9 Cozy Mysteries About Amateur Sleuths

Police officers and private detectives are highly trained to track down criminals and bring them to justice. But when cheese shop owners, home renovators, and other amateur sleuths are faced with a mystery, they'll have to get creative if they want to crack the case. The nine cozy mysteries listed here feature clever characters, exciting twists, and satisfying conclusions. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Cozy Mystery Novels: Our 9 Picks

Title Author
1. The Long Quiche Goodbye Avery Aames
2. Meddling With Murder Ellie Campbell
3. Shot Through the Hearth Kate Carlisle
4. Purls and Potions Nancy Warren
5. Maya Mound Mayhem Abby L. Vandiver
6. Major Crimes Michele Lynn Seigfried
7. Knit Your Own Murder Monica Ferris
8. A Howl of Wolves Judith Flanders
9. Southern Discomfort Caroline Fardig

Classic Mystery Books

The authors on this list stand on the shoulders of many amazing writers who influenced the genre. Consider diving into mystery's rich history with these classics:

  1. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  2. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  3. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
  4. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
  5. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

8 Great Mystery Movies

  1. The White Ribbon (2009)
  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

It's always thrilling to read about expert detectives chasing clues, but there's a different kind of pleasure involved when it's amateurs attempting to crack the case. For readers craving mysteries on the lighter and cozier side, here, in no particular order, are nine books where nonprofessional sleuths take charge of solving crimes.

At #1 is "The Long Quiche Goodbye" by Avery Aames. Charlotte Bessette has just taken over her grandparents' famed cheese shop in small-town Ohio, and is hosting a reopening celebration filled with delicious tastings of cheddar and wine. Everyone is enjoying themselves, but the party-going mood doesn't last long. When a man is fatally stabbed with one of her cheese knives, and her grandmother is accused of the crime, Charlotte must search her eccentric town for suspects.

For #2 we find "Meddling With Murder" by Ellie Campbell. The third book in the "Crouch End Confidential" series finds harried housewife Cathy beset with all new troubles as she tries to keep her investigative agency afloat through a lull in criminal activity. Luckily for her, or maybe unluckily, a bevy of fresh cases including theft, drug-dealing, and a potential murder call her back into action. If that wasn't enough, she also has to deal with her husband's plan to move the entire family to a quieter rural town. But what would Cathy's life be without wild misadventures?

If that wasn't enough, she also has to deal with her husband's plan to move the entire family to a quieter rural town.

Showing up at #3 is "Shot Through the Hearth" by Kate Carlisle. In this seventh installment in Carlisle's home renovation-themed murder mysteries, contractor Shannon Hammer must work to absolve her friend of a terrible crime. When that friend, retired billionaire Raphael Nash, comes to town to host a conference for his humanitarian foundation, Shannon is glad to help out with construction and restoration. But when Raphael is accused of homicide after his former, vengeful business partner turns up dead, the renowned fixer-upper is forced to once again assume the role of amateur sleuth.

For #4 we have "Purls and Potions" by Nancy Warren. Lucy is dealing with a lot in her paranormal world. In addition to keeping a smitten detective from discovering her vampire knitting club, she is attempting to master her powers as an incipient witch. To practice her craft, she concocts a love potion designed to bring together bookstore owner Charlie and his employee Alice, who work up the street in Oxford. Then, like magic, someone dies. But was it the consequence of a potion gone wrong, or was it murder? Backed by her quirky coterie of friends, Lucy is on the case.

Landing at #5 is "Maya Mound Mayhem" by Abby L. Vandiver. Inspired by real historical debates about the origins of a famous ruin site in Georgia, Vandiver's third "Logan Dickerson" novel has the plucky archeologist determined to prove it was the Mayans, and not the oft-believed Creek Indians, who left the ruins. But when, while excavating, she digs up the fresh skeleton of a former acquaintance and enemy, Logan goes from potential trailblazer in her field to prime murder suspect. Joined by partners Miss Vivee and Dr. Mac, she'll have to do some additional digging to get to the bottom of the mystery.

But when, while excavating, she digs up the fresh skeleton of a former acquaintance and enemy, Logan goes from potential trailblazer in her field to prime murder suspect.

For #6 we come to "Major Crimes" by Michele Lynn Seigfried. The "Jersey Shore Mysteries" continue when attractive gumshoe Bryce Kelly goes on the lam after being falsely accused of killing the town's police chief. Seeking someone to exonerate him, Bryce turns to novice investigator Chelsey Alton, who employs her unique methods to prove the detective's innocence. As passions gradually ignite between the two, new obstacles and secrets emerge to throw their mission off course.

Arriving at #7 is "Knit Your Own Murder" by Monica Ferris. Needlework shop owner Betsy Devonshire is drawn into yet another homicide case in this "Needlecraft" mystery. When ill-tempered businesswoman Marsha abruptly kicks the bucket at a knitting fundraiser, it appears as if she's been poisoned. Even though he denies it, all signs point to Marsha's professional rival Joe Mickels as the culprit. Betsy must unravel a skein of clues related to the deceased woman's life if she's to uncover the truth.

For #8 we get "A Howl of Wolves" by Judith Flanders. Going out for the evening to see a gory play, Sam and her detective boyfriend are expecting a pleasant, harmlessly bloody time. But when the second act begins with an especially lifelike body dangling from the rafters, it becomes clear that it's no fake corpse: someone was actually killed, and it's the director of the play. Discovering how much bad blood the director had with his crew, Sam is faced with sorting through a litany of potential suspects.

But when the second act begins with an especially lifelike body dangling from the rafters, it becomes clear that it's no fake corpse: someone was actually killed, and it's the director of the play.

Finally, coming in at #9 is "Southern Discomfort" by Caroline Fardig. Thrilled to be able to bake for guests while teaching them about her city, Quinn loves helping run her grandpa's bed and breakfast in Savannah. But that's before a homicide disrupts her idyllic routine. When the usually happy Georgia girl discovers her friend Drew's chef brother with a knife in his back, she and Drew become suspects. Accompanied by her sardonic sister Delilah, Quinn eventually musters the courage to begin her own investigation and track down the killer.