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Genre Spotlight: Cozy Mystery

By Ryan

Did you know that the Easton Library has a Mystery section? Did you also know that it is loaded with Cozy Mysteries? If you've never read a mystery before, you may want to give it a cozy a try. Today we are going to discuss why Cozy Mysteries are such a great reading option! What's even better is some cozy mystery books have recipes in them!

What is a Cozy Mystery?

According to Wikipedia, a cozy mystery is "a subgenre of crime fiction in which...violence occur[s] off stage, the detective is an amateur sleuth, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community." These are often fun, light reading. Series featuring the characters tend to be long, with many books. Some have recipes for cakes, cookies, coffees, and more. They also tend to focus on a similar theme such as coffee drinks, desserts, or holidays. Another benefit? Most of them don't need to be read in any specific order. Though, of course, it may be more fun if you do!

We have many different cozy mystery series to chose from. Here are some great choices!

Popular Cozy Mysteries

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley is the first in the Flavia de Luce Mystery series. It follows a young, British girl who is too smart for her age. After a dead bird with a stamp on its beak turns up on her family's doorstep, and a man is found dead in the garden, things only get stranger from there. But, the fun doesn't stop there! This series currently has 10 books so you can spend hours reading about Flavia's crime-solving skills. New books tend to be published early in the year. The Easton Library has many of the books from this series. Check out the catalog to get one!

Another popular series that has been around for over two decades is Alexander McCall Smith's cozy mystery series entitled The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Set in South Africa, these popular books allow the reader to take a trip to another country and step out of their shoes for a little while. The first of more than 20 books follows Precious Ramotswe as she tries to find a missing husband, uncover a con man, and track a wayward daughter. McCall Smith has another mystery series as well. But nothing compares to his No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Another great thing about this series? The Easton Library has almost every title available in one form or another. Check out our catalog to see all the options.

Are you a knitter or a crocheter? If so, try out the books by author and fellow knitter Maggie Sefton. These books center around the town of Fort Conner and the House of Lambspun shop. With witty play-on-word titles like Knit One, Kill Two and

Skein of the Crime, these books are sure to delight fellow yarn artists. Many of the books in this series have recipes in the back of the book, but since this book is knitting-themed, there's an added bonus! Readers are treated to a knitting pattern included! This series of books seem to be the read that keeps on giving.

Are you a coffee lover? Curling up with a good book, a cup of coffee, and a sweet treat is a great way to spend some time. In the aptly named Coffeehouse Mystery series by Cleo Coyle, follow the life of Clare, owner of The Village Blend. Soon after opening up her coffee shop, she finds herself solving crimes in her town. A wonderfully written cozy series that even include recipes for tasty treats and coffees! On What Grounds begins the tale of Clare and her coffee shop.

Go Back in Time with a Mystery

Cozy Mysteries also have an added benefit of allowing the reader to time travel. As mentioned earlier, cozy mysteries usually revolve around a specific theme. Sometimes that theme is chocolate or weddings. Other times it can be the setting or the location of the book series.

For example, the Fidelma of Cashel books by Peter Tremayne have the reader embark on a journey to Ancient Ireland. I don't know about you, but I've never come across a book set in Ancient Ireland before. Maybe I'll have to pick up one of Tremayne's titles.

Are you a lover of Victorian England? Do you love the holidays? If either (or both) of the answers to those questions is "yes," then you may want to try out Anne Perry's The Christmas Novels. These are short books that pack a big punch. With a Victorian Christmas backdrop, these stories give readers a peek into the lives of the wealthy in Victorian England. And of course there's an enthralling mystery to go along with it.

Do you think London is the perfect place to be? Travel back in time to London, 1929 with the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear. This series follows an ex-World War I nurse who recently started her own detective agency.

Maybe historical New York is more to your taste? Victoria Thompson's Gaslight Mystery series is set in 19th century New York City. This series is just another reason why NYC continues to be a timeless backdrop for books, both mystery or otherwise.


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