50 Best Cozy Mystery Books & Series


cozy mystery books and series cozies

This post is all about cozy mysteries (“cozies”)! These books usually come in series, but there are some that are published as standalone novels, too. I’ve been looking into this genre more recently, since I love a good mystery but I haven’t have much of a taste for really graphic or depressing books as of late.

Here’s 50+ of the Best Cozy Mystery Books and Series, divided up into subcategories (general, historical fiction, paranormal, etc.). Enjoy and happy reading!

What are cozy mysteries (cozies)?

In case you’re not familiar with them, cozy mysteries are a subgenre of crime fiction. In cozies, there’s generally limited graphic violence or death, the main character is typically an amateur sleuth (as opposed to an authority figure like a policeman) and the crimes usually take place in small towns or otherwise small-scale setting.


This list of cozy mystery books and series is divided into the following categories:


Standalone Cozy Mysteries
General Cozy Mystery Series
Historical Fiction Cozy Mystery Series
Bookish Cozy Mystery Series
Foodie Cozy Mystery Series
Paranormal Cozy Mystery Series
Cat Lover Cozy Mystery Series
Sewing, Crafting and Home Cozy Mystery Series

(If you have a favorite book that’s not listed below, definitely drop me line! I’m especially interested in standalone cozies since sometimes I don’t like diving into a new series. )


Standalone Cozy Mysteries

The Thursday Murder Club
Richard Osman | Pamela Dorman Books

What It's About: Four septuagenarians with a few tricks up their sleeves
A female cop with her first big case
A brutal murder
Welcome to…
THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club...

Publication Date: September 3, 2020
  


Hello, Summer
Mary Kay Andrews | St. Martin's Press

What It's About: New York Times bestselling author and Queen of the Beach Reads Mary Kay Andrews delivers her next blockbuster, Hello Summer.

It’s a new season...

Conley Hawkins left her family’s small town newspaper, The Silver Bay Beacon, in the rearview mirror years ago. Now a star reporter for a big-city paper, Conley is exactly where she wants to be and is about to take a fancy new position in Washington, D...

Publication Date: May 5, 2020
  


Sunset Beach
Mary Kay Andrews | St. Martin's Press

What It's About: Pull up a lounge chair and have a cocktail at Sunset Beach – it comes with a twist.

Drue Campbell’s life is adrift. Out of a job and down on her luck, life doesn’t seem to be getting any better when her estranged father, Brice Campbell, a flamboyant personal injury attorney, shows up at her mother’s funeral after a twenty-year absence...

Publication Date: May 7, 2019
  


Above the Bay of Angels
Rhys Bowen | Lake Union Publishing

What It's About: A single twist of fate changes a servant girl’s life forever in a royally suspenseful historical mystery by the New York Times bestselling author of The Tuscan Child and The Victory Garden.

Isabella Waverly only means to comfort the woman felled on a London street. In her final dying moments, she thrusts a letter into Bella’s hand...

Publication Date: February 11, 2020
  


A Keeper
Graham Norton | Atria Books

What It's About: When Elizabeth Keane returns to Ireland after her mother’s death, she’s focused only on saying goodbye to that dark and dismal part of her life. Her childhood home is packed solid with useless junk, her mother’s presence already fading. But within this mess, she discovers a small stash of letters—and ultimately, the truth...

Publication Date: October 4, 2018
  


Crooked House
Agatha Christie | William Morrow Paperbacks

What It's About: In the sprawling, half-timbered mansion in the affluent suburb of Swinly Dean, Aristide Leonides lies dead from barbiturate poisoning. An accident? Not likely. In fact, suspicion has already fallen on his luscious widow, a cunning beauty fifty years his junior, set to inherit a sizeable fortune, and rumored to be carrying on with a strapping young tutor comfortably ensconced in the family estate...

Publication Date: February 1, 2011
  


Ordeal by Innocence
Agatha Christie | William Morrow Paperbacks

What It's About: Recovering from amnesia, Dr. Arthur Calgary discovers that he alone could have provided an alibi in a scandalous murder trial. It ended in the conviction of Jacko Argyle. The victim was Jacko's own mother, and to make matters worse, he died in prison. But the young man's innocence means that someone else killed the Argyle matriarch, and would certainly kill again to remain in the shadows...

Publication Date: November 3, 1958
  


Death Comes As the End
Agatha Christie | Collins

What It's About: In this startling historical mystery, unique in the author's canon, Agatha Christie investigates a deadly mystery at the heart of a dissonant family in ancient Egypt. Imhotep, wealthy landowner and priest of Thebes, has outraged his sons and daughters by bringing a beautiful concubine into their fold...

Publication Date: September 22, 1969
  

General Cozy Mystery Series

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #1)
Alexander McCall Smith | Anchor

What It's About: Precious Ramotswe has only just set up shop as Botswana's No.1 (and only) lady detective when she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. However, the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witch doctors.

Publication Date: February 6, 2003
  


The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot #1)
Agatha Christie | Harpercollins Pub Ltd

What It's About: The famous case that launched the career of Hercule Poirot. When a wealthy heiress is murdered, Poirot steps out of retirement to find the killer. As the master detective makes his way through the list of suspects, he finds the solution in an elaborately planned scheme almost impossible to believe.

Publication Date: May 31, 2001
  


The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce #1)
Alan Bradley | Delacorte Press

What It's About: It is the summer of 1950–and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath...

Publication Date: April 28, 2009
  


Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1)
Louise Penny | St. Martin's

What It's About: As the early morning mist clears on Thanksgiving Sunday, the homes of Three Pines come to life - all except one…

To locals, the village is a safe haven. So they are bewildered when a well-loved member of the community is found lying dead in the maple woods. Surely it was an accident - a hunter's arrow gone astray...

Publication Date: January 1, 2005
  


Size 12 Is Not Fat (Heather Wells #1)
Meg Cabot | William Morrow Paperbacks

What It's About: Heather Wells Rocks!

Or, at least, she did. That was before she left the pop-idol life behind after she gained a dress size or two — and lost a boyfriend, a recording contract, and her life savings (when Mom took the money and ran off to Argentina). Now that the glamour and glory days of endless mall appearances are in the past, Heather's perfectly happy with her new size 12 shape (the average for the American woman!) and her new job as an assistant dorm director at one of New York's top colleges...

Publication Date: December 27, 2005
  


One for the Money (Stephanie Plum #1)
Janet Evanovich | St. Martin's Griffin

What It's About: You've lost your job as a department store lingerie buyer, your car's been repossessed, and most of your furniture and small appliances have been sold off to pay last month's rent. Now the rent is due again. And you live in New Jersey. What do you do?

If you're Stephanie Plum, you become a bounty hunter...

Publication Date: August 26, 1994
  


Real Murders (Aurora Teagarden #1)
Charlaine Harris | Berkley

What It's About: Though a small town at heart, Lawrenceton, Georgia, has its dark side-and crime buffs. One of whom is librarian Aurora "Roe" Teagarden, a member of the Real Murders Club, which meets once a month to analyze famous cases. It's a harmless pastime-until the night she finds a member killed in a manner that eerily resembles the crime the club was about to discuss...

Publication Date: December 1, 1990
  

Historical Fiction Cozy Mystery Series

Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs #1)
Jacqueline Winspear | Penguin Books

What It's About: Maisie Dobbs, Psychologist and Investigator, began her working life at the age of thirteen as a servant in a Belgravia mansion, only to be discovered reading in the library by her employer, Lady Rowan Compton. Fearing dismissal, Maisie is shocked when she discovers that her thirst for education is to be supported by Lady Rowan and a family friend, Dr...

Publication Date: July 1, 2003
  


Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody #1)
ElizabethF Peters | Robinson Publishing

What It's About: On her travels, Amelia Peabody rescues a woman in distress and the two become friends. They continue to Egypt where they face mysteries, mummies and outspoken archaeologist, Radcliffe Emerson who doesn't need women to help him solve mysteries.

Publication Date: June 20, 2005
  


Mr. Churchill's Secretary (Maggie Hope #1)
Susan Elia MacNeal | Bantam

What It's About: For fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Laurie R. King, and Anne Perry, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary captures the drama of an era of unprecedented challenge—and the greatness that rose to meet it.

London, 1940. Winston Churchill has just been sworn in, war rages across the Channel, and the threat of a Blitz looms larger by the day...

Publication Date: April 3, 2012
  


The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #1)
Laurie R. King | Picador

What It's About: Long retired, Sherlock Holmes quietly pursues his study of honeybee behavior on the Sussex Downs. He never imagines he would encounter anyone whose intellect matched his own, much less an audacious teenage girl with a penchant for detection. Miss Mary Russell becomes Holmes' pupil and quickly hones her talent for deduction, disguises and danger...

Publication Date: January 15, 1994
  


Her Royal Spyness (Royal Spyness #1)
Rhys Bowen | Berkley Hardcover

What It's About: Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England, is penniless and trying to survive on her own as an ordinary person in London in 1932.

So far she has managed to light a fire and boil an egg... She's gate-crashed a wedding... She's making money by secretly cleaning houses...

Publication Date: July 3, 2007
  

Bookish Cozy Mystery Series

A Killer Plot (Books by the Bay Mysteries #1)
Ellery Adams | Berkley

What It's About: In the small coastal town of Oyster Bay, North Carolina, you'll find plenty of characters, ne'er-do-wells, and even a few celebs trying to duck the paparazzi. But when murder joins this curious community, the Bayside Book Writers are there to get the story...

Olivia Limoges is the subject of constant gossip...

Publication Date: June 1, 2010
  


Murder is Binding (Booktown Mystery #1)
Lorna Barrett | Berkley

What It's About: The streets of Stoneham, New Hampshire, are lined with bookstores...and paved with murder.

When she moved to Stoneham, city slicker Tricia Miles met nothing but friendly faces. And when she opened her mystery bookstore, she met friendly competition. But when she finds Doris Gleason dead in her own cookbook store, killed by a carving knife, the atmosphere seems more cutthroat than cordial...

Publication Date: April 1, 2008
  


By Book or By Crook (Lighthouse Library Mystery #1)
Eva Gates | Berkley

What It's About: Get bound up in murder in the first Lighthouse Library mystery!

For ten years Lucy has enjoyed her job poring over rare tomes of literature for the Harvard Library, but she has not enjoyed the demands of her family’s social whorl or her sort-of-engagement to the staid son of her father’s law partner...

Publication Date: February 3, 2015
  


The Secret, Book & Scone Society (Secret, Book, & Scone Society #1)
Ellery Adams | Kensington

What It's About: From New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams comes the first in an intriguing new series set within a quirky small-town club where the key to happiness, friendship—or solving a murder—can all be found within the pages of the right book . . .

Miracle Springs, North Carolina, is a place of healing...

Publication Date: October 31, 2017
  


Murder by the Book (Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery #1)
Lauren Elliott | Kensington

What It's About: Addie Greyborne loved working with rare books at the Boston Public Library—she even got to play detective, tracking down clues about mysterious old volumes. But she didn't expect her sleuthing skills to come in so handy in a little seaside town . . .

Addie left some painful memories behind in the big city, including the unsolved murder of her fiancé and her father's fatal car accident...

Publication Date: October 30, 2018
  


Homicide in Hardcover (Bibliophile Mystery #1)
Kate Carlisle | Berkley

What It's About: Book expert Brooklyn Wainwright discovers that murder is always a bestseller in the first novel in the New York Times bestselling Bibliophile Mystery series.

Brooklyn Wainwright is a skilled surgeon. Sure, her patients might smell like mold and have spines made of leather, but no ailing book is going to die on her watch...

Publication Date: February 3, 2009
  

Foodie Cozy Mystery Series

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (Hannah Swensen #1)
Joanne Fluke | Kensington

What It's About: Hannah Swensen already has her hands full, between dodging her mother's attempts to marry her off, and running Lake Eden, Minnesota's most popular bakery, The Cookie Jar. But when the Cozy Cow Dairy's beloved deliveryman is found murdered behind Hannah's bakery with her famous Chocolate Chip Crunchies scattered around him, Hannah sets out to track down a killer...

Publication Date: April 1, 2000
  


The Quiche of Death (Agatha Raisin #1)
M. C. Beaton | St. Martin's Paperbacks

What It's About: Putting all her eggs in one basket, Agatha Raisin gives up her successful PR firm, sells her London flat, and samples a taste of early retirement in the quiet village of Carsely. Bored, lonely and used to getting her way, she enters a local baking contest: Surely a blue ribbon for the best quiche will make her the toast of the town...

Publication Date: March 7, 2006
  


Brownies and Broomsticks (Magical Bakery Mystery #1)
Bailey Cates | Berkley

What It's About: EASY BAKE COVEN

Katie Lightfoot's tired of loafing around as the assistant manager of an Ohio bakery. So when her aunt Lucy and uncle Ben open a bakery in Savannah's quaint downtown district and ask Katie to join them, she enthusiastically agrees.

While working at the Honeybee Bakery—named after Lucy's cat—Katie notices that her aunt is adding mysterious herbs to her recipes...

Publication Date: May 1, 2012
  


Death by Dumpling (A Noodle Shop Mystery #1)
Vivien Chien | St. Martin's Paperbacks

What It's About: Welcome to the Ho-Lee Noodle House, where the Chinese food is to die for. . .

The last place Lana Lee thought she would ever end up is back at her family’s restaurant. But after a brutal break-up and a dramatic workplace walk-out, she figures that a return to the Cleveland area to help wait tables is her best option for putting her life back together...

Publication Date: March 27, 2018
  


On What Grounds (Coffeehouse Mystery #1)
Cleo Coyle | Berkley

What It's About: Introducing a delightful new series featuring Clare Cosi, manager of the historic Village Blend coffeehouse...

Clare arrives at work to discover the assistant manager dead in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere. Two detectives investigate. But when they find no sign of forced entry or foul play, they deem it an accident...

Publication Date: September 1, 2003
  


Death by Darjeeling (A Tea Shop Mystery #1)
Laura Childs | Berkley

What It's About: Meet Theodosia Browning, owner of Charleston's beloved Indigo Tea Shop. Patrons love her blend of delicious tea tastings and southern hospitality. And Theo enjoys the full-bodied flavor of a town steeped in history—and mystery...

—It's tea for two hundred or so at the annual historic homes garden party...

Publication Date: May 1, 2001
  


Catering to Nobody (A Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery #1)
Diane Mott Davidson | Minotaur Books

What It's About: MEET THE CATERER WHO WHIPPED UP THE
MULTIMILLION-COPY MYSTERY SERIES–
AS GOLDY SOLVES HER FIRST MURDER!

Diane Mott Davidson’s winning recipe of first-class suspense and five-star fare has won her and caterer Goldy critical raves and a regular place on major bestseller lists across the country...

Publication Date: July 1, 1990
  

Paranormal Cozy Mystery Series

Secondhand Spirits (A Witchcraft Mystery #1)
Juliet Blackwell | Berkley

What It's About: Lily Ivory is not your average witch. Her spell-casting powers tend to draw mischievous spirits while keeping normal humans at a distance. But now her vintage clothing store could give her a chance to make friends in San Francisco....

Lily hopes for a normal life when she opens Aunt Cora's Closet...

Publication Date: July 7, 2009
  


Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel #1)
Janet Evanovich | St. Martin's Press

What It's About: For centuries, treasure hunters have been eager to possess the stones, undeterred by their corrupting nature. The list is long — Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, to name a few. Now the Stones have found their way to Salem, Massachusetts, and so has Gerwulf Grimoire, adding himself to this rogues’ gallery of power seekers...

Publication Date: September 14, 2009
  


It Takes a Witch (A Wishcraft Mystery #1)
Heather Blake | Berkley

What It's About: Darcy Merriweather and her sister, Harper, hail from a long line of witches who have the power to grant wishes using spells. They've come to Enchanted Village in Salem, Massachusetts, to join the family business, but they soon find themselves knee deep in murder...

Until three weeks ago, Darcy and Harper were working dead-end jobs and trying to put their troubles behind them...

Publication Date: January 3, 2012
  


The Trouble With Magic (A Bewitching Mystery #1)
Madelyn Alt | Berkley

What It's About: Antiques-shop clerk Maggie O'Neill was a little weirded out when she discovered her new boss Felicity was a witch. But when Felicity becomes the suspect in a local murder, Maggie must enlist Felicity's wiccan friends for help--and discover her own spellbinding talent.

Publication Date: January 3, 2006
  


Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye (Psychic Eye Mystery #1)
Victoria Laurie | Berkley

What It's About: Abby Cooper is a P.I., psychic intuitive. But her insight failed her when she didn't foresee the death of one of her clients-or that the lead investigator for the case is the gorgeous blind date she just met. Now, with the police suspicious of her abilities and a killer on the loose, Abby's future looks more uncertain than ever.

Publication Date: December 7, 2004
  


First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1)
Darynda Jones | St. Martin's Press

What It's About: This whole grim reaper thing should have come with a manual.
Or a diagram of some kind.
A flow chart would have been nice.Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it's her job to convince them to "go into the light...

Publication Date: February 1, 2011
  


The House on Tradd Street (Tradd Street #1)
Karen White | Berkley

What It's About: Practical Melanie Middleton hates to admit she can see ghosts. But she's going to have to accept it. An old man she recently met has died, leaving her his historic Tradd Street home, complete with housekeeper, dog—and a family of ghosts anxious to tell her their secrets.

Enter Jack Trenholm, a gorgeous writer obsessed with unsolved mysteries...

Publication Date: August 2, 2008
  


Aunt Dimity's Death (Aunt Dimity Mystery #1)
Nancy Atherton | Viking Adult

What It's About: Lori Shepherd thought Aunt Dimity was just a character in a bedtime story...Until the Dickensian law firm of Willis & Willis summons her to a reading of the woman's will. Down-on-her-luck Lori learns she's about to inherit a sizable estate-if she can discover the secret hidden in a treasure trove of letters in Dimity's English country cottage...

Publication Date: November 1, 1992
  


Grave Sight (Harper Connelly #1)
Charlaine Harris | Gollancz

What It's About: Harper Connolly is honest, ethical and loyal - and ever since a bolt of lightening zapped her on the head, she's had an extra-special talent: she can find dead people. It's not a common-or-garden job. Some people find Harper's talent useful and fascinating, but she's getting used to most people treating her like a blood-sucking leech...

Publication Date: October 1, 2005
  

Cat Lover Cozy Mystery Series

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards (The Cat Who... #1)
Lilian Jackson Braun | JOVE Books

What It's About: Jim Qwilleran is a prizewinning reporter who's been on the skids but is now coming back with a job as feature writer (mostly on the art scene) for the Daily Fluxion. George Bonifield Mountclemens, the paper's credentialed art critic, writes almost invariably scathing, hurtful reviews of local shows; delivers his pieces by messenger; lives with his all-knowing cat Koko in a lushly furnished house in a moldering neighborhood, and has a raft of enemies all over town...

Publication Date: August 15, 1986
  


Curiosity Thrilled the Cat (Magical Cats Mystery #1)
Sofie Kelly | Berkley

What It's About: When librarian Kathleen Paulson moved to Mayville Heights, Minnesota, she had no idea that two strays would nuzzle their way into her life. Owen is a tabby with a catnip addiction and Hercules is a stocky tuxedo cat who shares Kathleen's fondness for Barry Manilow. But beyond all the fur and purrs, there's something more to these felines...

Publication Date: February 1, 2011
  

Sewing, Crafting and Home Cozy Mystery Series

Pleating for Mercy (A Magical Dressmaking Mystery #1)
Melissa Bourbon | Berkley

What It's About: When her great-grandmother passes away, Harlow Jane Cassidy leaves her job as a Manhattan fashion designer and moves back to Bliss, Texas. But when she opens a dressmaking boutique in the turn-of-the-century farmhouse she inherited, Harlow senses an inexplicable "presence." Her old friend Josie orders a gown for her upcoming wedding, but when Josie's boss turns up dead, Harlow has to find the killer-with a little help from beyond.

Publication Date: August 1, 2011
  


Better Homes and Corpses (Hamptons Home & Garden Mysteries #1)
Kathleen Bridge | Berkley

What It's About: After Meg Barrett found her fiancé still had designs on his ex-wife, she decided it was time to refurbish her life. Leaving her glamorous job at a top home and garden magazine, she fled Manhattan for Montauk, only to find decorating can sometimes lead to detecting…

In between scouring estate sales for her new interior design business, Cottages by the Sea, Meg visits the swanky East Hampton home of her old college roommate, Jillian Spenser...

Publication Date: August 4, 2015
  


A Crafty Killing (Victoria Square Mystery #1)
Lorraine Bartlett | Berkley

What It's About: The last thing Katie Bonner wanted was to become the manager of Artisans Alley. But when her business partner, Ezra Hilton, is found bludgeoned to death, she has no other choice. Business under Ezra has been faltering-but was it enough to provoke someone to murder? Only Katie can find the answer.

Publication Date: December 21, 2010
  


Cloche and Dagger (Hat Shop Mystery #1)
Jenn McKinlay | Berkley

What It's About: An all-new series from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay

Not only is Scarlett Parker’s love life in the loo—as her British cousin Vivian Tremont would say—it’s also gone viral with an embarrassing video. So when Viv suggests Scarlett leave Florida to lay low in London, she hops on the next plane across the pond...

Publication Date: July 6, 2013
  


The Diva Runs Out of Thyme (A Domestic Diva Mystery #1)
Krista Davis | Berkley

What It's About: Few can compete with Natasha Smith when it comes to entertaining, but her childhood rival, Sophie Winston, certainly tries. Natasha may have stolen the spotlight, and Sophie's husband, but Sophie is determined to rob her of the prize for the Stupendous Stuffing Shakedown. She just needs the right ingredient...

Publication Date: September 7, 2008
  

cozy mystery books and series cozies

cozy mystery books and series cozies

cozy mystery books and series cozies