Cozy Mysteries discussion

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Find a book or series > Looking for Mysteries with non-murder plots

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message 1: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 26 comments I'm curious if any of you can recommend some good cozies where murder is not the crime? Thanks!


message 2: by Ann (new)

Ann | 21 comments Great idea Kathryn! Thanks for posting this!!


message 3: by Barb (new)

Barb (writebarb) | 15 comments Janice Thompson has started a series of cozy mysteries without murder. The first in the series is, "The Wedding Caper," the second is, "Gone With The Groom." I'm not sure if she has completed any more of the series yet or not.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

At least the first two of Ian Sansom's Mobile Library series don't include murder (there are four books all together but I haven't seen the last two).

They're set in Ireland and involve a Librarian. The first one is called The Mobile Library: The Case of the Missing Books.

I really liked the first book - it's quirky humour but if you like that kind of thing you might enjoy it too.


message 5: by Christy (new)

Christy Brannen (murdermostbritish) | 101 comments The Tale of Hilltop Farm by Susan Wittig Albert is the only one i can think of off the top of my head.


message 6: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 26 comments Thank you so much for the suggestions!!! :-)


message 7: by Jill (new)

Jill | 4 comments what a great idea - it is after all, the mystery, not the death that intrigues me. It would be more plausible for an amateur detective to solve other types of mysteries. I will be sure to check out the ones above.


message 8: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 26 comments Thanks, Jill! I love the mystery/seeking/solving aspect, too, but it always puts a damper on things for me when there's murder involved. Somehow makes it a bit less "cozy" :-p


message 9: by Angela (new)

Angela (AngelaMcLaughlin) | 12 comments I just finished two non murder books in a series by M.E. Rabb. They are young adult but still very good. I am waiting on the next two now!


message 10: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 26 comments Thanks, Pumpkin!


message 11: by Cindy (last edited Sep 24, 2008 09:13AM) (new)

Cindy (cmbohn) It's hard not to have spoilers on this. Many times a book doesn't start off with a murder as the main subject, but it ends up as one. I could list examples, but that might be spoiling it for someone.


message 12: by Amy (new)

Amy (Ldtchr) | 16 comments Just finished The Domestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella. Hilarious and more chick lit, but actually was a mystery as well without a murder. The mystery wasn't the main plot line really, but might be worth a shot for you.


message 13: by Jill (new)

Jill | 4 comments it is on my list now - thanks!


message 14: by Ann (new)

Ann | 21 comments I love the "Shopaholic" books by Kinsella!:D


message 15: by Ana (new)

Ana Kurland (MomtoMandJ) | 6 comments I think most of the books in the Aunt Dimity series do not involve current murders, although some do have an ancestor's unexplained death.


message 16: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Roessner (NancyPartridgeRoessner) | 2 comments Kathryn wrote: "I'm curious if any of you can recommend some good cozies where murder is not the crime? Thanks!"
I recommend the series "The #1 Ladies Detective Agency" by Alexander McCall Smith. The heroine solves mysteries, but not murder. He has two other series and they are all wonderful. This one is set in Africa. The other two are set in Scotland. He's actually my favorite author these days. I also like the Mobile Librarian series by Ian Sanson, set in Ireland.



message 17: by Terri (new)

Terri (TerriLovesCrows) | 71 comments Highland Christmas by MC BEaton


message 18: by Kathie (new)

Kathie H (gypsy18) | 18 comments I love the Parker Pyne stories by Agatha Christie. I think he might handle a murder or two in later stories. But in Parker Pyne Investigates, I don't think any of the mysteries he solves are murders. Also try the Agatha Christie short-story compilation The Golden Ball and Other Stories. These stories are unforgettable!


message 19: by Ann (new)

Ann | 21 comments Kathryn, Background to Danger isn't centered around a murder. There are murders, but that's not the main plot - instead, it centers around a political plot (in a nutshell, photographs that could start a war...).


message 20: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 26 comments Thanks, everyone!


message 21: by Denise (new)

Denise | 619 comments I thought this was an odd topic at first glance but then it made me think. I mostly think of cozy mysteries as a story where there is a murder but you really don't focus on the dead body but the process of how the body "became dead" and then figuring out the who (done it) and why. I have always thought a mystery had to have a dead body. I guess I would have to throw in the hat some of the Elm Creek Quilts series by Jennifer Chiaverini as mysteries without a dead body. In several of the books there have been a mystery of sorts (one was looking for some quilts that had been sold and now Sylvia was trying to recover them--see The Quilter's Legacy).

The Runaway Quilt explores the use of quilts in the Underground Railroad during slave times.






message 22: by Kathie (new)

Kathie H (gypsy18) | 18 comments Denise wrote: "I thought this was an odd topic at first glance but then it made me think. I mostly think of cozy mysteries as a story where there is a murder but you really don't focus on the dead body but the pr..."

Kathryn wrote: "Thanks, everyone!"

Denise, you're right. I read Quilter's Homecoming by Jennifer Chiaverini & it was so good! I restore old quilts so I quite enjoyed the subject matter & plot. Now I have to go back to the beginning of the series (the 1 I read was #10).

Happy holidays from snowy Washington DC!


message 23: by Denise (new)

Denise | 619 comments Kathie: I think you will get so much more out of Elm Creek Quilts series if you go back and start at #1. Although the stories jump back and forth in time. I know at one point I got confused and wrote to Jennifer Chiaverini. She very nicely wrote back and pointed out the error in my thinking.


Heidi (Yup. Still here.)  | 2427 comments In the Calamity Jayne series I think only the first one really involves a murder - the other ones are just mysteries. Either way - it is a great lighthearted cozy mystery series.


message 25: by Denise (new)

Denise | 619 comments I just finished Steinbeck's Ghost by Lewis Buzbee. It is supposed to be for a middle school age reader but I thoroughly enjoyed it and the Steinbeck's Ghost part is a mystery (of sorts). Plus after reading this book I now need to go read all of the Steinbeck books that are talked about in the book. I have only read The Grapes of Wrath (along with everyone else in the world) but really had no desire to read any other books by Steinbeck. However Buzbee really brought the stories to life in this book and now I have to add Steinbeck to my TBR book (it is way too long to call it a list anymore). There are also some other books Buzbee brings out in the story that sound interesting and I have added those to my "intend to read" list too.


message 26: by Kathie (new)

Kathie H (gypsy18) | 18 comments Denise wrote: "Kathie: I think you will get so much more out of Elm Creek Quilts series if you go back and start at #1. Although the stories jump back and forth in time. I know at one point I got confused and wro..."

Denise, oh how you *rock*! I am in love with the Elm Creek Quilt series. Thanks for your recommendation. Just finished Quilter's Apprentice. Now I want to get back into quilting!

& thanks for the recommendation of Steinbeck's Ghost. Gonna add that to my list. Thanks again!


message 27: by Denise (new)

Denise | 619 comments Kathie wrote: "Denise, oh how you *rock*! I am in love with the Elm Creek Quilt series. Thanks for your recommendation. Just finished Quilter's Apprentice. Now I want to get back into quilting!

& thanks for the recommendation of Steinbeck's Ghost. Gonna add that to my list. Thanks again!"

Kathie: You are so welcome. Don't you just love Goodreads and all the books you get introduced to through this group and others? Someone (I can't remember who it was now) was reading
What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist-The Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England and I thought that title was so cool that I put in an order for it and it is waiting at the library for me to pick up.



message 28: by Ann (new)

Ann Marie (AuthorAnnMarie) I am new to the group...I read just about everything but love stories...I am an author...I have a mystery available online as a free read if anyone is interested...I hope to have it available in book form this Spring but you are welcome to enjoy it now @ www.authorannmarie.com just click on the link for 'Where the Sun Sets'


message 29: by ஐ Briansgirl (Book Sale Queen)ஐ, Cozy Mysteries Group Owner (last edited Feb 26, 2010 08:34AM) (new)

ஐ Briansgirl (Book Sale Queen)ஐ (BriansGirlKate) | 1542 comments Mod
I've been thinking about this topic too, Cozy Mysteries that don't involve murders. The only series that comes to mind is Nancy Atherton's Aunt Dimity series. (Only one book in the series of 15 has a murder, although several involve how ghosts might have originally died.) I've had to stop reading (temporarily at least) Tamar Myer's Pennsylvania Dutch mystery series because the murders are just too stupid. (An amish relative is found nakid floating in a silo of milk, the mennonite preacher is found murdered because someone put peanut butter that everyone knew he was highly allergic to into their chili at the church's chili cookoff, etc.) Jessica Fletcher's Murder, She Wrote series are good cozy reads, but most definetly a murder in each book. After awhile, it starts to get silly how dead bodies are turning up in the oddest of places, etc. So looking for more non-murder cozy mysteries.

Two mentioned above I have so will have to read: Ian Sansom's Mobile Library and "The #1 Ladies Detective Agency" by Alexander McCall Smith. I have one book of each series, possibly the first one (hopefully). I have a couple Elm Creek Quilts books by Jennifer Chiaverini. Can they be read out of order?


message 30: by Denise (new)

Denise | 619 comments Briansgirl "Master Book Sale Huntress" wrote: " I have a couple Elm Creek Quilts books by Jennifer Chiaverini. Can they be read out of order?..."

I love the Elm Creek books (they are not mysteries), I have read them all--I always read series in order. I think you would get more out of the Elm Creek series if you read it in order as you get to know the characters better that way and the story lines build as the series goes along. All the characters are not in all the books and a few of the books go back into history.


message 31: by Kelley (new)

Kelley (BookNerd69) | 245 comments I completely agree with Denise regarding the Elm Creek series. The books have so much back story in each one, that reading them in order is a must. I have read them all as well and even I get confused on some of the characters if they haven't been in one of the books for a while. I'm amazed Jennifer Chiaverini is able to keep all of the stories, history and characters straight.


message 32: by ஐ Briansgirl (Book Sale Queen)ஐ, Cozy Mysteries Group Owner (new)

ஐ Briansgirl (Book Sale Queen)ஐ (BriansGirlKate) | 1542 comments Mod
Thank you both. I've read The Quilter's Kitchen. I have The Quilter's Apprentice (Elm Creek Quilts, #1) and Round Robin (Elm Creek Quilts, #2). (Until I looked them up on GRs didn't realize I had #1 & #2). I have #2 as a condensed book. And I have The Christmas Quilt (Elm Creek Quilts, #8). I don't know how many the library has.


message 33: by Kelley (new)

Kelley (BookNerd69) | 245 comments Welcome to the group Miki! Glad you found this group; it's a good one with lots of great people and book suggestions!


message 34: by ஐ Briansgirl (Book Sale Queen)ஐ, Cozy Mysteries Group Owner (new)

ஐ Briansgirl (Book Sale Queen)ஐ (BriansGirlKate) | 1542 comments Mod
I'm always looking for good cozy mysteries that don't involve a murder, but they are hard to find. If you know of any, please add to this thread.


message 35: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Rockwell (par2323) | 24 comments The Essie Cobb senior sleuth cozy mystery series has no murders. In the first, BINGOED, Essie tries to determine why an elderly gentleman collapsed during a game of BINGO. In the second, PAPOOSED, Essie and her friends are roped into baby-sitting for an infant whose mother is missing.


message 36: by Kate (new)

Kate (KBT24) | 1 comments I've finished the third book in the Spellman series by Lisa Lutz. The series is fun (maybe not a cozy but still light enough) and has yet to feature a murder or any real violence.


message 37: by Christy (last edited Jun 18, 2012 03:11PM) (new)

Christy Brannen (murdermostbritish) | 101 comments I've read several of the Beatrix Potter Cottage Tales by Susan Wittig Albert and not a murder in one of them. Also, the first few Monsieur Pamplemousse mysteries that I've read don't involve murder.


message 38: by Vicky (new)

Vicky (LadyVictoria5) | 219 comments The Miss Julia books have mysteries but they are of the home and neighborhood kind, sometimes involving relations, missing money, missing people, and problems that need resolution. I just finished 'Miss Julie Rocks the Cradle' by Ann B. Ross Miss Julia Rocks the Cradle (Miss Julia #12) by Ann B. Ross
and I laughed out loud for an entire chapter. Funniest book I read all year. All ends happily and the plot moves forward. Read these in order. The first one is 'Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind'.


message 39: by ☯Emily (new)

☯Emily  | 41395 comments I don't really consider Miss Julia books as mystery, but they are hilarious and enjoyable. I can highly recommend them.


message 40: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (goodreadscomcherylbdale) | 9 comments I'll have to try one. I like funny mysteries.


message 41: by Denise (last edited Jun 19, 2012 05:51PM) (new)

Denise (Dulcinea3) | 50 comments Christine wrote: "I've read several of the Beatrix Potter Cottage Tales by Susan Wittig Albert and not a murder in one of them. Also, the first few Monsieur Pamplemousse mysteries that I've read don't involve murder."

I was thinking of the Beatrix Potter mysteries. I think that these books (which I love!) are more focused on the characters, including the delightful animals, than the mysteries, although they are always interesting, too. They are a joy to read. I always loved her little books, and the tie-in with her real life story and the books she was writing at any particular time, and even her illustrations, is so interesting.


message 42: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Bradford (nlb1050) | 77 comments Ana wrote: "I think most of the books in the Aunt Dimity series do not involve current murders, although some do have an ancestor's unexplained death."

I was going to suggest this series,ove it!


message 43: by Vicky (new)

Vicky (LadyVictoria5) | 219 comments Emily wrote: "I don't really consider Miss Julia books as mystery, but they are hilarious and enjoyable. I can highly recommend them."

I agree, Emily, they really aren't 'mysteries' but they have 'problems' which I stretched to be 'mysteries' just because they are such funny, fun books. I stand corrected (happily). (and the mystery is not a murder)


message 44: by ☯Emily (new)

☯Emily  | 41395 comments Vicky, I read the first book of the series because it was listed in a mystery book club publication. It was hilarious, but I was puzzled why it was classified as a mystery book. But I guess your explanation makes sense. There is a problem that Miss Julia needs to solve and how that will be accomplished is the mystery!


message 45: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Goss | 1 comments Kathryn wrote: "I'm curious if any of you can recommend some good cozies where murder is not the crime? Thanks!"

Try Kerry Greenwood's series about baker Corinna Chapman. The first one is Earthly Delights and is free on Kindle.


message 46: by Ronda (new)

Ronda Kisner (Roki) | 3 comments His Isabella Dahlhouse series usually does not have a death involved either.

Nancy wrote: "Kathryn wrote: "I'm curious if any of you can recommend some good cozies where murder is not the crime? Thanks!"
I recommend the series "The #1 Ladies Detective Agency" by Alexander McCall Smith. ..."



message 47: by Kim (last edited Jun 26, 2012 05:40AM) (new)

Kim Galla (catmommie) I've never heard of any mysteries that didn't involve murder! In A Slaying In Savannah, Jessica had to solve a 20-year old murder.


message 48: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (BearMountainBooks) | 192 comments I like to read "other crimes" (and write them too).

Just did a re-read of Elizabeth Peter's Borrower of the Night. It centers around finding an old lost/hidden artifact rather than whether a murder was committed over it. REALLY fun read.

Julie Moffett's No One to Trust is a GREAT little read that has the murder (or was it an accident?) in the background. Good caper.

I'll look through my list. I know there are others.


message 49: by Betsy (new)

Betsy (mistymtladi) | 44 comments Denise wrote: "Christine wrote: "I've read several of the Beatrix Potter Cottage Tales by Susan Wittig Albert and not a murder in one of them. Also, the first few Monsieur Pamplemousse mysteries that I've read d..."

Hi.
I've read most if not all of Albert's China Bayles' mysteries. The novels grew,it seemed to me,progressively darker. The last one she wrote before she began the Beatrix Potter series concerned a pedaphile. I often wondered if the horror of that story convinced her to write about charming little talking bunnies.


message 50: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (BearMountainBooks) | 192 comments Betsy wrote: "Denise wrote: "Christine wrote: "I've read several of the Beatrix Potter Cottage Tales by Susan Wittig Albert and not a murder in one of them. Also, the first few Monsieur Pamplemousse mysteries t..."

That's an interesting theory. I think that what is going on in a person's life can affect the writing--and the reading for that matter. When I'm under stress, I pretty much read cozies. I don't want that darker side...


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Books mentioned in this topic

Background to Danger (other topics)
The Runaway Quilt (other topics)
The Quilter's Legacy (other topics)
Calamity Jayne (other topics)
Steinbeck's Ghost (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Jennifer Chiaverini (other topics)
Lewis Buzbee (other topics)
Lisa Lutz (other topics)
Dorothy L. Sayers (other topics)
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