Mystery Books that Take Place in Wisconsin…

Here are some fun Wisconsin facts:
The state capital is Madison.
The largest city is Milwaukee.
State motto is “Forward.”
State nickname is the Badger State.
State flower is the Wood Violet.
State bird is the Robin.
State animal is the White-tailed Deer.
Wisconsin has 7,446 rivers and streams!

Mystery authors who are found on the Cozy Mystery Site who feature Wisconsin locations in their books:

Allyson K. Abbott (aka Annelise Ryan & Beth Amos): Mack’s Bar Mystery Series – Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton is the owner of a bar who serves up justice.

Laura Alden: PTA Mystery Series – Beth Kennedy is the owner of a children’s bookstore.

Sandra BalzoMaggy Thorsen Mystery Series – Maggy is a woman who runs her own coffee shop while solving crimes.

Christine DeSmet: Fudge Shop Mystery Series – Ava Oosterling is the owner of a copper-kettle fudge shop who sleuths while sharing space in her grandpa’s bait shop.

Kathleen Ernst: Chloe Ellefson Mystery Series – Chloe is the curator of a living history museum in Wisconsin during the 1980s.

Victoria Houston: Loon Lake Fishing Mystery Series – Lewellyn Ferris is the police chief who enjoys fly fishing while thinking up whodunnit.

Mary Grace MurphyNoshes Up North Mystery Series – Nell Bailey is a retired turned food blogger who lives in Wisconsin.

Hannah Reed (aka Deb Baker): Queen Bee Mystery Series – Story Fischer manages her bees while also managing to solve mysteries.

Annelise Ryan (aka Allyson K. Abbott & Beth Amos): Mattie Winston Mystery Series – Mattie is an ex-nurse who currently serves as a deputy coroner, which comes in handy in her investigations.

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.♦


  1. Deb says

    My favorite author of Wisconsin mysteries is Kathleen Ernst. Her heroine, Chloe Ellefson, is curator of Old World Wisconsin, a living history museum where author Ernst has worked as curator and interpreter. Her fourth mystery, Heritage of Darkness, is set in Decorah, Iowa, but Chloe retains her roots at Old World Wisconsin. I heartily recommend these books. Ernst also writes for the American Girl series about Caroline Abbott during the War of 1812. Her website is where you can read about her Civil War book as well as the other two series.

  2. Readingprincess says

    If you enjoy Annelise Ryan’s Mattie Winston series, you should check out Murder on the Rocks, first in her new series (written under the pseudonym Allyson Abbott. The protagonist, (Ms.) Mack Dalton, has a neurological condition, synesthesia, which a new (and of course handsome) detective soon realizes can be leveraged for crime solving — an intriguing and entertaining premise with interesting characters, the series is set in Milwaukee, WI.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Readingprincess, aren’t all real life detectives handsome? It would be interesting to have a few “normal looking” detectives catch the eyes of our sleuths! (Actually, I have read some series with normal looking characters, which I find very refreshing.)

  3. Susan* says

    Looking at this, I dug out Hannah Reed’s ‘Queen Bee’, and realised she has recipes in it. (*Blush* but it’s been a while since I read it!)
    ‘Buzzing’ over to the recipe page, because I don’t think it’s there. – It wasn’t the last time I looked, anyway! :)

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Thank you, Susan*, I’ll go add Hannah Reed to the list of mystery authors who have recipes in their books.

  4. Susan* says

    Ummm… Completely Off-topic, but do you have a page for Card Game / Gambling Mysteries? I looked, but I couldn’t find one, and while I was going through my shelves to find the Hannah Reed mentioned above, I’ve found several Poker / Bridge based mysteries.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Susan*, I don’t have a Poker/Bridge or a Card Game/Gambling theme, although those themes sound like a good idea. I’ll try to get a page up for them.

      • Susan* says

        Wonderful! :)
        I think Games / Gambling about covers all of it.

        I don’t play Bridge, but I know it is sometimes played for money. I’m just not sure if it really qualifies as ‘gambling’…
        Then, too, I’m sure I’ve come across a Mahjong based mystery, somewhere, recently. Not a card game, but again, is a friendly game really ‘gambling’?

        • Danna - cozy mystery list says

          Thanks, Susan*. The entry should be ready to post very soon. I have put Honor Hartman’s Bridge Club Mystery Series on the list. (Every time I think of this series I think about my daughter’s college roommate, who plays Bridge. I would have thought I would think of all the bridge parties my parents had, but instead I think of my daughter’s friend.)

  5. Lyssa says

    Laura Alden’s PTA series takes place in Wisconsin. Also, Kathleen Ernst’s cozy Chloe Ellefson series is set at a living history museum in Wisconsin. I just finished the second book in that series, The Heirloom Murders, and it was really good.


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