I have been reading mysteries for many years. While attending school, and then teaching school, I was always able to find some spare time to spend enjoying a good mystery. I now find that I enjoy the COZY genre the most. I have been a part of several mystery reading clubs, and have made some good friends through them.
I have written “What Makes a Cozy Just That?” in an attempt to describe cozy mysteries… BUT… I think that people who read Cozy Mysteries probably have their own unique ideas about what they think Cozy Mysteries should be… I know what I like, and look for in a Cozy…. I find that most of the cozy mysteries that I read take place in a small, picturesque town or village, with characters who I could envision having as neighbors or friends. (Of course, once I find out who the killer is, I wouldn’t particularly want that person living next to me!) They are usually not zany people, although an eccentric or two might lurk here and there. On the whole, they are usually normal, every day characters you might have known at one time in your life. Cozies don’t usually involve a lot of gory details or explicit “adult situations,” either.
Also, most of the books that I choose to read belong to a series. I have stepped into the middle of a series before, but do not like that approach. This is the main reason that I started compiling my list of favorite authors. I soon realized that if I stepped into a series at midpoint, I usually found out about previous mysteries that had been solved (because every cozy mystery is solved!) by the main character, thus ruining the previous books of the series. So, I started making lists of all of the authors I have read, and it was only a matter of time before I started adding authors who I thought I might enjoy reading in the future. I found my prospective cozy mystery book authors by annotating tips from friends in my mystery reading groups, and also searching for authors on the web and in my local library and bookstores.
I am posting my list of authors alphabetically. Some of these authors are favorites of mine, others are favorites of a few of my friends, and I have to admit, some of them, I have tried, and did not like at all. But, I have included all of them. Just because I don’t like an author doesn’t mean that other people might not like him/her. And, a very few of my listed authors don’t even write mysteries! I have decided not to indicate the authors who I don’t like, since I don’t want to prejudice anyone who might give those authors a try, and end up liking them immensely.
I find that when I go to buy a book, I need to work off of my list, since I have been known to buy the same book twice… on several occasions! I mark off the books I have read, or books that I have bought but haven’t yet read. I have a rather large book shelf dedicated for my “to be read” mountain of books. I should spend more time reading and less time accumulating and organizing my favorite cozy mystery book authors! Recently, I have seen other people browsing in bookstores using lists to help them decide which books to purchase. I have to admit that I have bought two copies of at least four different books in the past, but now that I work off of my list of mystery authors, I don’t make those types of mistakes.
I have divided the list of authors into the obvious alphabet letters, doubling up on the four letters that don’t have many authors…. N & O and P & Q. I have also added a list of TV shows and Movies that I really enjoy. Most of them are based on cozy mystery books like the Midsomer Murders featuring Caroline Graham’s Inspector Barnaby, Brother Cadfael (Ellis Peters), R. D. Wingfield’s A Touch of Frost (one of my very favorite shows…. ), and of course, Inspector Lynley with his side-kick Barbara Havers… right out of Elizabeth George’s novels… although the Lynley books really aren’t cozy. Some of these shows are available on television, others, can either be bought or rented.
I also have the Holiday Mystery Book List that includes all of the mystery-holiday books that I have been able to find. (Some authors like Leslie Meier, Lee Harris, and Jane Haddam use holidays and seasons as backdrops in their novels.)
There is also a Cozy Mysteries by Themes area (which is a work in progress!) where I am trying to list different themes like: authors who write cozies with culinary themes, or cozies that feature librarians, cozies for the cat lover (or dog lover) in mind, in short, cozies by theme!
And, something that a lot of you will find very helpful… the Cozy Mysteries New Release page. Those of you who “follow” certain authors should be sure to check this page every month to see if your favorite author is releasing a new book.
And, finally, my husband suggested that I write a cozy mystery blog……… which I am now doing. Along with cozy book and author themes, I write about different mystery movies/shows in my blog. I also include shows that have a “cozy-ness factor” but that may not necessarily be mysteries. Oh, and sometimes I get quite off Cozy Mystery topic on my blog. I have a great group of people who post comments to the blog, which I love to read. Everyone is welcome!
I hope that my chronological listing of these authors’ mystery books helps you to find a favorite author (or two) of your own!
As a “PS”…. I have also listed many authors who have been recommended to me by this site’s readers. Thank you all so much for these recommendations. (I don’t think you can ever have enough cozy mystery authors from which to choose!) Obviously, I can’t vouch for the “Cozy level” of the recommended authors who I haven’t read.