Elizabeth Spann Craig books in order
Elizabeth Spann Craig is an American bestselling author of cozy mystery novels.
She also writes more cozy mysteries under her pen names Riley Adams and Elizabeth Craig.
Passionate about books from an early age, Elizabeth spent most of her childhood in the county library, where she read books just as much as she wrote her own stories.
Raised in Anderson, South Carolina, she attended Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina and spent her junior year studying abroad in London, where she penned articles for Nine to Five magazine.
Upon finishing college and tying the knot, Elizabeth relocated to Birmingham, Alabama, where she engaged in various activities such as writing, modeling, and advertising sales for a local arts publication.
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Mystery
Myrtle Clover Mystery
- A Dyeing Shame (2006)
- Pretty Is As Pretty Dies (2009)
- Progressive Dinner Deadly (2011)
- A Body in the Backyard (2012)
- Death at a Drop-In (2013)
- A Body at Book Club (2014)
- Death Pays a Visit (2014)
- A Body at Bunco (2015)
- Murder on Opening Night (2015)
- Cruising for Murder (2016)
- Cooking is Murder (2017)
- A Body in the Trunk (2017)
- Cleaning is Murder (2018)
- Edit to Death (2019)
- Hushed Up (2019)
- A Body in the Attic (2020)
- Murder on the Ballot (2020)
- Death of a Suitor (2021)
- A Dash of Murder (2022)
- Death at a Diner (2022)
- A Myrtle Clover Christmas (2022)
- Murder at a Yard Sale (2023)
Village Library Mystery
- Checked Out (2019)
- Overdue (2019)
- Borrowed Time (2020)
- Hush-Hush (2020)
- Where There's a Will (2021)
- Frictional Characters (2022)
- Spine-Tingling (2022)
- A Novel Idea (2023)
- End of Story (2023)
Detailed book overview
Myrtle Clover Mystery
Some beauty secrets are more dangerous than others…
When Beauty Box beautician Tammy Smith is discovered with a pair of hair shears in her back, there are suspects and secrets aplenty in her small Southern town.
Octogenarian Myrtle Clover, bored by bingo and bridge, is intrigued by the crime…and her neighbors’ secrets. But discovering, and blabbing, secrets got Tammy killed and Myrtle soon learns her sleuthing isn’t just dangerous…it’s deadly.
Bingo, bridge--and a dead body? Can an octogenarian sleuth and her senior sidekick solve the mystery before they're pushing up daisies themselves?
No one in Bradley, North Carolina, is exactly crying into their sweet tea over the murder of Parke Stockard. Certainly not retired schoolteacher Myrtle Clover. Upon discovering the corpse, Myrtle is struck-not with grief, but a brilliant idea! Solving the crime would prove to everyone (especially her son Red, the police chief) that this eighty-something-year-old is not ready to be put out to pasture just yet.
The victim, a pretty but pushy town developer, had deep pockets and few friends. Myrtle can’t throw one of her gaudy garden gnomes without hitting a potential suspect. Even when another murder takes place, proud Myrtle forges on, armed only with a heavy cane, a venomous tongue, and a widower sidekick.
Who wants chips and dip when they can have Dickens and Twain?
To the residents of the sleepy town of Bradley, North Carolina, hardworking Jill Caulfield seemed beyond reproach. She volunteered at the women’s shelter, worked at the church preschool, cleaned houses for extra money, and actually enjoyed yard work. And she was nothing less than a saint to cheerfully put up with her unemployed, skirt-chasing, boozer of a husband.
When intrepid octogenarian sleuth Myrtle Clover caught Jill, her new housekeeper, peering into her medicine cabinet, she should have been upset. But discovering that Jill wasn’t such a squeaky-clean goody-goody made her vastly more interesting in Myrtle’s eyes.
Myrtle would have happily continued figuring out what made Jill Caulfield tick. If Jill hadn’t foolishly gone and gotten herself murdered, that is.
Extreme gardening often involves gnomes and planted bodies...
It’s just an ordinary day for octogenarian sleuth Myrtle Clover—until her yardman discovers a dead body planted in her backyard. This death isn’t cut and dried—the victim was bashed in the head with one of Myrtle’s garden gnomes.
Myrtle’s friend Miles recognizes the body and identifies him as Charles Clayborne… reluctantly admitting he’s a cousin. Charles wasn’t the sort of relative you bragged about—he was a garden variety sleaze, which is very likely why he ended up murdered. As Myrtle starts digging up dirt to nip the killings in the bud, someone’s focused on scaring her off the case. Myrtle vows to find the murderer…before she’s pushing up daisies, herself.
You’re invited to a deadly drop-in.
Cosette Whitlow is a society matron…if tiny Bradley, North Carolina, has one. She kindly volunteers for all the town’s charities, but isn’t nearly as kind to her own family, neighbors, and friends. In fact, Cosette is emphatically disliked by much of the town—including octogenarian Myrtle Clover. And Myrtle knows that dislike in Bradley can quickly turn deadly.
No one seems surprised when Cosette’s body is discovered during a party she’s hosting—she was struck on the head with a croquet mallet. Wanting to restore order to the small town, Myrtle resolves to track down the killer—before the killer strikes again.
This is one book club meeting that doesn’t go by the book.
When octogenarian sleuth Myrtle Clover discovers Naomi Pelter’s dead body during a book club meeting, the other members seem shocked. But Myrtle can read between the lines. Naomi had riled everyone up by flirting with other people’s husbands, arguing with neighbors, and generally making a nuisance of herself. Murdering troublemakers is the oldest trick in the book.
The book club members seem too sweet to be killers, but Myrtle knows better than to judge books by their covers. Myrtle’s investigation into the murder will take a more novel approach than her police chief son’s by-the-book methods. Can Myrtle and her widower sidekick uncover the killer…before he writes them off for good?
At Greener Pastures Retirement Home, leisure time can prove perilous.
When psychic (and hubcap retailer) Wanda Alewine pays a late-night visit to Myrtle Clover, she urges the octogenarian sleuth to head straight to Greener Pastures Retirement Home. But Wanda doesn’t want Myrtle to consider the Home’s dubious amenities–she wants Myrtle to prevent a murder seen in a vision.
Reluctant Myrtle investigates with sidekick Miles, who seems a lot more interested in Greener Pastures than she is. As the duo digs, they uncover more than just Sudoku and Scrabble—they discover a sinister undercurrent… with murder as its outcome.
Playing Bunco may be fun...but murder proves a game-changer.
Octogenarian sleuth Myrtle Clover has never heard of the dice game Bunco. Regardless, she steps in as her daughter-in-law’s sub and reluctantly puts her game face on.
Bunco turns out to be child’s play. But when a body is discovered, Myrtle realizes another game is afoot. Before long, she’s playing cat and mouse with the killer.
Can she track down the murderer before the game is up? Or, with the killer playing hard to get, will it end up being “no dice?”
Murder steals the spotlight.
When Myrtle Clover and her friend Miles attend a play in their small town, there’s a full house on opening night.
It’s clear to Myrtle that one of the actresses is a stage hog who loves stealing the spotlight. Nandina Marshall certainly does upstage everyone—when her murder forces an unexpected intermission.
Can Myrtle and Miles discover who was behind her final curtain call….before murder makes an encore?
Loose lips sink ships…and result in murder.
When Myrtle and her friend Miles set out for adventure on the high sea, they assume most of the trip’s excitement will result from shore excursions to charming Alaskan villages.
They feel as if their ship has come in. But when a fellow passenger disappears, Myrtle realizes she must seize the helm and find the killer...before more souls are lost.
At cooking school, too many cooks can make you fed up.
Myrtle has decided that she’s actually a very good cook. In fact, she feels she’s such a good cook that she elects to hone her skills at a cooking school. She persuades her reluctant friend Miles to join her, convinced they both could use some inspiration in the kitchen.
This cooking school enrolls one rather loud-mouth student who quickly makes everyone fed-up. This unfortunate student, fond of telling tales out of school, learns that one man’s meat is another man’s poison. Myrtle and Miles must use class act detecting skills to learn who’s been schooled in murder before someone else’s goose gets cooked.
Sometimes taking a spin makes you crash and burn.
When a neighbor disappears, Myrtle and Miles shift gears and hit the road to search for him. They discover their neighbor slightly off the beaten track—murdered with a tire iron. Myrtle has no intention of letting the killer give them the slip. She and Miles buckle up for a race against time to find the murderer…before someone else hits a dead end.
When Myrtle's housekeeper is a murder suspect, she swears to Myrtle that she's squeaky clean.
It’s easy for fellow citizens to get on your nerves in sleepy Southern towns like Bradley, North Carolina. Particularly when one of the citizens is something of a cheapskate. Amos Subers isn’t one to tip waiters, pay back a loan, or behave generously with family. When it’s discovered that penny-pinching Amos was actually quite wealthy, it hardly engenders goodwill in the small town … in fact, he’s heartily disliked. Octogenarian sleuth Myrtle Clover’s housekeeper is certainly no fan of his: Amos owes Puddin money for cleaning his house.
It’s not too surprising when Amos is later found, murdered, in his kitchen. Myrtle and her senior sidekick Miles resolve to track down the killer when Puddin becomes a prime suspect…and before the murderer strikes again.
This book goes from ‘tell-all’ to ‘dead men tell no tales.’
Retired English teacher Myrtle Clover is frequently asked to proofread for friends. So she wasn’t totally surprised when her friend Pearl asked her to take a look at her memoir and polish it up.
But before Myrtle could pull out her red pen, Pearl was found … murdered.
Now Myrtle and her senior sidekick Miles must track down the memoir and the murderer before the killer makes any more final revisions.
Silence is golden …unless you’re permanently hushed up.
When Lillian Johnson was found dead one hot summer day, no one in the town of Bradley, North Carolina was all that surprised. Lillian had always talked about the trials of her various health problems and was sure to share with everyone exactly how much she suffered.
The townspeople were only slightly more surprised to discover that Lillian had been murdered. That’s because Lillian, like most folks, had a dark side. And a fair number of people had experienced this dark side.
Myrtle Clover, octogenarian sleuth and intrepid reporter, investigates Lillian’s death to discover precisely who hushed her up. . . before someone else is permanently silenced.
Attics can be full of surprises.
Who could have murdered Darren Powell? He was a very pleasant man fond of puttering around in his garden and playing chess. He didn't seem at all the type of person who'd find himself murdered in his own attic.
Myrtle and her senior sidekick Miles step in to investigate. The more they learn about Darren, the more interesting he becomes. And now someone else might be in danger. Can they learn the killer's identity before he strikes again?
If you can’t beat them, join them.
Octogenarian Myrtle Clover is so annoyed by the infighting at tiny Bradley, North Carolina’s town council meetings that she decides on a radical course of action: she’ll run for the open seat on the council. After all, she taught most of the elected officials—she should be able to enact some order.
But order apparently isn’t in the works. This becomes clear when a fellow candidate is found . . . murdered.
Myrtle and her senior sidekick Miles must uncover the killer before someone else becomes a lame duck.
The course of true love never did run smooth.
According to Myrtle, Eloise Crane set her cap for Miles long ago. Although Miles is now dating Eloise, he doesn’t seem overly enthusiastic about it. Myrtle figures he’s simply given in after running out of plausible excuses. Eloise drives Myrtle batty, so she’s intent on avoiding her as much as possible. This isn’t easy since Eloise is determined to join in whenever Miles and Myrtle are together.
When Myrtle spots Eloise at a restaurant canoodling with a different gentleman, she likes Eloise even less. And she decides that Eloise has caused no end of problems when her other suitor is found dead.
With Miles a suspect, Myrtle must jump into gear to clear his name and find the killer before he strikes again.
Food for thought: seasoning with these berries results in a dash of murder.
It's been a quiet autumn so far in the small town of Bradley, North Carolina. Or, as Myrtle would put it, a boring one. The slow pace and lingering post-summer heat are making life in Bradley very slow-paced, indeed.
That all changes when a local resident is poisoned by what looks like a scrumptious pie. The victim is a boorish man who has plenty of enemies in Bradley. Despite this, suspicion falls heavily on Myrtle and Miles's friend—a botanist who grows the deadly nightshade the man was poisoned with.
Can Myrtle and Miles solve the case and help their friend before the killer strikes again?
Diners can prove hazardous to your health.
Although Palmer Baxter hasn’t lived in the small town of Bradley long, she’s already become a force to be reckoned with. She’s joined all the clubs in town and has effected a takeover of many of them. Palmer is married to a handsome banker, is perfectly coiffed and outfitted, and volunteers for groups that serve the needy.
Needless to say, Palmer is extremely unpopular in her new hometown.
Unpopularity doesn’t ordinarily equate to murder, but it does in this instance. When octogenarian sleuth Myrtle and her senior sidekick Miles venture out for an early breakfast at the local diner, they make the startling discovery of Palmer’s demise.
Will Myrtle and Miles find the killer before disaster strikes again?
Someone will be getting coal in his stocking . . .
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the small town of Bradley, North Carolina. Wreaths adorn doors, halls are decked, and candles cheerfully glow in windows. Adding to the Christmas excitement, there's also a lovely local wedding with many guests to wish the couple well.
The wedding becomes a bit too exciting, however, when octogenarian sleuth Myrtle discovers the bride's rather outspoken aunt, mysteriously murdered.
Myrtle and her senior sidekick must find the killer before someone else doesn’t make it home for Christmas.
You never know what you’ll find at yard sales.
Myrtle’s friend Georgia finally reached a breaking point with the knick-knacks and collectibles in her cluttered home. When book club hosted a collective yard sale to benefit the local library, Georgia decided the time had come to pare down her possessions at long last.
Most discouragingly, one of her yard sale customers had the poor manners to be murdered on her property. This alarming development was witnessed by both Myrtle and Miles, who’d come by the yard sale to take a closer look at Georgia’s uncommon memorabilia.
Upon investigation, the victim seemed to have a fair number of enemies in Bradley. But which one was responsible for his demise? Myrtle and Miles must figure it out to clear Georgia’s name . . . and before anyone else before anyone else gets a final bill of sale.
Village Library Mystery
There are no renewals when you’re permanently checked out.
When librarian Ann Beckett finally reluctantly agrees to being set-up on a blind date by one of her over-eager patrons, she figures the worst that could happen would be the two of them wouldn’t hit it off.
Little did she know that she’d be stood up...because her date was murdered.
With help from her patrons, Ann tries to find out who might be responsible in the small town of Whitby before more residents are permanently checked out.
Carmen King is a busy woman. Not only does she sit on the library board and dabble in the Friends of the Library, but she juggles quite a few relationships at once. Apparently, this doesn’t go over well with at least one of her boyfriends—Carmen is found dead at the bottom of the library staircase.
Librarian Ann Beckett not only finds Carmen’s body, but finds herself entangled in Carmen’s mysterious death as she sets out to learn why Carmen’s death, from the killer’s perspective, was overdue.
Sometimes a weekend trip is stressful, especially if you're on borrowed time.
Fall is beautiful in the small mountain village of Whitby, North Carolina. The leaves are changing color on the mountainsides, the sky is a bright blue, and the air is crisp. Librarian Ann Beckett's friend and coworker, Luna, has persuaded her to take a break from the library and attend a house party on the lake with her.
The modest house Ann was expecting is more of a mansion with amazing mountain and lake views and an indoor swimming pool. The other guests initially seem fun, but as time passes, tensions grow. When one of the guests is later found murdered in the pool, Ann works through the puzzle since now someone else is on borrowed time.
It’s hard keeping secrets in small towns.
At first, librarian Ann Beckett is delighted her director hired another full-time staff member. The Whitby Library is a busy place and another librarian should make life much easier there.
Instead, she soon discovers that the new hire, Ellie, seems to be bent on creating issues instead of solving them. When she’s found dead at the library, no one is as shocked as they might have been.
With time running out and a desperate killer on the loose, Ann starts uncovering all the secrets Ellie was trying to keep hush-hush.
No good deed goes unpunished.
The Whitby Library is a hive of activity. The basement of the old building is under construction and there are smaller projects on the main floor, too. The work is being done practically pro-bono by Cornelius, a Friends of the Library member who's a local real estate investor and builder and now a philanthropist.
Then Cornelius is found dead in an elevator shaft under mysterious circumstances. The focus falls on his family after his will is read and the amount of his fortune is realized.
Can Ann track down the killer before he strikes again? Where there's a will, there's a way.
Small towns + gossip = friction
No one in the town of Whitby, North Carolina was excited when Jonas Merchant returned to town. Jonas was an effective muckraker; an expert at uncovering secrets, rumors, and undercurrents. Even worse, he’d fallen on hard times and was desperate for easy cash. It was a decidedly dangerous combination.
It was perhaps not the biggest surprise when Jonas was discovered dead one day. More shocking, at least to local librarian Ann Beckett, was the fact that her straight-arrow director Wilson was one of the suspects in Jonas’s death.
Will Ann be able to track down the killer and clear Wilson’s name before he strikes again?
Unintended snooping can mean getting into someone's bad books.
The Whitby Library has been a busy place lately, between book clubs, children’s storytimes, and students working on research projects. Ann has been busy, too, which is why she’s so glad to see some new volunteers to help the staff out.
One of the volunteers is worried, though, and comes to Ann with a problem. She’s seen something odd . . . maybe even suspicious. Ann tries advising her, but the volunteer still seems troubled. The next day, the woman meets her own suspicious end.
Can Ann, with the help of her friends, help solve the mystery before someone else is permanently checked out?
Sometimes a novel idea can turn out to be a bad one.
Sally Simmons was rather misunderstood in the small town of Whitby, North Carolina. An awkward woman with a sly countenance, she became a regular at the library, spending a good deal of time scribbling in a notebook and staring vacantly off into space.
It turned out, to everyone's surprise, that Sally had been industriously penning a novel. To their greater surprise, it became something of a sensation, even landing itself on the bestseller lists.
Since much of the novel had been written within the hallowed walls of the Whitby Library, reference librarian Ann and other staff members decide to hold an event to celebrate Sally's accomplishment and learn more about her book.
Sadly, it soon becomes evident that Sally's book was inspired by actual residents of Whitby-and that she concealed their identities poorly.
When Sally meets an unfortunate demise, it's up to Ann to figure out the killer so the police can throw the book at him.
A novel way to die.
When Ann's boyfriend Grayson inherits a surprise legacy, the couple heads to historic Charleston for a much-needed vacation. Not only does Grayson adore the city, but Ann's college roommate, now a librarian, has extended an invitation for them to stay with her.
As they explore the picturesque streets and soak in the rich culture, Ann and Grayson couldn't be happier. But their idyllic getaway takes a turn for the worse when her former roommate's brother is found dead in the library.
Determined to uncover the truth and bring the killer to justice, Ann sets out to investigate. With Grayson's help, Ann unearths clues and unravels a web of deception. Will she be able to solve the mystery before someone else is booked for murder?