Top 3 Picks from a Cozy Mystery Expert

Guest post by our Twitter friend Bella McGuire, Cozy Mystery book reviewerI’ve been reading cozy mysteries for over 20 years now, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen cozy mysteries as popular as they are right now. With several big mystery books slated for their big screen release, like ONE FOR THE MONEY by Janet Evanovich (January 27, 2012), cozy mysteries are more popular than ever.

A cozy mystery is a story involving a murder mystery, that is usually set in a small town and is full of murder, town gossip and sometimes a touch of romance. With so many different genres to choose from, people are flocking to read cozy mysteries. Why? Because they are a fun read, that engages the mind (I just love trying to solve the murder) and provide entertainment.

There is a cozy mystery story to suit every mystery reader. There are cozy mysteries with a culinary theme (set in a bakery or restaurant, and usually include some great recipes to try) or a book setting (such as a librarian or bookseller solving a mystery) and even sport themed books for the male reader and paranormal themed for those that enjoy some witches, ghosts and vampires with their mystery.

My top picks in the cozy mystery genre are:

THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES by Agatha Christie. This is where it started for the infamous Hercule Poirot. A wealthy lady poisoned, a host of possible suspects in the quaint town of Styles St. Mary. It’s up to Poirot, and his mostly inept friend, Arthur Hastings, to solve the case before the murderer strikes again!

MURDER IS BINDING by Lorna Barrett. Lorna Barrett writes some of the very best modern cozy mysteries. Her Booktown Mystery series is set in a town that is full of bookstores. Along with great reads there are great crimes, and it is up to mystery bookstore owner, Tricia Miles, to find the clues and solve the murders. There are five books in this series and I highly recommend every one of them!

TRULY, MADLY by Heather Webber. Like your mysteries with some toe-curling romance? Then I suggest you try Heather Webber’s Lucy Valentine series. I don’t read a lot of romance but every new Lucy Valentine book is atop my must-buy list. There is always a intriguing murder, which Lucy Valentine and her cohort of friends try to solve. Her family will leave you in stitches as they prove how dysfunctional a family of matchmakers can be.

Do you love cozy mysteries as much as Bella does? Why do you think this genre is called “cozy” mystery? What are your favorites?

*Note* The above blog post is a guest blog from our Twitter friend Bella. This content does not necessarily reflect the views of Better World Books (as our lawyers make sure we say). We love having guest bloggers and invite you to email if you are interested in covering a book or topic on the BWB Blog. Thank you, Bella!


  1. Wow–I’m honored to be mentioned in the same post with Agatha Christie and my Cozy Chicks blog sister Heather Webber. Thank you!

  2. Congrats to Lorna and Heather! Love both books.

  3. Lynda Turpin says:

    Great choices. My first introduction to cozies was Heather’s Truly, Madly. It is so awesome and I have since read all the Lucy books and am waiting for her first Wishcraft book to come out in January.

    Through Heather I found Lorna’s books and love the Booktown series. They are wonderful. I have also read everything I can find by Leann Sweeney and Ellery Adams/Jennifer Stanley as well, and am working my way through books by the other “Cozy Chicks”. It’s a fun way to spend a day.

  4. Lynda Turpin says:

    Oh, and I forgot to mention that Heather Webber’s Nina Quinn series is also awesome and well worth reading.

  5. Excellent review,Lorna Barrett and Heather Webber deserve a wider audience,to be mentioned in tandem with Agatha Christie, the Grande Dame of murder mysteries is praise indeed.

  6. Thanks so much, Bella! I’m honored, too. Amazing company. Big smiles here.

  7. Great post. I have been told by numerous agents that cozy mysteries don’t sell. I have found, like you, that they seem to be more popular than ever.

  8. Bettie KIeffer says:

    Perfect choice I read or have read all three.

  9. Bettie Kieffer says:

    Perfect Choices. I love them all.

  10. Ann,

    That agent isn’t correct. They’re selling very well.

    Congrats to Lorna and Heather. I’ve read their books and am a fan!


  11. Richard Houston says:

    Ironically, I wrote a cozy mystery and didn’t even know it until I saw a review on a Cozy Mystery site. And did it sell? Well it hit number 26 on Amazon’s top mystery list and stayed there for a month.


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