Thursday, January 7, 2016

Where to Start: Cozy Mysteries

So cozy mysteries. You've probably seen these books before and had no idea there was a name for them other then mystery. If the picture on the cover has a shop of some sort, a four-legged animal of some kind, and a pun in the title it is more then likely a cozy mystery. The cozy mystery is mostly like regular mysteries except that it's usually even more formula, it tends to involve sleuths who are not necessarily PIs/detectives first, and the mystery is usually secondary to catching up on what's going on in the main character's life at the moment. There's a cozy mystery series out there for anyone. If you can think of a hobby, there's a mystery series for it. Hell, I saw a series based on stamp collecting once. Yes, it's usually always a series. I've yet to see a standalone cozy mystery, but I'm sure there's one out there. It's a large genre with many popular authors who've written tons of books. Getting into this side of the mystery genre can probably seem daunting. But it's not impossible.

Where to start with Cozy Mysteries:

Staples of the genre (series that have been around for years that are a good idea to start with):
Miss Marple series by Agatha Christie
Mrs. Murphy series by Rita Mae Brown
Aunt Dimity Mysteries by Nancy Atherton
Cat Who series by Lilian Jackson Bruen
Agatha Raisin series by M. C. Beaton

Shop-owner/Hobby type mysteries
Hannah Swenson series by Joanne Fluke
Goldy Bear Culinary Mysteries by Diane Mott Davidson
Coffeehouse Mysteries by Cleo Coyle
China Bayles series by Susan Wittig Albert
Booktown Mystery series by Lorna Barrett

Historical Fictionish type cozy mysteries:
Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear
Her Royal Spyness series by Rhys Bowen (also check out her Molly Murphy series)
Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood (also check out the great TV show it spawned)
Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters

Paranormalish type cozy mysteries:
Psychic Girl Mysteries by Victoria Laurie (also check out her Ghost Hunter Mysteries)
Bewitching Mysteries series by Madelyn Alt
Ophelia and Abby Mysteries by Shirley Damsgaard
Witchcraft Mysteries series by Juliet Blackwell (author also has several other series that are popular)

If you really want to find a cozy mystery that's to your taste check out Cozy Mysteries Unlimited that has a large database of all the cozy mysteries out there. It also gives a helpful calendar for new releases.

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