Spotlight: Cozy Up With a Cozy Mystery

What’s a cozy mystery, you ask? Generally these are mysteries with nice settings, except for that small fact of a murder that needs to be solved. They are comfort reads and are often funny. They have subjects like crafts, cooking, cats, and hobbies.

Below is a list of cozy mysteries. Many are part of a series, and I have included the first of the series if this is so. All of the summaries came from the publishers and catalog.

Murder, With Peacocks by Donna Andrews (1 of 16 in Meg Laslow Series)

murder with peacocksJack and Annie travel back in time to a South American rain forest in search of the elusive magician Morgan le Fay.  Will they find a new clue to her whereabouts before they are trampled by stampeding killer ants?

  • 2000 Won Agatha Award
  • 2000 Nominated Macavity Award
  • 2000 Won Anthony Award
  • 2000 Nominated Dilys Award

Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton (1st of 11 in the Knitting Series)

knit one kill twoKelly Flynn never picked up a pair of knitting needles she liked–until she strolled into House of Lambspun. Now, in the first in a brand-new series, she learns how to knit one, purl two, and untangle the mystery behind her aunt’s murder.

  • 2006 Nominated Agatha Award

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan C. Bradley, (1st of 6 in the Flavia de Luce series)

sweetness at the bottom of the pieEleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, must exonerate her father of murder. Armed with more than enough knowledge to tie two distant deaths together and examine new suspects, she begins a search that will lead her all the way to the King of England himself.

Wish You Were Here by Rita Mae Brown (1st of 22 in the Mrs. Murphy series)

wishyouwere hereCuriosity just might be the death of Mrs. Murphy–and her human companion, Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen. Small towns are like families: everyone lives very close together. . .and everyone keeps secrets. Crozet, Virginia, is a typical small town-until its secrets explode into murder. Crozet’s thirty-something post-mistress, Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen, has a tiger cat (Mrs. Murphy) and a Welsh Corgi (Tucker), a pending divorce, and a bad habit of reading postcards not addressed to her. When Crozet’s citizens start turning up murdered, Harry remembers that each received a card with a tombstone on the front and the message “Wish you were here” on the back. Intent on protecting their human friend, Mrs. Murphy and Tucker begin to scent out clues. Meanwhile, Harry is conducting her own investigation, unaware her pets are one step ahead of her. If only Mrs. Murphy could alert her somehow, Harry could uncover the culprit before the murder occurs–and before Harry finds herself on the killer’s mailing list.

To Have and To Kill by Mary Jane Clark 

to have and to killA wedding cake mystery. After a painful breakup and too few acting gigs in Manhattan, Piper Donavan returns home to Hillwood, N.J., where she’s assisting her mother, Terri, at the family bakery, the Icing on the Cupcake. Piper is pleased to be preparing the cake for the upcoming wedding of her friend Glenna Brooks, the star of A Little Rain Must Fall … but then a cyanide poisoning of one of Glenna’s co-stars and her former lover, Travis York, threatens to derail the wedding.

Clammed Up by Barbara Ross (1st of series)

clammed upJulia Snowden returned to her hometown to rescue her family’s struggling clambake business-not to solve crimes. But that was before a catered wedding on picturesque Morrow Island turned into a reception for murder. When the best man’s corpse is found hanging from the grand staircase in the Snowden family mansion, Julia must put the chowder pot on the back burner and join the search for the killer. And with suspicion falling on her old crush, Chris Durand, the recipe for saving her business and salvaging her love life might be one and the same.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke (1st of 17 in Hannah Swenson series)

chocolate chip cookie murderEric Loesch, a private man with a shadowy past, returns to his hometown in rural New York, where he purchases a dilapidated house that he begins to renovate with steely determination. The adjacent woods on his property seem to beckon him, and he soon discovers a Gothic castle at the center of his land that he appears not to own. Loesch looks for an explanation, and the reader is drawn into a “terrifying and psychologically complex mystery signaling an important American writer in full command of his powers.

On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle (1st of 13 in Coffeehouse series)

on what groundsClare Cosi used to manage the historic Village Blend coffeehouse, and now, after ten years and a little friendly cajoling, she’s back to the grind. Clare is thrilled to return to work, until she discovers the assistant manager unconscious in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere. The police deem it an accident. But Clare can’t get some things out of her mind. Is she in danger? And, are all detectives this handsome.

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton (1st of 24 in Agatha Raisin series)

quiche of deathWhen Mrs. Agatha Raisin decides to retire early to the English Cotswolds, she envisions herself enjoying all that country life has to offer: garden parties, tea at the vicarage, and a cozy home far from the noise and smell of London. Life in the village of Carsley is not as Agatha anticipated, however. Much to her surprise, she doesn’t attract much interest among the villagers. No one comes to call; there are no invitations to tennis or tea. A miserable Agatha is forced to acknowledge that she is but another newcomer to the well-established Carsley society. Agatha didn’t succeed in business by being a shrinking violet, though, so she shakes off her doubts and resolves to make her mark on the village: She will enter Carsley’s Great Quiche Competition and win! The fact that Agatha has never baked so much as a potato in her life doesn’t stop her; she submits a delectable store-bought quiche as her own.

State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy (1 of 7 in White House chef mystery series)

state of the onionIntroducing White House Assistant Chef Olivia Paras, who is rising-and sleuthing-to the top.Includes recipes for a complete presidential menu! Never let them see you sweat-that’s White House Assistant Chef Olivia Paras’s motto, which is pretty hard to honor in the most important kitchen in the world. She’s hell-bent on earning her dream job, Executive Chef. There’s just one thing: her nemesis is vying for it, too. Well, that and the fact that an elusive assassin wants to see her fry.

  • 2009 Won Anthony Award

The Diva Runs Out of Thyme by Krista Davis (1 of 8 in Domestic Diva Series)

dive runs out of thymeIncludes delicious recipes and entertaining tips. Few can compete with the Natasha Smith when it comes to entertaining, but her childhood rival, Sophie Winston, certainly tries. While Natasha is known for her intricate centerpieces and painstakingly prepared gourmet meals, Sophie likes to keep things simple. Natasha may have stolen the spotlight – and Sophie’s husband – but Sophie is determined to win the prize at the Stupendous Stuffing Shakedown. Until she stumbles across a corpse…

The Cold Light of Mourning by Elizabeth J. Duncan (1 of 5 in Penny Brannigan series)

cold light of mourningElizabeth J. Duncan spins a charming tale of murder and intrigue in this winning first novel.The picturesque North Wales market town of Llanelen is shocked when Meg Wynne Thompson, a self-made beauty who has turned out to be something of an unpopular bride, goes missing on her wedding day… and turns up dead. The last person believed to have seen her is manicurist Penny Brannigan, an expatriate Canadian who has lived in North Wales for almost twenty-five years. When Penny notices that something is not quite right at the funeral of her dearest friend, she becomes emotionally invested in the case, and sets out to investigate.It seems that several people, including the bride’s drunken, abusive father, had reasons to wish Meg dead, but when the trail leads to her groom’s home, an explosive secret will shake the small town.With its bucolic Welsh setting and vivid, colorful characters, this mystery is sure to delight the most discerning of traditional-mystery fans.

 

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