Cozy mysteries soften the edges of some of the grittier content commonly seen on the shelves. Embracing a light and often comedic air, these fast-paced reads have just as many plot twists as a standard mystery, but with twice the comfort and escapism. The best part of cozy mysteries? The subgenre leans very heavily into themes, meaning it's incredibly easy to find a cozy you'll love! Are you addicted to coffee shop mysteries? Hoping to crack a holiday case? Maybe you want your intrigue to be bridal?
We've got everything you've ever wanted right here. With more than 250 incredible recommendations, you're bound to find your next great read. Here are some must-read cozy mysteries, organized by theme from A to Z!
4th of July Cozy Mysteries
Yankee Doodle Dead
Annie and Max Darling are no strangers to murder. Even though their small North Carolina town is supposed to be quiet and safe. It might be because Annie’s bookstore and café, Death on Demand, somehow attracts more trouble than the Darlings’ cats. Or maybe it’s just bad luck. Like how the retired Brigadier General Bud Hatch gets shot right in front of Annie. Hatch recently joined the library board and has alienated not just the members, but almost everyone in town. Now Annie has to find the killer before the 4th of July holiday explodes.
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Amish Cozy Mysteries
When Rachel Mast returns to her hometown of Stone Mill, Pennsylvania, she has no intention of embracing the Amish lifestyle again, she just can’t. However, she wants to help her old community in other ways, so she sets up a small B&B just outside of town. But this new chapter of her life takes a disturbing turn when a body is found buried in a shallow grave on her Uncle Aaron’s farm. The body belongs to Willy O’Day, an Englischer businessman, and Aaron’s well-known foe.
When Aaron refuses to hire a lawyer and her relatives refuse to speak to the police, Rachel takes the investigation into her own hands. She dons a skirt and bonnet for the first time in 15 years in order to find the truth and clear her uncle’s name. But secrets run deep in Stone Mill, and discovering some of them may put Rachel’s own life in danger.
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Art Cozy Mysteries
Murder for Art's Sake
While it’s the fourth book in The Nathan Shapiro Mysteries, any art-loving mystery reader can dive right in. Getting the perspectives down for painting can be the difference between a masterpiece or a dud. But what if the perspectives of the homicide captain and the medical examiner clash in the death of an up-and-coming painter named Shackleford Jones—who was found with a bullet to the head? The captain wants to label it suicide, but the medical examiner says it was murder. Detective Lieutenant Nathan Shapiro is on the case to find out the truth—and that means diving into the strange world of the avant-garde world to find a possible murderer amongst the artists.
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Bake-Off Cozy Mysteries
Pies & Peril
It’s the first book in the six books and at least one novella in the Culinary Competition series. Amy Ridley, a stay-at home wife, spends her time perfecting new recipes. So when the opportunity comes up to compete in the Kellerton Summer Festival Pie Contest, Ridley jumps at the chance. Unfortunately, she finds herself doing more than just competing after she finds fellow competitor and champion Mandy Jo dead. When Ridley gets threatened, she decides to investigate before someone decides that Ridley’s baking days are over prematurely.
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Camping Cozy Mysteries
Hank and Helen Moran are a retiree couple that now dedicate their time to private investigation. Business has been booming, and it's high time they take a break. The pair pack up their motorhome and set out for Charleston, South Carolina. However, during an overnight stay in Thomasville, Georgia, mystery finds them against all odds when they pick up an uninvited—and unearthly—guest.
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Cheese Cozy Mysteries
Up to No Gouda
Nothing says comfort food like grilled cheese. In this new series, Carly Hale is opening up her dream shop, Carly's Grilled Cheese Eatery, after the death of her husband. Sandwiches all have very punny names (like most cozies!). But not everyone is taken by Carly’s grilled cheese; Hale’s ex-boyfriend owns the building and wants Carly to vacate the premises. When he is found dead behind the shop, Carly has to figure out which of the many people wanted him dead.
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Coffee House Cozy Mysteries
Death by Coffee
Books and coffee go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s even better that Krissy Hancock and her BFF are opening a bookstore/coffee shop together. But peanut butter isn’t for everyone.
Especially Brendon Lawyer who dies from a peanut allergy after he drank his coffee (and being a generally unpleasant customer all around). Who knew someone would take their store’s name so literally? So to save their reputation, Krissy decides she has to find out who hated Brendon so much that they wanted him dead. There are 11 books so far and one novella in the Bookstore Cafe Mystery series. (And book three is named Death by Pumpkin Spice!)
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Crafty Cozy Mysteries
Beneath Missouri Stars
Sarah Miller needs to adjust to a new life. She’s moving to a new retirement community, where she’s making new friends and taking up fresh hobbies. Sarah uses quilting to fill some of her quieter hours. When she finally starts settling in, a country music scandal rocks her world. Austin Bailey, a popular singer, is at the center of a mystery. Just before his latest concert could kick off, a young woman is murdered.
It’s up to Sarah and her clever quilting cohort to solve this stunning mystery.
This book includes a quilting pattern, so you can recreate one of the quilting cohort’s creations!
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Cruise Ship Cozy Mysteries
After some heavy persuasion, PR executive Elaine Zimmerman joins her best friends Jackie and Pat on a Caribbean cruise. Unfortunately, the trip gets off to a rocky start when Elaine's luggage goes missing and she has to resort to styling herself in the ship's tacky cruisewear. Her luck turns around when she meets Sam Peck. Elaine doesn't believe in love at first sight, but this is pretty close...
The whirlwind fantasy starts to crumble when Elaine stumbles across evidence that someone aboard the ship is a hitman. One of their ex-husbands has put a hit out on them, and suspicions are plentiful as the women try to figure out who's the mark—and who's the killer.
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Culinary Cozy Mysteries
Mother-daughter writing duo Susan Conant and Jessica Conant-Park have whipped up yet another delicious read about Boston foodie Chloe Carter. Chloe’s new chef boyfriend hits a milestone in his career when he’s chosen to appear on a reality TV cooking competition. There, he’ll surprise an unsuspecting grocery shopper with a free gourmet meal.
But when the lucky winner meets a most unsavory fate after chowing down on Josh’s signature lamb chops and pesto gnocchi, it’s up to Chloe to figure out who poisoned the dish. Was it a mean-spirited fellow competitor, a prankster gone too far, or worse—her own boyfriend? Bonus recipes include pumpkin stew, red snapper, and lamb chops—without the lethal main ingredient this time around.
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Things are going great for grad student Chloe Carter and her boyfriend Josh Driscoll. Josh has just landed a job as the executive chef at Simmer, an anticipated new restaurant in Boston, and Chloe has just connected him with a charity fundraiser to do some good in the world while also building up hype for Simmer’s New Year’s Eve opening night. But this perfect night quickly turns sour when a wealthy club owner is found bludgeoned to death.
To make matters even worse, the murder weapon, a food processor, turns out to be Josh’s. With New Year’s Eve quickly approaching, it’s up to Chloe to clear her boyfriend’s name, find the real killer, and save Simmer’s reputation. As long as the killer doesn’t get to her first.
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Dessert Cozy Mysteries
A Deadly Inside Scoop
While it may be the cold time of the year, ice cream is always welcome. When Bronwyn “Win” Crewse took over the family’s ice cream business, she thought her business background and flair for ice cream flavors would turn it all around. She hadn’t expected that she’d have her grand opening…on the day of the first real snow of the season. But her opening day goes even sourer when she finds the body of a man. It turns out there was bad blood between the deceased and her father. Can Win figure out who hated the victim enough to kill him while relaunching the business?
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Easter Cozy Mysteries
Root of All Evil
Andrew Basnett's cousin Felicity is the elderly and wealthy owner of a posh Berkshire estate. When he's invited to the estate for the Easter weekend, the botany professor soon becomes entangled in murder, diamond theft, and endless intrigue. He'll have to use his sharp mind to wade through his family's increasingly dark secrets.
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Graveyard Cozy Mysteries
A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs
While most people know Ellis Peters for her Brother Cadfael books, she wrote another series around Detective Inspector George Felse. When you open someone’s grave, you expect to find their corpse. It’s an entirely different matter when you find a second body. In this third installment of the Felse Investigations series, Felse is brought into the case near Maymouth when a famous centuries-old grave yields two bodies instead one—and neither corpse is the one that is supposed to be there. Felse has to figure out what dark secrets lie in this little pocket of Cornwall.
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Halloween Cozy Mysteries
Elle Pressley’s life is absolutely perfect. Business is booming at Elle’s Pampered Pup Spa & Resort, and her romance with sexy Irish PI Devon Burke is as hot as ever. But when an eccentric new client tells Elle she’s been cursed by the evil eye, scary stuff starts happening. At the client’s Halloween bash, Elle finds a body hanging from the kitchen rafters.
With Devon MIA, Elle and her seventy-pound bulldog mix, Buddha, must head up the investigation themselves. And with a new bit of bad luck around every corner, the doggie-yoga coach begins to wonder if there really is a curse on her. What she doesn’t know is that a dangerous killer lurks in the shadows, a killer who plans to take out Elle permanently.
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Hide in the Dark
On Halloween night in 1928, a group of well-dressed friends gather at Lady Court. It’s been years since they’ve met up, not after one of their own died tragically at a young age. But despite the sadness that still lingers, they’re all determined to have a good time. But when they turn the lights out to play a game, one of them gets murdered. A storm knocks out the telephone line and the weather makes it impossible to leave. A fun night catching up turns deadly as they realize that somewhere in the house they’re trapped in, waits a killer.
Holiday Cozy Mysteries
Mistletoe, Merriment, and Murder
Ellie Avery is trying to keep it together this holiday season. A rival organizer opened in her small town, there’s an excessively overdecorated house down the street, and someone used her White Elephant gift exchange to frame her for murder. So much for a stress-free holiday season.
Complete with Christmas decorating tips at the end of each chapter and a realistic look at military life, Mistletoe, Merriment, and Murder is a fast-paced mystery with a ton of unique charm.
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Irish Cozy Mysteries
Murder in an Irish Village
If you want a whole series of Irish cozies, look no further than Carlene O’Connor’s Irish Village Mysteries! One year after their parents died in a car crash, Siobhán O’Sullivan and her siblings run their family business, Naomi’s Bistro in Kilbane, County Cork. An already tumultuous year gets even crazier when the O’Sullivans discover a man, stabbed to death by barber scissors, propped up at a table in the bistro. With the garda suspecting them and their business threatened, Siobhán takes it upon herself to find the real killer.
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Knitting Cozy Mysteries
Murder, She Knit
Hosting the Knit and Nibble knitting club has helped fill up some of Pamela’s life since becoming an empty nester. Pamela is even more excited that her old friend, Amy, has moved to town and joined the group. Things turn sour when Amy is discovered stabbed through the chest with a knitting needle from her own kit. Pamela and the Knit and Nibble members must move quickly before the killer claims another victim.
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New England Cozy Mysteries
Good and Dead
All the residents of Nashoba, Massachusetts are in great health, except for the members of Old West Church. As more and more members of the congregation fall victim to heart failure, it becomes impossible to think that these are just tragic coincidences. Luckily, scholar and part-time sleuth Homer Kelly lives one town over and is intrigued when he hears about the case. As he investigates, Homer realizes that Old West Church may have a not-so-pious member hiding in its ranks.
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Pet Cozy Mysteries
Canter With a Killer
While most cozies feature dogs and cats, this one is all about horses. Mallory Martin is starting over again. She’s started a horse rescue in her hometown, Hillspring, Arkansas. But when her nasty neighbor dies in his barn, the police have eyes only for Mallory. But that’s just the first murder. While the bodies pile up, it’s clear that lots of people had a dislike for the man. Can Mallory figure out which one took their hatred to jump to new heights all while running her horse rescue?
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The Pomeranian Always Barks Twice
Unfortunately for Stewie, an elderly Pomeranian, his owner Timothy Fuller is now too old to care for him. But when pet-rescuing Liz Denton and her son, Ben, agree to take Stewie in, they have no idea what's in store. After an unpleasant argument, Mr. Fuller winds up dead...and Ben is accused of murder. With the help of her furry friends—including Little Wheels, the calico cat who gets around with the help of a wheelchair, and her two beagles—Liz will have to solve the case if she hopes to clear her son's name. The first book in the Furever Pets mystery series will have you diving head-first into a compelling whodunit.
Queer Cozy Mysteries
Dead in the Garden
Valor Tarquin Scott is more than just the son of Earl and Countess Scott, he's the owner of The Ginger's Bread, a biscuit shop in the Lake District. Bishan Tamboli, a member of the London Symphony Orchestra, is the love of his life. With a cat cuddled between them, it's the very definition of a perfect existence.
That is, until a former schoolmate is found dead in the garden, and Bishan becomes the police's number one suspect. Valor is determined to find the real culprit, even if he has to stumble through cryptic clues to do it. But the body count keeps rising along the way...
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Thanksgiving Cozy Mysteries
The Thursday Turkey Murders
A tragic roadside accident with a mischievous turkey strands former con-artists Bingo Riggs and Handsome Kusak in the secluded community of Thursday County, Iowa. A promising mark soon appears in the form of a blushing farmer’s daughter with a sob story. Her family is selling their turkey farm to help her ailing grandma, and the boys plan to make a bundle off the gobbling herd. But small towns hide big secrets. Soon, Bingo and Handsome are wrangled into a fowl conspiracy, face off with an escaped convict, and become prime suspects in a murder. As turkey day nears, it could very well be their heads on the chopping block.
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Theater Cozy Mysteries
This series brings together the world of Shakespeare with the Catskills. Charlotte Fairfax has taken a job as the costume designer for a Catskills resort’s production of Romeo and Juliet. Formerly, she worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company, but love brought her to the US. Unfortunately, the leading lady dies from poisoning and stabbing and the police suspect a young man of the crime. Charlotte decides she has to find the killer and remove suspicion from the unlucky fellow who just wanted to be part of the theater.
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Wedding Cozy Mysteries
Cut to the Chaise
Although she’s excited about her wedding, home stager Caprice De Luca is beginning to regret her choice of venue. She redecorated Rambling Vines Winery two years ago, but the business has taken a turn for the worse. With their reputation on the decline, someone is now planning to hurt the business even further. Just when it seems like things couldn’t get worse, Rambling Vines' co-owner Michelle Dodd’s estranged husband is found stabbed to death in the tasting room.
Now, Caprice will have to track down a killer with a taste for murder before her entire wedding goes down the drain.
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Witch Cozy Mysteries
Flight of a Witch
One day in October, the beautiful Annet Beck disappeared while walking near Hallowmount, a hill in the Welsh countryside that legend says is home to witches. When she reappears five days later, her overprotective parents are overjoyed. But their relief turns to confusion when she claims that she was only gone for two hours. The Beck’s lodger, Tom Kenyon, takes it upon himself to figure out just what happened to Annet, especially if it means getting closer to her in the process.
When his amateur sleuthing yields few results, Tom turns to Detective Inspector George Felse to find the answers. Did Annet experience amnesia, or is witchcraft to blame? And how does her disappearance connect to Inspector Felse’s own murder case?
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Bait and Witch
Josie Way has arrived in Wilfred, Oregon, to lay low and work as a librarian while in the witness protection program. She’d previously worked at the Library of Congress and is awaiting the chance to give testimony at trial. The small-town Victorian house that doubles as Wilfred’s library allows her to hide out while still doing what she loves.
However, this little slice of solace may not last long for Josie. Wilfred holds many secrets for her—including a connection to a magical bloodline. Josie finds herself in the middle of a new crime in Wilfred, and it’s up to her and her new familiar to solve a murder.
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