There are certain books that always give me pleasure to read. When I’m in a book reading rut or need a laugh, I want tried and true books that I can fall back on and easily slip into a reading pattern. These are books that serve me well, I know what to expect and I always get such great joy from reading them. I also think they are underrated on many levels, but that’s another post.
Back when I was a Public Librarian, cozy mysteries were very popular books with patrons. Ironically, I didn’t read them much back then, thinking they were reserved for elderly folk (what can I say, I was in my twenties). These short, light mysteries come in series form (most often), and feature a character that has a specific profession and finds herself (or himself) solving crimes – mostly murders. Having trouble envisioning this? Think “Murder, She Wrote”. That was basically a cozy mystery in television format. The murders don’t take long to solve, but along the way us readers become attached to our lead character and the surrounding cast. Let me introduce you to a few of my favourite cozy mystery series, with some honourable mentions.
I’ve added the handy dandy links to Goodreads for each series as well.
Psychic Eye Mysteries (starring Abigail Cooper), by Victoria Laurie
Oh, how I love this series! This is the one that started it all for me (and cozy mystery reading). I’ve read the entire series up until the latest novel and have really enjoyed how the series has evolved over time. Without giving too much away, we first meet Abigail Cooper in Detroit, Michigan, who runs a successful business as a professional psychic. Along the way, the series moves to Austin, Texas. Great cast of characters, some humour, and some fabulous mysteries to solve!
Jaine Austen mysteries, by Laura Levine
If you need a laugh, you must read this great series by Laura Levine. Jaine Austen is a copywriter in Los Angeles, as we’re first introduced to in “This Pen for Hire”. Along the way, she dabbles in solving mysteries. One of the reasons I love this series so much is the constant in which her cat, Prozac, plays a supporting role, and the hilarious side stories involving Jaine’s parents (always in email format) and their shenanigans. They’re a riot! I’m actually reading “Killing Cupid” now and have a few novels to catch up on in the series.
Lucy Stone mystery series, by Leslie Meier – I like this series in that it stars a mom of four (and local newspaper reporter) who solves mysteries on the side. I can relate to the family life, and enjoy that there are books for every holiday (or child-related event). Titles include “Mistletoe Murder”, “Valentine’s Murder” and “Tippy Toe Murder”.
Gourmet Girl mystery series, by Jessica Conant Park and Susan Conant – written by a mother/daughter team, this series stars Chloe Carter, a foodie at large. The first book is a behind the scenes look at a reality cooking show, and naturally, a murder takes place. Chloe turns amateur sleuth in these and subsequent follow-ups. There are fives books in the series including “Steamed” and “Simmer Down”.
I really hope this post inspires you to pick up a cozy mystery novel today! Do you have a favourite cozy mystery? There really are a lot available to choose from. Perhaps you’ve read them before but never knew there was a name to them. Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to discover more or hear your thoughts on this genre.