Mystery Books that Take Place in Oregon

Here are some Fun Oregon Facts:

Oregon could mean hurricane – from the French word “Ouragan”
Salem is the capital, but Portland is the largest city
State Motto: There are actually two: “She Flies with Her Own Wings” & “The Union”
State Flower: Oregon Grape
State Animal: American Beaver
Oregon is the only state to have a flag with different designs on both sides. (The state emblem in 1859 on one side, their state animal on the other side.)
Oregon is the state with the most ghost towns.

Mystery authors who are found on the Cozy Mystery Site who feature Oregon locations/settings in their books:

Ellie Alexander: Bakeshop Mystery Series

K.K. Beck: Iris Cooper & Jack Clancy Mystery Series

Nancy Bush: Jane Kelly Mystery Series

B.B. Cantwell: Portland Bookmobile Mystery Series

Christy Evans: Georgiana Neverall Mystery Series

Mary Freeman: Gardening Mystery Series

April Henry: Claire Montrose Mystery Series

Amanda Lee (aka Gayle Trent): Embroidery Mystery Series

Kaye Morgan: Sudoku Mystery Series

Carolyn J. Rose: Devil’s Harbor Mystery Series

Patricia H. Rushford: Helen Bradley Mystery Series

Susan Sleeman: Garden Gate Mystery Series

Please feel free to comment if you see an author from the Cozy Mystery Site who belongs on this list, or if you have any corrections.

♦To access more Cozy Mysteries by Theme click on this link.♦


    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Thank you, readerdiane, for telling me about Mary Freeman and Kaye Morgan. When I add authors to the site I try to get them on all of their appropriate theme lists so that I can post them later on… obviously, I don’t always remember to do that…

  1. says

    Very interesting – I’ve not stumbled across any of these series before! Another to add to the list is the Claire Montrose series by April Henry, which take place mostly in Portland, Oregon, although in one of them (can’t remember which) Claire spends some time in New York City, but it’s just a short business trip. As a Portland resident I found them quite interesting when the author mentions places I’m familiar with and historical bits about the city.
    The titles are:
    1. Circles of Confusion
    2. Square in the Face
    3. Heart Shaped Box
    4. Buried Diamonds

    Also please note that the capitol is Salem, not Selma. ;o)

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Thank you, Sunny, for telling us about April Henry. Also, I don’t know why I inter-changed those letters!

  2. R Gould says

    Just to clarify, must be a typo … SALEM (not Selma) is the Oregon State Capital.
    Love this site, and this page in particular, thanks for all the hard work!

  3. linda says

    I love the mysteries that take place in different parts of the country. I won’t get to some of these states any other way. But this way I get to learn a lot about those states. I get to learn some of the history as well as some of the customs, foods and so forth. So, please, keep this up, Linda, Ohio

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Linda, that’s exactly how I feel about the British Cozy Mysteries AND the New England Cozies.

  4. marja says

    I must mention the most excellent legal thrillers by Kate Wilhelm, the Barbara Holloway series.

    “Bobby” is a defense lawyer working in Eugene, OR. Her father, a retired lawyer [whom I invariably see portrayed by venerable actor John Mahoney], helps her in an advisory capacity and keeps her sane. Read the books in order, because the backstories change as life progresses for Barbara and her devoted fellow lawyers.

    The books have emotional resonance. Caring too much is what Barbara Holloway does best!

    • linda says

      Just read my first Kate Wilhelm mystery , ” A Wrongful Death.” This was a very good story, one that I couldn’t put down. Can’t hardly wait to get to the library to get more from this author. Sorry, with this economy the local libraries are all I can afford. But I love the stories about Oregon.

  5. Lyssa says

    I’m really enjoying all of the lists, thanks! I love the Jane Kelly series that is set in Oregon, but am bummed that there are only three and the last one came out years ago. The author’s website says a new one is in the works, Pink something or other. I hope that does come to pass.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Thanks, Lyssa, for telling us about the “whereabouts” of Nancy Bush. I just took a look at her website and see that the “working title” of her next Jane Kelly mystery is Pink Cadillac. If you think about it, please let me know when it is released… Thanks!

  6. linda says

    I love the books that are set in Oregon, Washington State, Arizona, Colorado, Maine, places that I know I will never see. I sort of like the books with Michigan as the place setting but being a dyehard Buckeye, I tend to pass some of these!!

  7. Melissa says

    MK Wren has a great series set on the Oregon coast. Her detective hero of native American heritage is Conan Flagg. Wish she’d write some more of them!

  8. Kathy says

    Thanks for having this site available. The humorous mystery novel HAMMERED, NAILED AND SCREWED is making the rounds in Oregon. It has a home decorating theme, and is set in Oregon. Thanks for letting an admittedly self-promoting new author suggest a title. I hope you enjoy it. (PS It’s not dirty, not deep, and has no vampires!) Kathleen Hering

  9. Rondie says

    Thank you for some new authors for me to try. I also love LJ Sellers (Eugene, OR setting) and Kendra Elliot mentioned by another blogger.

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