Cozy Mystery Series - First Book of a Series

For cozy mystery lovers. FIRST in the series only, so we can get as many on here as possible.

In case you are confused about what makes a mystery a "cozy", here is a hint from cozy-mystery.com. "*** Cozy mysteries are considered “gentle” books… no graphic violence, no profanity, and no explicit sex. Most often, the crime takes place “off stage” and death is usually very quick. Prolonged torture is not a staple in cozy mysteries! The victim is usually a character who had terrible vices or who treated others very badly. Dare I say…. the victim “deserved to die?” And, there are usually connections between the victims (if indeed there are multiple victims… which usually, in a cozy mystery, there are!), even though the reader is not aware of the obvious connections until the amateur sleuth solves the crimes.'

In case you are confused about what makes a series, it means MORE THAN ONE. A lone book with a sequel planned also counts.

In case you are confused about first, that means only the FIRST book in the series. NO OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES SHOULD BE ADDED.
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892 books · 2,445 voters · list created August 24th, 2008 by Cindy (votes) .
673 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Cindy 8472 books
141 friends
Luann 4101 books
174 friends
Sarah 795 books
22 friends
Carrie 2309 books
125 friends
Meghan 3099 books
31 friends
Beth 1332 books
3761 friends
Sarah-Louise 209 books
12 friends
Charlotte Dauphin 636 books
86 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-50 of 59 (59 new)


message 1: by Cindy (new)

Cindy I don't think I would call Harlan Coben a cozy writer.


message 2: by Beth (new)

Beth Is everyone who voted on this list a member of the "Cozy Mysteries" group? I recommend it!


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

hi


message 5: by Marijn (new)

Marijn Woudstra This is a serious cozy mystery!


message 6: by Pjnorton75 (new)

Pjnorton75 There are a lot of books on here that are more just mystery, not a cozy.


message 7: by Lynda (new)

Lynda Is Sherlock Holmes a cozy?


message 8: by Pjnorton75 (new)

Pjnorton75 No it isn't! It's considered Classics or British mystery.


message 10: by Christine (new)

Christine Coard Edmund Crispin's books are also not remotely cozy, brillinat though they are!


message 11: by Angel (new)

Angel hi


The Book Whisperer (aka Boof) How is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime a cozy mystery? A) It's not a series and B) It's not a mystery.


message 13: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Crimmel Neither is mine and I added it by mistake


message 14: by Ana (new)

Ana Lopes Miura LOL, yes, that man is the anti-cozy!


message 15: by Ana (new)

Ana Lopes Miura Aww, they´re not? Someone reccomended them to me because I´m done with Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh, so I thought they were cozies :(


message 16: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Also, please just put the first in the series! There are a lot on here that are repeats.


message 17: by Betsy (new)

Betsy I don't see Doss on here. His books -The Shaman Laughs ect are alot of fun-alot like Hillerman (the West,Native American religious beliefs) but incredibly funny. I'm not sure which was first in the series,but I'd reccommend it to anyone. Hillerman is gone now,and I'm sorry to say that Doss is getting up there in years too.


message 18: by Almeta (new)

Almeta Boof wrote: "How is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime a cozy mystery? A) It's not a series and B) It's not a mystery."

I have the same question.

This book doesn't belong here.


message 19: by Almeta (new)

Almeta I don't think Three Bags Full is part of a series.


message 20: by Abbey (new)

Abbey Thanks, Cindy, for starting this list, it's always nice to look over others' lists to see if there's a series I've missed. But geezluh-weeze, don't folks READ INSTRUCTIONS???!!!

*Most* of the books listed here are NOT #1 in series, plus many aren't even IN a series, and lots are definitely not cosy mysteries (i.e., "Dune" and "Robots of Dawn"???) Yes, they have mysterious elements, but "cosy series"...?! I don't think so; both are classic SciFi. And it looks as though somebody has added in every title that Evanovich has ever published, including all stand-alones, novellettes and collections, and EVERY book in every series. And pretty nearly "ditto" for Alexander McCall Smith, Sara Paretsky's VI series, Meg Cabot, Rhys Bowen, and several others. That's inexcusable, especially since most book listings give the number of a book in a series along with the title.

If you cleared out all the books here that don't meet the list criteria (First book in a cozy/cosy series) you'll wind up with at most 200 books in the list so far.

I agree with a previous poster that Harlan Coben is not cosy or cozy, however you spell it; neither are Kathy Reichs, Carl Hiasen, Don Winslow (much too dark), Harlan Ellison, Isaac Asimov (SciFi/Fantasy, yes Asimov did write cosy mysteries but none are listed here), Helen MacInnes (spy thrillers).

BTW, can someone tell me how "An Oral History of the Zombie Wars" qualifies as "cozy"??? And, no, Sherlock Holmes is NOT "cozy", nor is Edmund Crispin nor most writers prior to 1960. They are "traditional". Similar, not the same as "cosy" or "cozy" as defined these days, including whoops - almost forgot - Agatha Christie!!. Most current cozy authors may be trying to work in a style similar to hers, but Christie's books were, many of them, quite shocking and with new stylistic twists in their day, also many of them are surprisingly dark as well, just below the surface. IMO that's not "cozy".


message 21: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Right, so I deleted a bunch, but I'm not even close to done. Just a warning, follow the instructions or your votes will be deleted.


message 22: by Abbey (new)

Abbey Cindy wrote: "Right, so I deleted a bunch, but I'm not even close to done. Just a warning, follow the instructions or your votes will be deleted."

Hi Cindy:
Whew!! Thought you were going to *banish* me for chutzpah!! (grin) Like many others, I adore lists, and cosy-style mysteries are some of my favorites, although the majority of my reading is of older and/or classic mysteries, especially by female authors. Actually, I thought your original instructions QUITE clear! Sorry to rant on so, but I guess I'm still filled with a quality taught very heavily in my youth: "neatness counts!" (grin) and this style of mystery often gets a bad rap for its sweetness'n'light - I'm all in favor of presenting a better face for use cosy mystery lovers to the world at large, that dark and unpredictable place, that mostly doesn't intrude on my favorite series' settings, well, maybe a little bit in the BEST ones. Speaking of which, what, no Shirley Rousseau Murphy!!!!! eeek. (off now, to add her first, CAT ON THE EDGE 1996 - while CATSWOLD PORTAL was published first - 1992 - and *is* a prequel of sorts, it only sets up the fantasy world, it's not actually the first "Joe Grey" mystery novel).

Again, many thanks for all your hard work re. cosies, it's very much appreciated!


message 23: by Leah (new)

Leah Hey Cindy, I don't know if anyone mentioned it, I must confess I did not read all the comments, but in case they didn't J.D. Robb's "In Death" series is not a 'cozy' mystery series, it's fantastic beyond a doubt, but it can also be very graphic, crude, and highly sexual as well. It is more of a police procedural as the lead character and a majority of other characters are cops, and it is mostly about their cases. It's kind of a cozy police procedural, but still to put it on this list is highly misleading. I know several other cozy mystery fans who would be offended by much of the content in the "In Death" series.

Thanks for putting together this list!


message 24: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Thanks for the comment. I will remove it.


message 25: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Removed more books for being later in a series. Only the FIRST book in the series is eligible for this list.


message 26: by Nora (new)

Nora I want to add most of these books to my "To Read" "First Book in Cozy Mystery Series" shelf. Can anyone tell me how to bookmark this list within Goodreads? Or add them all at once? Thx!


Jenny (rapid tortoise) I've removed Unnatural Habits (Phryne Fisher #19).


message 28: by Landslide (new)

Landslide I removed a bunch of books that were either not the first in a series, not in a series or not even a cozy mystery. However the list still needs a more careful look cause I think there must be still a lot of books that don't belong but are not so obvious.


message 29: by Evgeny (new)

Evgeny I would not call The Big Sleep cozy (currently 176), unless I am confused about the definition of the genre.


message 30: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Thanks, removed it.


message 31: by Dana (new)

Dana Whipple Please read MURDER BY THE OLD MAINE STREAM by Bernadine Fagan .. it is a wonderful cozy. One of my favorites.


message 32: by Landslide (new)

Landslide I deleted a few more that weren't part of a series.


message 33: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Removed Cutting Right to the Chase as it's NOT A PART OF A SERIES.


message 34: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Removed Tax Cut because it's NOT THE FIRST BOOK in a series.


message 35: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Removed two by Colette Sinclaire as BEING NONFICTION.


message 36: by Beth (new)

Beth Ana wrote: "Aww, they´re not? Someone reccomended them to me because I´m done with Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh, so I thought they were cozies :("

I can highly recommend Louise Penny's first book, Still Life, for fans of Agatha Christie.


message 37: by Dawn (new)

Dawn There is a series of books by Peggy Webb called the Southern Cousins Mystery Series. In the series the main character has a dog named Elvis that helps solve the crimes. The first in the series is called Elvis and the Deeply Departed !!! I bought another at the store in Tupelo, MS where she invited an Elvis impersonator and had cake and soda for everyone while she signed. I had my picture taken with the Elvis impersonator !!! The next book I bought was for a friend who used to love the Grateful Dead and it was called Elvis and the Grateful Dead!!! The dog named Elvis in the stories has an Elvis complex! He solves crimes but thinks he is Elvis ! It is funny but a good mystery. Y'all might consider this collection.


message 38: by Lori (new)

Lori Is anyone still monitoring this list? I see a lot of books that do not qualify. I looked at some of the comments and I think it might help if you put in the instructions 'no pre-1960 series'. (potential issue for the few starting pre-1960 and continuing on).

Here's what I saw on the first page:
Traditional
The Mysterious Affair at Styles
The Secret Adversary
Murder at the Vicarage
A Study in Scarlet
Whose Body?
Fer-de-Lance
The Case of the Gilded Fly

Violent/Dark
The Blessing Way
Desert Heat
Indemnity Only

Not sure if these are 'cozy' (too much violence?)
A is for Alibi
A Morbid Taste for Bones
The Beekeeper's Apprentice

If no one is maintaining the list I could do it if you can give me editing power.

It's a good list and much smaller than similar lists. I like mysteries in general, but I'm keeping my eye open for cozy ones because I can read them in bed and not have my heart pounding.


message 39: by Maureen (new)

Maureen While I loved Sookie Stackhouse, isn't there too much sex to be considered a cozy mystery?


message 40: by Holly (new)

Holly Maureen wrote: "While I loved Sookie Stackhouse, isn't there too much sex to be considered a cozy mystery?"

Sookie Stackhouse books are "Paranormal" not cozy.


message 41: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Stein Thanks for the list. Though a lot of the books mentioned are not the first in a series, I picked up on a lot of new authors to try.


message 42: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Stein Is Gwyneth Williams your pen name? I will look for it.


message 43: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Stein Your pseudonym is safe with me.


message 44: by Lori (last edited May 10, 2015 03:09PM) (new)

Lori A lot of mysteries are two or more types. Although Miss Marple is the quintessential cozy detective, Christie is usually classed as Golden Age. So I guess Sookie could be both. I know there's a lot of cozy/foodie mysteries.

On the other hand, I really don't think Kinsey Millhone is cozy at all. She's a PI and her stuff is hardboiled or action. Any book that has the detective regularly beat up is by (my)definition categorically not cozy.


message 45: by Mair (new)

Mair Verthuy I'm not sure I properly understood Lori's first sentence but she is certainly correct in the distinctions she makes. I am a total and utter fan of Sue Grafton but cozy she ain't!


message 46: by Lori (new)

Lori Sorry about that, didn't preview. :( Post is fixed. :)


message 47: by Rose (new)

Rose One for the Money is not cozy and it is top of the list!! :(


message 48: by Michelle (new)

Michelle If you like quiet, English type cozies try Kerry Greenwood's delightful Phryne Fisher delightful female detective unlike any other I have ever read. "Cocaine Blues" is the first. The series takes place in Australia starting in 1928. Read in sequence.


message 49: by Debra (new)

Debra Cozy mysteries, also referred to simply as "cozies", are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community. The term was first coined in the late 20th century when various writers produced work in an attempt to re-create the Golden Age of Detective Fiction.[1]


message 50: by Beverly (new)

Beverly Lori wrote: "Is anyone still monitoring this list? I see a lot of books that do not qualify. I looked at some of the comments and I think it might help if you put in the instructions 'no pre-1960 series'. (pote..."

I agree with your list; especially Blessing Way which is a Navajo police procedural rather than a cozy.


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