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? 

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission

The books I picked & why

Book cover of Getting Old Is Criminal

Why did I love 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?

By Rita Lakin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Getting Old Is Criminal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gladdy Gold Mystery #3

"The Golden Girls play Nancy Drew in their own funny and creative ways...colorful and Meshugeneh.”—Mystery Scene

Gladdy Gold’s exotic vacation has reached a pinnacle: a romantic soak in a hot tub with the man she adores, far from Florida and her nosy neighbors…until an urgent message concerning the safety of her best friends sends her running home. Now, her idyll is ony a memory, her would-be-beau, Jack, is furious, and not only are the girls of the Gladdy Gold Detective Agency alive and well—they’re onto a hot new murder case.

Is a suave senior Romeo to…

Book cover of The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax

Why did I love 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. 

By Dorothy Gilman,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mrs Emily Pollifax is a 60-ish widow wanting more from life than teas and garden club meetings. In search of adventure, she decides to offer her services to the CIA - who, after all, would spot a suburban grandmother as a cold war secret agent? - and adventure she finds. Her first assignment, in Mexico City, doesn't sound dangerous until something goes wrong. She suddenly finds herself abducted across the world, embroiled in quite a hot Cold War... and her abductors find themselves entangled with one unbelievably feisty lady. Armed with only an open mind and a little karate, Mrs…

Mrs. Jeffries Rights a Wrong

By Emily Brightwell,

Book cover of Mrs. Jeffries Rights a Wrong

Why did I love 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.

By Emily Brightwell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mrs. Jeffries Rights a Wrong as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mrs. Jeffries is back in the New York Times bestselling Victorian Mytery series, perfect for fans of Downton Abbey.

Thomas Mundy checks in to London’s Wrexley Hotel, but he never checks out. The maid finds him on the floor of his room, bludgeoned to death by his own walking stick. Inspector Witherspoon is soon on the case and learns Mundy had a reputation for being polite, charming, and diligent—an unlikely victim for such a violent crime.
But Mrs. Jeffries and the household staff uncover that Mundy was less an amiable businessman and more a duplicitous con man with enemies on…

Book cover of Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree

Why did I love 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. 

By Nancy Atherton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The gentle spirit's sixteenth adventure is a New York Times bestseller and as "cozy and charming as a cup of Earl Grey" ( And watch out for Nancy Atherton's latest, Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom, coming in July 2018 from Viking! 

After a dizzying time Down Under, Lori Shepherd returns to Finch and finds that her wealthy father-in-law, William Willis, Sr., has just purchased a splendid ten-acre estate nearby. While William fends off local ladies intent on romance, Lori oversees the painstaking restoration of a peculiar painting found during renovations. It's nothing Lori can't handle-until moving furniture, strange sounds,…

Accounting for Murder

By Emma Lathen,

Book cover of Accounting for Murder

Why did I love 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.

By Emma Lathen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Accounting for Murder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New fully edited version and afterword. 3rd of 37 best selling Emma Lathen mysteries featuring SVP of the Sloan Guaranty Trust, John Putnam Thatcher, who gets to the bottom of things by cutting through various business goings on, a famous accountant who swooped down on a company to examine the books, dissident shareholders, community groups, and others to examine the financial motives in order to nail the killer. A humorous romp for those who like humor and good writing in their mysteries. Called the American Agatha Christie and Nero Wolfe with Portfolio by the New York Times.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in murder, murder mystery, and ghost story?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about murder, murder mystery, and ghost story.

Murder Explore 728 books about murder
Murder Mystery Explore 384 books about murder mystery
Ghost Story Explore 117 books about ghost story

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Travels with My Aunt, They Came to Baghdad, and The Beekeeper's Apprentice if you like this list.