• Sara

Recommended Reading: Cozy Mysteries

Updated: Apr 13


Cozy mysteries are one of the most popular divisions of the vast Mystery/Thriller/Crime fiction genre. Falling under the heading of Mystery, they tend to be more light-hearted, with less gore, cursing, and sexual situations than their bolder cousins in the Thriller and Crime divisions. They also tend to have themes, such as being set in a bakery or a library, with a touch of romance flowing throughout. A lot of them offer recipes or craft tips at the end of the book. Some have a touch of the paranormal. Most have an animal or two that play fairly prominent roles in the series. As there are so many titles that fall into the cozy mystery category, it’s difficult to narrow it down to just a handful to talk about here, but here goes!


The first series is one of my all-time favorites: the Magical Cats Mystery series by Sofie Kelly. In the first book, “Curiosity Thrilled the Cat,” protagonist Kathleen Paulson, the new librarian in Mayville Heights, Minnesota, comes under suspicion for murder. While trying to clear her name, she discovers that the two cats she rescued months before, Owen and Hercules, have magical powers. They use those powers to help Kathleen clear her name and put the real killer behind bars. With book number eleven set for release later this year, this series has managed to stay light-hearted and fun throughout, with several laugh-out-loud moments – usually involving one of the cats. The plot will keep you on your toes as you wade through the clues with Kathleen and her furry sidekicks to solve the crime!


Next, I’d like to introduce you to Jenn McKinlay’s Hat Shop Mystery series. This series finds Scarlett Parker, in an effort to escape her starring role in a rather embarrassing viral video, moving to London to help her cousin Vivian Tremont run their late grandmother’s hat shop, Mim’s Whims. In the first book, “Cloche and Dagger,” Scarlett arrives in London to find her cousin mysteriously missing. Shortly after, Scarlett finds one of Vivian’s clients dead, wearing a special hat Viv made her and nothing else. Suspicion immediately falls on the missing Vivian. Scarlett and her childhood crush, Harrison Wentworth, set out to prove Vivian’s innocence, and send the real guilty party off to prison. Ms. McKinlay originally ended this series after book five in 2017, but recently announced a sixth book, which is due out in 2020. You will get much enjoyment out of these books, with a good mystery in each, a lot of humor, and a dash of romance to add to the fun.


The Domestic Diva Mystery series by Krista Davis follows event planner and domestic diva, Sophie Winston, and her friends on their many adventures. In the first book, “The Diva Runs Out of Thyme,” Sophie is determined to best her long-time rival, and the woman who stole Sophie’s husband, Natasha Smith, in the Stupendous Stuffing Shakedown. Her search for the perfect ingredients takes an unexpected turn when she finds a dead body – and goes even further down the rabbit hole when her name and photo are found in the victim’s car. Sophie and her friends set out to prove her innocence, and stuff a killer in prison. Now in its twelfth book, this series never fails to delight with its delicious recipes and delectable plots.


Finally, I’d like to mention Duffy Brown’s Consignment Shop Mystery Series. This series is set in Savannah, Georgia, and follows the adventures of Reagan Summerside and her Auntie KiKi. In the first book, “Iced Chiffon,” the recently divorced Reagan finds the body of the young blonde her ex-husband dumped her for in the trunk of his Lexus, which Reagan just happened to “borrow” for a few hours. Now her ex stands accused of murder, and Reagan is determined to beat his cunning lawyer, Walker Boone, to the identity of the killer – not because she still loves her ex, but because she desperately wants to best Boone, who helped her ex take her to the cleaners in her bitter divorce. With five books currently in the series, you will have hours of hilarity as you work your way to whodunit.


Stayed tuned for future book recommendations. For more cozy mystery recommendations, email us at infolibrary@cityofcaldwell.org. Happy reading!

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