Cliffhangers' Favorite Cozy Mysteries
liffhangers Crime Fiction
Cliffhangers Crime Fiction
Books and videos for mystery mavens
Books and videos for mystery mavens
The cozy is a PG-rated, often funny mystery featuring clever conversation and (usually) a closed community of suspects, often people who already know each other. For example, residents of a small town, be it in England or Southern Thailand. Generally, violence in a cozy is restricted to the crimes that are the subject of the investigation and there is a lot of domestic detail: manners, clothes, meals, decor, etc. The great mysteries of the Golden Age (i.e. by authors Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers) were cozies.
Album: Click on an image to find a book that will take you there.
Directory of Cozies
(Bestsellers first, then alphabetically by author's last name)
1915. In late middle-age, Sherlock Holmes takes on an obnoxious fifteen year-old girl, Mary Russell, first as an apprentice, teaching her everything he knows about deduction, disguise and danger, then as a partner, and finally as a spouse. Russell is Holmes's equal in everything except age and experience. Both are fiercely intelligent, independent, stubborn, arrogant, tall, witty and lonely. (Bestsellers. Cozies. Historical. Female Hero. Set between World Wars I and II.) Chief Inspector Gamache of the Surêté du Québec probes for emotional truth as well as for facts. What emerges is a rich world of complex characters: brave, funny, loving and, every so often, lethal. (Bestsellers. Cozies. Police Procedurals. Set in Quebec, Canada.)
by Colin Cotterill
Thanks to the talented author, Colin Cotterill, the characters in heroine Jimm Juree's village in Southern Thailand may someday become as archetypal as the English bobby, vicar and lord of the manor.
Summary: Jimm Juree was forced to leave her career on the crime beat of a big-city newspaper because her mother insisted that their extended family relocate to the boonies of Southern Thailand. Soon enough, she was spending her days scaling mackerel, cooking for the world's most dysfunctional family and sliding into despair.
In Killed at the Whim of a Hat, a local farmer found two skeletons and an entire VW microbus in his well and Jimm was on the case and the murderer was on the run.
Review: Almost award-winning reporter Jimm Juree has a sharp, self-deprecating sense of humor and an big heart and this book is hilarious. The characters are wonderfully eccentric, the puzzle plot is interesting and the social commentary is wicked. Congratulations to Colin CotterilI for creating a young, female Thai hero who is funny, feisty, smart, smart-mouthed and not employed in a go-go bar.
This is one of my favorite cozies because of the humor, humor, humor and because the unusual setting works beautifully in this genre. More about the Jimm Juree Mystery Series including list of books in chronological order, series review, series guide, book reviews and book summaries (Cozies. Female hero. Private Investigator. Funny. Set in Thailand.)
by Louise Penny
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
WINNER! 2010 Agatha Award for Best Novel WINNER! 2010 Dilys Award
WINNER! 2011 Anthony Award for Best Mystery
WINNER! 2011 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel WINNER! 2010 Macavity Award for Best Novel WINNER! 2011 Nero Award
Chief Inspector Gamache may be the most compassionate detective in contemporary crime fiction and Louise Penny may be the most accomplished author.
Summary: Chief Inspector Gamache of the Surêté du Québec and his team of investigators hunt murderers and suffer for their encounters with evil. Gamache struggles to take care of his team--and of himself--all of whom have seen so much more than most of us could bear. The team often visits the village of Three Pines, either for work or to unwind. Three Pines is an idyllic place that has everything necessary for the well-lived life: natural beauty, a great bistro, a great bookstore, and caring, if eccentric, neighbors. And yet evil even enters here.
In Bury Your Dead, violent death follows Gamache to Quebec City, Canada where he has gone to recover emotionally and physically from a tragic encounter with a group of terrorists.
Review: If you can only read one Gamache mystery, read this one. It is simultaneously hopeful and heartbreaking. A great book.
This is one of my favorite cozies because it moves me.
Civilized Sleuths Nabbing Nasties in Thailand, Canada and India
by Tarquin Hall
Laughs and Social Satire from India's Hercule Poirot
Summary: With his Sandown cap and his handlebar mustache, the rotund Vish "Chubby" Puri is India's Hercule Poirot, unmasking murderers and deftly manipulating the levers of Delhi society to bring some measure of safety to the innocent and justice to the guilty.
In The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken, a lethal banquet dish leads Vish and his team of undercover agents to investigate the Delhi, India gambling mafia, a trail that takes Puri to Pakistan. Book includes recipes.
Review: As tasty as Puri's favorite butter chicken, rich with local detail and memorable characters, filled with humor and topped with a puzzle plot that lets us peer into the most fascinating nooks and crannies of Indian society.
This is one of my favorite cozies because the culture is fascinating and the humor is, well, funny. Imagine an English village mystery, but 1) set in rural Thailand where most of the cops are corrupt 2) the local aristocrat is a village headman who likes to play dress up and 3) the detective is a feisty young woman with a dysfunctional family and a smart mouth. (Cozies. Female hero. Private Investigator. Funny. Set in Thailand.) 1976. Dr. Siri Paiboun was ready to retire after a lifetime in the jungle as a battle surgeon when his government, the communist People's Democratic Republic of Laos, made him a job offer he couldn't refuse: national coroner. One thing led to another and Dr. Siri discovered he had a real knack for solving crimes, aided by the Mahosot Hospital Irregulars (Nurse Dtui, Det. Phosy, and Mr. Geung) and the occasional psychic communication from an unhappy ghost. (Cozies. Historical. Funny. Forensics. Set in 1970s Laos.) In each book Inspector Singh of the Singapore police travels to a different location in South East Asia to investigate a murder. These are funny cozies with a charming, if cranky, detective and cultural insight
(Cozies. Police Procedurals. Set in S.E. Asia.)
These light and lovely crime novels follow the exploits of India's most famous detective, Vish "Chubby" Puri and his team of crack undercover operatives, as they navigate the complexities of life in Delhi, India, population 21 million.
(Cozies. Funny. Private Investigators. Set in India.)
Lawyer Thora Gudmundsdottir, takes everything in stride except boredom and being inappropriately dressed. When her clueless but innocent clients wind up in jail, she leaps at the opportunity to launch her own investigations and clear their names. (Cozies. Female Hero. Private Investigators. Lawyer. Set in Iceland.)
Above: Author Colin Cotterill
Above: Author Louise Penny
Above: Author Tarquin Hall