No—despite what your initial thoughts may be, quilting cozy mystery books are not just for grannies who have finally retired to Florida and have nothing to do but read. That being said though, those grannies do tend to be popular protagonists in quilting cozies—such as Sarah Miller from Carol Dean Jones’ Tie Died. But we’ll get into Sarah’s story later.
The appeal of a cozy mystery in general is that though it’s centered around murder and other dark plot points, the characters are wholesome and the mystery always ends up solved; the one thing that makes these cozy mystery books even cozier is a quilt motif.
Keep on reading for the list of our favorite quilting cozy mysteries, stitched up just for you.
The Rose Quilt
A historical fiction quilting cozy mystery novel (say that three times fast), Mark Pasquinni’s debut The Rose Quilt is set in the 1920’s, a time when quilting circles were all the rage. So, appropriately, Alice Chandler, a wealthy and well-known local quilter, is murdered with a pair of quilting shears while working with the executive committee to make a lap quilt as the first prize for a local flower show. Connecticut State Police lead investigator (and known bachelor) Steve Walsh is on the case, but the clues could point to any of the committee members or any of the three of Alice’s adopted children. Steve must navigate the deterrents that are Alice’s flapper daughter and reporter Julie to not only find the killer, but also decide which girl he loves most in the end.
For the Love of Quilts
One of many quilting mystery cozies from Ann Hazelwood, the first book from her Wine Country Quilts series features aspiring writer Lily Rosenthal, who has just quit her boring editing job and is on the hunt for her next move. When her friend is murdered and she inherits the inventory of a local antique store, she considers opening her own shop, even if that means moving away from all that’s familiar. But with her sister’s help, along with some help from a ghost and a handsome baseball fan, Lily journeys her way through Missouri’s wine country.
The Basement Quilt
Another series from Ann Hazelwood, the first installment of the Colebridge Community series centers around Anne Brown, a local flower shop owner in her Missouri hometown. Anne and some of her family members come together to learn how to quilt in an attempt to help her aunt. On top of helping her aunt, navigating her relationship, and learning family secrets along the way, Anne also discovers a mysterious presence in her mother’s basement. Who’s haunting the basement? And can whoever it is help Anne get her life back on track?
The Forgiving Quilt
The last Ann Hazelwood series on our list, the East Perry County quilting cozy mystery series follows Kate Meyr, who is distraught over some hurtful secrets outed following her husband’s death. In an attempt to separate her life from him completely, she plans to fix up the property he left her in Borna, Missouri and sell it. But then she discovers a mysterious quilt with a haunting past that only leads to other horrifying occurrences. Will she be strong enough to stand her ground, or will she be run out of town?
Another well-known author in the quilting cozy mystery subgenre, Carol Dean Jones introduces her lengthy series with Tie Died – and of course, the book comes with a quilting pattern. Sixty-something widow Sarah Miller has recently settled into a retirement community after her daughter Martha’s relentless encouragement. Reluctant to leave her longtime home, Sarah obliged anyway, and she’s determined to enjoy her new life. But just as Sarah begins making friends, one of them is murdered—and she and her spirited friend Sophie are on the case.
Falling to Pieces
Despite being a Shipshewana Amish mystery, Falling to Pieces’ main character is Callie Harper, a non-Amish inheritor of her late aunt’s quilt shop. Deborah and Callie, two very uneasy partners, one Amish and one not, team up to organize a successful online quilt auction. So when a local news writer publishes a libelous article that could take Callie’s shop away from her, everyone has her back—until he winds up dead, and the police come after her. So the two team up once again to solve the mystery and catch the killer; but catching a killer is not quite as easy as launching a quilt auction.
Murder, Plain and Simple: An Amish Quilt Shop Mystery
With a newly broken engagement and broken heart to match, Angela Braddock could not be happier to leave her old life behind to reopen her late aunt’s Amish quilt shop in Holmes County, Ohio. Though she’s not the typical civilian in Amish Rolling Brook, her aunt’s quilting circle takes her under their wing and welcomes her with open arms. On opening day, she seems to be growing in popularity among both the locals and the tourists… until she discovers the body of ornery Amish woodworker Joseph in her storeroom. Angie is determined to find the killer before the local sheriff arrests her, but the closer she gets to the answer the more she realizes just how much she underestimated the plain Amish town.
Quilt or Innocence: A Southern Quilting Mystery
Despite not being able to quilt herself, retired folk art curator Beatrice Coleman knows all there is to know about quilts. But with her recent move to Dapple Hills, North Carolina, she becomes the newest member of the Village Quilters Guild, where she learns even more! She finds out that the Patchwork Cottage Quilt Shop is about to close because Judith, the landlord, is raising the rent, even though she’s a quilter too. But when Judith is found dead, the seemingly harmless gossip that introduced her to Judith in the first place begins to reveal some mischievous motives. Can Beatrice catch the killer before someone pins it on her?
A Patchwork of Clues (Queen Bees Quilt Shop Book 1)
In the back room of the Queen Bee Quilt Shop you will often find the members of the quilting bee, including one miss Portia Paltrow. One morning, on her jog, Portia discovers the dead body of Owen Hill, a college professor and antiques store owner, on the back step of the quilt shop. Along with the rest of the town, Selma and Susan, the owner and assistant manager of the shop, are distraught over the crime. So while the tight-knit group of quilters get going on a gift for Selma’s store’s anniversary, they also stitch together a patchwork of clues. But can they catch the crafty killer before they bolt?
Forget Me Knot (A Quilting Mystery)
In the San Fernando Valley, Martha Rose and her best friends Lucy and Birdie enjoy their retirement by quilting together every Tuesday. They’re excited to welcome young newcomer Claire Terry into their group, as she has a reputation for being quite the crafter and there is a prestigious quilt show coming to town soon. But when they arrive at Claire’s house to find her dead in her doorway and see that her prize-winning quilts have been snatched, the ladies know they’ve stumbled upon some foul play. Can they catch the killer before they stick a pin in someone else?