12 Lighthearted Mystery Series For Voracious Readers

Not all books about crime are gritty police procedurals. Mystery novels that are lighter in tone have all the excitement of an unsolved crime without getting so dark that they keep readers up at night. The twelve addictive series listed here pair perfectly with a comfy chair and a cup of tea. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Delightful Mystery Series: Our 12 Picks

Series Author First Book in the Series
1. Murder-by-Month Jess Lourey May Day
2. Aggie Mundeen Nancy G. West Fit To Be Dead
3. Tess and Tilly Kathi Daley The Christmas Letter
4. Moose River Jeff Shelby The Murder Pit
5. Gray Whale Inn Karen MacInerney Murder on the Rocks
6. Nell Forrest Ilsa Evans Nefarious Doings
7. Tara Holloway Diane Kelly Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure
8. Haunted Guesthouse E.J. Copperman Night of the Living Deed
9. Cookbook Nook Daryl Wood Gerber Final Sentence
10. Liz Talbot Susan M. Boyer Lowcountry Boil
11. Soup Lover's Connie Archer A Spoonful of Murder
12. Booktown Lorna Barrett Murder is Binding

8 Great Mystery Movies

  1. Clue (1985)
  2. Murder on the Orient Express (2017)
  3. Chinatown (1974)
  4. Dial M for Murder (1954)
  5. Minority Report (2002)
  6. Sherlock Holmes (2009)
  7. The Game (1997)
  8. Gone Girl (2014)

What is a Cozy Mystery?

In Depth

Sometimes crime novels can feel like heavy reads, as they deal with such difficult topics. However, these books manage to keep things more lighthearted. If you're looking for your next binge-read, you're in the perfect place. In no particular order, here are twelve mystery series for voracious readers to enjoy.

First up, at #1 is the "Murder-by-Month" series by Jess Lourey. Mira James moves to the small town of Battle Lake looking for a new beginning. She soon has two jobs, working both at the library and part-time as a reporter. When a man she's dating is killed, she learns her new home holds many secrets, and takes it upon herself to solve the mysteries that keep popping up.

#2 on our list is "Aggie Mundeen" by Nancy G. West. Book one in the series, "Fit To Be Dead," sees Aggie as she follows her friend and crush, Sam, to Texas, where she attends grad school and writes a column called "Stay Young with Aggie." The problem? Aggie is nearly forty, and she's not very fit. To fix the latter, she joins a gym, where she immediately finds a dead body. In an effort to impress Sam, who is a detective, she tries to do some digging. But when the murderer turns on her, she has to count on Sam to help her before it's too late.

To fix the latter, she joins a gym, where she immediately finds a dead body.

Next, at #3, is "Tess and Tilly" by Kathi Daley. These holiday-themed novels follow Tess, a mail carrier in a small Montana town whose brother is a local police officer. She loves to gossip as she makes deliveries with her dog, Tilly. On their walks, she also tends to stumble into puzzling situations, including a car crash that could be more than it appears, a haunted house, and an old woman looking for her lost love.

#4 is "Moose River" by Jeff Shelby. Life never goes the way Daisy expects, primarily because she keeps running into dead bodies. It all starts when a pipe in her basement freezes, and her husband, Jake, discovers a coal chute in their home with the body of a man she used to date inside of it. When criminal activity is afoot, Daisy relies on her quick thinking to root out the solution and save herself from suspicion.

#5 on the list is "Gray Whale Inn" by Karen MacInerney. When Natalie Barnes buys a bed and breakfast on Cranberry Island, she doesn't know that Bernard Katz is working on developing a resort nearby. Regardless, when Bernard is killed, Natalie becomes a suspect. Against the wishes of the deputy, Natalie begins looking into the crime herself, determined to clear her name. Unfortunately, this is just the start of a whole lot of trouble on Cranberry Island, with numerous titles as well as a cookbook to keep readers entertained.

Regardless, when Bernard is killed, Natalie becomes a suspect.

Our next pick at #6 is "Nell Forrest" by Ilsa Evans. Nell Forrest is having a rough time. She struggles to deal with her five daughters, her annoying mother, and her own grief after the recent loss of her husband. All this stress makes it difficult for her to find the inspiration for her column, especially in such a small, boring town. Then, a series of crimes occur that are anything but boring. They give Nell just what she needs to get writing.

Series #7 is "Tara Holloway" by Diane Kelly. Tara has a new job working as a special agent for the IRS. She enjoys finding justice and making the world a better place for taxpayers who don't abuse the system. However, she isn't investigating petty crimes. These criminals are often rich and powerful, and will stop at nothing to cover up their wrongdoings.

#8 is "A Haunted Guesthouse" by E.J. Copperman. After her divorce, Alison moves with her daughter back to the town she grew up in. She finds a Victorian mansion in the area to move into, hoping to turn it into a business. But their new home is haunted, and the ghosts need Alison's help. At first, she's reluctant to interfere, but when she receives death threats, she knows she must investigate if she's to keep herself, and her daughter, safe. And as new ghosts emerge, what can she do but help them as well?

But their new home is haunted, and the ghosts need Alison's help.

#9 is "Cookbook Nook" by Daryl Wood Gerber. Jenna leaves her stressful advertising job and moves back home to help her aunt run a business. Little does she know, things won't be as relaxing as she anticipates. The mayhem begins when her dramatic old roommate is killed, and continues with a slew of bodies that disrupt her quiet life in the bookstore.

#10 is "Liz Talbot" by Susan M. Boyer. Liz Talbot is a private investigator with a difficult but loving family. She's constantly trying to juggle life and work, both of which are chaotic. Between frustrating parents, an annoying ex, a man she's falling in love with, and wild cases that send her after dangerous killers, Liz definitely has her hands full.

Next, at #11, is "Soup Lover's Mystery" by Connie Archer. In the first book, "A Spoonful of Murder," Lucky has just inherited her parents' restaurant and is trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life. She could move into their old home and run their business, or sell both. But she isn't given much time to think before a murder behind the shop brings her plans to a halt. Her soup chef is arrested for the crime, but Lucky knows he didn't do it. To clear his name, she has to investigate herself.

Her soup chef is arrested for the crime, but Lucky knows he didn't do it.

Last but not least, #12 is "Booktown" by Lorna Barrett. When Tricia moves from the city to a small town called Stoneham and opens a shop, she doesn't know she will soon come across scenarios all-too-familiar to an avid reader like herself. Though the people of this small New Hampshire town are friendly, folks keep dying, and Tricia can always be counted on to find the killer.