The Cozy Mystery

‘Cozies’ are those mysteries in which murder is considered an aberration, an accident, in a world that is basically benign.  Our hero, or more often – heroine – is an innocent bystander, moved by indignation at the crime to find the murderer while the police are merely bit players. ‘Cozy’ up in your favorite chair and enjoy.  This is a small sampling of the fun cozies out there, so we will list others at another time.

Nancy Atherton – The Aunt Dimity series with Lori Shepard, an American, and her unexpected benefactor, Aunt Dimity, who happens to be a ghost. Their association begins when Dimity bequeaths her cottage in England to Lori. They are light-weight mysteries, but very delightful.

Dorothy Cannell – Ellie is a great heroine (detective). The books are tongue-in-cheek, laugh-out-loud fun, English country manor type mysteries.

Dorothy Gilman – The Mrs. Pollifax series.  Mrs. Pollifax is a lively grandmother and CIA agent.

Carolyn Hart – Her books feature a South Carolina mystery bookshop owner and a crazy supporting cast in the Death on Demand series.

Carol Anne O’Marie – The Sister Mary Ellen series.  While Sister Mary Ellen, in San Francisco, and her friend are nuns of “retirement age” they are very modern, humorous and likeable. Unfortunately they seem to attract dead bodies.

Elliot Roosevelt– featuring his mother, Eleanor, the First Lady.

Ian Sansom – a fun series featuring a Jewish vegetarian from London, Israel Armstrong, who is a bookmobile librarian in Northern Ireland. If you would like to read a book that makes librarians laugh give this one a go.

Alexander McCall Smith – writes two series, the Ladies No 1 Detective Agency about a lady of “traditional size” in Botswana, and the Sunday Philosophy Club series featuring Isabel Dalhousie in Scotland.  In both of these series, the mystery is not the main point of the book, but rather the characters themselves.

Josephine Winspear – the Maisie Dobbs series which could also appear in the historical list as they take place during the 1920 – 30’s in London.

Patricia Wentworth –She wrote both series and non-series mysteries. The series features Miss Silver, in London, who reminds one of Miss Marple (although she appeared before Miss Marple) or Ngaio Marsh’s Roderick Allen. Wentworth wrote from the late 1920’s to the 60’s, and the books reflect that writing style.

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