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20 Entertaining Cozies

Posted 5 months ago by April S

Welcome to our appeal series.

We're highlighting a variety of books to help our readers find books that speak to them.

In each post you'll find books that share similar appeal (or story elements) like genre, pacing, tone, storyline, writing style and/or characters.

The novels in this blog post include Gentle Reads and Cozy Mysteries.

What are Gentle Reads?

Although life has its ups and downs, these stories leave readers with a peaceful, easy feeling at the end. They often occur in small towns and are notable for their lack of sex, violence, and profanity, although trace amounts may be found. ~ Novelist

What are Cozy Mysteries?

These popular mysteries typically feature clever amateur sleuths (usually women) with very little violence. Murders happen off stage, and generally to unlikable people. ~ Novelist

Cozy Mysteries / Gentle Reads

Past Due for Murder by Victoria Gilbert

1. Past Due for Murder by Victoria Gilbert

Series: Blue Ridge Library mysteries, book 3.

After a young woman goes missing during a spring bonfire, library director Amy Webber must wade through the web of lies only to find a truth that she may not want to untangle.

Appeal
  • Character: Likeable
  • Storyline: Intricately Plotted
  • Pace: Leisurely Paced
  • Theme: Life in Small Towns

Murder Once Removed by S.C. Perkins

2. Murder Once Removed by S.C. Perkins

Series: Ancestry detective novels, book 1.

When a high-profile billionaire makes a history-changing claim on live television, genealogist Lucy Lancaster of Austin, Texas begins an investigation dating back to the mid-19th century before she is confronted by a modern descendant who would protect family secrets.

Appeal
  • Character: Quirky
  • Storyline: Intricately Plotted
  • Tone: Upbeat and Engaging

Broken Bone China by Laura Childs

3. Broken Bone China by Laura Childs

Series: Tea Shop mysteries, book 20.

While catering a hot air balloon rally, Theodosia and Drayton become entangled in a murder case after a drone attacks a balloon carrying a local software company CEO.

Appeal
  • Genre: Culinary Mysteries
  • Tone: Strong Sense of Place and Upbeat
  • Writing Style: Engaging and Richly Detailed

Miss Julia Raises the Roof by Ann B. Ross

4. Miss Julia Raises the Roof by Ann B. Ross

Series: Miss Julia series, book 20.

When Miss Julia learns that the local gossip and the new pastor are secretly working to establish a group home for wayward teens, she discovers an underlying agenda.

Appeal
  • Character: Sassy
  • Tone: Amusing
  • Writing Style: Engaging

The Pint of No Return by Ellie Alexander

5. The Pint of No Return by Ellie Alexander

Series: Sloan Krause mysteries, book 2.

Fermenting in internal turmoil due to her personal life, local brewmaster Sloan Krause, while preparing for Oktoberfest, must deal with the death of an overzealous actor who met his demise while downing a local microbrew.

Appeal
  • Genre: Culinary Mysteries
  • Character: Likeable
  • Tone: Atmospheric
  • Writing Style: Engaging and Richly Detailed

The Dead Ringer by M.C. Beaton

6. The Dead Ringer by M.C. Beaton

Series: Agatha Raisin mysteries, book 29.

Agatha is hired to investigate the death of Bishop Peter Salver-Hinkley's ex-fiancâee, but the investigation leads to more and more murders and Agatha begins to suspect the handsome Bishop himself may be the murderer.

Appeal
  • Pace: Fast-Paced
  • Tone: Amusing and Upbeat

Ruff justice / Laurien Berenson

7. Ruff Justice by Laurien Berenson

Series: Melanie Travis mysteries, book 22.

While preparing for the spring dog show, Melanie must investigate a murder after a talented canine portrait artist turns up dead behind her concession booth and her Aunt Peg's longtime dogsitter also disappears on the same day.

Appeal
  • Character: Likeable
  • Tone: Upbeat
  • Writing Style: Engaging

The Cracked Spine / Paige Shelton

8. The Cracked Spine by Paige Shelton

Series: Scottish bookshop mysteries, book 1.

Delaney Nichols uproots herself from her quiet Kansas town and takes a job at The Cracked Spine in Edinburgh, only to put on her investigating cap when someone in her new life ends up dead.

Appeal
  • Genre: Adult Books for Young Adults
  • Tone: Atmospheric

The Big Rewind by Libby Cudmore

9. The Big Rewind by Libby Cudmore

Raymond Chandler meets Nick Hornby in this clever noir romp through hipster Brooklyn as a mysterious mix tape puts a young amateur sleuth on the hunt for a killer and for the truths hidden within her own heart.

Appeal
  • Character: Likeable
  • Storyline: Plot-Driven
  • Tone: Romantic and Upbeat
  • Writing Style: Engaging

Recipes for Love and Murder - a Tannie Maria Mystery by Sally Andrew

10. Recipes for Love and Murder by Sally Andrew

Series: Tannie Maria novels, book 1.

The first volume of a delicious new crime series set in rural South Africa -- a flavorful blend of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and Goldy Schulz, full of humor, romance, and recipes, and featuring a charming cast of characters.

Appeal
  • Genre: Culinary Mysteries
  • Character: Likeable / Quirky / Culturally Diverse
  • Pace: Fast-Paced
  • Storyline: Intricately Plotted
  • Tone: Amusing and Strong Sense of Place
  • Writing Style: Engaging

A likely story / Jenn McKinlay

11. A Likely Story by Jenn McKinlay

Series: Library Lover's mysteries, book 6.

When her friend, Peter Rosen, is killed and his brother, Stewart, goes missing, library director Lindsey Norris will stop at nothing to solve the murder and disappearance.

Appeal
  • Tone: Strong Sense of Place and Upbeat
  • Subject: Libraries and Small Towns

Toucan keep a secret / Donna Andrews

12. Toucan Keep a Secret by Donna Andrews

Series: Meg Langslow mysteries, book 23.

Locking up after an event at the Trinity Episcopal church, Meg Langslow discovers the body of an elderly parishioner, who had threatened to reclaim his wife's ashes from the church crypt, and uncovers local secrets with the help of The Reverend Smith's foster toucan.

Appeal
  • Character: Quirky
  • Pace: Fast-Paced
  • Tone: Funny and Offbeat
  • Theme: Life in Small Towns

Aunt Dimity and the Heart of Gold by Nancy Atherton

13. Aunt Dimity and the Heart of Gold by Nancy Atherton

Series: Aunt Dimity mysteries, book 24.

Joining friends for an annual holiday bash at Emma Harris's manor that turns into an overnight stay because of stormy weather, Tilly tours her host's home and discovers a hidden compartment filled with a treasure in gold.

Appeal
  • Genre: Supernatural Mysteries / Holiday Mysteries
  • Storyline: Intricately Plotted
  • Tone: Atmospheric and Upbeat

Bloodstains with Bronte by Katherine Bolger Hyde

14. Bloodstains with Bronte by Katherine Bolger Hyde

Series: Crime with the Classics, book 2.

When the murdered body of a contractor is discovered at a Halloween murder-mystery fundraiser, detective Luke Richards reluctantly investigates Windy Corner's single-mother housekeeper, Katie.

Appeal
  • Character: Likeable
  • Theme: Books about Books
  • Storyline: Plot-Driven
  • Writing Style: Engaging

The body in the wake / Katherine Hall Page

15. The Body in the Wake by Katherine Hall Page

Series: Faith Fairchild mysteries, book 25.

Supporting her friends through a less-than-relaxing summer at Penobscot Bay, amateur detective and caterer Faith Fairchild helps prepare for an upcoming wedding before stumbling on a body with a mysterious tattoo and connections far from Sanpere Island.

Appeal
  • Genre: Culinary Mysteries
  • Pace: Leisurely Paced
  • Tone: Atmospheric
  • Theme: Vacation Interrupted

Chocolate cream pie murder : a Hannah Swensen mystery with recipes / Joanne Fluke

16. Chocolate Cream Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke

Series: Hannah Swensen mysteries, book 24.

The filming of a television special at brokenhearted Hannah Swensen's bakery is complicated by her shifty ex, an intrusive gang of bodyguards, and an untimely murder that compels her alliance with an old flame.

Appeal
  • Genre: Culinary Mysteries
  • Tone: Upbeat
  • Subject: Women Amateur Detectives

The colors of all the cattle / Alexander McCall Smith

17. The Colors of All the Cattle by Alexander McCall Smith

Series: No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, book 19.

Reluctantly running for City Council when a flashy developer announces plans to build a hotel beside a graveyard, Mma Ramotswe, aided by the loyal Mma Potokwane, taps her humor and generosity of spirit to outmaneuver a corrupt rival.

Appeal
  • Character: Culturally Diverse and Spirited
  • Pace: Leisurely Paced
  • Tone: Amusing, Heartwarming and Upbeat
  • Theme: Novels of Place
  • Writing Style: Descriptive and Engaging

Whiskers in the Dark by Rita Mae Brown

18. Whiskers in the Dark by Rita Mae Brown

Series: Mrs. Murphy mysteries, book 28.

When a body is discovered in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Harry and her pets search for the killer while ghost sighting and threats complicate their investigation.

Appeal
  • Character: Anthropomorphic and Quirky
  • Pace: Fast-Paced
  • Storyline: Intricately Plotted
  • Tone: Amusing, Heartwarming and Strong Sense of Place
  • Writing Style: Banter-Filled

Sleep like a baby by Charlaine Harris

19. Sleep Like a Baby by Charlaine Harris

Series: Aurora Teagarden mysteries, book 10.

Stricken with flu while her husband is on a business trip, Roe accepts the help of an in-home nurse who goes missing on a stormy night at the same time a body is found outside the house.

Appeal
  • Character: Likeable
  • Storyline: Plot-Driven
  • Tone: Upbeat
  • Writing Style: Engaging

Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding by Rhys Bowen

20. Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding by Rhys Bowen

Series: Royal Spyness mysteries, book 12.

Lady Georgiana Rannoch's establishment as mistress of a grand estate is stymied by the property's disarray, the curious incompetence of the staff and a suspicious gas leak.

Appeal
  • Genre: Historical Mysteries
  • Tone: Strong Sense of Place
  • Writing Style: Engaging and Richly Detailed

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Featured Image Credit: Image by Gellinger from Pixabay.

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