Only cozy mystery series with at least two books out are considered for this ranking. Long-running shows succeed in this genre because we become invested in the protagonists and look forward to seeing them again and again.
There are so many excellent cozy mystery series that compiling a list of the best would be a difficult feat. (In reality, I intended for this to be a top 10 list but ended up with too many.) Please share your preferred examples in the comments below!
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BY MC BEATON
At the age of 52, Agatha Raisin quits from a successful career in public relations and goes to a cottage in a seemingly calm English countryside. “The Quiche of Death” is the first novel in the series.
BY ELIZABETH PETERS
Amelia Peabody, a self-proclaimed spinster at the age of 32, has decided to use a large portion of her inheritance to travel to Egypt. Many readers have fallen in love with this book and its feisty, witty, and unwavering heroine because of the era she lives in (1880). Crocodile on the Sandbank was the first novel I ever read from this series and I was hooked.
AUNT DIMITY MYSTERIES
BY NANCY ATHERTON
The American Lori Shepherd family solves mysteries with the assistance of their departed aunt, Dimity, who writes to them in a blue leather notebook from the other side. This is the first book, and it’s called Aunt Dimity’s Death.
BY BARBARA NEELY
Blanche White is a shrewd housekeeper, but she has a nasty tendency of finding herself mixed up in murder mysteries. Blanche on the Lam, the first novel.
BY STEPHANIE BOND
Carlotta, a former debutante who is now a shopgirl, has a lot on her plate between her fugitive parents, her brother’s gambling addiction, their loan shark debts, and Carlotta’s part-time job transporting remains to the morgue. Body Movers is the debut novel.
BY LORNA BARRETT
Can I move to Tricia’s town, where she operates a mystery bookstore? When she becomes a murder suspect, she finds herself borrowing from her own works. Book One: Murder is Binding
BY LILIAN JACKSON BRAUN
Journalist Jim and his kitties Koko and Yum Yum investigate mysteries. The author released the first three novels in this series in the mid-1960s, but additional installments didn’t appear until 20 years later. Book One: The Cat Who Could Read Backwards
CHIEF INSPECTOR ARMAND GAMACHE
BY LOUISE PENNY
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, of the Sûreté du Québec, is captivated by the rustic, picturesque community where he discovers long-buried truths. Since its 2005 debut, this series has garnered a slew of accolades. To begin with, there is Still Life, the author’s first novel.
BY CLEO COYLE
Clare, the series’ protagonist, is the manager of a Greenwich Village cafe that has played host to a surprisingly high number of gruesome killings. On What Grounds is the First Book.
FLAVIA DE LUCE
BY ALAN BRADLEY
Flavia de Luce, a bright eleven-year-old with a love for chemistry and a knack for investigating crimes, is at the center of this book, which is set in 1950s England. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie was her first novel.
GETHSEMANE BROWN MYSTERIES
BY ALEXIA GORDON
Paranormal cozy mysteries about a classical pianist who becomes shipwrecked on a southwestern island. True ghost fans will understand my enthusiasm. Murder in G Major, the first of the series.
GOLDY BEAR CULINARY
BY DIANE MOTT DAVIDSON
Most of my favorite cozy mysteries revolve on food and cooking. Goldy lives in a rural area of Colorado, where she works as a caterer and raises her son and daughter after her divorce. To establish her innocence in the first novel, she must conduct a murder investigation. Book One: Catering To Nobody.
BY JOANNE FLUKE
Another small-town, food-centered coziness set in Minnesota, this one at a bakery. Hallmark’s Murder She Baked film adaptations are based on these books. First book: Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder
HER ROYAL SPYNESS
BY RHYS BOWEN
Lady Victoria Georgiana “Georgie” Charlotte Eugenie is attempting to lead a normal life in London in the year 1932. She is the 34th in line to the English throne and the cousin of King George V, yet she has little money. Her Royal Spyness is the debut novel.
INSPECTOR SINGH INVESTIGATES
BY SHAMINI FLINT
Singaporean Inspector Singh is on the case as he investigates homicides around Asia. The unique locales and protagonist of this series are two of its biggest draws. Book One: Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder.
MAHALIA WATKINS SOUL FOOD MYSTERIES
BY A.L. HERBERT
I did warn you that cookbook cozies are my absolute fave! Now make that stuff soul food, and I am so there. Our heroine operates Mahalia’s Sweet Tea, a soul food restaurant in Maryland. First book: Murder with Fried Chicken and Waffles
BY NORA DELOACH
You’ll have to sift through several used bookstores (physical or virtual) to find the first book, but it’ll be well worth your time. The main characters, an Atlanta paralegal and her mother, are a close-knit family. Mama Solves a Murder is the first novel by this author in this series.
BY AGATHA CHRISTIE
No compilation of mine would be complete without the great Agatha Christie. Miss Jane Marple, is a popular investigator in the series. I really enjoy The Body in the Library. Book One: Murder at the Vicarage.
BY RITA MAE BROWN
This cozy mystery series holds a particular place in my heart. With the assistance of her Welsh Corgi (I’m a sucker for a Corgi) and tiger cat, a postmistress who reads postcards that aren’t addressed to her solves murders. Wish You Were Here is the debut novel.
NO. 1 LADIES’ DETECTIVE AGENCY
BY ALEXANDER MCCALL SMITH
An acclaimed show starring Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s top cop and the country’s lone female sleuth. She’s smart, charming, and genuinely cares about doing good for others. The #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency was the first novel in the series.
PSYCHIC EYE MYSTERY
BY VICTORIA LAURIE
When a customer dies under mysterious circumstances, psychic intuitive Abby finds herself entangled into the investigation. Winning blend of comedy, romance, and mystery. First book: Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye
BY OVIDIA YU
Rosie “Aunty” Lee, a wealthy widow in Singapore, utilizes her wits and contacts to investigate mysteries while simultaneously running a popular home-cooking restaurant. Aunty Lee’s Delights is the debut novel.
BY KYRA DAVIS
Lighthearted series about a mystery writer named Sophie Katz who keeps getting caught up in actual murder investigations. Sex, Murder, and a Double Latte is the author’s debut novel.
TEA SHOP MYSTERIES
BY LAURA CHILDS
In Charleston, where Theodosia Browning owns a tea store, high society parties are proving fatal for some of the guests. Death by Darjeeling is the first novel.
BY JULIET BLACKWELL
When Lily casts a spell, naughty ghosts often appear. She owns a San Francisco vintage clothes boutique and, on the side, investigates homicides using her unique skillset. Secondhand Spirits is the first novel.
So, if you’re in the market for a cozy mystery series to get invested in, look no further. These are all long-running shows with lots of books out (so you won’t have to wait too long for a new installment). And I promise, you won’t be disappointed. Have you read any of these? Let me know what you thought.
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