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Topic: What are cozy mysteries?

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Subject: What are cozy mysteries?
Date Posted: 12/15/2008 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
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I've been hearing a lot about cozy mysteries. Are they British mysteries in general? Would love to be educated about this.

Also some examples of this genre, as well as how does one know they are "cozies" when  looking at a bookshelf?


Date Posted: 12/15/2008 8:05 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
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Cozies typically have an amateur sleuth as the main character and they rarely have graphic violence. There is usually a bit of humor. Miss Marple is a classic cozy series but there are plenty of modern series as well.
Date Posted: 12/15/2008 8:29 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
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Amateur sleuth, cute work place (think book store - scrapebook shop - knitting shop), friends who show up in every book (if it's a series) and somehow there is always a dum de dum dum MURDER!       IT sounds as if I'm making fun of them but I'm not.  I really love the cozy mysteries.  Most of the ones I read are set in the US and I come to know and love the characters.   No graphic violence and normally no graphic sex.   Just good fun reading.

Date Posted: 12/15/2008 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2008
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Good question! I've wondered the same thing myself. What are some of the classic authors/series?

Date Posted: 12/15/2008 9:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2006
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Here's a great website devoted to cozy mysteries:


Date Posted: 12/15/2008 9:53 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2008
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A great website! Thanks!   Sooo many authors listed though....any personal favorites?

Date Posted: 12/15/2008 10:03 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
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Try Louise Penny's Three Pines series. There are four books (I think) in the series and they are set in Canada. This is a new series that I have really enjoyed. I also like M.C.Beaton's Agatha Raisin and Hamish MacBeth series as well. I probably prefer Hamish to Agatha but they are both good series.
Date Posted: 12/16/2008 8:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2006
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Some of my favorites include

  • Sarah Graves' Home Repair is Homicide series
  • Carolyn G. Hart's Death on Demand series
  • Rett MacPherson's Torie O'Shea series
  • Carolyn Haines' Southern Belle series
  • the late Anne George's Southern Sisters series
  • Denise Swanson's Scumble River series
  • Diane Mott Davidson's "Goldy Bear" series
  • Gillian Roberts' Amanda Pepper series (this series has ended)
  • Susan Wittig Albert's China Bayles series
  • Mary Saum's Thistle & Twigg series (this is new)
  • Louise Penny's Three Pines series (relatively new)
Date Posted: 12/16/2008 9:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2008
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I've started my first Cozy mystery series.  The Cooking Class Mysteries Series by Miranda Bliss.  So far I really like it.  I got the first 2 books from a member over at Bookmooch, and I'm about half way through the first book.  I've already wishlisted the next 2 books.  I have a feeling I'll be turning to my cozies whenever I want something light to read in between paranormals.  I also found a lot of cozy mysteries at my local UBS recently, all wishlisted, and I've got them in my TBR, can't wait to start reading them as well.


Date Posted: 12/17/2008 1:17 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
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I like  Nancy Fairbanks cozies, along with the Dead-end Job mysteries by  Elaine Viets.


Subject: An English cozy series that I just found
Date Posted: 1/9/2009 7:51 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2007
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I've just discovered the Patricia Wentworth series of English cozy mysteries.  They seem to have been written in the 1940-50s era but the ones I've been reading are 1960's paperbacks.  The amateur sleuth is Miss Maud Silver, a former governess turned private detective--in a ladylike way.  She is, I think, as logical as Hercule Poirot and as intuitive as Miss Marple.  And Patricia Wentworth plots and writes as well as Agatha Christie.  I've devoured four of them (and posted to PBS) in the last week.  She's my suggestion for a hidden gem.  



Date Posted: 1/11/2009 7:22 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
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some other good ones are

Janet Evanovich - Stephanie Plum series

Emily Brightwell - Mrs. Jeffries series

Charlene Harris - Aurora Teagarden

Nancy Atherton - Aunt Dimity

And I also like the animal-centric ones - there's a thread talking about cat-specific books/series

Shirley Rousseau Murphy - Joe Grey

Carole Nelson Douglas - Midnight Louie

Rita May Brown - Mrs. Murphy

Susan Conant - dog mysteries of some sort - I have some, but haven't read them yet

Laurie Berenson - other dog mysteries, I've read the first one, but that was a long time ago


Laurie Berenson

Date Posted: 1/16/2009 7:38 AM ET
Member Since: 9/1/2007
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LOL -- and here I always thought of a "cosy mystery" as one that I could sink into a chair or lounger, curl up with a nice blanket and a glass of wine and not put the book down until it was over -- one that grabbed me and held me till the end -- but one that if I HAD to put it down I could have and not worried about having to reread anything again when I picked it back up in order to follow it.

Just call me weird I guess.

Subject: Recommended Series
Date Posted: 1/16/2009 2:03 PM ET
Member Since: 4/3/2007
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I have particularly enjoyed the very funny Meg Langslow "cozy" murder mystery series written by Donna Andrews. The stories are hilarious and the murders are interesting.

The first book is Murder with Peacocks, followed by:

Murder with Puffins

Murder with Peacocks

Revenge of the Wrought Iron Flamingos

Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon

We'll Always Have Parrots

Murder with Peacocks

Owl's Well That Ends Well

The Penguin Who Knew Too Much

Cockatiels at Seven

Six Geese A-Slaying

Last Edited on: 1/16/09 2:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/16/2009 5:40 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2008
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I agree about Donna Andrews read all up to about 5, took a rest.  I think cozy mysteries are the ones that don't scare the poop out of me, and have a little humor with there murder.  Kind of hard to carry off.  I am reading one now, by Garrison Allen, Royal Cat.  It is starting out well.  I have read all the british writer John Creasy, and Dorothy Sayers.  Of course Arthur Conan Doyle.  All more or less cozy mysteries and I am sure if I thought longer I could name more. 

Subject: Don't forget Miss Zukas!
Date Posted: 1/16/2009 7:16 PM ET
Member Since: 11/7/2007
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Jo Dereske has a series that has just ended about a librarian, Helma Zukas.  Very funny and light reading for people who spend a lot of time in libraries!  And, I have to say that the person who though cozy mysteries were ones that you could sink into a chair with and not want to put down - you're not too far off, in my opinion! 

Date Posted: 1/16/2009 7:38 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
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I'm enjoying Kate Borden's series set in a colonial village. The town mayor is the one who ends up doing a lot of the crime-solving--she's a fun character! There are 3 books in the series (so far): Death of a Tart, Death of a Trickster, and Death of a Turkey. :) I've read the first two.

Date Posted: 1/17/2009 6:36 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2006
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My favorite British cozies are Dorothy Cannell's Ellie Haskell series (The Thin Women is book number one). She also wrote a handful of stand-alone cozies that are also great.

I just finished a really funny cozy by a new author: "A Vicky Hill Exclusive" by Hannah Dennison. I hope it's the beginning of a series. I enjoyed it so much,  I hated to put it down when it ended.

Date Posted: 1/19/2009 11:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2006
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Here's another definition of "cozy mystery".  It's a mystery novel with a strong female sleuth with minimal sex, drugs and violence.  Or a book that I would not be embarrassed to recomend to my father, who prereads/screens for his 85+ year old mother who left the Quaker religion for not being strict enough.  There have been a couple that I have been tempted to privately send Grandma because I thought they were good, but I wasn't willing to admit to my father that I had read in the first place.  :P


Date Posted: 1/19/2009 11:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
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The Maggody series by Joan Hess. Sheriff Arley Hanks is the main character and she's surrounded by whacky, funny peeps... the books are easy and fast reads and good for more than a few chuckles.