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Midwest Cozy Mystery Books In Order

Publication Order of Midwest Cozy Mystery Books

Murdered By Words (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder at the Clinic (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murdered at the Courthouse (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Professor's Predicament (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murdered by News (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The American novelist Dianne Harman is a highly regarded author of mystery fiction, especially cozy mystery novels. Over the years this has become her signature brand, with her ability to create both extremely accessible mysteries alongside well drawn characters. Not only that, but she has also gone on to produce a number of very well received series and franchises, which have amassed a vast amount of fans throughout the years. So many of these have gone on to build a worldwide audience, with many relating to her universal themes and ideas, regardless of where they’re from. One such series is that of her much loved collection of novels titled the ‘Midwest Cozy Mystery’ series, which has been running for some time now. Set in the American Midwest, the franchise follows the character of Kat Denham, a writer writing erotic novels under the pseudonym of Sexy Cissy. Following her time there, the series charts her many adventures and mysteries to solve, with each book having a different case. This, along with it being set in a small college town, gives it a sense of familiarity, as it delivers exactly what it promises with each stand-alone mystery.

Running for a total of five books so far and counting, this series first began back in 2016 and has continued at a regular pace since then. Starting with the novel ‘Murdered By Words’, they would be released in fairly quick succession, allowing them to remain fresh with their audience. Setting them all in the Midwest of America, they would come to use the area heavily, whilst also being accessible to those internationally as well. As a bestselling author, this is definitely one of Dianne Harman’s best series, showing clearly what she has to offer as an author of modern mysteries.

Murdered By Words

Initially published in 2016 on the 21st of April, this was to be the first book in the ongoing ‘Midwest Cozy Mystery’ series of novels. Setting up the main premise and location, it also manages to introduce many of the leading protagonists for the first time as well. Along with that it also provides the first main investigation, with a self-contained mystery for readers to fully invest themselves in.

As a cozy mystery series of novels, this title goes about differentiating itself from the rest of the titles within this popular field and genre. It does this by setting up the character of Kat Denham as an original strong and highly proactive leading character and protagonist. The location of the Midwest is also fully realized throughout too, creating a realistic setting for the action to take place within. Working as a stand-alone self-contained mystery, it allows readers to enjoy the story on its own merits, whilst also providing an over-arcing narrative for long-term fans too.

Writing under the assumed pen-name of ‘Sexy Cissy’, Kat Denham is an author steamy and erotic romance novels. Living as a widow in a small Midwest college town, she seems to be content with her life, that is until her real name is exposed and she finds herself exposed to all manner of dangers. Everything seems to be especially against her after her editor is murdered, leaving her to fear for her own life, especially with the ever growing list of suspects. From an obsessed woman concerned with the ‘morality’ in her novels, to the wife of the editor and a ‘trophy wife’ of a local banker, it seems that there are plenty with motives for committing the act. Where will the murderer strike next? Can Kat find them in time before it’s too late? Will she find herself murdered by words?

Murder at the Clinic

Originally brought out on the 26th of September in 2016, this was released not too long after the arrival of the first. Marking the second title of the long running ‘Midwest Cozy Mystery’ series of novels, it continues with another mystery, developing the characters and the initial premise. Giving the readers more of what they’ve now come to expect from the series as a whole, it manages to also take it in new and exciting directions too.

Continuing on similar to the previous title, this second instalment in the series aims to develop the world and the characters. Seeing Kat Denham once again, it shows her character having moved on from the first, now with the mystery premise of the series in full swing. The setting of the Midwest is now fully realized as well, with it almost becoming a character in of itself, building upon what came before. Again working as a stand-alone mystery in of itself, it does follow up on the character arcs from the original too.

Looking to make a change in her writing, Kat Denham looks to a different genre, hoping to make a name for herself outside of the erotic fiction to which she is most accustomed. Seeing plenty of inspiration in her acupuncturist friend Mitzi, she hopes to make her the subject of one of her stories after witnessing her get married to a doctor during her mid-life. That’s when, during a trip to the acupuncture clinic, another patient called Sandy Hendrick is mysteriously found murdered there. Looking to help her friend Mitzi out, Kat aims to clear her name by finding the real killer and bring them to justice. Who was it though and why would they do such a thing? Can Kat help clear Mitzi’s name and restore justice? What happened behind the murder at the clinic?

The Midwest Cozy Mystery Series

As a fully rounded collection of cozy mystery novels, this is definitely one of the far better offerings that the genre has to offer. Inventive, funny and witty in equal measure, they really do make the most of what the genre has to offer, providing some unique and creative takes of its own. Knowing and understanding the rules of the genre well, Harman has fun with them, taking them in new and interesting directions. This makes for some extremely compelling reading, especially with Harman being as gifted a writer as she is, along with her ability to create suspense and tension. Setting the standard for many books to come, this is a great series for fans of both the genre and the author alike, with it finding more and more readers every day.

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