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NRH Reads

Posted on: October 28, 2020

Cozy Mysteries to Curl Up With

cozy mysteries

Looking for a good mystery to escape into, but want to avoid anything too heavy? An excellent cozy mystery is just the ticket! Cozy mysteries are suspenseful tales characterized by their lack of explicit violence, sex, or profanity. Murders are central to many cozy mystery plots, but they always take place off the page. 

From restaurateurs to your local florist, much of the charm of a cozy mystery comes from ordinary people who suddenly find themselves acting as an amateur detective -- sometimes trying to solve a crime to clear their, or a loved one's, name. Ghosts, comical sidekicks, and reasoning cats are not out of the realm of possibility in a cozy; after all, the intent is to escape reality!


This list features classic and beloved cozy mysteries, authors with large bodies of work in the genre, and, as a special treat, stories with a librarian as the main character -- because who doesn't like librarians? 

Bloodroot (China Bayles Series #10) by Susan Wittig Albert 

BloodrootChina Bayles, lawyer-turned-herbalist, is summoned to her childhood home, Jordan's Crossing, a Mississippi plantation. There she finds her grandmother, the family matriarch,  gravely ill, and a challenge to the family's ownership of the land. The man who found the ancient deed has disappeared. China must discover the truth about the land. While this title is number ten in the series -- don't worry; new readers can easily jump right in! If you like the book, you can continue on to future tales or go back to discover China's roots. 

Borrow the Book:  Print  |  eBook

Queen Anne's Lace (China Bayles #26) by Susan Wittig Albert 

queen anne's laceChina Bayles finds a box of old lace and some photographs in the attic of her herbal shop. She soon learns about the death of one of the women pictured and sets out to discover who killed the young woman and why.               

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 Cat of the Century (Mrs. Murphy #18) by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown 

cat of the centuryMary Minor "Harry" Hairisteen is the postmaster of Crozet, Virginia, and shares her home with her furry companions Mrs. Murphy, Pewter, and Tee Tucker.  Her aunt is turning 100 and will be fêted at a celebratory dinner, but word soon reaches Crozet of an intruder who wants to turn the fête into a funeral.  Can Mrs. Murphy work out who the would-be killer is before the party?

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The Plot Is Murder (Mystery Bookshop, #1) by V.M. Burns

the plot is murderThe small town of North Harbor on Lake Michigan's shores is about to have a new mystery bookstore. But before the first customer can browse its shelves, the store’s owner is suspected of her own murder plot.

Borrow the Book:  eBook

Death by Darjeeling (A Tea Shop Mystery, #1) by Laura Childs

death by darjeelingTheodosia Browning is Charleston's beloved Indigo Tea Shop owner, known for its delicious tea tastings and Theodosia's southern hospitality. When a man is poisoned by tea, Theodosia must prove her innocence and track down the real killer...before someone else takes their last sip.

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The Spook in the Stacks (Lighthouse Library Series #4) by Eva Gates

spook in the stacksLibrarian Lucy Richardson and her colleagues at Bodie Island Lighthouse Library must find the killer of wealthy businessman Jay Ruddle. He had been considering donating his collection of North Carolina historical documents to the library. Will his death prevent the library from getting the rich resource for its collection?

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Murder with Fried Chicken and Waffles (Mahalia Watkins Soul Food Mystery #1) by A.L. Herbert 

murder with fried chickenRestauranteur Mahalia Watkins is busy enough just trying to keep her shop, Sweet Tea, open. She doesn't need a murder in her kitchen, and she definitely doesn't need her niece to be a prime suspect in the death of shady businessman Marcus Rand.  He had many enemies -- Mahalia just needs to find out which one killed him.  Plenty of soul food recipes appear in this mystery as a special bonus.

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Out of Circulation (Cat in the Stacks #4) by Miranda James

out of circulationA dispute between the Ducote sisters (An'gel and Dickce) and Vera Cassity, some of the wealthiest people in Athena, results in Cassity's death. When Charlie Harris' housekeeper is found standing over the victim's body, Charlie takes it on himself to prove his friend isn't guilty.

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Twelve Angry Librarians (Cat in the Stacks #8) by Miranda James 

twelve angry librariansSouthern college library manager Charlie Harris is the prime suspect in the murder of an antagonistic fellow librarian, Gavin Fong, after having been seen arguing with Gavin not long before somebody found his body.  Charlie must prove he didn't kill his old enemy or face time in a Mississippi prison. Diesel, Charlie's Maine Coon cat, is Charlie's near-constant companion, though unlike Mrs. Murphy (above), is a typical cat.

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Dead with the Wind (Southern Ladies Mystery #2)  by Miranda James 

dead with the windThe Ducote sisters journey to Louisiana for the wedding of a relative.  A sudden storm blows the reluctant bride out a second-story window to her death. The Ducote sisters think there was more to it than a windy accident and set out to find the killer.

Borrow the Book:  Print  |  eBook

Chili to Die for (Willow Crier Cozy Mystery #1) by Lilly York

chili to dieWhen Willow Crier inherits her grandfather's ice cream shop in Turtle, OK, the change from her old life to a small Oklahoma town proves daunting.  Willow soon becomes obsessed with entering cooking contests. When a judge is found dead, face down in a bowl of Willow's chili, she is soon the prime suspect.  Can she prove her innocence?

Borrow the Book:  eBook

I hope this list helps you find a new style of mystery to enjoy, and may one of these books bring peace and a bit of humor to your day.


Bruce B.

Adult Services Librarian

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