“Where you lead, I will follow.”
I don't know about you, but I've always thought Stars Hollow would be the perfect setting for a good small-town mystery. You've got the oddball town characters, the idyllic town setting, plenty of gossiping neighbors—and of course, an iconic mother-daughter duo.
One of the most well-known and beloved depictions of a mother-daughter relationship is that of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore in the iconic comedy-drama Gilmore Girls. The show portrays the unique dynamic mother-and-daughter relationship—with their close ages, they're often more like friends than anything else. Their closeness often led to complications, however, as the lines between “parent,” “child,” and “friend” were blurred. The pair shared as many tears as they did laughs, amplifying the complex love between a mother and a daughter.
If you can’t get enough of Lorelai and Rory's heartwarming connection in Gilmore Girls but you're also in the mood for a mystery, we have some book suggestions we think you’ll enjoy.
Here are seven books featuring mother-daughter detective duos!
Mother-Daughter Murder Night
This Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick is equal parts heartwarming family drama and murder mystery! It follows Lana Rubicon, a determined real estate businesswoman, who finds herself depending on her adult daughter Beth, and her teenage granddaughter, Jack, after Lana falls ill. This fiercely independent woman is not too keen on the idea of relying on others, especially not the daughter she has been estranged from for years.
So after her granddaughter Jack finds a dead body while kayaking, Lana decides she can still be of use and leads her family on a mission to find the true killer and protect the loved ones she had once tried to forget. As they discover land disputes, family secrets, and hidden lies about their community, the three generations of women realize they must depend on each other for strength to take down the murderer.
Mother Daughter Traitor Spy
Based on the actual mother-daughter spy duo, this historical fiction mystery is set in 1940 Los Angeles during WWII and centers around recent college graduate Veronica Grace and her mother Violet, who are hoping for a fresh start. But after Veronica realizes the typing position she had been eager to begin, forces her to work closely with a dangerous propagandist and puts her in the path of Nazi sympathizers, the mother and daughter team up to investigate. The plan is to go undercover and gather enough information to take down the sinister forces at play. This is a story about courage in the face of horror and features an easy-to-root-for mother-daughter relationship that will inspire you.
Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore
Murder mystery, paranormal occurrences, and pirate treasure? All of the above can be found in this cozy seaside town mystery. An unfortunate plane crash has left Cassie MacGuire fatherless and Cassie’s mother, Lily Bennett, husbandless, so the two move to the town of Hideaway Bay for a new beginning. What they find instead are legends of hauntings and tragedies that not only threaten their peace but also put their lives at stake. Will the two be able to investigate the dark secrets of the manor before it’s too late?
The Lost Girls of Devon
Zoe Fairchild returns to her childhood village in England with her 15-year-old daughter after she learns that her old friend and grandmother’s caretaker is missing. Zoe is not excited to see her estranged mother, who abandoned her when she was seven to pursue world travel or face the ex-boyfriend she left behind. As four generations of women face past grief and trauma, they uncover mysteries of the past and present while attempting to heal pieces of themselves and strengthen their bonds with one another.
Murder at the Office: A Mother Daughter Mystery
Although Rory and Lorelai Gilmore are usually two peas in a pod, like any other mother and daughter, they often have disagreements. Similarly, in Murder at the Office: A Mother-Daughter Mystery, Sharon and her teenage daughter Kate tend to bicker. Sharon was hoping that they’d bond over the fact that they both came out as lesbian, but this hasn’t been the case. However, when Sharon suddenly finds her boss strangled to death at her office, the unlikely duo put their disagreements aside to work together to determine the killer and motive for murder. The question is: can they also strengthen their relationship in the process?
Mortgage and Mayhem: A Mother-Daughter Realty Team Mystery
Who knew that those who sell houses together could also solve murder mysteries as a team? Sierra Madison and her mother, Autumn Cassidy, are realtors working in Forest Lake, a gated community in California’s Sierra Nevada foothills. They are taken aback when Autumn’s friend Gail Redland asks the two for assistance with selling her home, and upon visiting her residence for a scheduled appointment, they find Gail missing and her neighbor, Jake, dead in the kitchen. Is Gail to blame? Autumn doesn’t think so and will do anything, even enlisting her daughter’s help, to prove her friend’s innocence. This story will have you laughing out loud while also causing you to scratch your head as you try to figure out this whodunnit!
Slay Bells Ring
Jenna Bell can admit that the circumstances do make it seem like she killed her former high school sweetheart before he walked down the aisle. As his wedding planner, she had ample opportunity to commit the murder, but she’s innocent! Her mother, Maddie, knows that Jenna would never carry out such a heinous crime.
Luckily for her daughter, Maddie is well-versed in murder mysteries—she loves to write cozy mystery stories in her free time, which can’t be very different from solving a real-life crime, right? She’ll get to the bottom of this case even if it means offending her crush, the charming Chief of Police, Jackson Bradley, who is certainly not thrilled with the amateur sleuth’s assistance. This suspenseful cozy mystery will warm readers’ hearts as they observe the lengths a mother will go to protect their daughter.
Featured photo: Chad Madden / Unsplash