The village is bathed in sunlight, and it’s a stunning day. The sky is blue, the sun is beaming, and the flowers are in full bloom. There is a nice perfume emanating from them… But is there something ominous down there?
At the beach, it’s a wonderful day. As the tide begins to recede, you pack up your favorite seashell basket and walk out to collect some brightly colored shells… How about the next thing? Are they pants on that piece of driftwood?
There is a lovely weather at the vineyard today. To their hearts’ content, grape stompers are out in the fields, picking and crushing grapes with their bare feet. How do you know that? In the vat, there is a huge object that is not the proper vintage.
My favorite genre of fiction, cozy mysteries. It’s always the loveliest places where the worst things happen. Those who appear to be friendliest often harbor the darkest of motives. When even the most improbable of investigators run afoul of the law and find themselves confined to a closet with no access to a phone, things can get interesting. Being stranded in the woods with no phone reception is also a possibility Or being taken away to sea in a lovely dinghy, once more without access to cellular service.
A cell tower could seem like a natural fit for some of these more lovely towns, but I suppose it does detract from their natural beauty.
To me, a cozy mystery is a mystery, typically a murder mystery, that takes place in an idyllic setting with like-minded characters and avoids any graphic depictions of violence or sexual content.
There is an innocence about cozies that I believe appeals to their readers, despite their typically violent content. The crimes can always be solved, and most often by an inexperienced person. As long as you don’t mind the length of the series. By book 15, you’d be forgiven for thinking the amateur investigator was an expert.)
In the summer, I tend to read and listen to a lot of cozies. I enjoy listening to these stories when out on a long walk or gardening for hours at a time. Complication is not required while I am weeding my garden, and I enjoy listening to a good, peaceful, fictitious murder in the background as I work on my garden projects.
For those who share my sentiments, I’ve compiled a list of 10 cozies. However, do do so in a responsible manner. Be on the lookout for any sinister-looking curates, and grasp onto the handrails while ascending or descending the tower or crypt.
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DEATH BY DUMPLING
BY VIVIEN CHIEN
Even though everyone at Ho-Lee Noodle House was aware of Mr. Feng’s fatal shellfish allergy, he was found dead after a dumpling delivery and no one believes their innocence. Lana’s life is already complicated enough without having to deal with a murder investigation on top of it. She’s recently returned to her hometown to work at the family restaurant following a few setbacks in her career. Now it’s up to Lana and the attractive investigator to figure out who killed her mother. In other words, it’s a handsome police detective.
A DEADLY INSIDE SCOOP
BY ABBY COLLETTE
Bronwyn Crewse, the new manager of the family ice cream store, has finally arrived to put things back to normal. She has an MBA and her grandmother’s recipes at her disposal, and she’s confident she’ll be able to turn things around quickly. However, when the ground is blanketed in snow shortly before its reopening, Bronwyn feels as though the weather is conspiring against her efforts. When Bronwyn finds a corpse in the snow, the police think her father is responsible!
UNDER LOCK & SKELETON KEY
BY GIGI PANDIAN
Tempest Raj’s life is turned upside down when a trick she is doing goes horribly wrong. In the magician world, Tempest is held responsible since it is believed that she put the safety of her team ahead of a risky act. Upon returning to her family carpentry firm to assist out, Tempest gets another blow: her stage duplicate has been murdered, and Tempest fears the culprit will target her as well.
A PECULIAR COMBINATION
BY ASHLEY WEAVER
To be sure, locksmithing is a noble profession, but it’s hard to deny that lockpicking isn’t far behind. Electra McDonnell is determined to continue her smithing career despite the fact that her husband and son are serving their countries in the armed forces of the Allies during World War II. With a safe full of valuables waiting to be opened, Ellie considers taking on just one more assignment. A government official (a gorgeous one!), instead of the promised safe, is waiting with an offer of a legitimate position that may utilise her abilities. (Is this a handsome government official?). No doubt about it.)
HER ROYAL SPYNESS
BY RHYS BOWEN
For someone named Lady Victoria, Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, Georgie would be expected to be a well-rounded individual. The only thing Georgie really wants to do in 1930s England is get away from her controlling sister-in-law. Because she’s a relative of Her Majesty the Queen (who is 34th in line), Georgie does not want to accept a contract from the Queen to spy on her family. However, the money promised may come in helpful. When Georgie discovers a body in her bathtub and embarks on a case-solving binge, it will come in useful even more. (Is this a handsome police officer?) Check.)
FARM TO TROUBLE
BY AMANDA FLOWER
When Shiloh heard about the plight of the family farm, he immediately flew back to cherry country, Michigan. She had no idea she’d be called upon to defend the family farm against murder charges! It was only moments after they signed their contract that her new investor was discovered dead at the local farmer’s market. Shiloh’s father and irritating cousin appear to be against her, but she is steadfast in her determination to keep the farm running and locate the culprit. (Firefighter? Despite the fact that it deviates from tradition, it yet has a traditional feel about it. I believe it’s a good idea.
ALL THAT IS SECRET
BY PATRICIA RAYBON
At a modest Chicago Bible college, Professor Annalee Spain has a peaceful existence. After the murder of her father, she is forced to return home by a telegram. There is no way Annalee can locate her father’s killer without risking her life in a city governed by the Ku Klux Klan. She’ll run with an attractive young preacher along the road who just might be able to assist her. Possibly the most attractive pastor I’ve ever encountered Sure!)
DIGGING UP TROUBLE
BY KITT CROWE
The nicest small town on the West Coast is Confection, Oregon. The right book may be found at Sweet Fiction, and then there’s Eats n’ Treats for a sweet treat. Lexi, on the other hand, would prefer a day like that. Instead, Lexi’s day is redirected when her dog Cookie escapes and goes digging. In the neighbor’s garden, Cookie has found a dead body, and she may have the murder weapon in her teeth, too.
MANGO, MAMBO, AND MURDER
BY RAQUEL V. REYES
Miriam Quiones-Smith is ready to give up some of her comforts. As a culinary anthropologist, she’s had to put her profession on wait in order to remain at home with her kid, and she’s had to put up with her outspoken mother-in-law for years. The opportunity to work as a Caribbean culinary expert on a local TV show piqued her interest. When bodies start piling up all around Miriam, she’ll have to use her culinary skills to discover out who’s been poisoning the puddin’s pudding. (Police detective enraged? That’s OK by us.)
DEATH IN CASTLE DARK
BY VERONICA BOND
So when Nora Blake receives an invitation to a castle outside Chicago, she can’t refuse. Her murder mystery dinner performances will be regulars. This isn’t a career in the arts, but it does pay the bills and provide a place to stay. After everything appears to be going smoothly, one of Nora’s coworkers is slain in real life during a performance. In order to save herself, Nora takes on the challenge of finding the murderer before they find her first. (Is this a handsome police officer?) Is there any other way to conclude this list?
If you’re in the mood for a good mystery, cozy mysteries are definitely the way to go. These books are set in the most charming villages, towns, and cities, with the kindest people imaginable. But don’t let their sweet facades fool you – these stories always have a dark side. And who knows what secrets everyone is hiding? My personal favorite cozy mystery series is the Murder She Wrote series by Jessica Fletcher. What about you? Let me know your favorite cozy mystery series in the comments below.