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Tuesday, October 04, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Cozy Mysteries I'm Dying to Read

Like any bookworm, I love me a store full of books. I can't resist them and I rarely leave without buying at least one new volume. My local indie, Changing Hands, is a wonderful place to browse for new reading material as well as a great place to trade used books for store credit (which I do at least once a year). I've been to some other well-known bookshops: the Strand (New York City), Powell's Books (Portland, Oregon), and Shakespeare and Company (Paris, France). My family and I visited Paris last year around this time, when there were still COVID restrictions in place. The store was limiting how many people could be inside at one time and there was already a long line to get in, so I wasn't able to actually go inside the famous shop, but I did see it, so I'm counting it! I don't have a bookstore bucket list (Maybe I should start one?), so I got nothin' for this week's prompt—Top Ten Favorite Bookstores OR Bookstores I'd Like to Visit. No matter, I'll just twist it up a little bit.

I adore a good cozy mystery any time of year, but Fall seems like the best time to read them. I've noticed many that are set in bookshops and libraries. I've yet to find a good bookish cozy series that I love, but there are a number of them on my TBR list that I hope will fit the bill. Please suggest any that are not on my list and I'll check them out.

Don't forget to click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl and give our lovely host, Jana, some love. If you want to join in the TTT fun (which you definitely do!), all the details are on her blog.

Top Ten Bookish Cozy Mysteries I Want to Read 

1. The Cracked Spine by Paige Shelton—The first installment in the Scottish Bookshop series, this one tells the story of a woman from Kansas who, on a whim, applies for a job at a bookstore in Scotland. Naturally, the place is filled with quirky book people and tantalizing secrets. When a valuable artifact goes missing and a woman is killed, it also becomes a place where murder is fact instead of just fiction.

2. Crime and Poetry by Amanda Flower—I love Flower's Amish Candy Shop mystery series, so I'm sure to dig this one. In this opener to the Magical Bookshop series, Violet Waverly is called back to Michigan to help her ailing grandmother with her bookstore. When she sees that the woman is in perfect health, she realizes she's been tricked into coming home. Although she's determined to head right back to Chicago, Violet can't leave after a murder happens in the shop. She has to stay and clear her grandmother's name.

3. The Plot Is Murder by V.M. Burns—What is it with Michigan and people getting murdered in bookstores? Yikes! In this initial installment of the Mystery Bookshop series, Samantha Washington is about to make her dream of owning a bookstore come true. At the same time, she's writing a historical cozy mystery in which her heroine investigates a puzzling murder. Art starts to imitate life when Samantha discovers a dead realtor in her backyard. In order to prove her innocence, she'll have to play amateur sleuth and find the real killer.

4. Death On Demand by Carolyn G. Hart—Annie Laurance's bookstore, Death on Demand, isn't located in Michigan (it's in South Carolina), but it still becomes the site of a baffling murder. In this 1987 series opener, a famous mystery author is killed in the bookstore and Annie must figure out whodunit.

5. Guidebook to Murder by Lynn Cahoon—The Tourist Trap mystery series has been recommended to me by multiple bloggers. This series opener introduces Jill Gardner, who owns Books, Coffee, and More in a quaint California tourist town. She's struggling to keep her business afloat when an elderly friend dies suddenly, leaving Jill her crumbling old house. The dilapidated home isn't the only thing she's been gifted, though—along with the old lady's abode, Jill seems to have inherited her secrets and enemies as well. Suspecting her friend was murdered, the bookshop owner launches her own investigation into the death.

6. Murder By the Book by Lauren Elliott—When Addie Greyborne inherits her aunt's home in the colonial New England town founded by their ancestors, she sees it as a chance to escape sour memories and start over. With her aunt's collection of rare books, Addie has enough inventory to start her own shop, Beyond the Page Bookstore. Unfortunately, her new life is not going as smoothly as planned. When Addie's friend is arrested for murder, she knows she can't stand idly by. She has to clear her friend's name, even if it means risking her own neck. 

7. By Book Or By Crook by Eva Gates—Lighthouses have always fascinated me, so I love that this series features a lighthouse library. How fun is that? In this first installment, Lucy retreats to the Outer Banks to lick her wounds and gets a job as a librarian. She soon finds herself investigation both a book theft and a murder.

8. The Case of the Missing Books by Ian Ransom—Speaking of book thefts, this first installment in the Mobile Library Mystery series concerns a truckload of missing books. It's up to Israel Armstrong, the new mobile librarian to figure out what happened to his inventory.

9. Murder Past Due by Miranda James—This series features another male lead, Charlie Harris, and his pet coon cat, Diesel. In this first book, the pair are investigating the murder of a best-selling author, whose jerkiness has finally caught up to him.

10. Buried in a Book by Lucy Arlington—When journalist Lila Wilkins loses her job, she accepts an internship at a North Carolina literary agency. Lila's thrilled at the idea of being paid to read, but when an author drops dead in the agency's waiting room, she finds herself in the middle of a disturbing real life crime. Who offed the unfortunate writer?

There you are, ten bookish cozy mysteries on my TBR list. Have you read any of them? Which bookish cozy series are your faves? Did you feature bookstores on your list today? Which do you love/dream of visiting? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!


  1. I noticed a lot of people pivot to this topic and use cozy mysteries. I haven't read any cozy mysteries and most of the books I've read don't have bookshops, lol. Maybe, I should try reading something from this genre. :D

    My TTT

    1. You should! I use to rag on cozies all the time because they're so often silly, unrealistic, and just kind of eyeroll-worthy in general. In recent years, though, I've come to appreciate them for what they are—light, entertaining reads that are clean, upbeat, and fun. If you don't take them too seriously, they're actually very enjoyable!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Jenni!

  2. Ooh, such a great twist! I love a good cozy and am adding some of these to my TBR too. :)

    1. I hope you enjoy the ones you read. Be sure to come back and let me know which are worth the read and which aren't.

      Thanks for popping in, Heidi!

  3. Deanne Patterson04 October, 2022 16:53

    I am loving your cozy mystery list here. I have devoted October to reading as many cozies as I can , have read 2 so far but my other book review requirements seem to be getting in the way of me reading as many as I'd like to. I still have some cozies from last year to review from NetGalley. Love Eva Gates,Cleo Coyle,Laura Childs,Krista Davis,Daryl Wood Gerber,Lyn Cahoon and lots more authors for the cozies. Berkley,St. Martin's Press and Kensington have lots of great ones on NetGalley. Enjoy all the goodies and have a great week.

    1. What a fun reading goal for October! I don't tend to binge-read cozies as I like to read them in between heavier books as a palatte cleanser. I haven't read most of the authors you mentioned, so I'll have to check those out. And, yes, I have noticed a lot of cozies on NG lately, which is always nice.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deanne!

  4. This is such a perfect twist for today’s post! I love cozy mysteries and haven’t read any featuring bookstores or libraries, but this sounds like such an appealing idea!

    1. Even though I knew there were a lot of cozies with bookish themes, I was still surprised by how many I found. Many more than I knew about. I'm excited to explore them all, LOL.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leah!

  5. I'm not really into cozy mysteries anymore, but I remember reading the Carolyn Hart books and enjoying them. Fun list!

    1. Oh, good! I hadn't heard of her before I started Googling bookish cozy mysteries, but this series sounds like a fun one. Hopefully, my library has the books even though they're older.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cindy!

  6. I like what you said about Cozy Mysteries during the Fall season. Maybe that will be my shove to find a Cozy to try this year.

    1. Ha ha. Well, they're not everyone's thing and that's okay. I didn't learn to appreciate them until recently.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Anne!

  7. I don't read many cozies, but they sure do come up with clever titles - so many puns and rhymes! Hope you have a great week and time to enjoy a good book.
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

    1. Right? Cozy title writers are so creative and sometimes super clever. Even the cheesy ones (maybe especially the cheesy ones?) make me smile.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Terrie!

  8. I haven't read any of these, but they do look like fun. Especially that Mobile Library one.

    1. Agreed! I've never been inside a mobile library, but they sound awesome. Maybe a bit claustrophobic, but still very cool.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lark!

  9. All of these sound like so much fun. I love cozies. I have By Book or by Crook here. I just need to make time to read it.

    Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog.

    1. BY BOOK OR BY CROOK is only a couple bucks on Kindle right now at Amazon. I think I'm going to go ahead and buy it; maybe that will get me to actually read it already...I've checked it out from the library more than once and had to return it before getting the chance to read it. It sounds so fun. I just need to make the time, you know?

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cheryl!

  10. I love your twist on the topic! It's fun seeing everyone's different interpretations on the prompt (:

    1. For sure! That's one of my favorite things about TTT, seeing what everyone does with the same prompt. It's fun to see all the varying responses.

      Thanks for stopping by, Erin!

  11. I haven't read many cozy mysteries, but I do like them. And I'd like to read some set in a bookstore, that sounds like fun.

    1. I read a fair amount of cozies, but I should read more since they just make me smile. I need more happy books in my life, LOL!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Wendy!

  12. I have to admit that I had to do a fair bit of research to find bookshops. I love your cosy mystery list. I love the covers for a cosy.

    Have a great week!

    Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog

    1. Makes sense. There are tons of bookstores out there (although there are definitely fewer than there used to be) and only a handful are famous enough to really be household names (at least in bookish houses). I've learned about plenty this week that I had never heard of before. That's the beauty of TTT!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Emily!

  13. You're right, there is something perfect about reading a cozy mystery in the fall! I find so many are actually set in the fall, so maybe that's what it is.

    Thanks for stopping by my post earlier.

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

    1. Very true! Those cozy Fall covers are my favorite, too.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Pam!

  14. These all look like such fun reads. :)

    My post:

    1. I agree. That's what I love about cozies—they're just fun. They're far-fetched, zany, and faintly ridiculous, but still so light and entertaining!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lydia!

  15. Love this list! My favorite cozy mysteries are the bookish-themed ones so lots of these are going on my TBR. :)

    1. Bookish books will never stop appealing to me. I'm guessing that's true for most, if not all, book lovers. Glad you found some new ones for your TBR. Let me know what you think of the ones you read.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Suzanne!

  16. Great list, Susan! I am HOPING to read Crime and Poetry before the end of the year (for one of my challenges). It is literally sitting next to me, I just need the time to get to it!!!

    1. I've been meaning to read it for forever. I think I even have a copy around here somewhere. Sounds like we both just need to read it already! I hope we enjoy it :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cindy!

  17. All of these covers make me want to sit by a fire with hot cocoa -- too bad it's still in the 70's here. I'll have to wait for that. Great list!

    1. Right? It's in the 80s here, which is better than the 100s but still! Ugh. I can't wait until it cools off here.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deanna!

  18. I don't think I've ever read a cozy mystery, but I love the clever titles!

    1. Once you embrace the fact that cozies are far-fetched and a little (sometimes a lot) silly, they're actually lots of fun. I use them as palette cleansers between heavier reads or when I just need a light, easy read. And, I agree, the titles are always fun.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Helen!

  19. Same as you, I wouldn't have found enough books to go on that list but I could give you some hints whenever you come back to Europe.
    And your topic is very nice for this season which I love.
    Thanks for visiting my my TTT this week which is on books about bookshops.

    1. My husband and I really want to go back to Europe. We're tentatively planning a trip for next year to revisit Scotland, England, and Wales. We may travel with some relatives who used to live in Germany, so who knows where else our travels may take us? I'd love to visit you in person. We'll see what happens!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Marianne!

    2. It would be fantastic to meet you. Let me know as soon as you know whether you come to Germany or anywhere nearby, it would be great to see each other.

  20. Im such a big cozy fan, especially in autumn! Amanda Flower is one of my absolute favourite cozy authors so I hope you like that one!

    1. I love her Amish Candy Shop series, but I wasn't wild about FARM TO TROUBLE, so I won't continue with that series. This bookshop one sounds fun. I'm also interested in her Amish Matchmaker series since it's set in the same place as the Candy Shop ones (I think, anyway).

      I hope you enjoy lots of fun cozy reading this Fall! Thanks for coming by and commenting. Next time, leave your blog URL so I can make sure I comment back :)

  21. I love that first one because Scotland. :) And the Gates series I've always thought sounded fun too. I like cozies so it's weird I don't read them more! I was a few years ago but I guess I've been reading so many thrillers and whatnot lately I've been skimpin on the cozies!

    1. Ha ha. I get you. Mysteries/thrillers are my favorite, so I always read heavily in that genre. I started picking up cozies when my mystery/thriller reading got too dark. They're great palette cleansers. Plus, they're fast, easy reads that make me smile and sometimes that's the kind of book I need, you know?

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Greg!

  22. I have read seven of these books and enjoyed them all. I think my favourite is Eva Gates series, but to be fair, that is the only one that I have read all of them. I hope you give a few of these a try and find a series you want to continue reading, Susan.

    1. I'm not surprised you've read so many of these! The Gates series does sound super fun. I've got the first one on my Kindle; I just need to find time to read it. I love that cozies are such fast, easy reads. It makes them easy to squeeze in between other reads.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Carla!

  23. Great spin on this topic! I've been reading the Eva Gates series and have really been enjoying them and have enjoyed several others you mention. I hope you get to these soon!

    1. Oh, good, I'm glad you also like the Gates series. Sounds like that's where I need to start with this list. I have the first one. I just need to read it already! Ha ha.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Katherine!

  24. By Book or By Crook definitely catches my eye for the lighthouse setting. P.D. James has a closed room mystery that takes place in a lighthouse that has always been one of my favorites of hers.

  25. Oh love this! I've been meaning to try some cozy mysteries for a while now. The Plot Is Murder looks fun!

  26. Cozy mysteries are the best. I read some books by Julianna Deering a long time ago that I'd put in this category and they were some of my favorite reads at the time. :) Thanks so much for visiting my website on this week. I appreciate that!


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