Favorite Cozy Mystery Series: Our Hamptons Murder Mysteries aren’t just mysteries—they’re cozies. What makes a mystery a cozy? There’s an element of fun to them, for one thing. They’re usually lighthearted and sometimes whimsical; never gritty or violent. They’re novels about quaint villages with quirky murders, investigated by an amateur who susses out the killer by considering a range of odd suspects within the victim’s circle of acquaintances. Regular readers of a series are rewarded with plot development of the amateur detective and supporting characters from novel to novel.
The Miss Marple books by Agatha Christie:
Miss Marple is an elderly, unassuming woman whose knitting needles and knowledge of local St. Mary Mead gossip hides her intelligence and keen observation of human nature. Half the fun of a Miss Marple novel is seeing her ruminate over how a certain character’s actions remind her of a parallel incident, which often leads to an insight that solves the crime.
No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith:
Set in Botswana, Mma Precious Ramotswe becomes the first woman to there to become a private detective. Cunning and engaging, she’s drawn to her profession to “help people with problems in their lives.”
Hannah Swensen mysteries by Joanne Fluke:
This series mixes baked goods with murder in Lake Eden, Minnesota. Desserts and investigations, what could be better? The recipes are available for you to try on your own.
The Agatha Raisin series by M.C. Beaton:
Set in the Cotswolds, this series is about an endearing middle-aged P.R. agent named Agatha Raisin.
Cycle Path Mysteries by Duffy Brown:
A new, fun murder mystery series set on beautiful Mackinac Island in Michigan. Evie Bloomfield arrives on the island to help her boss’s father run a bike shop and quickly finds herself investigating murders.
Museum Mysteries by Sheila Connolly:
Nell Pratt is a fundraiser at a prestigious historic museum in Philadelphia. She uses her connections and insight to solve the many murders she stumbles across. Clever, charming and sophisticated.
Coffeehouse Mysteries by Cleo Coyle:
Clare Cosi is the manager of the Village Blend coffeehouse in New York City’s Greenwich Village.
Booktown Mysteries by Lorna Barrett:
Tricia Miles runs a mystery bookstore in Stoneham, Massachusetts. It’s a town known for its collection of bookstores—and murders.
The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris:
This series follows a telepathic waitress who works in a Northern Louisiana bar, solving mysteries involving vampires, werewolves and other supernatural creatures. The series is now known as the True Blood series after it was made into the popular HBO show.
Death on Demand series by Carolyn Hart:
This series features Annie Laurance, owner of the Death on Demand bookstore in Broward’s Rock, a fictional island community in South Carolina.
China Bales series by Susan Wittig Albert:
A former lawyer, China Bales decides to leave that career behind and open an herbal shop in Texas. Her legal expertise and knowledge of herbs help her solve the crimes that pop up.
Lizzy and Diesel series by Janet Evanovich:
Pirate treasure, supernatural elements and cupcakes combine to make this a series to binge-read. Set in Salem, Massachusetts, this series features Lizzy and Diesel, a character featured earlier in Visions of Sugar Plums, a Stephanie Plum novel.
Key West Food Critic by Lucy Burdette:
Food, fun and felonies! Set in the beautiful Key West, featuring delicious food and entertaining capers, this is a must-read series on any cosy reader’s list.
The Cupcake Bakery Mysteries by Jenn McKinlay:
Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are the owners of the Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery, and amateur investigators on the side.
The Richard Jury series by Martha Grimes:
The Richard Jury books are written in the tradition of the cozy, but they don’t skip the blood and guts and sex, which is a departure from the usual cozy format. Still, the novels take place in charming English villages, and each title comes from the name of a pub featured in that book. If you like your cozies with a bit more of an edge, these might be for you.