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These Sporty Cozy Mysteries Hit it Out of the Park

These detectives will try anything before throwing in the towel. 

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  • Photo Credit: Godwill Gira Mude / Unsplash

There’s nothing more thrilling than watching a sports match; the excitement in the air, the greasy food at the venue, discovering dead bodies in the bleachers…okay, maybe that’s a stretch.

But in all seriousness, detective work really should be considered a sport in and of itself. It’s a lot of work! 

These sporty cozy mystery heavy hitters will take you on pretty much every athletic adventure, whether you’re the athlete, the reporter covering the game, or the killer yourself.

From annual volleyball tournaments to witches on roller skates, there’s a sporty cozy mystery for you.

Murder Can't Wait

Murder Can't Wait

By Richard Lockridge

Dependable country local Capt. M.L. Heimrich and city-slicker Lt. Nathan Shapiro of the NYPD team up to take down claims of bribery and other serious gambling schemes unfolding on the Dyckman University football field.

A city cop who only gets more anxious going into the country, Lt. Shapiro’s day goes from bad to worse when he arrives on the scene to be told that the crime transformed into homicide, as someone has been shot dead. 

As the two dig into the scandal, they come to realize that there’s more than just foul play on the field–it’s the gambling racket off the field that seems to be causing all the problems…

Dead in Vineyard Sand

Dead in Vineyard Sand

By Philip R. Craig

Ex-Boston cop J.W. Jackson finally found some time to relax with his family in the Vineyard–but the thing about once being a cop is that crime always finds you. When J.W.'s friend Glen Norton invites him to go golfing with some friends at Waterwoods, the island’s most idyllic golf club, J.W. is elated. But then they get to the sand trap on the fourth hole, and there’s a human hand sticking out of it. 

As the mounting evidence quickly begins to point to J.W., he must act quickly to prove his own innocence. But that’s no easy task in a golf club full of old-money Vineyard families with decades of personal vendettas. 

The Mystery of the Missing Crystal Golf Ball: A Canterbury Golf Club Mini-Mystery

The Mystery of the Missing Crystal Golf Ball: A Canterbury Golf Club Mini-Mystery

By Jessa Archer

A closed-door, short, and cozy mystery, The Mystery of the Missing Crystal Golf Ball begins at the Canterbury Golf Club’s luncheon for prospective members.

Beatrice Yates is a ball of anxiety when she finds out that the crystal golf ball owned by legendary golfer Bobby Jones has gone missing. 

Accusing the attendees will simply insult them and force them to leave–which is the last thing the financially desperate golf group needs. And besides, she can’t let the thief escape! But everyone in attendance is a suspect; so putting on her thinking cap, Beatrice must solve the mystery, catch the thief, and recover the golf ball before lunch is over. 

Labradored to Death: A Dog Lover's Cozy Mystery (Barkview Mysteries Book 8)

Labradored to Death: A Dog Lover's Cozy Mystery (Barkview Mysteries Book 8)

By C.B. Wilson

Who needs bat boys when you could have bat dogs? That’s what we thought too—until a million-dollar baseball card is stolen and a celebrity bat dog’s collar is discovered at the crime scene.

Meanwhile, Barkview’s iconic candy company, Canine Caramel, is threatening bankruptcy, looted sports memorabilia is taking over the market, and sabotage is all over the baseball museum. 

That said, all evidence points to the missing baseball card. Or does it? In a town full of die-hard baseball enthusiasts, editor-in-chief Cat and the bat dog must unravel the conspiracy before the seventh-inning stretch.

Strike Out 4 Murder

Strike Out 4 Murder

By J. C. Eaton

Talk about foul play–this softball cozy mystery features Sophie “Phee” Kimball, who’s invited out to a softball game to cheer on a fellow member of her pinochle club. Not wanting to go at all, the game becomes a little more interesting when Phee’s mother’s friend Shirley spots a dead body that mysteriously vanishes before anyone else can see it. 

Phee thinks she’s crazy…but then someone makes an attempt on her life. Phee begins to wonder if the body Shirley originally saw belonged to a missing ballplayer, and wonders if Shirley’s next.

Following the ballpark clues and analyzing the crowd to see if she can point out a suspect, she formulates a plan to catch the culprit—but she’ll have to act fast before she strikes out for good.

Killer Run

Killer Run

By Lynn Cahoon

Jill Gardener, the owner of Coffee, Books, and More, is sponsoring a 5k race to raise money for the local preservation society…but as it turns out, the body they find during the race is the only thing that needs preserving.

The deceased is the vicious wife of the husband-and-wife duo hired to promote the event—and the husband turns to Jill to help him clear his name. But does she believe him? She must tread carefully, or she could be put out of the running forever! 

Volleyballs, Vanilla Creme, and Vendettas

Volleyballs, Vanilla Creme, and Vendettas

By Nola Robertson

Hawkins Harbor’s annual volleyball tournament is coming up and Britney Brubaker has been waiting all year to attend. But her excitement is quickly stifled when a player on one of the teams is found near the net.

When her aunt’s landscaper becomes the prime suspect, Britney and her friends commit to proving his innocence. But that’s easier said than done, and the more they discover about the recently deceased, the more suspects they find that would have been willing to dig, set, kill. 

Roller Rink Witchcraft

Roller Rink Witchcraft

By Raven Snow

A sporty cozy mystery filled with witches, goblins, and ghouls (oh my!) Roller Rink Witchcraft is based in the monster-run town of Waresville.

Harper Beck, groovy witch and owner of the Funky Wheel, walks in one day to find her accountant murdered. The police arrest someone close to her, and she vows to do some sleuthing herself to clear her friend’s name as her world is turned upside down. 

Suddenly, her long-standing roller rink becomes the battleground for a satanic witch, and suspects keep coming out of the woodwork–but then another body appears, destroying everything she thought she knew about the case.

Who can she trust? And in a town with century-long feuds and spooky happenings, will she be able to dig up the truth before the killer claims her next? 

Fouled Out

Fouled Out

By Laura S. Jones

Fouled Out is a little less cozy than the others on this list, but still portrays a powerful exploration of the intersection of greed, drugs, and college sports. Connor Braxton’s case seems open and shut—but reporter Gale Hightower isn’t quite sure about that. Normally, when a wealthy, privileged, single child of a well-off family is blamed for killing his girlfriend and a teammate, Gale thinks let him burn

But his family isn’t reacting the way she thought they would—aka by getting top defense attorneys and big money involved. In fact, they seem to be doing nothing, which is why she’s so eager for the real story.

But the more she unravels, the more she upsets some powerful men with a sinister agenda; and it will take a whole lot more than she thought to survive, get justice for Connor, and destroy the project these horrible men have been working on.

Deadly Aim: A Not-So Cozy Mystery

Deadly Aim: A Not-So Cozy Mystery

By M'Lissa Moorecroft

Taking sporty cozy mysteries in a different direction, Deadly Aim is less of a whodunnit or even a “whydunnit”—and more of a “howdunnit”.

In this story, we’re inside the head of the killer: Gordon Jacobs. Enraged with jealousy, Gordon knows the only way to make himself feel better is to kill his teammate Ryan Brookside.

He was richer and more popular…and then he made matters worse by dating Gordon’s ex-wife. Really, he did it to himself. 

Featured image: Godwill Gira Mude / Unsplash