Cosy mysteries are my absolute favourite books. I love nothing better than to curl up on the sofa (when everyone else has gone to bed) and share a glass of red with my fave author.
Even just fifteen minutes of being whisked away into another time and place is enough to relax me and put me in a better place.
Following is a biased list of my top 10 faves…
#1: Amelia Peabody by Elizabeth Peters
Thirty-two year-old self-proclaimed spinster Amelia Peabody decides to take her considerable inheritance to Egypt. This series is loved for its independent, sarcastic, strong-willed heroine in her 1880s setting. Best book: Crocodile on the Sandbank.
#2: Agatha Raisin by MC Beaton
Agatha Raisin retires from a high-powered career in public relations at the age of 52 and moves to a cottage in a picturesque English village, which turns out to be not as tranquil as it appears. Best book: The Potted Gardener.
#3: Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
Set in London in 1932, this series features Lady Victoria Georgiana “Georgie” Charlotte Eugenie trying to live as an ordinary person. She’s the cousin of King George V of England, 34th in line for the throne, and flat broke. Best book: Her Royal Spyness.
#4: Cornish Coastpath Mysteries by Jenifer J. Paffett
[Bias alert – of course CCM is going to be one of my favourites!] Thirty-something Pippa Welbury lives in a small cottage overlooking Polperro bay in Cornwall. Working part-time as a vet’s assistant, she spends her time walking her adorable dog Benjamin along the Cornish cliffs and beaches. But sleepy Cornwall is not just a beauty spot, it has its fair share of criminals too as Pippa finds out. Best Book: The Marigold Sightings.
#5: No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
A much-loved and often-celebrated series starring Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s number one (and only) female detective. She’s cunning, engaging, and just wants to help people. Best book: Tears of the Giraffe.
#6: Miss Marple by Agatha Christie
I couldn’t put any list together without the great Agatha Christie; am absolute classic. The series stars the well-known detective Miss Jane Marple. My favorite: The Body in the Library. Best book: Murder at the Vicarage.
#7: The Peter Shandy Mysteries by Charlotte Macleod
The New England writer was nicknamed “America’s Agatha Christie” and penned more than 30 books in her lifetime. MacLeod’s premiere series starred Professor Peter Shandy of Balaclava Agricultural College. Best Book: Vane Pursuit.
#8: The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries by Dorothy Sayers
One of the most beloved mystery series of all time. While working as an advertising copywriter, Dorothy L. Sayers began work on Whose Body?(1923), a mystery novel featuring dapper detective Lord Peter Wimsey. Over the next two decades, Sayers published ten more Wimsey novels and several short stories. Best book: Whose Body?
#9: Wine Country Mysteries by Ellen Crosby
The Virginia wine country mysteries are set in a region of rolling hills, winding country lanes lined by Civil War-era stone walls, and pretty villages. But among the peace and tranquility, vineyard owner Lucie Montgomery uncovers long-buried secrets that lead to murder—and suspects who are family and friends she’s known and loved all her life. Best book: The Champagne Conspiracy.
#10: Hannah Swensen Series by Joanne Fluke
Hannah Swensen is the main protagonist of a literary mystery series about a baker who lives in a small Minnesota town and solves crime. Hannah runs a bakery called The Cookie Jar and solves murders when she is not baking. While the books are mysteries, they also contain a fair amount of comedy and romance as well. You can also find recipes inside the books. Best book: Lemon Meringue Pie Murder.