Cozy Mysteries for Cold Nights | Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library

Cozy Mysteries for Cold Nights

Cozy Mysteries for Cold Nights

A cozy mystery is a subgenre of crime fiction that gives us a chance to solve a murder without the graphic sex or violence.  The emphasis is on the plot and characters rather than on the gory details of the murder itself, which usually occurs off-stage. Many times, the sleuth is a woman, and the setting is a small town or village with relatable townsfolk.  Jessica Fletcher from Cabot Cove is a prime example of a cozy mystery heroine.

Many times, cozy mysteries are part of a series of books, and over the series, readers become emotionally invested in the characters.  Opening a new book in the series feels like a trip to one’s hometown. Readers live vicariously through the protagonist, watching an average person solve murder after murder.  They’re great books to curl up in a comfy chair under a warm blanket by the fireplace. Bonus points if there is a dog at your feet or a cat side-eyeing you from the back of your chair.

Check out some of MPHPL’s cozy mysteries!

A classic cozy mystery series by the legendary Agatha Christie

A stunning omnibus that gathers together every short story featuring one of Agatha Christie's most famous creations, Miss Marple. Described by her friend Dolly Bantry as “the typical old maid of fiction,” Miss Marple has lived almost her entire life in the sleepy hamlet of St. Mary Mead. Yet, by observing village life she has gained an unparalleled insight into human nature -- and used this incredible ability to ferret our murderers and solve crimes. As her friend Sir Henry Clithering, the ex-Commissioner of Scotland Yard has been heard to say, “She's just the finest detective God ever made."

Here’s the latest in the series No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency 

When Mma Potokwane suggests to Mma Ramotswe that she run for a seat on the City Council, Mma Ramotswe is at first unsure. But when she learns about the proposed construction of the flashy Big Fun Hotel next to a graveyard, she allows herself to be persuaded. Her opponent is none other than Violet Sephotho, who is in the pocket of the hotel developers. Although Violet is intent on using every trick in the book to secure her election, Mma Ramotswe refuses to promise anything beyond what she can deliver--hence her slogan: "I can't promise anything--but I shall do my best." To everyone's surprise, she wins. As it turns out, politics does not agree with Mma Ramotswe. Though everyone is supportive, she eventually resigns. She thinks there will be a new election, but she discovers that the rules state that in such an event, the runner-up automatically takes the seat. Violet is triumphant, and sure that she will get the Big Fun Hotel planning application through without a hitch. But Mma Makutsi and Mma Potokwane are not about to make it easy for her. Through it all, Mma Ramotswe uses her good humor and generosity of spirit to help the community navigate divisive issues, and proves that honesty and compassion will always carry the day.

Speaking of Jessica Fletcher, here is the latest Murder, She Wrote

Jessica Fletcher has had plenty to worry about over her storied career, both as a bestselling novelist and as a part-time sleuth. But she's never had any reason to doubt her longtime publisher and trusted friend, Lane Barfield. When mounting evidence of financial malfeasance leads to an FBI investigation of Lane, Jessica can't believe what she's reading. So when it appears that Barfield has committed suicide, Jessica takes on the task of clearing his name. Sure enough, Jessica turns up several inconsistencies in the case against Barfield, as well as signs he might have been murdered. Jessica knows something is being covered up but what exactly? At the heart of her investigation is a manuscript Barfield had intended to publish, after all other publishers had turned it down. The problem is the manuscript has disappeared, with all traces of its submission and very existence having been wiped off the books.

Cozy mystery booklist at MPHPL

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