Like any other genre and subgenre, cozy mysteries are heavily dominated by cisgender heterosexual protagonists. But the world is so much more interesting and diverse than this inundation of homogeny would suggest. While more culturally diverse mystery novels by the likes of writers like Mia P. Manansala may be garnering growing attention, the queer cozy mystery is still a drastically untapped market.
Cozies with LGBTQ+ protagonists at the head of it all may be few and far between, but they certainly exist! While we wait for more of the representation we deserve to trickle into the genre, here are some great cozy reads featuring gay, lesbian, and transgender amateur sleuths.
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...
Small Town Scandal
The formidable Miss Agatha Vanderjagt is being blackmailed over pictures from her youth, and there's only one person she can turn to for help: former student Chris, a trans man running a dog kennel. Agatha has never been particularly nice Chris, but the pair might have more in common than he originally thought. Will they band together and find the extortionist, or the evil-doer find them first?
Who Plugged the Dyke
Someone is trying to kill the woman set to be the first lesbian judge in Indiana, and the drag queens at Nacho Mama's Patio Cafe aren't about to stand for that. Stumbling out of the only gay bar in town, this collection of bedazzled anti-heroes is ready to get to the bottom of this dangerous case. A wonderful mystery for readers that like their drag queens fabulous and their humor on the raunchy side.
A Body to Die For
After a devastating break up, Max when off on a trip to clear his head. When he returns, he's not feeling much better—and his ex Bobby is still right in his face, seeing as he's his business partner. It doesn't help that Bobby has already gotten over Max and moved on. And it only gets worse when Bobby's new boyfriend, Skylar, is found dead.
Naturally, Bobby is the number one suspect to the crime. Max is determined to find the real killer and clear Bobby's name. But that's a lot easier said than done when he finds out Skylar was involved in shady dealings. A murderer may be closer than the men think...
Nicky Abbondanza is a college theatre professor in a dire situation. Corpses have been turning up left and right all over campus, and Nicky and all his colleagues could be next. He's ready to pull of his drama skill to the test to get to the bottom of this deadly mystery. But Noah Oliver complicates things.
Nicky has a huge crush on Noah, who just happens to be an assistant professor in the drama department. He might also be involved with Nicky's graduate assistant... He might also be the top suspect in these brutal crimes.
The Garage Fridge Situation
Nonbinary handyperson Lou Carsley takes pride in a job well done, and they take great pride in popping open a nice cold beer after one, too. Life is pretty good. They're content with seeing their family for small periods of time here and there, and they enjoy the once weekly meetings of the queer book club they founded with their best friend Cordelia. They're thinking about expanding their business when they stumble over a dead body—Brenten Olver.
In high school, Brenten was a bully through and through. Though he was even worse after graduation, Lou doesn't necessarily think Brenten deserved to get his head smashed in over it. But Coalville police officer Matthias Lindert considers Lou to be the most likely suspect—especially considering Lou and Brenten had a nasty public argument.
Lou is determined to clear their name, even if Matthias might be attractive enough to want to keep around. But when another body turns up, it's clear the danger is just beginning.
Relationships Can Be Murder
One little fling derailed Dee DelValle's life. Her passionate affair with Los Angeles TV newscaster Sheila Shelbourne cost her a girlfriend. And now it's only getting worse, because Sheila has been murdered, and Dee is a suspect. With the help of her friends Felicia, Tully, and Jenny, Dee dives head-first into the world of TV broadcasting, uncovering a world of deadly secrets.