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10 Completely Captivating Cozy Mystery Books to Snuggle Up With!

If you’re looking for a book packed with lighthearted suspense, a compelling trail of clues, quaint settings and relatable characters, you’ll find all that and more in one particular literary genre: cozy mystery. This immensely popular genre has remained a mainstay in reading culture for decades, but what exactly sets a cozy mystery apart from a traditional mystery? And what are some great cozy mysteries to crack open for those interested in the genre? Keep reading to find out the answers.

What defines a cozy mystery?

Cozy mystery is a subgenre of Mystery and Crime Fiction featuring similar plot devices such as an unsolved crime, a culprit at-large and the signature twists and turns that lead the main character to solving the case — but violence and gore happen off-page. Cozy mysteries, sometimes referred to as “cozies,” were designed to deliver all the classic detective tropes in a lighter, more wholesome and comfortable way.

In cozies, the main character is often a relatable woman with a quirky job — like cupcake baker, quilter, librarian and bookstore owner — who just so happens to be an amateur sleuth. Another key ingredient in the cozy recipe? A picturesque small-town setting. These sleuths often reside in charming tight-knit seaside villages, snowy mountain towns and other locales that foster a heartwarming sense of community and allow the main character to effortlessly gather her clues.

Why are cozy mysteries so popular?

This genre provides a fun and riveting — yet comforting — escape for readers. According to Abby Collette, bestselling author of A Killer Sundae and A Game of Cones, cozies are beloved because they allow you to experience something new or exciting through the comfort of a book: “From amateur sleuths to private eyes and everything in between, I find mysteries captivating and fulfilling. It is utterly appealing to be compelled to turn each page of a book as concealed secrets unfold, making its way to the reveal of a final twist that makes me say, ‘oh wow.’ Lost in the tangled web of a mystery book, I get to go along on a wave of intrigue that I’d never experience in real life.”

Here, we’ve rounded up some of the best cozy mystery books that are guaranteed to entertain. Happy sleuthing!

Fateful Words by Paige Shelton

Fateful Words by Paige Shelton  (Best cozy mysteries)

Adventure, danger and intrigue combine in this Edinburgh-set whodunit following Delaney Nichols, an antiques expert at the Cracked Spine bookstore. Delaney is called on to guide her boss Edwin’s yearly literary tour. But on the first night, the manager of the inn where they are staying is pushed off the roof and killed. Next, one of the tour members disappears. Delaney vows to figure out who’s really behind it all — before it’s too late!

What mystery lovers are saying: “I loved this book, just as I have loved all the books in this series! The main character, Delaney, the girl from Kansas, is a delightful character, who is sometimes a bit too curious for her own good. A person died, another person had his identity stolen, people disappearing and reappearing and everyone was in a tizzy trying to figure out what was happening. The plot is easily followed and the ‘family’ of the Cracked Spine bookstore was split up momentarily trying to make things right. I most certainly recommend this book and the rest of the series, all set in the lovely Scottish city Edinburgh, where my mother’s family originated from.”

Soul of a Killer by Abby Collette

Soul of a Killer by Abby Collette (Best cozy mysteries)
Berkley

This deliciously fun whodunit penned by bestselling author Abby Collette delights! Fraternal twins Keaton and Koby are opening their soul food café and bookstore, Books & Biscuits. Business is booming in the small town of Timber Lake, until Mama Zola, Koby’s foster mom, and Pete, a bookstore employee, take a peach cobbler to the church’s potluck. When the person who sampled it is found dead, Koby and Keaton must find the killer and clear all their names quickly!

What mystery lovers are saying: Soul of a Killer was an excellent read! Abby Collette is absolutely gifted! Her characters, the setting, the possible motives, and related information keeps the reader guessing.”

Honey Drop Dead by Laura Childs

Honey Drop Dead by Laura Childs (Best cozy mysteries)
Berkley

A charming, witty mystery — written by New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs — kicks off during Theodosia Browning’s Honey Bee Tea in Charleston’s new Petigru Park. But the tea party is suddenly interrupted when a beekeeper shows up and sprays toxic smoke at the guests. In the midst of all the chaos, Osgood Claxton III, a candidate for state legislature, is shot. Now, Theodosia must question everyone who had a bone to pick with Claxton in order to find the killer.

What mystery lovers are saying: “This is the perfect cozy for food and tea lovers! I continue to read and enjoy this series. Theo and Drayton are the leads. She owns the Charleston tea shop and Drayton brews a huge assortment of teas. Of course, there’s always a murder to solve. The next installment is already on me Kindle. First, I will make a couple of the recipes (from the end of the story), and brew a cup of tea while the scones bake.”

A Fatal Groove by Olivia Blacke

A Fatal Groove by Olivia Blacke  (Best cozy mysteries)
St. Martin's Paperbacks

Olivia Blacke is known for her charming and lighthearted tales, and her latest cozy is part of her Record Shop series. Juni Jessup and her sisters, Tansy and Maggie, open Sip & Spin Records: part record shop, part coffee shop. It’s all brewing up perfectly until the mayor drops dead after drinking their coffee. Now, the sisters both spring into action to find the real killer on the loose and clear Sip & Spin’s reputation!

What mystery lovers are saying: “To say that I love this series is an understatement. If you love cozy mysteries that are comical and keep you on your toes, you are in the right place.”

Murder and Mamon by Mia P. Manansala

Murder and Mamon by Mia P. Manansala
Berkley

Bestselling author Mia P. Manansala mixes humor and high-stakes danger in her whodunits, and this new installment in Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery series follows suit. Lila Macapagal’s godmothers­ — April, Mae and June — are celebrating the opening of their laundromat, but the happy occasion turns sinister when a dead body is found in the building. Now, Lila will dig for clues to find the culprit!

What mystery lovers are saying: “A mouth-watering culinary cozy mystery! Set in the town of Shady Palms, this series follows Lila Macapagal and is full of food, friends and family drama. I have vibed with every book in this series so far and have really enjoyed getting to know Lila, her family and friends.”

Fur Love or Money by Sofie Ryan

Fur Love or Money by Sofie Ryan  (Best cozy mysteries)
Berkley

Quirky, cute and chaotic…Sofie Ryan’s whodunits are always exciting — and her latest is the 11th installment in her Second Chance Cat Mystery series. Sarah Grayson is taking a break from her busy secondhand shop in small-town Maine to spend time with a friend and their dog. But their visit goes awry when the dog leads them to a nearby cellar, where they discover a dead body. Now, Sarah and her rescue cat, Elvis, must put all paws on deck to suss out the culprit fast!

What mystery lovers are saying: “A great mystery that can easily be read as a standalone book (though I recommend checking out the whole Second Chance Cat Mystery series)!”

The Sign of Four Spirits by Vicki Delany

The Sign of Four Spirits by Vicki Delany  (Best cozy mysteries)
Crooked Lane Books

A kooky, spirited story begins in the latest installment of the Sherlock Homes Bookshop Mystery series. When a psychic fair arrives in town, bookshop owner Gemma Doyle wants nothing to do with it. Then she’s talked into attending a séance — only to be banned upon arrival! As she’s leaving, she hears a scream. She bursts back in to find a dead body…someone in the room is a killer. Now, Gemma has no choice but to track the clues to find the murderer.

What mystery lovers are saying: “I’m a fan of Vicki Delany’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mysteries, and her amateur sleuth, Gemma Doyle — who is modeled after Sherlock Holmes. Although Gemma is on the periphery of the scene when the murder occurs in The Sign of Four Spirits, she works her unofficial investigation, using her knowledge of the people on the scene. A terrific amateur sleuth!”

Ill -Fated Fortune by Jennifer J. Chow

Ill -Fated Fortune by Jennifer J. Chow  (Best cozy mysteries)
Minotaur Books

A spellbinding whodunit unfolds in the first installment of Jennifer J. Chow’s Magical Fortune Cookie series. When Felicity Jin begins crafting handmade fortune cookies, they become so popular that she runs out of generic fortunes and starts making her own personalized predictions. But then, when one customer’s fortune leads to his murder, police point fingers at Felicity. Now, she needs to find a way to clear her name — or else. A compelling blend of mystery and magical realism!

What mystery lovers are saying: “I highly enjoyed this book. I am invested in Felicity and her mom. In her friendship with Kelvin possibly blooming into something more. And I want more of Alma, her Godmother! Alma seems so interesting. I need more of her. Yes, I recommend giving this book a try!”

Public Anchovy #1 by Mindy Quigley

Public Anchovy #1 by Mindy Quigley  (Best cozy mysteries)
St. Martin's Paperbacks

In the hilariously delicious third installment of the Deep Dish Mystery series, a riveting, fun whodunit transpires. As pizza chef Delilah O’Leary’s restaurant is struggling through the slow winter season, her love life is heating up with hunky police detective Calvin Capone. But when a dead body is found at the town’s fundraiser party, Capone and Delilah are off to catch the killer — or else their lives could be on the line next!

What mystery lovers are saying: “This might be my favorite installment of this series, with a nod to Agatha Christie having all the suspects confined together in one setting. What an entertaining cozy mystery!”

Moonlight, Marshmallows, & Manslaughter by Tonya Kappes

Moonlight, Marshmallows, & Manslaughter by Tonya Kappes (Best cozy mysteries)
Tonya Kappes 

Filled with twists, turns and fun recipes, best-selling author Tonya Kappes enchants readers in the newest installment of her A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery series. Mae West and the Laundry Club ladies are back! In this tale, a renowned botanist known for her groundbreaking research is found dead during Normal, Kentucky’s National Wildflower Week. Now Mae and the Laundry Club are following a trail of clues. Can they piece together the puzzle before the killer strikes again?

What mystery lovers are saying: “Whenever I pick up a book written by Tonya I am excited and know that I am visiting friends. Tonya is such a good storyteller who describes the people and the scenes so completely that I feel like I am there with them and know these people like my own friends and family. I feel like I am there with them and can almost see, feel and smell the people and the surroundings. I love all of Tonya’s books and enjoy reading them. I can almost guess what is going to happen, or who is going to be where, but of course Tonya then throws a curve ball and I can always be heard saying, “I didn’t see that coming.”


For more of our favorite books, click through the links below!

14 Unputdownable Thrillers Guaranteed to Keep You on The Edge of Your Seat!

11 Enchanting Books That Will Transport You to Ireland Without Ever Leaving Home

12 Must-Read Romantasy Books That Guarantee a Swoon-Worthy Escape

And for all of our book roundups, click here!

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