The best cozy mystery books to snuggle up with; now and then

Joan L. Kelly Author Of Notions of Murder
By Joan L. Kelly

Who am I?

I’m a person who likes to nibble on poetry and taste history and non-fiction. But I love to devour fiction, especially mysteries. Reading a feel-good adventure with an excellent plot and engaging characters is my way of relaxing. My philosophy is that life can often be difficult, and fiction stories, such as cozy mysteries, are good therapy. When I’m not reading, quilting, or spending time with my grandkids, I’m writing stories. As a former teacher, I try to live up to the saying: Writing is painting pictures with words.


I wrote...

Notions of Murder

By Joan L. Kelly,

Book cover of Notions of Murder

What is my book about?

Mibs Monahan is pleased with the increasing business at her sewing shop and very happy with the growing relationship between her and Detective Jace Trueblood. The busy but enjoyable days start coming apart at the seams when an assassin shoots one man and wounds another at the local community theater. Mibs becomes the only person who can identify the shooter. When the killer tries to silence Mibs from testifying, she ends up in a coma, fighting for her life.  

Will the circumstances binding friends and family together end up in torn and tattered lives? Or will the skill of the local police and the blessings of God tailor a happy ending for Mibs and Jace?

The books I picked & why

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Blanche on the Lam: A Blanche White Mystery

By Barbara Neely,

Book cover of Blanche on the Lam: A Blanche White Mystery

Why this book?

I get a kick out of a story that presents a main character who doesn’t fit the expected norms of a hero or heroine. A feisty, middle-aged African-American housekeeper/cook is not your typical amateur sleuth. When her checks bounce because her rich employer fails to pay her, Blanche goes on the lam. Hiding as a maid for a wealthy family, things look bleak when a murder occurs in the home.  Blanche calls on her savvy and wit to discover the truth. As the story unfolds, the author uses humor and biting sentences to present a glimpse into the foibles of southern society toward domestic help. This is the first of this cozy mystery series featuring a very memorable character, Balance White. An enjoyable read!  

Once you read Blanche on the Lam, I believe you won’t hesitate to search out book two of the series to see what further adventures Blanche may stumble into.

Blanche on the Lam: A Blanche White Mystery

By Barbara Neely,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Blanche on the Lam as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Award-winning author Barbara Neely presents the first in a series of novels featuring Blanche White, bla ck domestic worker extraordinaire and accidental sleuth. '


Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder

By Joanne Fluke,

Book cover of Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder

Why this book?

I enjoy a book that immediately makes me feel like I’ve stepped into a welcoming setting. Joanne Fluke does this with her description of Lake Eden. Apparently, I’m not the only one who liked this book. Hallmark liked it enough to make it into a television series. The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder is the first in the Murder She Baked series. Hannah Swenson not only knows her way around the kitchen as she bakes up delectable cookie treats, but she also has a gift for solving crimes. In this story, the local delivery man is found murdered behind The Cookie Jar, Hannah’s popular bakery. This small-town sleuth works through the clues to track down a killer in between baking up sweets – keeping both the customers in Lake Eden and any interested reader happy.  If you are a cozy mystery fan, I recommend adding this series to your bookshelf for those times you want an enjoyable and relaxing read.  

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder

By Joanne Fluke,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First in the New York Times-bestselling mystery series: “A cleverly plotted cozy full of appealing characters and delicious cookie recipes.”—Publishers Weekly

Take one amateur sleuth. Mix in some eccentric Minnesota locals. Add a generous dollop of crackling suspense, and you've got the recipe for this mystery series featuring Hannah Swensen, the red-haired, cookie-baking heroine whose gingersnaps are almost as tart as her comments and whose penchant for solving crime is definitely stirring things up.

While dodging her mother’s attempts to marry her off, Hannah runs The Cookie Jar, Lake Eden’s most popular bakery. But after Ron LaSalle, the beloved deliveryman…


The Cat Who Played Post Office

By Lilian Jackson Braun,

Book cover of The Cat Who Played Post Office

Why this book?

The best way I can recommend this book is by informing you that, over the years, I have purchased every book in the series and read them more than once. Between 1967 and 2007, Lillian Jackson Braun wrote twenty-nine Cat Who books. This prolific writer passed away in 2011, but her novels are still popular. Her cozy mysteries do not feature the usual female sleuth. Instead, the main character is a reporter named Jim Qwilleran and his two Siamese cats, Ko Ko and Yum Yum. The story I picked to feature is The Cat Who Played Post Office. After millions were bequeathed to Qwilleran from Francesca Klingerschoen, known to Qwilleran as Aunt Fanny, he moves himself and the cats to the enormous mansion he’d inherited. After hiring a staff of local servants, a shocking murder takes place. Qwill’s ability to listen to others and his desire to investigate, combined with Ko Ko’s sixth sense, leads to an unlikely suspect. I think you will find that Lilian Jackson Braun succeeded in keeping ‘Quill’ true to character throughout the series while updating the setting and mysteries. This makes a good series.  

The Cat Who Played Post Office

By Lilian Jackson Braun,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cat Who Played Post Office as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inheriting unexpected millions has left reporter Jim Qwilleran looking like the cat who swallowed the canary. While his two Siamese cats, Koko and Yum Yum, adjust to being fat cats in an enormous mansion, Qwilleran samples the life-styles of the rich and famous by hiring a staff of eccentric servants. A missing housemaid and a shocking murder soon show him the unsavoury side of the upper crust. But it's Koko's purr-fect propensity for clues amid the caviar and champagne that gives Qwilleran pause to evaluate the most unlikely suspects...before his taste for the good life turns into his last meal.


The Body in the Library: A Miss Marple Mystery

By Agatha Christie,

Book cover of The Body in the Library: A Miss Marple Mystery

Why this book?

Long before series such as Murder She Wrote, or Mystery Woman became popular, Agatha Christie introduced Miss Marple. Jane Marple was the quintessential heroine of a cozy mystery. The white-haired, blue-eyed spinster accepting requests as an amateur consulting detective was sweet but cunningly intelligent. I enjoy that the players in these mystery stories don’t see Miss Marple as a threat to uncovering their various acts of chicanery and misdeeds. In the Miss Marple novel, The Body in the Library, the Bantry household gets a shocking start to their day when the body of a woman is found on the library floor. Hoping to avoid a scandal in the village of St. Mary Mead, Mrs. Bantry asks Miss Marple to come to their home to investigate. Can the elderly sleuth’s sharp mind sift through the clues to separate the truth from the lies and solve the case and catch the killer? As a reader, I think you will be caught up in the story as the elderly sleuth unfolds the clues for solving the mystery.

The Body in the Library: A Miss Marple Mystery

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Body in the Library as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

હોટેલમાં અડધેથી પોતાનું પર્ફોર્મન્સ છોડીને ભાગેલી યુવાન ડાન્સરની લાશ બેન્ટ્રી કપલના ઘરની લાઇબ્રેરીમાંથી મળી આવે છે.  બીજી તરફ ગામથી દૂર એક સૂમસામ ખીણમાં બળીને કોલસો થઇ ગયેલી બીજી એક યુવાન છોકરીની લાશ પણ મળી આવે છે. શું આ બંને ઘટનાઓને જોડતી કોઈ લિન્ક હતી?રિટાયર્ડ આર્મી કર્નલ, એનો તોછડો પડોશી, અતિ શ્રીમંત પણ દુઃખી અને અપંગ બિઝનેસમેન, ભૂતકાળમાંથી છટકીને નવું જીવન શરૂ કરવા માટે તલસી રહેલા થોડાં યુવાન સ્ત્રીપુરુષો -- આ બધાં જ શંકાના દાયરામાં છે. આ દરેક લોકો કંઇક તો છુપાવે જ છે, પરંતુ સૌની પાસે ખુદની નિર્દોષતા સાબિત કરવા માટેના સજ્જડ પુરાવાઓ પણ છે. માત્ર એક જ વ્યક્તિ જાણે…


Grey Mask: A Miss Silver Mystery

By Patricia Wentworth,

Book cover of Grey Mask: A Miss Silver Mystery

Why this book?

Grey Mask is the first of the 32 Miss Silver mysteries. Patricia Wentworth was a master of the English style cozy mystery, writing back in the 1920s. I love that this early-twentieth-century series proves that cozy mysteries have been a favorite genre for decades. Wentworth’s character, Miss Maud Silver, whose little old lady with a passion for knitting persona has a keen intellect and penchant for details. 

Grey Mask begins with Charles Moray returning unexpectedly to his home in England after years overseas. Noticing a light on in his manor, he slips in quietly and eavesdrops on a group of intruders planning a crime. Recognizing one of the voices, Charles hesitates to call the police. Instead, he sneaks away and contacts Maud Silver. The matronly sleuth applies deductive reasoning to disrupt the diabolical plan. I recommend looking to the past and reading Patricia Wentworth’s Miss Silver series for an enjoyable read in the present.  

Grey Mask: A Miss Silver Mystery

By Patricia Wentworth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Grey Mask as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Governess-turned-detective Miss Silver investigates a deadly conspiratorial ring

Charles Moray has come home to England to collect his inheritance. After four years wandering the jungles of India and South America, the hardy young man returns to the manor of his birth, where generations of Morays have lived and died. Strangely, he finds the house unlocked, and sees a light on in one of its abandoned rooms. Eavesdropping, he learns of a conspiracy to commit a fearsome crime.

Never one for the heroic, Charles’s first instinct is to let the police settle it. But then he hears her voice. Margaret, his…


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