Lola’s Ramblings is a feature on my blog Lola’s Reviews where I ramble on about a book related or a non-book related topic. These are discussion type of posts where I talk about a topic and readers can weigh in on the topic in the comments. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like tours, cover reveals, memes, challenges, recaps or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are discussions of a certain topic and my point of view on them. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.
Last year I started reading cozy mysteries and by now I have read quite some cozy mysteries and it quickly became one of my favourite genre. So I wanted to share my favorite cozy mysteries so far. I picked all first books in the series. Thanks for Nellie and Co her post about different ways to review, where she mentioned the idea of writing a collective recommendations post, which gave me the idea for this post. I also know some of you might be new to cozies as well or might be planning to pick up the genre, but not sure where to start. So hopefully this post will help you as well. All cover images links go to my review of the book. I wanted to make a top ten list out of it, but ended up with only 8 ones I would really recommend (which means they got a 4 star or higher), so I decided to keep it with 8.
My Favorite Cozy Mysteries
- The Daydreamer Detective (Miso Cozy Mysteries #1) by S.J. Pajonas. An awesome cozy mystery set in japan. This book has an awesome setting, you really feel like you’re in japan, with mentions of how the law system works there and all the delicious food the characters eat. Then there is the great main character Mei who returns home to help work on the farm after losing her job, her awesome mother and the love interests who own his own restaurant. And I recently read book 2 and it’s even better. Definitely a series worth picking up if you’re looking for a fun cozy mystery series!
- A Disguise to Die For (Costume Shop Mystery #1) by Diane Vallere. I really enjoyed this cozy mystery set in a costume shop. One of the best cozy mysteries I’ve read so far and I enjoyed every second of it. The mystery kept me guessing and I love how the romance was handled. And the costume shop really gave this book something unique, I loved all the mentions of costumes and learning more about the shop. I already have book 2 pre-ordered.
- Flipped for Murder (Country Store Mysteries #1) by Maddie Day. While the murder mystery itself might be a bit predictable, the great main character who loved to cook made more than up for it. If you’re looking for a fun cozy mystery where the main character runs her own country store where she works as cook, this is a great one. I already have read book 2 as well and it’s just as good as the first one.
- Murder at Redwood Cove (Redwood Cove #1) by Janet Finsilver. I loved how the murder mystery was handled, so well done and with hints that I didn’t realize where hint until the plot twist at the end. The great setting at a bed and breakfast close to the sea and a main character who is likeable and isn’t afraid to ask for help makes this one a fun read. I’ll have to dive into book 2 soon!
- A Scone to Die For (Oxford Tearoom Mysteries #1) by H.Y. Hanna. This adorable cozy mystery set in the UK where the main character starts her own tearoom was a lot of fun. From the fun set-up to the character that came alive, the setting in the UK to the side characters like her mother who always forgets her password this was a great read. And the author really knows how to write an intriguing mystery that keeps you guessing! I have read the first 3 books in this series and it really is a great series so far!
- Pane and Suffering (A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery #1) by Cheryl Hollon. While the first book in the series is a bit off to a slow start, it got even better in the second book. This cozy mystery set in a glass shop and it’s a lot of fun to learn more about glass, making glass and the shop. And have a fun mystery to go with it. The second book was even better when I already knew all the characters and the setting and the mystery was interesting too. I have book 3 for review and hope to read it soon.
- The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum (A Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum Mystery #1) by Kirsten Weiss. If you like a bit of paranormal with your mystery, this is a good one. While the paranormal element was subtle, it worked really well. There’s a fun mystery and a bit of a mystery about a past event as well that’s tied into the storyline, the side plot really worked for the story. And I had a lot of fun with this paranormal tinted cozy.
- Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy (Amanda Lester, Detective #1) by Paula Berinstein. While not marketed as a cozy mystery, but as a mystery, it does fit the definition of a cozy mystery as well as there are no gory details. The Amanda Lester series follows main character Amanda, a middle grader who has to attend Legatum, a school for detectives. There are some intriguing mysteries and a great cast of characters. The series has a lot of continuity with each book building upon the previous ones. I’ve read the first 4 books now and can recommend this series if you’re looking for a good boarding school, mystery Middle Grade/ Young Adult series.
I still need to check some of these out. I will have to check on Audible to see who the narrators are for each one to see if any match up with anyone I know. They might help me take the dive into cozies.
Melanie Simmons @mlsimmons recently posted…Before the Fall Audiobook by Noah Hawley (REVIEW)
I am pretty sure Flipped for Murder has an audiobook already, not sure about the others. I hope you can find a cozie with a narrator you already know to give them a try :). It’s a fun genre!
Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #183
I love a good cozy mystery. There’s several on your list that I’m eager to try.
My favorites would have to be. The Hamish Macbeth Mysteries by M.C. Beaton–it’s such a nice little series set in the Scottish Highlands. There’s a bit of a love triangle the pops up in certain books, but they are so enjoyable and I’ve learned so much about Scottish policing.
The Haunted Guesthouse by EJ Copperman is a new one that I just discovered. I liked the fact that it has a paranormal element to it.
I’m just getting ready to start the Murder, She Baked series. I’m not sure how the books are, but I’ve loved the movies.
Angela @Simply Angela recently posted…DIY: Craigh Na Dun Fairy Garden
Me too, I really like cozy mysteries and I am looking forward to hear your opinion of these books if you decide to give them a try,
I read two of your recent reviews of books in that series and I like the sound of the Scottish Highland setting. A setting can really add something. And it’s interesting to learn about the law and policing in other countries. The cozy set in japan that I listed here had that for me, it was fun to see how different things worked there. And even the one set in the UK is already different form the US ones.
I think I have the first book int hat series on my to-read list, I didn’t realize they made movies from them!
Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #183
I tried cozies last year too and while I didn’t love all of them I did find several authors that I liked. It’s nice to read something different like that once in a while, and the ones I liked had a great sense of place (I think settings are pretty crucial to cozies) and it was nice to follow recurring characters and see how they are getting on (like the writers group in Books by the Bay). I’ve also enjoyed it when a cozy has some fantasy or paranormal elements, cause those are always good lol. Nice list, I like the look of that Japanese one.
Greg recently posted…Date Night on Union Station
I also read a few cozies that were a miss or just okay for me, but I also found some really good ones. And I agree settings can really make a difference in cozies, and in other genres as well actually. I like it when the author can paint a good feel for the setting.
The Japanese one was a lot of fun and the setting in Japan is really interesting as we see how different laws are there and how the justice system works there.
Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #183
Thanks for sharing your favorites. I really want to read more cozy mysteries. I haven’t read enough to have a favorite, but hopefully soon!
Let’s Get Beyond Tolerance recently posted…Other Bloggers Talk about Orlando
I hope you’ll find some favorite cozies eventually! They are a lot of fun to read!
Lola, thank you so much for sharing about my book, MURDER AT REDWOOD COVE. I’m glad you liked it! Janet
You’re welcome! I really enjoyed it and books like yours made me fall in love with the cozy mystery genre.
I also got the second book in your series for review through netgalley, but haven’t had the time to read and review it yet. Hopefully soon!
I hope you enjoy the second one as much!
Janet Finsilver recently posted…Blog Tours for Murder at the Mansion
I hope so too :). I am looking forward to reading it!
I’m really not much into mysteries but glad you found some that you like.
Mary Kirkland recently posted…Review: Target Beauty Box-June
It was fun to share my favorites so far :). I am really enjoying this genre.
Lola recently posted…Lola’s Ramblings: My Favorite Cozy Mysteries
I haven’t read too many cozy mysteries but I have been itching to try one out since its been quite a few years. I really like the idea of Pane and Suffering!!
loverofromance recently posted…Book Review-Dream Island by Josie Litton
I only tried them myself last year, but I am glad I gave the genre a try as it fast became one of my favorite genres. Pane and Suffering is a fun series with the glass shop, I have the third book for review. I’ll have to make time to read that soon!
I’ve read a few series in the past, but have gotten away from them recently. I’ve got my eye on the Redwood and Oxford ones from your list already. I do like the sound of the Daydreamer ones for the Japanese setting.
I’ve got a few on my Kindle that I’ve picked up off Amazon. I’ll have to start actually reading them. 😉
Sophia Rose recently posted…The Best Laid Wedding Plans by Lynnette Austin #Review
I hope you give some cozies a try! The Japanese setting in the Daydreamer Detective series is really well done and add something unique to the series. The Oxford series is a lot of fun so far. I’ll have to read the second book in the Redwood series soon!
It’s nice you got some cozies from amazon. I got some free ones or deals from there myself, although most of the cozies I got from netgalley so far.
I need to read more cozy mysteries as I’ve enjoyed the few I have read. I’d love to try the one set in Oxford as I was there last year and just loved it, it’s a fab setting for a cozy!
Trish @ Between My Lines recently posted…Audiobook Review: Life after Life by Kate Atkinson
I hope you’ll pick up some more cozies eventually. I am really enjoying the genre so far!
The Oxford Tearoom mysteries really tries and gives you a feel for Oxford as a city, so I can imagine it’s fun to read that if you have actually been there. I thought the setting was really well done and it’s such a fun series!
I’ve been thinking about doing some sort of collective review post though. I think I’m just going to try and find some of the books I never wrote reviews for and just write some mini reviews, but a recommendation post like this is also a great idea, especially for anyone looking to try a new genre (in this case cozy mysteries). Cozies really aren’t for me, but I’m glad you’ve enjoyed all of these books so much and found a new genre that you love 🙂
Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Book Review: House of Judges (House of Royals Book 4) by Keary Taylor
It was a fun post to write and I hope I could give some recommendations to others who are new to this genre.
I like your idea of a collective review post! I hope you’ll decide to write that one.
There are some books I never reviewed that I would like to re-read one day and review then. Or maybe at least bring them in the spotlight again, there are some series and books I read years ago that I now hardly ever talk about and would like to tell my current followers about.
Oh, wow! It’s so neat to see a collection of your favourite Cozy Mysteries, Lola, after I’ve been noticing them on your blog so much recently and just starting to become interested in them. If I decide to give the genre a try, I now have a great list of starting points, which is so helpful when navigating so may series and standalones!
I definitely think The Daydreamer Detective sounds (and looks; that’s such a nice cover!) like the one most likely to get me into the genre, and possibly also the one I’d most enjoy, from all of these (although I really love the cover for PPPM and think that sounds like the second one I’d give a try). It’s really neat, as well, that you’ve learnt things and gotten a better understanding of some trades from reading these books- their being set in museums and bakeries and glass shops is so interesting and definitely gives me the sense they have a well built up background.
Romi recently posted…Why is This Night Different From all Other Nights by Lemony Snicket…
I am glad you think it’s a great list and starting point for if you decide to give them a try. I know how lost I was when deciding to give this genre a try, it can be quite overwhelming when branching out into a new genre, so I wanted to share some of my favorites so far for other people who might want to give this series a try.
The Daydreamer Detective is a great read and I also love the cover, it shows it’s a cozy mystery and the setting in japan as well.
The original settings and jobs or hobbies are one of the things I enjoy most about cozies.
I really enjoyed a Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum; I thought this was a great and fun start to a new series. I also really enjoy the Paranormal Mystery series by Victoria Laurie (lots of good spooks in that!). I’ve also just finished Lending a Paw by Laurie Cass, which is also a series starter, and an excellent one. Upon finishing it, I felt like it was one of the most solidly written and and pieced together mysteries I’ve read so far.
I agree the Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum was a great start to the series, looking forward to see how the series develops next!
I’ll have to check out those other two series you mentioned as they both sound great!
Oh I have Pane and Suffering. It went on sale and I snagged it because of seeing it on here 😀 I just love cozy covers. I need to get back into reading them.
anna (herding cats & burning soup) recently posted…4 stars– Beauty and the Highland Beast (A Highland Fairy Tale #1) by Lecia Cornwall
The cover style for cozies is great, they all look so fun and adorable due to those covers. I hope you’ll enjoy pane and Suffering. I need to make time to read book 3 soon, it’s a fun series so far!