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Cozy Mysteries

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Make the most of the winter cozy season by bringing home a cozy mystery! Cozy mysteries are perfect for curling up in a warm blanket with a hot beverage. What makes a mystery cozy? Read on to find out!

Cozy mysteries have several definitive characteristics: a detective who is almost always an amateur — think Jessica Fletcher from Murder She Wrote — and a small town, village, or a communal setting, such as a hotel or ship, that brings a cast of characters together. Characters consist of singular, often offbeat or eccentric individuals, many of whom already know each other. They are gentle reads. The crime is not gory and typically takes place “off-stage,” as do amorous encounters, and they have very little to no salty language. They are often written as series and can be quite light-hearted and humorous. If this sounds like the kind of mystery you might enjoy getting cozy with, try some of the following titles!

Agatha Christie is perhaps the most famous author in the genre. One of her more well-known characters, Miss Marple, makes her first appearance in the novel The Murder at the Vicarage. Miss Marple, a consummate amateur sleuth, lives in the English village of St. Mary Mead and attributes her exceptional detecting skills to her knowledge of village life.

Food is another common theme amongst many cozy mysteries. These often feature caterers, restaurant and bakery owners, and coffee house proprietors as characters. If you enjoy a tasty mystery, here are a few authors to whet your appetite:

If you are a pet lover, you might enjoy the uncanny animal sidekicks in the following series:

Cozy mysteries have something for everyone! Here are a few additional suggestions:

These are just a few of the wide variety of cozy mysteries out there. For further suggestions, try our My Next Read service for a customized list of recommendations, use our Ask a Librarian feature (green tab on the right side of our website), or speak with a librarian at your local branch.

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