confrontation with a family adversary put her plans in cold storage and her life in jeopardy.

By Abby Collette,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Deadly Inside Scoop as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book kicks off a charming cozy mystery series set in an ice cream shop—with a fabulous cast of quirky characters.

Recent MBA grad Bronwyn Crewse has just taken over her family's ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and she's going back to basics. Win is renovating Crewse Creamery to restore its former glory, and filling the menu with delicious, homemade ice cream flavors—many from her grandmother’s original recipes. But unexpected construction delays mean she misses the summer season, and the shop has a literal cold opening: the day she opens her doors an early first snow descends on…


Book cover of Tyrannosaurus Hex and the Unluckiest Day Ever

Kim Ann Author Of Where Do Dinosaurs Go on Vacation?

From my list on for dinosaur fans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a children’s book author that writes fun, colorful, imaginative books that help children develop a love of stories. My passion for books started at a young age, as one of my favorite things to do was visit the local library with my mom. I have had a lifelong passion for writing and began writing poetry books at nine years old for my school library. I started writing and publishing children’s picture books professionally and founded my publishing company, Lucky Four Press, LLC, in 2019. I hope you enjoy these dino-tastic books I recommended!

Kim's book list on for dinosaur fans

Kim Ann Why did Kim love this book?

Mr. Jay is a wonderful author and master of rhyme.

In this story, Anda, the T-Rex is convinced she is hexed, why else would she have such bad luck? With the help of a friend, and a positive attitude, she soon learns that anyone can make the best of a situation. The colorful illustrations and fun rhymes help bring the story to life.

By Jay Miletsky, Gary Wilkinson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tyrannosaurus Hex and the Unluckiest Day Ever as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For Anda, the T-Rex, nothing is going right! After a simply awful day, she's convinced that a horrible hex has given her the worst luck ever! But she soon discovers that bad luck is simply a matter of how you look at things.

A fun day of playing the jungle goes terribly wrong after Anda trips and falls over a tree trunk. That's followed by a long lone at the ice cream parlor, where they run out of her favorite flavor! Then, as if all of that wasn't bad enough, it starts to rain! There can only be one explanation:…


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