Aunt Bessie Mysteries

The Isle of Man Cozy Mystery series features Aunt Bessie, a character who first appeared in the Isle of Man Romance Island Inheritance. In that novel, she had just passed away, so the cozy mysteries are set about fifteen years before the romance novels (circa 1998). Bessie's lived her entire adult life in a small cottage on Laxey Beach in the Isle of Man. Until now, murder was just something that happened in her favourite fiction.

Cover of Book 1

The first Aunt Bessie mystery is available for the Kindle and also in paperback.

Aunt Bessie assumes that she'll have the beach all to herself on a cold, wet, and windy March morning just after sunrise, then she stumbles (almost literally) over a dead body. Aunt Bessie assumes that the dead man died of natural causes, then the police find the knife in his chest.

Elizabeth (Bessie) Cubbon, aged somewhere between free bus pass (60) and telegram from the Queen (100), has lived her entire adult life in a small cottage on Laxey beach. For most of those years, she's been in the habit of taking a brisk morning walk along the beach. Dead men have never been part of the scenery before.

Try as she might, Bessie just can't find anything to like about the young widow that she provides tea and sympathy to in the immediate aftermath of finding the body. There isn't much to like about the rest of the victim's family either.

Aunt Bessie assumes that the police will have the case wrapped up in no time at all, then she finds a second body. Can Bessie and her friends find the killer before she ends up as the next victim?

Cover of Audiobook 1

Aunt Bessie Assumes is also available as an audiobook from Amazon, Audible or iTunes.

Click the control below to listen to an extract.

Cover of Book 2

The second Aunt Bessie mystery is available for the Kindle and also in paperback.

Aunt Bessie believes that Moirrey Teare is just about the most disagreeable woman she's ever had the misfortune to meet.

Elizabeth Cubbon, (Aunt Bessie to nearly everyone), is somewhere past sixty, and old enough to ignore the rude woman that does her best to ruin the first session of the beginning Manx language class they are both taking. Moirrey's sudden death is harder to ignore.

Aunt Bessie believes that Moirrey's death was the result of the heart condition that Moirrey always complained about.

The police investigation, however, suggests that someone switched some of the dead woman's essential medications for something far more deadly.

Aunt Bessie believes that she and her friends can find the killer.

But with Doona suspended from work and spending all of her time with the dead woman's long-lost brother, and with Hugh caught up in a brand new romance and Inspector Rockwell chasing after a man that might not even exist, Bessie finds herself believing that someone might just get away with murder.

Cover of Audiobook 2

Aunt Bessie Believes is also available as an audiobook from Amazon, Audible or iTunes.

Click the control below to listen to an extract.

Cover of Book 3

The third Aunt Bessie mystery is available for the Kindle and also in paperback.

Aunt Bessie considers it an honour to be giving a presentation about her research at a conference in the Manx Museum.

Miss Elizabeth Cubbon is known as "Aunt Bessie" to nearly everyone her hometown of Laxey. While she never earned a college degree, she's become something of an expert in the history of the island that she's called home for all of her adult life. Once she turned sixty, she stopped counting how many years that includes.

Aunt Bessie considers it unfair when the entire conference schedule is thrown into disarray by Mack Dickson's sudden arrival.

Mack promises that what he has to say is important enough to warrant the upheaval. But even more turmoil follows when Bessie discovers Mack's body only a short time after he's finished giving his speech.

Aunt Bessie considers Police Inspector Peter Corkill a poor substitute for her friend, John Rockwell.

But the Manx Museum is out of Rockwell's jurisdiction and that means Corkill is in charge of the investigation, no matter what Bessie thinks. With Corkill insisting that Mack's death was probably an unfortunate accident, Mack's slides that shocked the conference disappear. Bessie finds herself drawn into another investigation and she's determined to drag her friends, Rockwell, Doona and Hugh, in with her.

Cover of Audiobook 3

Aunt Bessie Considers is also available as an audiobook from Amazon, Audible or iTunes.

Click the control below to listen to an extract.

Cover of Book 4

The fourth Aunt Bessie mystery is available for the Kindle and also in paperback.

Aunt Bessie decides that she and her closest friends should have an enjoyable night out.

Elizabeth Cubbon (known to almost everyone as Aunt Bessie) has made many friends over the lifetime that she's lived in the village of Laxey, but few have been as close as the ones she's made recently. Bessie relied on Doona Moore, Hugh Watterson and John Rockwell to help her through several recent murder investigations she's found herself caught up in. Now she wants to treat them all to an open-air performance of a Shakespearean play on the grounds of historic Peel Castle.

Aunt Bessie decides that it doesn't much matter what show the troupe is performing as long as she and her friends can relax and have fun.

Two members have recently left the theatre company. Now the troupe has thrown aside its usual repertoire in favour of a play written by one of their own. When those two former members appear in the audience, though, someone decides to get rid of one of them for good.

Aunt Bessie decides to give the show another chance, but a second performance almost ends in a second tragedy.

With all of the suspects blaming one another, and several of them turning up on the doorstep of Bessie's cottage, it's time for Bessie to decide to solve this murder herself.

Cover of Book 5

The fifth Aunt Bessie mystery is available for the Kindle and also in paperback.

Aunt Bessie enjoys planning for a pleasurable Tynwald Day celebration with her friends.

Elizabeth Cubbon is called "Aunt Bessie" by nearly everyone in the small village of Laxey that she calls home. A number of murders have thrown her normally quiet life into turmoil and at her age (just don't ask her exactly what age that is), she feels like she's had enough.

Aunt Bessie enjoys getting through the whole day without anyone stumbling over a dead body.

It's her friend John Rockwell's first Tynwald Day and Bessie is delighted when she, Doona, Hugh and Grace get to share the spectacle and festivities of the Manx National Day with him, without anything going wrong.

Aunt Bessie enjoys a quiet breakfast at home, until the police come pounding on her door.

It seems someone at Tynwald Day had murder on his or her mind after all, and suddenly Bessie finds herself caught up in the most complicated murder investigation she's ever had the misfortune to experience. This time Rockwell is doing his best to keep her as far away from the investigation as he can and Doona seems to be trying to keep Bessie under constant surveillance. If there's one thing Bessie definitely doesn't enjoy, it's someone getting away with murder.

Cover of Book 6

The sixth Aunt Bessie mystery is available for the Kindle and also in paperback.

Aunt Bessie finds herself in need of a change of scenery.

Bessie Cubbon, Laxey Village's "Aunt Bessie" is feeling overwhelmed by the twists and turns her life has taken recently. When a friend suggests that she look at a flat in Douglas, Bessie is seriously tempted to try relocating to the Island's beautiful capital city.

Aunt Bessie finds another body.

This one is still breathing at least, but no one seems to know anything about the man. Could he be tied to the strange things that are happening in Bessie's friend's building?

Aunt Bessie finds that doing a friend a favour isn't as easy as it appears.

Moving to Douglas turns out to be the easy part. Figuring out what's going on in the building on Seaside Terrace is far more complicated. With John and Hugh both on their summer holidays and Doona working hard in Laxey, Bessie finds herself calling on other acquaintances for help this time around. The question is, can she trust them the way she knows she can rely on her friends from Laxey?

Cover of Book 7

The seventh Aunt Bessie mystery is available for the Kindle and also in paperback.

Aunt Bessie goes house hunting with her friend, John Rockwell.

CID Inspector John Rockwell asks Bessie Cubbon, a longtime resident of the village of Laxey where she's known to just about everyone as "Aunt Bessie," to help him find the perfect house in the village. What they find in one of the bedrooms of the last house they visit isn't what either of them was expecting.

Aunt Bessie goes to look at furniture with John as well.

Again, they find the unexpected, this time in a furniture storage unit in Jurby. But are the two cases, separated by thirty years, connected?

Aunt Bessie goes to great lengths to try to figure out what's happening before anyone else goes missing or ends up dead.

Cover of Book 8

The eighth Aunt Bessie mystery is available for the Kindle and also in paperback.

Aunt Bessie's holiday is an unexpected treat.

When Bessie Cubbon's best friend, Doona Moore, wins a week's stay at an English holiday park, she's quick to invite Bessie to join her. Bessie isn't sure the destination, hugely popular with families with small children, is one she would have chosen herself, but with all their expenses paid, she's determined to make the best of it.

Aunt Bessie's holiday doesn't exactly provide the rest and relaxation she was expecting.

They've only just unpacked when Doona gets an unexpected and unwelcome surprise. The next morning the pair find a dead body and Doona's the prime suspect in a murder investigation far from home. Bessie needs to make new friends fast to help try to find a killer, but how can she tell her friends from her enemies?

Aunt Bessie's holiday won't be over until someone is arrested for murder.

Cover of Book 9

The ninth Aunt Bessie mystery is available for the Kindle and also in paperback.

Aunt Bessie invites her dearest friends for a traditional American Thanksgiving feast.

Having spent her childhood in the US, Bessie Cubbon still celebrates an American-style Thanksgiving every November. Now Laxey's favourite "Aunt Bessie" is planning for her biggest feast ever, but when a body turns up on a nearby farm, she finds herself in the middle of yet another murder investigation.

Aunt Bessie invites herself to more than one house as she questions various people about the dead man.

But the more she learns, the more complicated the case seems to get.

Aunt Bessie invites the dead man's sister for tea.

But the sister has her own theory as to who might have killed her brother. Can Bessie help the police work out who really had a motive for murder all those years ago?

Cover of Book 10

The tenth Aunt Bessie mystery is available for the Kindle and also in paperback.

Aunt Bessie joins the planning committee for Manx National Heritage's new fundraiser, "Christmas at the Castle."

Bessie is delighted that her friends, Marjorie Stevens and Mary Quayle are also both on the committee. Carolyn Teare is a less welcome addition. When Carolyn insists on hiring an expensive designer to "improve" everything, Bessie is even less happy.

Aunt Bessie joins Mary and Marjorie in fighting against Christopher Hart's suggested changes to the beautifully decorated rooms.

But when Christopher ends up dead, not liking his design style seems a pretty slim motive.

Aunt Bessie joins forces with Inspector John Rockwell and his Douglas counterpart, Pete Corkill as an act of vandalism and a second dead body threaten to get "Christmas at the Castle" cancelled altogether.

Cover of Book 11

The eleventh Aunt Bessie mystery is available for the Kindle.

Aunt Bessie knows she's in for a long evening when she joins her friends to celebrate New Year's Eve.

In Elizabeth Cubbon's experience, New Year's Eve parties are never as fun as they ought to be. When she's invited to share the night with her new neighbours at Thie yn Traie, she reluctantly agrees, in spite of her misgivings.

Aunt Bessie knows that gorgeous redhead, Gennifer Carter-Maxwell is drunk and slightly out of control.

But when Gennifer starts flirting with Hugh Watterson, the young police constable who is Bessie's friend, Gennifer manages to upset Hugh's girlfriend, Grace. By the time midnight arrives, Bessie is more than ready to head for home, but first she agrees to join in the search for the now missing Gennifer.

Aunt Bessie knows that Hugh Watterson didn't kill anyone.

And she's certain that his supervisor, John Rockwell, knows it too. Unfortunately, it's Inspector Anna Lambert heading up this particular investigation. As evidence against Hugh seems to be piling up fast, Bessie knows she's going to have to do some detective work of her own.

Cover of Book 12

The twelfth Aunt Bessie mystery is available for the Kindle.

Aunt Bessie likes weddings.

Elizabeth Cubbon, known to everyone as "Aunt Bessie", is delighted to see two of her friends being united in marriage. But before the wedding, there's a cold case that has the whole island talking.

Aunt Bessie likes helping Hugh Watterson and John Rockwell with their investigation.

But when the three girls who went missing decades ago turn out to have been murdered, Bessie isn't as happy to be involved. When one of the main suspects turns up dead, things look increasingly complicated.

Aunt Bessie doesn't really like surprises.

But she's determined to give the happy couple the best possible surprise she can arrange. She just has to find time to plan that while hunting down a killer.

Cover of Book 13

The thirteenth Aunt Bessie mystery is available for the Kindle.

Aunt Bessie meets a former acquaintance on Laxey Beach.

It's the first anniversary of Danny Pierce's death and Bessie is surprised when she sees Danny's widow, Vikky, walking along the beach where her husband's body was found. Vikky is back on the island with a large group that includes her new husband, his children, their wives and several business associates.

Aunt Bessie meets Vikky's new husband, Alastair Farthington, a very wealthy businessman.

When one member of the Farthington group ends up dead, Alastair wants Bessie to help investigate the murder. And he isn't used to taking no for an answer.

Aunt Bessie meets a great many new people, none of whom seem to have had a motive for murder.

Can Bessie help Alastair work out what happened before the killer strikes again?

Cover of Book 14

The fourteenth Aunt Bessie mystery is available for the Kindle.

Aunt Bessie needs to start working on her Manx language skills again.

Elizabeth Cubbon, known as Aunt Bessie to nearly everyone, is taking the beginner's Manx language class for the fourth time. This time, however, many of her friends are taking it with her, which means she'll have lots of people to practice with, whether she wants to or not.

Aunt Bessie needs to try to help her friend, Laura Meyers.

Laura is nearly in tears when she arrives at the first class, but she's reluctant to talk about what's wrong. When she does confide in Bessie, Bessie wants to get the police involved, but Laura refuses.

Aunt Bessie needs to work out who is telling the truth, which isn't easy in a murder investigation.

Can Bessie help the police solve another murder? And will she ever learn to speak more than a few words in Manx?

Cover of Book 15

The fifteenth Aunt Bessie mystery is available for the Kindle.

Aunt Bessie observes almost everything.

Elizabeth Cubbon, known as Bessie to nearly everyone, doesn't miss much as she makes her way around the island that has been her home for all of her adult life.

Aunt Bessie observes less than her friend Janet Markham.

Bessie's friends Janet and Joan Markham are happy to be back on the island for a visit. When Janet peeks in a window and spots a dead body, the sisters' holiday becomes a lot more complicated.

Aunt Bessie observes another body.

Two dead men, a charity fundraiser that's in desperate need of help, and dozens of unanswered questions leave Bessie and her friends struggling to find a murderer before he or she can strike again.

Cover of Book 16

The sixteenth Aunt Bessie mystery is available for the Kindle.

Aunt Bessie provides help to Constable Hugh Watterson whenever she can.

Elizabeth Cubbon, Aunt Bessie to nearly everyone, has been involved in far too many murder investigations in the past year and a half. But when Hugh asks her to help him work out the identity of a body that washed up on Laxey Beach around twenty years earlier, she's happy to help.

Aunt Bessie provides Hugh with a list of men who left the island not long before the body was found.

If Hugh can track them all down, at least he'll know who the body isn't, but the job isn't as straightforward as it first appears.

Aunt Bessie provides a sympathetic ear for the family and friends of the various missing men.

But when one of them proves impossible to find, will anyone step forward to provide a DNA sample to compare with Hugh's body?

Cover of Book 17

The seventeenth Aunt Bessie mystery is available to pre-order for the Kindle.

Aunt Bessie questions how best to support her friend Helen.

Helen Baxter and Inspector Pete Corkill are getting married, but Helen's nerves are getting the better of her. Elizabeth Cubbon, Bessie to everyone, does everything she can to help her friend.

Aunt Bessie questions whether the wedding will happen or not.

When the happy couple stumble across a dead body on the night before the wedding, things get complicated very quickly.

Aunt Bessie questions the dead man's estranged wife, his live-in girlfriend, and anyone and everyone else she can find.

But this is one killer who wants to stop Bessie, and it seems the killer is prepared to do whatever needs to be done to scare Bessie away from the investigation.

[Released on April 19th 2018]

Cover of Summer compilation

The Summer Dreams anthology is available for the Kindle.

This anthology contains an Aunt Bessie short story by Diana, along with other great Summer stories.

Summer. It's the time when we take vacations, go swimming, and generally veg out. Many people like to find some light summer reading for the long, lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. If that's you, you've come to the right place.

This collection offers up fifteen stories by a dozen authors. Some are brief, and some are pleasant. Others are lengthy, and a couple of them are downright disturbing. They're all going to stay with you for a while.

Contains stories by: Lynne Cantwell, Deborah Carney, Alesha Cary, Shawn Inmon, Chris James, M.M. Roethig, Carla Sarett, Alan Seeger, Tabitha Ormiston-Smith, Catherine L. Vickers, Ashton-Kate Wilson and Diana Xarissa.

Cover of the first Aunt Bessie collection

An Aunt Bessie Collection - ABC is available for the Kindle.

Together in one bargain collection, the first three books of the Isle of Man Cozy Mystery Series:

  • Aunt Bessie Assumes
  • Aunt Bessie Believes
  • Aunt Bessie Considers

Copyright © 2013-2018 Diana X. Dunn