Religious Theme Mysteries …

A few days ago, I received a request from a site reader for a new theme: Religious-Themed Mysteries. So with that in mind… here is a list of the Religious-Themed Mysteries that can be found on the Cozy Mystery Site:

C. C. Benison: Father Christmas Mystery Series

Veronica Black: Sister Joan, Daughters of Compassion Mystery Series

Terri Blackstock: Cape Refuge Mystery Series

Alice Boatwright: Ellie Kent Mystery Series

Lynne E. Chandler: Mrs. Baul Investigates: Bishop Kidnapped in Egypt

Kate Charles: Callie Anson Mystery Series AND   Book of Psalms Mystery Series

Church Choir Mystery Series: by different authors,  published by Guideposts

Alys Clare: Hawkenlye Mystery Series

Peg Cochran (aka Meg London): Lucille Mystery Series

Joan Coggins: Lady Lupin Mystery Series

Kathie Deviny: Grace Church Mystery Series

Monica Ferris: A Stitch in Time (3rd mystery in the Needlecraft Mystery Series)

Margaret Frazer (aka Monica Ferris & Mary Monica Pulver): Written as Margaret Frazer (with Gail Frazer):
(Only the first six Sister Frevisse novels were joint efforts, Gail Frazer continued the series alone, as Margaret Frazer): Sister Frevisse Medieval Mystery Series

Andrew M. Greeley: Blackie Ryan Mystery Series Greeley features a priest in Chicago. (Not Cozy)

D. M. Greenwood: Theodora Braithwaite is a clergywoman in England

Lee Harris: Christine Bennett Holiday Mystery Series

Suzette A. Hill: Reverend Oughterard Mystery Series (British village)

Sharon Kahn: Ruby, the Rabbi’s Wife Mystery Series

Jan Karon (Not Mysteries): Mitford Series AND Father Tim’s Series

Harry Kemelman: Rabbi Small Mystery Series

William X. Kienzle: Father Mystery Series

G. M. Malliet: Max Tudor Mystery Series

Edith Maxwell (aka Maddie Day & Tace Baker): Carriagetown Mystery Series

Ralph McInerney (aka Monica Quill): Father Dowling Mystery Series

K. D. McCrite: Eastgate Mystery Series

Sharan Newman: Catherine LeVendeur Mystery Series

Sister Carol Anne O’Marie: Sister Mary Helen Mystery Series

Katherine Hall Page: Faith Fairchild Mystery Series

Marta Peters: Multiple Amish and other Religious Themed Mystery Series

Ellis Peters: Brother Cadfael Mystery Series

Monica Quill (aka Ralph McInerney): Sister Mary Teresa Mystery Series

Emilie Richards: Ministry is Murder Mystery Series

Mark Schweizer: Liturgical Mystery Series

Nicola Slade: Harriet Quigley Mystery Series

Julia Spencer-Fleming: Adirondack Mystery Series

Winona Sullivan: Sister Cecile Mystery Series

Aimée & David Thurlo: Sister Agatha Mystery Series

Peter Tremayne: Sister Fidelma Mystery Series

Deborah Woodworth: Shaker Mystery Series

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


  1. Tina says

    Do you have a list of “clean” cozy mystery aurthors who don’t rely on cursing and sex in their stories. I have found many of the authors in your listing to have these in them. How can they be considered a “cozy mystery” as defined by your defination in “What is a Cozy?”. I have read most of Patricia Sprinkle’s books and she has a few curse words but not many.
    Thank you, T. Green

  2. says

    I hear you, Tina! I don’t know if the reason more and more Cozy Mystery authors have started using expletives is because their publishers want them to appear to be more “hip” (that word probably ages me!) or if the public thinks they are more “cool” (another aging word!) because they can throw around a word here, there, and in some cases, all over.

    Here is a list of authors you might be interested in:

    Books without Profanity

  3. Petie says

    Danna, my twin sister gave me the first of The Hope Street Church mysteries by Jennifer Stanley – STIRRING UP STRIFE. I haven’t started it yet but wanted to know if you are familiar with her work.

  4. Margie says

    Margaret Coel is an excellent cozy mystery author. Her stories take place on an Arapahoe reservation with the priest in residence as the sleuth……with the help of an Indian lady attorney. VERY GOOD SERIES!

  5. Jill says

    D M Greenwood also writes church themed mysteries set in the UK – about Deaconess Theodora Braithwaite. Idol Bones, Unholy Ghosts, Holy Terrors, Clerical Errors etc.

    • says

      Thank you for writing and telling me about D. M. Greenwood, Jill. I always appreciate Cozy Mystery site readers telling me about additions and/or corrections. I don’t know how I forgot to include Greenwood on the list of Religious Theme Mysteries!

  6. Rabia says

    What about Debbie Viguie’s the 23rd Psalms mystery? Would those go under this specific category? A church secretary is the lead character.

  7. Susan says

    Monica Ferris’ “Embroidered Truths” definitely has an ecclesiastical theme.
    The owner of a needlework shop gets involved in the restoration of a recently discovered church tapestry – but someone doesn’t want it restored!
    Maybe also Terri Blackstock’s Cape Refuge series, too? They’re set around a Christian shelter.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Susan, A Stitch in Time is the book I believe you are thinking about. I will definitely include it on the Religious Theme Mysteries list.

      And, thank you for reminding me about Terri Blackstock. I just added her to the site (based on site readers’ recommendations) but forgot to include her on the list.

  8. Tressa says

    “A Drink of Deadly Wine” by Kate Charles.
    If homosexuality is your cup of tea then you might not mind this story. I was hoping it wasn’t going in that direction, but I was afraid it was and it did. I’m always on the lookout for clean Agatha Christie type mystery stories, unfortunately this wasn’t one.

      • Tressa says

        Thank you Danna for your website.
        I’ve just read my 3rd Patricia Wentworth “Miss Silver” Mystery that I would never have discovered except for your website. My library system has many of the series, ancient as they are, and my yen for new Agatha Christie stories have been satisfied!! Miss Silver is even better than Miss Marple! I dream of re-publishing these in a nice set and selling them in Costco’s and Sam’s clubs and making a fortune. Although e-readers would be more the thing I guess. Here’s the link for anyone interested:

        • Danna - cozy mystery list says

          Tressa, I’m glad you found Patricia Wentworth through the Cozy Mystery site. I, too, found her… and have added her to my “favorite authors” list. I get so many recommendations of “new” authors to add to the site, that it sometimes takes me a very long time to finally try them. Because Patricia Wentworth’s mysteries were written so long ago (most of them in the 1940s and 1950s), I put her on the “back burner” of my authors to try list. Boy, am I sorry I waited so long!

  9. Gloria says

    I too appreciate your list. I am one of those people who think sex is not a spectator sport and profanity is a crutch. I know that is an old fashioned stand but I think there are more of us out there than anyone knows.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      I totally agree with you, Gloria, about there being a lot of people out there who prefer traditional Cozy Mysteries. I know I have said this many times before, but Agatha Christie didn’t need to spice things up in her mysteries… and let’s face it, she is the grande dame of Cozies.

  10. Ginger says

    I have just started a new mystery series that you might want to put on your website. It is ANNIE’S ATTIC

  11. Ginger says

    Hi again. Something happened to my keyboard and I was not allowed to finish my comment before it disappeared. Anyway the ANNIE’S ATTIC MYSTERY SERIES which I recently found out about should perhaps be included on your list. So far I have read the first 4 books and am pleased that they are clean with no profanities or obscenities. Each book is by a different author and about the same woman who is cleaning out her Grandmother’s attic in a wonderful old home on the Maine coast. She finds puzzling items there that lead her to investigate the ensuing mysteries. The books are published by DRG and you can automatically receive them by signing up for them at Annie’s–which I have not done. I am finding them on Ebay and at Amazon usually for a cheaper price than through the official website. I would very much like to see a complete listing of the ones that have been published so far. They are not Christian novels as such (like Guideposts publishes), but they do emulate Christian values and occasionally attending a church function is mentioned. There is no actual sermonizing or preaching included in the story line for which I am thankful but I do appreciate the portrayal of decent and moral values.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Ginger, I would be happy to include a page for the Annie’s Attic Mystery Series, but when I just tried to access a chronological list, I see that the website guards this information as much as the Guideposts website guards their lists.

      If any of you belong to the Annie’s Attic Mystery Series mail-order club, could you please send me a comment or a letter to let me know the chronological order? That would be great!

  12. Ginger says

    Hi Danna. Here’s some more info for you about Annie’s Attic mystery series. I just received the list directly from one of the authors–DeAnna Dodson. This is the correct chronological order for the series and includes all titles that have been published to date:

    The Lady in the Attic by Tara Randel
    Medals in the Attic by Cathy Elliott
    The Photo Album by Marlene Chase
    Letters in the Attic by DeAnna Julie Dodson
    The Package by Sharon Dunn
    The Map in the Attic by Jolyn Sharp
    Rag Doll in the Attic by Jan Fields
    Boxed In by Karen Kelly
    The Deed in the Attic by K. D. McCrite

    DeAnna Dodson has written another one for this series that will be coming out sometime in 2012. The tentative title for the book is THE KEY IN THE ATTIC and it will be #16.

    DeAnna was very prompt in answering my question about the correct order for the titles and sent me a very cordial note.

  13. Ginger says

    Danna–here’s another thought about these Annie’s Attic mysteries. The main character does a lot of crochet and she belongs to a crafter’s group where they talk a lot about and have many projects involving all types of needlework. The grandmother whose house she inherited was famous for her original cross stitch patterns and these are mentioned from time to time. Don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier but it could definitely fit in your needlework category.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Ginger, thank you. I’ll go add the Annie’s Attic Mystery Series to the Needlework theme page…

  14. says

    Yesterday I read an advance copy of Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet.
    The protagonist (Mat Tudor) is an Anglican priest, with a very interesting past, officiating at a historical church in a small English village in a rather isolated setting.
    The characters are well developed and multifaceted – no one-dimensional, paper cut-outs here.
    The story is so good that I could not put it down and I was totally stumped until the end. This is unusual for me.
    I just had to know how it turned out so sat up reading until after one a.m., which is not my normal bedtime.
    I would love to see this become a series because I love the characters.
    There are some subtle threads of personal attachments that I would love to see carried further.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Thanks to you, Andie, I am going to go add G. M. Malliet’s Mat Tudor Mystery Series to this Religious Theme Mysteries list.

  15. linda says

    I do enjoy the books that have a religious theme so long as the story isn’t trying to ” convert me” or to ” preach” to me. Books by authors such as Julia Spencer Fleming and Katherine Hall Page are really good this way. The characters have strong religious backgrounds and beliefs but these beliefs don’t overshadow the story. The characters have their faiths tested, and that is what, to me, is what faith is all about. I enjoy some of the novels that try to educate me as to what the different beliefs make up those religions are. Example: I know very little what being Jewish is. I enjoy reading about the practices and the customs of this religion. This way I can try to come to my own conclusions as to what makes certain people “Tick.” When I want to be preached to I will go to church. I do like some of the “Christian” mysteries. I just don’t want to be preached to as I read a novel. But that is just my opinion. That’s all.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Linda, I have gotten letters from other readers who have told me the very same thing about Religious Theme Mysteries…

  16. says

    One of my book club members put me onto Mark Schweitzer’s Liturgical Mysteries which I certainly consider to be cozies.
    They are all now available on Kindle at very reasonable prices 99¢ to 2.99.
    I am usually a very rapid reader (no scanning, I’ve always been a fast reader) but these take a little longer because there are so many hilarious scenes and when I laugh so hard, my eyes tear up and I have to mop my wet face.
    I laughed so hard in one scene that I got the hiccups!

    His Bio is interesting:

    His characters are believable and the situations in which they find themselves is not so far fetched as in many of the modern mysteries.

    I was born and raised in Kentucky and some of these folks sound like people I have known.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Thanks for reminding me about Mark Schweizer’s Liturgical Mystery Series, Andie. I try to add the authors to their corresponding themes, but sometimes I miss them!

  17. says

    I misspelled Mark Schweizer’s name in my previous post.
    What can I say, it was late in the evening and perhaps my brain was not functioning to capacity.

  18. Devin says

    A possible addition to the religious-themed cozies would be the ‘Sister Pelagia’ novels by Boris Akunin.
    Keep up the great work on this great site :)

  19. Tessa says

    I just finished #3 of Cassandra Clark’s Sister Hildegarde,
    Abbess of Meaux series and came to CM to find out if
    she has a #4 and discovered she isn’t on the Religious
    Themes list. This series is right up there with Cadfael
    and some of Edward Marston’s stuff. Her titles are:
    1. Law of Angels
    2. Hangmans Blind
    3. Red Velvet Turnshoe
    4. A Parliament of Spies

  20. Lisa says

    I like the Peggy Darty (Christy Castleman Mysteries) series. I would like to see her write more like this. I wish I could find more aurthors that are more like this. Good clean no profanity or sex in the books.
    When Zeffie Got a Clue
    When Bobbie Sang the Blues
    When the Sandpiper Calls

  21. Melinda says

    Have been watching Father Brown (BBC One) over here in England, based on books by G.K. Chesterton, and have very much enjoyed it. Has anyone read the books and know if they fit in the ‘cozy’ category?

    • Anne says

      Melinda, the books would fit in the “cosy” category but I find them a bit dated – they were written mainly before WW1 which in itself doesn’t make them dated but I find his style yawn-inducing.(bit like George Bernard Shaw) Just a personal opinion!

  22. Ty says

    I’m looking for more cozy mysteries involving Amish. I’ve read Amanda Flower and Laura Bradford but would love more.



  23. Anne says

    I can recommend the James Runcie “Granchester” books – “Father Brown” type but set in 50’s Cambridge. Sly sense of humour.
    Also, they are not mysteries, but several of Joanna Trollope’s early novels are about clergy life; the notably “The Choir.”

  24. Susan* says

    I’ve just come across Donna Fletcher Crow, who definitely seems to belong here.
    Her ‘Monastery Murders’ series features a young American woman named Felicity Howard, who is studying at a theological college in Britain.
    In the second book (The one I’ve just picked up) Felicity undertakes a pilgrimage to various convents around Britain whilst considering taking the veil, herself.
    Accompanied by friend and fellow student Antony, she becomes involved in a series of thefts of antique icons and the murder of another fellow student – all of which seem to have a connection to a fourteenth century female anchorite (Religious hermit).
    A little heavy going for my personal taste, but if you like history, and the history of the church in particular, then these might suit you. A little mild romance, but no sex or excess gore. Lots of history, as mentioned, and lots of prayers. :)

  25. Anne says

    When when I find a new mystery at the library, I go to your site to get more information about the author and series. To me you are the source of all things cozy.

    Today I think I discovered another author/series to add to your list.

    The series – A Divine Private Detective Mystery
    Author – J. Lynne Hinton
    Recent release – The Case of the Sin City Sister

    Thanks for all you do –

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