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Welcome to the sunnier side of crime fiction.

While many incredible mystery reads stray into a dark and gritty territory, some readers prefer a gentler touch. Cozy mysteries offer a more lighthearted approach to mystery novels, even if most of them still center around murder. The protagonists of these books are usually women, and their sleuthing is usually a hobby or side gig. Personal interest and drama is more heavily featured in these books, as they tend to try to make the story as accessible and relatable as possible.

The crimes in these novels all tie in to the investigator’s personal experience, whether they have a job as a librarian, chef, dog groomer, etc. The stories almost always take place in a small town, and a cast of quirky characters is guaranteed.

Whether you're new to the cozy scene or you'd just like to dive a bit deeper, here are some great places to start: 

Be sure to browse the stories below for our eclectic collection of charming cozy mystery books!

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What Makes a Mystery?

Take a peek behind the literary curtain, sleuth.

9 "New Beginnings" Murder Mysteries

These fictional characters feel the urge to start fresh.

Cozy Mysteries with Crafty Components

This cozy mystery roundup has sleuths that love to knit, quilt, scrapbook—when they're not solving crime. 

7 Queer Cozy Mysteries to Delight Any Reader

From gay detectives to nonbinary investigators, these amateurs are on the case.

It Takes a Community: Writing Crime at the Midnight Hour

20 writers of color come together in this extraordinary anthology of crime fiction stories set at midnight.

We'll Help You Choose Witch Cozy Mystery to Read Next

These supernatural cozy mysteries feature feline familiars and a whole mess of magic!

10 British Mystery Series to Curl Up With This Fall

Spend your autumn nights with these cozy British mysteries.

10 Meta Mystery Novels that Put the Murder Back in Murder Mystery

What happens when murder mystery enthusiasts are faced with a real murder?

11 Funny Murder Mystery Books

These books are perfect if you’re in the mood for a good mystery and a good laugh. 

9 British Mystery Books That Even the Most Dedicated Sleuths Haven’t Read

From classically cozy to the criminal underbelly to mysteries that are perfectly in-between—there’s something every mystery lover on this list. 

The Rise of the Millennial Cozy Mystery

A classic genre shifting to appeal to a fresh audience.

An Interview with Mia P. Manansala

Words from the author on her cozy debut.

Ellery Adams' Murder in the Cookbook Nook Is Delicious

For those who love a tasty meal with a small side of murder and mystery.