Cozy Mystery Sleuth Lives Next Door (Yikes!)

Last week, a Cozy Mystery reader made a comment (I wish I had written it down in a note to myself, since I can’t remember the exact comment!) about a Cozy Mystery sleuth moving in next door. I went back and read my Definition of a Cozy Mystery (click on the blue link to see the entire definition), since I sort of remember talking about Jessica Fletcher moving in, and the horror one might feel to know that someone who apparently is followed by the Grim Reaper should be moving in next door.

So, at this time, I would like to borrow from that comment and ask you all:

Which Cozy Mystery sleuth would you most want to live next door to, and why?

Oh, and to do this, let’s pretend that your favorite Cozy Mystery sleuth doesn’t follow the Grim Reaper around, solving mysteries, because, let’s face it, none of us would want to live next door to him/her!

Thank you!


  1. Theresa K says

    I’d love to live next door to Miss Marple because that would mean that I was living in England (which I have always wanted to do), plus she always has tea and cake at her house and awesome words of wisdom!

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Theresa K, wouldn’t living in St. Mary Mead be phenomenal? Just to have tea and cake served by one of her housemaid-in-training, watching her knit, and listening to her voice (it would have to be Joan Hickson) as she talked about her latest adventure!

  2. Nancy says

    I love reading the mysteries. I love “visiting” with the “friends” I have there. But to live next door to one? I wouldn’t mind it, but I wouldn’t be a part of it like I am when I’m reading it. Does that make sense. I wouldn’t even be mentioned, much less able to enjoy the search for the killer. The Heroine of the mystery does not make a lot of new friends. I love Murder She Wrote, but I can’t picture me as her “friend”.

    • Deahna says

      Nancy, you are making sense. When reading I always feel I’m a kind of confidante, not quite best friend who gets to follow the sleuth around without being really involved at all. When living next door I wouldn’t be able to do this, in fact I’d likely get irritated at her for not leaving the job to the police. I think there’s a huge difference between following their stories and getting involved, however peripherically.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Nancy, you’re right about not being part of it… Living next to a sleuth, who, let’s face it, they don’t usually include their neighbors in their sleuthing escapades, probably would prove to be a little lackluster.

      • Linda C says

        Danna, Years ago I lived next door to a woman who was ALWAYS calling the cops on people in our neighborhood. For some reason we ourselves weren’t included on this activity of hers but almost everyone else was. I just don’t know about actually “living” next door to a sleuth. Think about the visits this person would be subjected to from the cops!!

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Marion, I totally agree with Miss Marple absolutely, unequivocally, without a doubt would HAVE to be Joan Hickson!

  3. Stash Empress says

    I have to agree with Nancy. If a cozy sleuth moved in next door, I probably wouldn’t ever know about it! I mean unless the corpse turned up on her doorstep (or mine!) (NO THANK YOU VERY MUCH!) — I wouldn’t even *know* she was investigating something — unless she was *already* my BFF, I’d never hear a thing. (OK, this is NY where you don’t really know your neighbors too well LOL).

    Of course living next door to Miss Marple, as Theresa K. points out, would involve living in an English village… high tea & all that…. I could be tempted!

    Would seriously love to live next door to the TenHuis Chocolade from Joanna Carl’s series — I just drool over her detailed descriptions of her chocolate confections!!!!

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Stash Empress, I hadn’t thought about this predicament. When you start looking at all of our sleuths, there really are very few who involve their neighbors, or who have close ties with their neighbors.

      I had the same thought about Hannah Swensen. She’s always giving out free samples to people she knows. That would be just an added bonus living next to one of the more generous bakers, caterers, culinary shop owners, ETC.

  4. Susan* says

    I don’t know if it quite qualifies, but… Leslie Charteris’ Simon Templar. ‘The Saint’. He was handsome and fun, and always had some excitement going on. (Although people other than ‘The Ungodly’ were very rarely killed.)

    Otherwise Annie and Max Darling from the ‘Death on Demand’ books by Carolyn Hart. The little island where they live sounds like a lovely place to live, and it has it’s own mystery bookstore! What more could you ask! Lol!

    • Stash Empress says

      OH YEAH — down the road from the Death On Demand bookstore — for sure!!!!! Would break the bank though… but would love to see those paintings that go up every month!

  5. Deahna says

    My first thought was Betsy Devonshire from the Needlecraft Mysteries because I’m an avid cross stitcher or Miss Marple because I always feel relaxed when I “visit” with her.

    On second thought: neither, and nobody else either. I don’t like people sticking their noses into my life, being a very private person myself. The kind of person who turns amateur sleuths would inevitably do that, whether I’m connected to some kind of crime/mystery or not.

    So, if I had to have a sleuth move in next door I’d prefer a professional who mostly works away from home, like the one who is a detective on cruise ships from the Dillman & Masefield Mysteries. Of course he’d have to have a certain curiosity about people but he’d be less inclined to jump to conclusions and to take undue interest. I always felt he was essentially a reserved person himself so I think he’d value other people’s privacy much more than “busybody” Miss Marple would.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Deahna, you could be right about amateur sleuths taking an unusual interest in those around them. However, it would be pretty neat to live right next to Betsy Devonshire… since she lives right above her needlecraft store…

  6. Nicole says

    First i thought, oh thats really great but then i go to my favorite sleuths and thought about Meg Langslow from Donna Andrews. Love the books a lot but to live next door with all the pets, kids and the bunch of craziness? Help, no.
    Maybe Hannah Swenson. Because if she lives next to me her cookie shop can’t be so far away. And there is a chance to understand more why she can’t choose one of the men.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Nicole, I know I have mentioned this (above) in some of my comments, but Hannah’s idea of giving away little bags of free cookies as advertisements for her bakery, doesn’t sound unappealing to me! (I can say this for Hannah, she had better choose Norman!)

      • Nicole says

        Yes, i think so too. Norman will be the better man.. For so many reasons. Hopefully Mrs. Fluke will make that true. I waited that she will put another nice woman in the village for Mike. Then there could be a wedding, kids and so on. Donna Andrews developed Meg like that.. its a good way too. Nobody says there can’t be kids etc for an amateur sleuth.
        And the story can go on.

        • Nicole says

          Little bit off topic… Thinking about if i would like to live near Olivia Paras from Julie Hyzy… but no, too dangerous. And sure she cant tell me anything from her work 😉

          But i found a new book on amazon, in january 2015 (for your list may be):

          All the President’s Menus (A White House Chef Mystery)

            • Nicole says

              Why, thank you! For the whole page and the blog. And you put in the new duffy brown book next year. Hopefully it would not only on kindle but print too.

              • Danna - cozy mystery list says

                Nicole, I am not sure if Dead Man Walker is going to be a novella or a full-length book…

              • Danna - cozy mystery list says

                Nicole, it’s the price of the Kindle that has me wondering if it is a full-length book or novella…

                • Nicole says

                  From the time it have to be a full book (year then). Well we will see. Its how i said a great series with a lot of funny craziness.
                  Or may be there will be two? :)

                  • Nicole says

                    Surfing through the homepages from my author list i am more and more wondering why the writers dont but their last or soon coming works on it. Amazon has it earlier. If i am a writer and have a book out i would be so proud i sure couldnt wait to put it in my page, there have to be somebody to hold my hand before i click to early on online. Dont understand that.

                    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

                      Nicole, I do a lot of author searches, and I agree with you about some of the websites!

  7. Michael says

    Hayden Konig from Mark Schweizer’s Liturgical Mystery series. He is the Chief of Police of the small NC town, the music director of a local church, and apparently and internationally renown sleuth. He is also a writer, albeit not a very good one. The community is tight knit and fun loving and he is very much a part of the warp and woof of all that goes on there. A prankster, a community leader, and someone who squeezes the juice of life out of all he does. I would most certainly want to live next door to him.

  8. Linda says

    I would want to live next door to Archie and hope to be invited to dinner every night. Fritz is a great cook! And Nero Wolfe would show me his orchids.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Linda, I had not thought about Nero and Fritz! What a pleasant way to spend an evening!

  9. kate says

    Can I have one on either side of me? If so, I’d take Mrs. Mallory (Hazel Holt’s series) on one side bc she is so sweet, smart and such a nice woman in all the books. On my other side, definitely Goldie Bear-Schultz from Diane Mott Davidson’s books. Not only would her policeman husband be there, but Goldie’s food always sounds really good and I’d hope for a few free samples now and then. I also think she’d be a great friend.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Kate, as long as we’re in the wishing state, I don’t see any reason you couldn’t be living between both of these sleuths!

  10. Vicki says

    Without a doubt, I’d chose to live next door to Miss Marple. I just love the coziness of her. And she could help me out when my knitting gets bungled.


    P.S…This is a wonderful blog!

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Vicki, I haven’t tallied our sleuths up, but it feels like Miss Marple is the one most of us would enjoy living next door to.

  11. reginav says

    Danna YIPES !!!! If any of my favorite sleuths moved in, I would move out. There goes the neighborhood. Seriously I would pick a British detective over an American, as I always wanted to live in England.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Regina, you know, I hadn’t given any thought to the setting, just to the sleuth. But lots of you have made good choices based on the setting. (I should have taken that into account!)

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Sandy, like I just mentioned to Vicki, I believe Miss Marple has the most of us as her neighbor!

  12. Sheila says

    Thought about it. Even though I’m not crazy about snow I think it would be nice to live next to Goldie and Tom Schulz. Goldie and Tom cooking and solving crimes – life would never be a bore. I could always babysit for their new daughter in exchange for meals.

  13. Virginia F says

    I’d love to know why the Annie’s Attic thread was closed. I’d love for any of those authors to live next door to me.

  14. Karen L. says

    I don’t think I would want to NEXT DOOR to any sleuth, but wouldn’t mind living down the street from Lucy Stone, Hannah Swenson, Goldie and Tom, or Annie and Max.

  15. says

    It sounds like St Mary Mead is getting crowded, but I must agree with those who chose Miss Marple as a neighbor. The descriptions of her little town are so lovely, the very definition of “cozy”. It seems like a pleasant place to live, minus the murder, of course! :-)

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Donna Mc, I was getting the same impression. There are sure a lot of us who would want to live next to Miss Marple. I guess that’s why Agatha Christie’s are truly Cozy Mystery classics!

  16. Stash Empress says

    Might be cool to spend some time at the Coronado (that’s the name of the apartment complex?) where Helen Hawthorne & Phil live & work — the neighbors always get together to toast the sunset & then they usually get updates on whatever Helen & Phil are working on.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Stash Empress, Elaine Viets’ Coronado Tropic Apartments sure does sounds like a Cozy, neighborly type of place to live, doesn’t it?

  17. Rose says

    I wouldn’t want a sleuth moving in next door to me, as I’m also a very curious person and I would be pulled into their drama pretty quickly :-)

    If I were the one moving, I’d like to move in next to Kelly Flynn in Maggie Sefton’s Knitting Mysteries. She’s got a yarn shop and a restaurant with great coffee at the end of her driveway. Couple that with a view of the mountains and I think it would be a great place to live. Just so long as I can manage to stay alive.

  18. Judith says

    LOL, I think I was talking about the characters in Katherine Hall Page’s series – I love them all, even the peripheral neighbors and friends. I’m always up for adventure so I’m open to almost any cozy sleuth moving in next door but gosh, I’d sure be especially open to Goldie Bear (I can’t cook for love nor money; it would be nice to have a caterer neighbor) or Max and Annie Darling (they just seem like a fun couple). I’d even be open to some of the more esoteric “neighbors” like Carolyn Hart’s Bailey Ruth. She and I share the same taste in music.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Judith, sounds like you’re open to anything! (Regarding enjoying living next to Bailey!)

  19. Lynn T. says

    I knew right away who I would like to live by as I have thought previously how I would like to know these women if they weren’t fictional. However, it does not quite fit the question as it is a group and a different time period.
    I would like to live by the Darling Dahlia Gardening Club. It would have to be in contemporary time though. I could not go back in time to the 1930s. Can you imagine going to the dentist then? Health care has had so many advances since then. I would rather push a button to wash our clothes.
    I do like the women featured in the series very much. They are a diverse group but they stand up for each other. They are strong women. The fact that they are gardeners as I am is a plus for me. I would like to join their club. Liz and Verna are probably my favorite Dahlias. As the books would say, they are just “swell.”

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Lynn T, great point! No, I can’t imagine going back to having to can a lot of vegetables and fruits in order to be able to enjoy them during the winter, having to dry clothes outside on the clothesline (again, during the winter!), ETC.

  20. Wakar says

    First thought was my all time fav but though I love tea I know zip about gardening so I doubt we’d have much to chat about. :) And I think of neighbor as friend as opposed to sidekick. So for me the one I think would absolutely be the most fun to have next door would be Phryne Fisher.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Wakar, I can see you really took your time to think about the pros and cons. Looks like you picked a winner. She would be fun!

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Doug, in that case, you would not only get Hercule, but you might be living in a terrific Art Deco building.

  21. Teressa says

    Hannah Swenson from the Cookie Shop series–yum!!! I would also like to be friends with China and Ruby from the Susan Wittig Albert series.

  22. Anne says

    I was wondering if I were the only one who would want Phryne Fisher next door?! Nope! She is an interesting lady. If I couldn’t move to Australia, then I would choose Theodosia at the Indigo Tea Shop.

    • Stash Empress says

      Problem is that many of these sleuths have next door neighbors ending up seriously dead! Personally I wouldn’t want to live anywhere in the same town as Qwill & his cats — cuz even longtime recurring characters get killed off every now & again — can you just see the life insurance companies cancelling the policies of everyone living within a certain radius of some of these sleuths???? 😉

      • Danna - cozy mystery list says

        Stash Empress, I guess those are just the chances we would have to take! Cabot Cove probably closed down their life insurance companies altogether! (I hadn’t thought about that…)

      • Julie says

        If you ever get a chance to listen to the CD version of the “Cat Who….” series from the library, please do! The actor George Guidall, who narrates some of the books, has a voice that is an exact match (in my head) to what the character of Qwill would sound like! I much prefer to listen to the audio version, even though I own the entire series. I sure wish they would find a way to continue on with the series. I know the author Lilian Jackson Braun has passed away.

        • Danna - cozy mystery list says

          Julie, I just listened to a sample of George Guidall reading one of Lilian Jackson Braun’s The Cat Who ***** mysteries on audible. I know what you mean about a narrator bringing an author’s work to life. Take a listen to Lisette Lecat reading one of Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency mysteries. They are absolutely a treat to listen to.

          • Julie says

            I have listened to the first book of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency and I totally agree about a great voice bringing a book to life.
            I love to read books, but sometimes when I am doing housework, on a long car drive or just sitting inside on a rainy day, it is nice to hear a friendly voice tell you a story.
            Other good Audio books are Agatha Raisin (M.C. Beaton) Jaine Austen (Laura Levine) and Kate Connor (Julie Kenner) series. All of these I got through my local library.

            • Danna - cozy mystery list says

              Julie, before we subscribed to audible (which was in August of 2000), I used our local library for all of my audio books. It’s a great resource! However, way back then, I found that if I wanted to listen to a current mystery book, it had better have been written by a man. It seemed like the library people in charge of purchasing the books on tape preferred male authors. Unlucky for me, since my favorite authors were mostly women.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Anne, you look like another practical Cozy Mystery reader! Hedging your answer just in case you couldn’t move to Australia…

  23. Lynn says

    I vote for Hannah Swenson for the reason listed above. yum,yum
    I also vote for Norman – what is Hannah’s problem?
    Maybe Amanda Lee also

      • Nicole says

        Yeah that will be disappointing. Because i think norman will move away then (what about the cats then???). Mike not. Too much girls and imho he is not soo in love like norman. Its more like proud? Would you say so in english?

  24. Julie says

    Wow, I can’t narrow it down to one. I got close and chose my top 3.

    Miss Marple- because she is Miss Marple and the first Cozy Mysteries I ever read! I could also use a Grandmotherly type to bring me tea and cookies and take care of flowers while I am away.

    Agatha Raisin (M.C. Beaton) because she is the most like me and I think we would get along. We say and do what we want, are independent and yet hopelessly in love. Although she is unlucky in love and fortunately, I am the exact opposite.

    Jaine Austen (Laura Levine) Because she is a mess and far from perfect, but till manages to stumble upon the answer and make a difference. And her parents drive her nuts through email.

  25. robin says

    First time commenting. Love this topic. I wouldn’t want to get actively involved in cases, though enjoyable reading, is quite dangerous! But I would like to know and frequent all the teashops, candy stores, bakeries, bookstores, donut shops, restaurants and craft stores and perhaps offer a few insights to the case at hand. There are four characters and their neighborhoods I would live in anytime. St Mary Mead and Miss Marple and Nero and Archie in New York as mentioned. I would also like to drop in and sit by the fire and bookshelves with Ellery Queen and his father. But my absolute favorite at the moment is Cavenaugh St. in Philadelphia With Gregor, Bennis, Tibor and the rest at the Ararat scarfing down all that wonderful middle eastern food !

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Welcome to the Cozy Mystery site, Robin. I’m glad you posted your first comment!

      Great choices of sleuths you would enjoy sharing a neighborhood with, although St. Mary Mead somehow seems out of place…

  26. Kathryn says

    Katherine Hall Page – She writes the Faith Fairchild series. It is set in a present day village in New England with great neighbors. That character grew up in New York City like me and she is a caterer. Although I can’t boil water, I’d volunteer as a beta tester for her recipes which always sound wonderful.
    I love this series. There are lots of references to stores and restaurants in the City that I grew up with and had forgotten, like Louis Sherry candy tins.

  27. Billie says

    I’d like to meet a lot of the people I read about, Miss Marple, Jessica Fletcher, Phryne Fisher, CD Sloan, Richard Jury and friends, but as for living next door, I don’t know about. that since next door neighbors sometimes get “bumped off” in the sequel. I’d like to go to Death on Demand, the Tea shop in Charleston, the various yarn shops and also chat with Aunt Dimity at least once.

  28. Billie says

    Oh I forgot, I’d like to visit the town of Three Pines in Canada also as well as talk with Hercule in England.

  29. Linda C says

    Danna, This topic reminds me of a question that I have often wanted to ask you as well as some of your other responders. I read quite a few books that have Texas as the place. Do you Danna, know first hand where some of these locations in some of the books are taking place? If you do, how true are the descriptions of these places are these authors being?
    I read quite a few novels that take place in some southern states, especially the Carolina islands. Quite a few books seem to take place in Martha’s Vineyard. I have always wondered how true the descriptions of these locations are.
    Just something to satisfy my own curiosity. Maybe you or some of the others have an opinion on this.

    • says

      Linda C, if you give me an example of a Texas Cozy Mystery city, and if it’s one I read, then I’d be happy to tell you…

      As for the islands (both Carolina and Martha’s) having never been to either of them, I don’t know.

  30. Deanna says

    I’d love to live next to Agatha Raisin. She never gives up on a case and I’d feel safe with her. I’d love to sit in her garden with her two cats and talk about some of her past detective work and what she really thought of James Lacey and Mrs. Bloxby.

  31. Billie says

    I know its not a cozy, but I just read Spider Woman’s Daughter by Anne Hillerman, daughter of Tony Hillerman. Imagine living in Arizona and having Jim Chee, Bernie or Joe Leaphorn living next door or near by.

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