Cozy mysteries recommendations!

rpggal33

New Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2020
Messages
1
I like to read cozy mysteries! I will like some recommendations! No hard-boiled, please. Thanks.
 

Teresa Edgerton

Goblin Princess
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2004
Messages
15,061
Location
California
Patricia Wentworth's Miss Silver novels. T. E. Kinsey's Lady Hardcastle series. And quite a few of Elizabeth Cadell's books are mysteries, though the stories are always more than just mysteries.
 

Randy M.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
2,368
There are some reference books that could help you, like,
Bloody Murder by Julian Symons -- out of date for newer writers, it would still help with older writers in the Agatha Christie/Dorothy L. Sayers tradition;
Talking about Detective Fiction by P. D. James -- would perhaps help with newer writers; she taps into Symons book for information on the older ones;
Crime and Mystery: The 100 Best Books by H. R. F. Keating -- Keating was a mystery writer of some repute from the 1960s into the 2000s. This is a decent reading list of which some would fall into the cozy category.

"Cozy" is either defined so narrowly (elderly spinster solves murders while knitting with a cat on her lap who may or may not talk to her) or so broadly (not hard-boiled) that it's tough to discern what definition comes closest to your need.

Among older writers, look for Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, John Dickson Carr, Marjorie Allingham. Recently two sources of older mysteries seem to be doing well in the American market: American Crime Classics and British Library Crime Classics. More recently, Poison Pen Press has started working with the Library of Congress to reissue some older American mysteries. A lot of the titles, particularly in the British Library books, are not hard-boiled, and some could be considered cozies.

P.D. James's series is interesting (Ruth Rendall's, too, probably though I haven't read them) because they updated the Christie/Sayers tradition for the 1960s-'90s. I need to read more of James's work to get a real feel for it, but the first novel, Cover Her Face is really good first novel, not a scene wasted, offering both a good, solid mystery and an examination of the aristocracy post-WWII.

I second Louise Penny, mentioned above, and would add Donna Leon. Neither are hard-boiled, but neither is exactly cozy, either, I think. But both are very entertaining. About Leon, her series is based in Venice and since I doubt I'll ever get there, it's a pleasant trip abroad for me. Well, except for the murders, of course.

Honestly, if you just search for cozies at the website of your favorite book seller, you'll find there are tons of them. I suspect the quality is variable, just as with hard-boiled and others, but read a few any maybe you'll find an author or two you like and then you can work from there with the "if I like this, what else might I like" question.

Randy M.
 

Allegra

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2006
Messages
2,737
Laurence Block's Burglar series. The protagonist Bernie Rhodenbarr is a loveable burglar who owns a used bookstore.

  1. Burglars Can't Be Choosers (1977)
  2. The Burglar in the Closet (1978)
  3. The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling (1979)
  4. The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza (1980)
  5. The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian (1983)
  6. The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams (1994)
  7. The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart (1995)
  8. The Burglar in the Library (1997)
  9. The Burglar in the Rye (1999)
  10. The Burglar on the Prowl (2004)
  11. The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons (2013)
 

Teresa Edgerton

Goblin Princess
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2004
Messages
15,061
Location
California
I was wondering whether I would classify Sayers as cozy. There is such a lot of territory between the classic cozy and the classic hard-boiled, sometimes it is hard to say.

There are plenty of authors I might have recommended but I really don't think of them as falling into either category. For instance, P. D. James and Ngaio Marsh. I guess anything with an actual police detective solving the case I wouldn't categorize as a cozy, but sometimes the policeman, even if he is the main character of the series, comes into each individual book so late, and so much of the story is devoted to the various suspects (and the victim) leading up to the murder, it would be hard to decide whether the book is a cozy or a police procedural.
 

Abernovo

Transcontinental intergalactic tea drinker
Supporter
Joined
Sep 13, 2011
Messages
3,374
Location
Offices on Earth, Haumea, and at Galactic Core.
I'd agree with Bick's suggestion of Ellis Peters - her Cadfael novels are kind of cozy, but still hard-hitting mediaeval detective stories in places.

You might try M C Beaton's Hamish Macbeth, as well. More modern, with a quirky local copper who's a lovable rogue, set in the northern part of the Scottish Highlands.
I've enjoyed Amber Belldene's All Things, the first book in the Reverend Alma Lee mysteries, about a lesbian reverend solving crimes in San Francisco. The second book's now been published, so that's on my to buy list.
 

Juliana

Juliana Spink Mills. "No capes!"
Supporter
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
5,051
Location
Connecticut, USA
Leigh Perry (aka Toni P. Kelner) writes the Family Skeleton books, about a university professor who solves crimes with the help of a walking, talking skeleton named Sid. Despite the supernatural twist, definitely cozies. (And the author is also a lovely person!)
Leigh Perry | Author of the Family Skeleton Series
 

Parson

This world is not my home
Supporter
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
11,242
Location
Iowa
For something a little SFF, there's a whole series of cozy mysteries by Adele Abbott with a Fantasy setting. I've read the first: "Witch Is When It All Began"and even though Fantasy isn't my thing I rather liked it. It felt a little Harry Potterish.
 

Allegra

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2006
Messages
2,737
I got a whole lot of Lilian Jackson Braun's The Cat Who series from a market some years ago. Very cosy read especially if you have a cat on your lap. When I read them I didn't have a cat, but then I gave them to a friend who had a cat, I suppose they both enjoyed the books very much.
 

Cayleb

Elderly book lover.
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
47
Location
Southern England
A gentle and, I think, a cosy series is the 'Village Mysteries' by Margaret Mayhew. A four book series (at present) set in a small English village.
 

hitmouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
3,444
The Mortdecai novels by Kyril Bonfiglioli. Brilliant writing. Much better than the crap Johnny Depp film of a few years back.
 

Similar threads


Top