You may wonder why I have such authors as Joseph Wambaugh, Minette Walters, R. D. Wingfield, and P. G. Wodehouse on my “W” list of cozy mystery books. The reason is this: these are authors who, although they don’t write cozy mystery books, do write good books. Some of you may think that they are not familiar with R. D. Wingfield…. until they find out that he is the author who writes about Inspector Frost, from the wonderful “A Touch of Frost” BBC shows. Those of you who are familiar with the TV shows, know why I have included Wingfield on my list of favorite (mystery) authors.
Another author who most definitely doesn’t write cozy mysteries is Minette Walters. Her novels are gritty, hard-hitting, but exceptionally good. Thus, I include her on my favorite (mystery) authors list.
Most of you are probably very familiar with the antics of Bertie Wooster. His valet Jeeves is forever getting him (and his bungling friends) out of scrapes with both the law and high society. These books, although written many years ago, are timeless. If you haven’t tried reading about Bertie and Jeeves, you might want to try one of Wodehouse’s novels. You may, like me, find them addictive!
I just added an author whose last name begins with Y!
Lea Wait aka Cornelia Kidd… Lea Wait writes the very popular Mainely Needlepoint Mystery Series which features Angie Curtis, the organizer of a needlepoint co-op in Maine. She also writes the Shadows Antique Print Mystery Series which features Maggie Summer, a widow who owns Shadows Antiques which is also in Maine. Wait not only writes mystery series for adults, but she also writes historical novels for children. As if that isn’t enough, as Cornelia Kidd she writes the Maine Murder Mystery Series. This series stars Anna Winslow as its sleuth, a wife on Quarry Island, Maine.
Noreen Wald aka Nora Charles… It’s nice to have a senior sleuth… from Florida, no less! Thank you, Ms. Charles, for remembering that all heroines of cozies don’t have to be in their late twenties/early thirties! (Has anyone seen Nick and Asta?!) As Wald, she pens a series about a ghostwriter.
Ayelet Waldman Mommy Track series… The main character in Waldman’s series is a stay-at-home mom who was a public defender in her “previous life.” The character decides that staying at home and taking care of the children can be even more fun while solving crimes.
Ann Waldron Waldron writes a series that is set in the academic world of Princeton, featuring a transplanted Pulitzer Prize journalist from Florida. Waldron has also written biographies, and several children’s books, both fiction and non fiction, and also .
LynDee Walker Walker, an ex crime journalist, writes the Headlines in Heels Mystery Series. Her first in the series was nominated for the prestigious Agatha Award Best First Mystery Novel, which is saying a lot! Walker’s sleuth is named Nichelle Clarke, and she is a … you guessed it …. crime journalist. Nichelle doesn’t let luck determine her story matter, she listens to her police scanner to get the scoop on where her next article will take her.
Mary Willis Walker Her reporter Mollie Cates series is set in Texas…
Kathryn R. Wall Wall worked as an accountant, so it is no small wonder that her main character is a financial planner. The Bay Tanner Mystery Series is set in the beautiful Hilton Head Island area…
Jill Paton Walsh Walsh writes the Imogen Quy Mystery Series, which features a nurse in Cambridge. What an honor it was to be asked by the Dorothy L. Sayers estate to finish some of Dorothy’s books! That’s a testament to her writing skills…. Walsh also writes the new Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane Mystery Series.
Minette Walters Not Cozy… Very good, very British…
Joseph Wambaugh Not cozy! Very good… An ex-policeman, he is able to use his knowledge to write both fiction and true crime. (On the Mystery Writers of America Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time)
Penny Warner (aka Penny Pike) Warner writes the Connor Westphal Mystery Series which features a California newspaper publisher. Warner has her Master’s in Special Education, and has won several awards for her mysteries… including the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery and the Agatha and Anthony Awards for Best Juvenile Mystery (Mystery of the Haunted Caves.) Warner also writes the Party Planning Mystery Series. As Penny Pike, she writes the Food Festival Mystery Series, which takes place in San Francisco.
Livia J. Washburn Washburn has written historical, western, fantasy and romance novels. And, of course, mysteries. She is the author of the Fresh Baked Mystery Series, which is set in Texas, and features a retired teacher. The second book in the Fresh Baked series is a Halloween-themed book and the third, which will come out in 2008 is a Christmas-themed novel. I have not read any of her books yet, as I was just told about her by a very “cozified” and helpful librarian.
Wendy Lyn Watson (aka Annie Knox) Watson teaches American Government and Constitutional Law at the college level and writes the Mystery à la Mode Mystery Series which is set in Texas and has, as its sleuth, the owner of an ice cream parlor. As Knox she writes the Pet Boutique Mystery Series. This series is set in Minnesota and features Izzy McHale, the owner of a pet boutique.
Ashley Weaver Weaver has worked in libraries most of her life, serving as a page and a clerk before getting a MLIS (Master of Library and Information Science). She now serves as a branch manager at Oberlin, the headquarters of the Allen Parish Libraries in Louisiana. Her mystery series, the Amory Ames Mystery Series, stars a wealthy young woman in 1930s Britain.
Betty Webb Webb, an ex- journalist, teaches creative writing and does some of her own, as she writes two mystery series. The Gunn Zoo Mystery Series is set in California and the Lena Jones Mystery Series is set in Arizona.
Martha G. Webb aka Lee Martin & Anne Wingate… “All three” write a series that is set in Texas, Wingate’s has a police chief, Martin’s series features a police detective and Webb writes about a police on the narcotics squad.
Peggy Webb Webb writes the Southern Cousins Mystery Series, as well as many other novels. The Southern Cousins series features Callie and Lovie Jones, cousins who sleuth – with the help of Elvis, Callie’s Basset Hound. Webb has written many other novels.
Heather Webber (aka Heather Blake) Webber writes a cozy mystery series that features a landscaper who specializes in “surprise garden makeovers” but who is sometimes surprised by murders, which she solves, not commits! Webber has also penned several romance novels. As Blake, she writes the Wishcraft Mystery Series and the Magic Potion Mysteries which take place in Alabama and feature a sleuth who owns the Little Shop of Potions.
Tracy Weber – Tracy Weber has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Washington, and before becoming a Cozy author she put these to good use as a manager at Microsoft, a research engineer, and an organizational consultant. Now she’s a certified yoga therapist, owning her own studio. She writes the Downward Dog Mystery Series, which touches on two of her favorite passions, yoga and German Shepherds.
Charlene Weir Weir’s series is set in Kansas, where Police Chief Susan Wren solves all sorts of mysteries…
Kirsten Weiss Weiss has lived a significant portion of her life overseas, spending nearly fourteen years in the fringes of the former USSR and Southeast Asia. She now lives in San Mateo, California. She is the author of the Pie Town Mystery Series, the Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum Mystery Series, the Doyle Mystery Series, and the Witches of Doyle Mystery Series.
Mary V. Welk Welk writes the Rhodes to Murder Mystery Series. Caroline Rhodes is a nurse who moved from Chicago to a small university town in Illinois. Her side-kick sleuthing partner is history Professor Carl Atwater.
Chris Well Well writes Christian crime thrillers with a lot of humor thrown into the mysteries. Well also includes both writing and/or editing for such publications as the Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.
Melinda Wells (aka Linda Palmer) Wells writes the Della Cooks Mystery Series which, as the name suggests, is a culinary mystery series. As Palmer she writes the Daytime Mystery Series which features a young widow/sleuth who is a writer for a New York soap opera.
Christine Wenger Wenger, with her double master’s in Sociology & Probation and Parole Studies, has used her criminal knowledge to write her Comfort Food Mystery Series. This series features Trixie Matkowski, a divorcée who moves to a small, upstate New York town where she manages a diner. (This series includes recipes in the mystery books.)
Patricia Wentworth Wentworth’s Miss Maud Silver series features a retired teacher/governess who becomes a private investigator in London.
Valerie Wilson Wesley Wesley has two masters degrees, writes books for children and non-mystery novels for adults, and also writes the Tamara Hayle mystery series which , features a single mom who turns in her police woman’s badge to become a private investigator.
Eugenia Lovett West West writes the Emma Streat Mystery Series which features a sleuth who was formerly an opera diva. The series is set in Boston…
Patricia Tichenor Westfall Westfall’s books take place in Appalachia, where her sleuth delivers meals…..
Leslie Wheeler Wheeler received her Bachelor’s degree in both English and history from Stanford, and then went on to receive her Master’s in English from UC/Berkeley. So, it is no small wonder that she writes the Living History Mystery series… which features an historian sleuth who writes history textbooks in the Boston area…
Anne White White writes a mystery series set in a beautiful resort town on Lake George…
Phyllis A. Whitney Whitney writes both juvenile and adult mysteries, novels for teens, and even books about writing. When I started researching for information about Whitney, I didn’t think that I had ever read any of her books. But, once I saw all of her juvenile mysteries and novels, along with her long list of mysteries for adults, I am convinced that I have read some of her books. And, if I haven’t…. I will!
Lis Wiehl New York Times best selling author, Wiehl, a lawyer (Harvard Law) with her M.A. in Literature, writes the Triple Threat Club Mystery Series (with April Henry) and the East Salem Trilogy Series (with Pete Nelson).
Gayle Wigglesworth Wigglesworth writes the Claire Gulliver Mystery Series which features an ex-librarian who inherits her uncle’s traveling bookshop.
Linda Wiken (aka Erika Chase) Linda Wiken writes the Dinner Club Mystery Series which features J.J. Tanner, an event planner. J.J. is a member of the Culinary Capers Dinner Club which is a club for “foodies”. This series also contains recipes! As Erika Chase she writes the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery Series, which features Lizzie Turner and her five friends in a mystery book club in Alabama. Chase previously owned a mystery bookstore, as well as held jobs as a journalist, producer of radio shows, and a copywriter for advertising.
Sharon Wildwind Sharon Wildwind served as an army nurse in Vietnam and now writes a series featuring “Pepper” Pepperhawk, a nurse returning from Vietnam.
Lauren Willig Willig is a New York Times bestselling writer with her bachelor’s degree from Yale, and her JD from Harvard Law. She pens the Pink Carnation Mystery Series, which features Eloise Kelly, a grad student who is working on her dissertation with an emphasis on a spies during the Napoleonic era.
Barbara Jaye Wilson A milliner/sleuth in New York City…..
Karen Ann Wilson Wilson writes a series that revolves around a veterinary technician…
Laura Wilson An ex-teacher and editor of books, Wilson writes the Ted Stratton Mystery Series, Stand Alone mystery novels, and also, she writes history books for children.
Marty Wingate – Marty Wingate is a Seattle author who has led garden tours in England, Scotland, Ireland, France, and North America. She’s the author of the Birds of a Feather Mystery Series, which features a Dallas gardener (Pru Parke) who moves to London. Wingate also writes the Potting Shed Mystery Series, with sleuth Julia Lanchester, a tourist manager in a small English village. Wingate has also written several books about gardening.
R.D. Wingfield Not cozy…. Terrific books … I found the books by watching the Touch of Frost shows on TV, and loved them. The books are truly terrific… (in my opinion)
Jacqueline Winspear The rights for the Maisie Dobbs novels were bought by a British company. Hopefully we will soon be seeing Maisie on screen! (The series is set in London in the early 20th century.)
Lois Winston Winston writes the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery Series. This series features a sleuth who is widowed with two sons, who also happens to be the craft editor at a New Jersey based crafting magazine. Winston is also an award-winning needlework and craft designer, as well as a romance fiction author.
P. G. Wodehouse Not Mysteries…although Bertie (as in Jeeves and Wooster) has remained a mystery for decades! Very entertaining…
Valerie Wolzien Wolzien has two series: the Susan Henshaw series involves Susan, a housewife/sleuth and the Josie Pidgeon series is about Josie, the owner of an all-woman construction company.
Steven Womack Not cozy…. When not writing mystery novels, Professor Womack may possibly be found teaching screenwriting….
Sara Woods (aka Anne Burton, Mary Challis, & Margaret Leek) Woods (a pseudonym) had several aliases, all of whom wrote mystery series which featured British barristers/attorneys, except for her Richard Trenton Mystery Series, which featured a banker.
Deborah Woodworth Woodworth has her Ph.D. in Sociology of Religion, and writes the Sister Rose Callahan Mystery series. Sister Rose is an eldress in a Kentucky Shaker community.
Eric Wright Several series to choose from, all set in Canada…
L.R. Wright Wright pens two mystery series which feature Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The first series is the Karl Alberg Mystery Series, in which Wright introduces Eddie (Edwina) Henderson. The Eddie Henderson Mystery Series is a continuation (of sorts) of Wright’s first series…
Nancy Means Wright Wright writes the Mary Wollstonecraft Series which features an 18th century English governess who works in Ireland, and the Ruth Willmarth Mystery Series which features a single mother/dairy farmer/sleuth in Vermont. Wright also pens a children’s mystery series (the Northern Spy Club)…
Nina Wright Wright holds a Masters in English Literature and also in Applied Linguistics, so it is no small wonder that she enjoys writing… both plays and novels. Her whiskey Mattimoe novels are mysteries for adults, and she also has written novels for teens. Wright was recommended by a site reader, and I am looking forward to starting her series.
Sue Owens Wright Wright pens the Beanie and Cruiser Mystery Series which features freelance reporter Beanie (Elsie MacBean) and her Basset Hound, Cruiser. Beanie and Cruiser do their sleuthing in Lake Tahoe, Nevada…
Patricia Wynn Wynn received her Bachelor’s from the prestigious Rice University, and later completed her Master’s. Her Blue Satan Mystery series is an 18th century British cozy, with romance thrown in as a nice addition!
Don Yarber Yarber writes the Kip Yardley Mystery Series which features an ex-highway patrol officer who currently works as a Los Angeles private detective. Yarber states that his books “do not use a lot of graphic sex scenes, foul language or deeply disturbed psycho-babble”…
Margaret Yorke Yorke writes the Dr. Patrick Grant Mystery Series, along with many Stand Alones…
Suzanne Young Young has her degree in English, which she parlayed into a very varied career, which included working as the project director on a National Science Foundation grant at M.I. T. She writes the Edna Davies Mystery Series. Edna is an amateur herbalist sleuth who lives in a coastal town in Rhode Island.