Jenn McKinlay is an American author who writes cozy mysteries and romance novels. Her books are known for their charming characters, humor, and engaging plots. McKinlay’s books have received many awards and nominations, including the Agatha Award, the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, and the Romance Writers of America RITA Award.
Before becoming a full-time writer, McKinlay worked as a librarian, a bookseller, and a freelance writer. Her popular series, Library Lover’s Mystery, is about libraries and books with the murder mystery. I started with this series and fell in love with her writing. Then I read her other series. So, I have a complete Jenn McKinlay reading guide and will share it with you. Let’s begin!
Jenn Mckinlay Books In Order (Reading Guide)
There is no specific reading order for Jenn McKinlay’s series and books. Each book in her various series can be read as a standalone novel. However, reading them in order can provide some continuity and insight into the characters and their relationships. If you prefer to read a series in order, starting with the first book and moving on to the subsequent books in the series is the chronological order. Here are Jenn McKinlay’s series and books in order.
Library Lover’s Mystery series:
- Books Can Be Deceiving (2011).
- Due or Die (2012).
- Book, Line, and Sinker (2012).
- Read It and Weep (2013).
- On Borrowed Time (2014).
- A Likely Story (2015).
- Better Late Than Never (2016).
- Death in the Stacks (2017).
- Hitting the Books (2018).
- Word to the Wise (2019).
- One for the Books (2020).
- Killer Research (2021).
- The Plot and the Pendulum (2022).
Cupcake Bakery Mystery series:
- Sprinkle with Murder (2010).
- Buttercream Bump Off (2011).
- Death by the Dozen (2011).
- Red Velvet Revenge (2012).
- Going, Going, Ganache (2013).
- Sugar and Iced (2014).
- Dark Chocolate Demise (2015).
- Vanilla Beaned (2016).
- Caramel Crush (2017).
- Wedding Cake Crumble (2018).
- Dying for Devil’s Food (2019).
- Pumpkin Spice Peril (2020).
- For Batter or Worse (2021).
- Strawberried Alive (2022).
- Sugar Plum Poisoned (2023).
Hat Shop Mystery series:
- Cloche and Dagger (2013).
- Death of a Mad Hatter (2014).
- At the Drop of a Hat (2015).
- Copy Cap Murder (2016).
- Assault and Beret (2017).
- Buried to the Brim (2020).
- Fatal Fascinator (2023).
A Museum of Literature Romance series:
- Royal Valentine (2022).
- The Attraction Distraction (2022).
- It Happened One Christmas Eve (2022).
Bluff Point series:
- About a Dog (2017).
- Barking Up the Wrong Tree (2017).
- Every Dog Has His Day (2018).
Happily Ever After series:
- The Good Ones (2019).
- The Christmas Keeper (2019).
To Catch a Latte (2002): A romantic comedy follows the story of a coffee shop owner and a private investigator. Cooper starts working on a case involving Meg’s shop, leading to an unexpected romance.
The Cozy Cookbook (2015): A collection of recipes inspired by various cozy mysteries.
Paris is Always a Good Idea (2020): A woman is on a journey to reconnect with her past loves in Ireland, France, and Italy. Along the way, she discovers the true meaning of love and happiness.
Wait For It (2021): A wedding planner and a divorce attorney find themselves neighbors and rivals. Despite their professional differences, they can’t deny the romantic chemistry brewing between them.
Summer Reading (2023).
Library Lover’s Mystery Books In Order
Books Can Be Deceiving (2011): In this first book, we get introduced to a director of the public library, Lindsey. Her world was turned upside down when her friend and fellow crafter, Beth, was accused of murdering a famous author. Lindsey starts on a thrilling adventure filled with twists and turns to clear her friend’s name, where she discovers that the world of literature is not always as it seems. As the stories continued, Lindsey found herself involved in more curious mysteries.
Due or Die (2012): Lindsey is trying to uncover the truth behind the murder of a library board member, proving that sometimes books can lead to deadly consequences.
Book, Line, and Sinker (2012): Lindsey unravels the secrets of a sunken treasure and the dark past it hid. The story grows more suspenseful because Lindsey and her friends face new challenges.
Read It and Weep (2013): Lindsey and her friend battle against a rival theater company that threatened their beloved library.
On Borrowed Time (2014): In this book, they find themselves racing against the clock to solve a kidnapping and save the life of an innocent child. Throughout these adventures, Lindsey’s unwavering love for books brings her face-to-face with danger.
A Likely Story (2015): Lindsey fights to protect her cherished library from a heartless real estate developer.
Better Late Than Never (2016): Lindsey researches the town’s history to uncover a decades-old mystery involving a long overdue library book.
Death in the Stacks (2017): Lindsey and her friend stumble upon the dark secrets of a seemingly perfect library volunteer.
Hitting the Books (2018): In this book, they find themselves during a scandalous affair that threatens to tear their tight-knit community apart.
Word to the Wise (2019): Lindsey faces her most personal and challenging mystery yet! She tackles a stalker who targets her and the people she cares for the most.
One for the Books (2020): Lindsey goes on a heartwarming journey of love and self-discovery. She prepares for her wedding amidst yet another baffling murder mystery.
Killer Research (2021): Lindsey is involved in another baffling mystery. A visiting researcher arrives at the library to study a rare and ancient manuscript, but she is found dead before long under mysterious circumstances. Lindsey discovers that pursuing knowledge can sometimes be as dangerous as it’s enlightening.
The Plot and the Pendulum (2022): This book tells the story of an old grandfather clock that finds its way to the Briar Creek Library. Lindsey knows this seemingly innocuous antique hides a secret compartment containing a cryptic message and an enigmatic map. Lindsey and her friends follow the clues, and they are drawn into a suspenseful journey that leads them through the dark and twisted history of Briar Creek.
There is no doubt that the adventures of Lindsey Norris and the Briar Creek Library will continue to delight and captivate readers. You will find yourself eagerly turning the pages to discover what awaits our beloved librarian and her friends in each new installment of the “Library Lover’s Mystery” series.
Cupcake Bakery Mystery Books In Order
Sprinkle with Murder (2010): The first book in the series follows the story of cupcake bakery owners Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura. They become suspects in a murder investigation after finding their competition dead with a cupcake in hand.
Buttercream Bump Off (2011): In this book, Melanie and Angie bake cupcakes for a reality TV show. Things worsen when one contestant is murdered, and their friend Tate is the prime suspect.
Death by the Dozen (2011): Melanie and Angie find themselves in the middle of the investigation as the prime suspects for a local businessman’s murder. With the help of their friends, they try to clear their names and find the real killer.
Red Velvet Revenge (2012): Melanie’s estranged mother returns to her life. The duo involves in a murder investigation where a food critic is poisoned after giving their bakery a bad review.
Going, Going, Ganache (2013): Melanie and Angie bake cupcakes for a charity auction. Someone kills the winning bidder. So, they try to uncover the killer before their business falls.
Sugar and Iced (2014): The cupcake bakery team bakes for the Winter Wonderland festival. Again, they investigate the snowman contest judge’s murder.
Dark Chocolate Demise (2015): To investigate a fellow baker’s murder during a chocolate festival, Melanie and Angie team up with their rival Olivia to solve the case and clear their names.
Vanilla Beaned (2016): Melanie’s ex-husband is found murdered, and she becomes a suspect in his death. So, she must solve the mystery and find the true killer.
Caramel Crush (2017): Melanie and Angie are hired to cater a high-profile wedding. The groom’s mother is found dead, and they follow the murky waters of a family feud to find the killer.
Wedding Cake Crumble (2018): When Melanie’s friend Oz’s wedding is interrupted by a murder, she and Angie track down the killer to ensure the weddings can continue.
Dying for Devil’s Food (2019): Melanie and Angie are on the case again in a wealthy socialite murder at a charity gala. With the help of their friends and family, they solve the case before the killer strikes again.
Pumpkin Spice Peril (2020): A pumpkin festival judge murder case creates chaos. Melanie and Angie struggle to solve the case before the killer ruins the season’s festive spirit.
For Batter or Worse (2021): The cupcake bakery team is now in a food festival. One of their competitors is found dead. They follow a web of lies and deceit to uncover the truth.
Strawberried Alive (2022): Melanie and Angie are back in action when a new pastry chef in town is murdered. They investigate to clear their friend’s name and find the real killer.
Sugar Plum Poisoned (2023): Melanie and Angie’s holiday plans interrupt a murder investigation. They are trying to solve the case and save the holiday season.
Overall, the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series follows a predictable formula of Melanie and Angie finding themselves in the middle of a murder investigation, often as suspects themselves.
Hat Shop Mystery Books In Order
Cloche and Dagger (2013): This is the first book in the series, which introduces the main character, Scarlett Parker, and her cousin, Vivian. The story occurs in London, where Scarlett inherits a hat shop and gets involved in a murder investigation.
Death of a Mad Hatter (2014): The second book in the series focuses on the death of a hat designer whose demise leads Scarlett and Vivian to investigate a web of secrets and lies. The plot is more complex than the previous book, with several red herrings and plot twists that keep the readers guessing until the end.
At the Drop of a Hat (2015): In this book, Scarlett and Vivian travel to New York to attend a hat show, but things turn dark when a rival designer is found dead. The book also explores Scarlett’s romantic life and her struggle to balance her personal and professional priorities.
Copy Cap Murder (2016): The fourth book in the series centers around a copycat killer who mimics the murders depicted in a famous mystery novel. Scarlett and Vivian team up with the book’s author to catch the killer before he strikes again.
Assault and Beret (2017): This book takes place in Paris, where Scarlett and Vivian attend a fashion week and stumble upon a murder. The story also shows Scarlett’s family history and her estranged relationship with her father.
Buried to the Brim (2020): The sixth book in the series sees Scarlett and Vivian investigating a murder at a wealthy client’s estate. The book also explores Scarlett’s relationship with her boyfriend and her decision to take her hat shop to the next level.
Fatal Fascinator (2023): Scarlett and Vivian are excited to create hats for the season’s wedding in a castle in the countryside. However, their joy is short-lived when the groom is found dead in the library. Scarlett can’t resist poking around and investigating, but no one can leave while the police investigate. The book contains suspects, but the plot moves briskly with surprising twists and turns. The characters are well-developed, and the humor is delightful, including pun wars that make you grin.
So, the Hat Shop Mystery series is a delightful and entertaining cozy mystery series that combines intriguing whodunits with charming settings and relatable characters. Each book stands independently, but the series offers a satisfying narrative arc that follows Scarlett’s personal and professional growth. I recommend reading the readers follow the character development and the relationships between the main characters.
A Museum of Literature Romance Books In Order
Royal Valentine (2022): In this first book of the series, we introduce Molly and Briana. They work at the Museum of Literature in NYC and attend a Regency period costume fundraising event on Valentine’s Day. Briana finds an attractive man, while introverted Molly wants to leave and read a book at home. Molly eventually meets handsome Brit Albert George. The story is cute but lacking in humor and with an over-cliche plot.
The Attraction Distraction (2022): The book is a quick read with a mix of romance and adventure. Sarah and Liam go on a trip to Greece to compete to retrieve an artifact. The narrator is entertaining and does an excellent job with the characters, including Liam’s slight Irish accent. The risk and danger bring Sarah and Liam closer together, leading to a forced/awkward romance that is overall enjoyable.
It Happened One Christmas Eve (2022): Our main character, Claire Macintosh, is pressured by her mother to marry a man she doesn’t love. On the night of her engagement at the holiday gala, Claire makes a deal with a man dressed as Santa (story reporter). She will grant him an exclusive interview if he helps her get to her cottage. They face unexpected twists and turns and realize their careers aren’t the only things on the line.
Following the reading order is not necessary for this series. It might be helpful to start with the first book to understand the characters and their relationships better. The series follows different characters. Each book can be read as a standalone novel. You won’t miss out on major plot points if you read them out of order. Ultimately, it’s up to your personal choice.
Bluff Point Books In Order
About a Dog (2017): This is the first book in the series, which introduces the small town of Bluff Point and its charming characters. Zachary is a handsome and ruggedly independent marine who finds himself taking care of a dog named Tulip. She runs away from her owner, Lara, his high school crush. They work together to care for the dog, and old feelings resurface, leading to a heartwarming romance.
Barking Up the Wrong Tree (2017): The second book in the series focuses on Carly DeCusati, a successful businesswoman. She inherits a rundown mansion in Bluff Point from her great aunt. She hires a local contractor, James Sinclair, to help renovate the house. They quickly clash due to their different personalities. However, they discover they have more in common than they initially thought, leading to a steamy romance.
Every Dog Has His Day (2018): In the third book, we follow the story of Mackenzie “Mac” Harris, a professional dog trainer. She falls for a man named Gavin, who owns a rival dog training business. They compete for a lucrative dog-training contract and are drawn to each other.
Each book in the Bluff Point series focuses on different main characters and their respective love stories, but they all occur in the same small town of Bluff Point. However, they can be read as standalone novels as well.
Happily Ever After Books In Order
The Good Ones (2019): This first book covers a heartwarming story about Maisy Kelly, who inherits a Victorian house and wants to turn it into a romance bookstore. She hires Ryder, an architect, to help her with the renovation, but he is not interested in a relationship. They work together and begin to develop feelings for each other. The story explores themes of family, the past, and finding happiness.
The Christmas Keeper (2019): We follow the story of Joaquin Solis, who loves Savannah Wilson but has to win her over. He gets help from his friends and uses their sizzling chemistry and a lot of Christmas spirit to convince her. Meanwhile, Savannah is focused on getting revenge and hesitates to let anything change her plans. The book is a heartwarming holiday story with romance and a Christmas spirit.
Each book in the Happily Ever After series can be read as a standalone novel. If you prefer to read a series in order, starting with “The Good Ones” and then moving on to “The Christmas Keeper” would be the chronological order.
Jenn McKinlay’s books are worth reading. Her cozy mysteries are not overly violent or gory but focus on the mystery puzzle and the characters’ relationships. Her romance novels are sweet and uplifting, with relatable characters and realistic situations. If you enjoy cozy mysteries or sweet romance novels, Jenn McKinlay’s books are definitely for you.
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