The best cozy mysteries featuring sleuths of a certain age

Terrie Farley Moran Author Of Murder, She Wrote: Killer on the Court
By Terrie Farley Moran

Who am I?

My parents were avid readers and mysteries were a perennial favorite for all of us. By my early teens I moved from Judy Bolton and Nancy Drew to the Golden Age of mystery writers such as Agatha Christie and Mary Roberts Rinehart. Clearly addicted to mysteries without undue violence or gore, I discovered some wonderful television series as well. It won’t surprise you to learn that my favorite is Murder, She Wrote. 

I wrote...

Murder, She Wrote: Killer on the Court

By Jessica Fletcher, Terrie Farley Moran,

Book cover of Murder, She Wrote: Killer on the Court

What is my book about?

Jessica Fletcher is delighted when her nephew Grady invites her to spend a few days with his family in an oceanside New York bungalow. She packs her bags and heads down to the city, ready to spend some quality time with Grady, his wife, Donna, and their young son, Frank. 
But the morning after Jessica’s arrival, Donna finds her boss dead on a tennis court, and Jessica’s dreams of a relaxing visit are quashed. Everyone in the small beachside community is a suspect, and the local authorities—headed by an old colleague of Cabot Cove sheriff Mort Metzger—have asked that no one leave town. Will Jessica be able find a killer and salvage the rest of her trip? 

The books I picked & why

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Getting Old Is Criminal

By Rita Lakin,

Book cover of Getting Old Is Criminal

Why this book?

Getting Old is Criminal by Rita Lakin is the third of seven books in the Gladdy Gold series and my personal favorite. How can I not love an amateur detective whose motto is “Never trust anyone under seventy-five”? One minute Gladdy is soaking in a hot tub on a romantic getaway with her new boyfriend, the next she is called to the bedside of a sick friend, who is not so sick after all and in a flash someone hires her to investigate the man he believes may have killed his mother. During the investigation, Gladdy’s sister Evvie begins to fall for the suspected killer. Now, aren’t you dying to know more?

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax

By Dorothy Gilman,

Book cover of The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax

Why this book?

Mrs. Pollifax had a busy life until her children became adults and moved into their own lives. So she tried community work and joined a gardening club but when those became totally boring Mrs. Pollifax decided to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a spy. The minute she wangled an introduction from her Congress Member to a liaison at the CIA, I practically stood and saluted. And when she talked her way into a small assignment, which turned out to be quite complicated indeed, well, I was on the Mrs. Pollifax train and in the next thirteen books we traveled the world and saved democracy. 

Mrs. Jeffries Rights a Wrong

By Emily Brightwell,

Book cover of Mrs. Jeffries Rights a Wrong

Why this book?

Many of the women in my family worked in domestic service. I do know that their work lives were not easy and their employers were often quite demanding. Still, each time I wander into the Victorian era where Mrs. Jeffries is housekeeper to Inspector Witherspoon of the Metropolitan Police, I imagine that my grandmother or my aunt is one of the household staff who Mrs. Jeffries organizes to do a “behind the scenes” investigation and provide the Inspector with the right clues to solve his cases.

Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree

By Nancy Atherton,

Book cover of Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree

Why this book?

Lori Shepherd’s mother had a life-long friend, Dimity Westwood. Lori was at a personal crossroads when Dimity died and left Lori a cottage in the Cotswolds. But the biggest surprise for Lori (and for me!) is when she discovers that she and Dimity can write notes to each other. Don’t we all need a friend who can steer us in the right direction? When a valuable painting is stolen Lori must rely on Dimity to guide her to set things right. 

Accounting for Murder

By Emma Lathen,

Book cover of Accounting for Murder

Why this book?

My first grown-up job was as an assistant in the Investment Review Department of a major bank, so I was over the moon when I discovered this series. John Putnam Thatcher, Senior Vice President in charge of the Trust Department of The Sloan, often found that finance and crime meshed. I would look at the stuffy Vice Presidents that I worked with and I didn’t believe any of them would have the curiosity and the deductive reasoning to solve a numerical discrepancy much less a murder. John Putnam Thatcher, who is always a banker and a detective as required, was my dream boss.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in murders, ghost story, and intelligence agency?

5,309 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about murders, ghost story, and intelligence agency.

Murders Explore 302 books about murders
Ghost Story Explore 78 books about ghost story
Intelligence Agency Explore 73 books about intelligence agency

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Murder in G Major, Remember Me, and The Name of the Star if you like this list.