I enjoy cozy mysteries. The past two years I’ve created posts with some of my favorites—see the round up from 2013 and my list from 2014. Cozies are perfect for teens as most of the violence happens off page. Cozies center around relationships: friends, family, romantic interests, and of course suspects. Many take place in a small town or close-knit communities where everyone knows everyone and their business. Plus most cozies are part of series, so once a year you get to hang out with old friends.
Books that make your mouth water:
Final Sentence by Daryl Wood Gerber
Jenna Hart comes home to launch a new business with her aunt – a cookbook store and cafe. She asks her old roommate and celebrity chef to appear for the grand opening of the store. Unfortunately, her friend is murdered and Jenna is the prime suspect. In order to clear her name, Jenna starts digging around for the truth.
Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander
With her marriage on the rocks, Juliet Capshaw returns home to the family bakery, hoping the trip home will help her answer questions in her personal life. When a community member is killed in the bakery, Juliet teams up with her old high school boyfriend to help catch a killer.
Criminal Confections by Colette London
Hayden Mundy Moore is a chocolate expert. Companies hire her to develop new products and create the best chocolates for their customers. While at a chocolate retreat, her friend ODs on a secret ingredient in a new chocolate line. Her death is ruled an accident, but Hayden isn’t convinced. She pokes around until she realizes that she may have been the target of the attack and not her friend. Hayden vows to uncover the truth as a last gift for her friend.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke
Hannah Swensen owns the Cookie Jar, a popular bakery in town. When her delivery man is murdered outside her building with cookie crumbs sprinkled around him, it could be very bad for business. Hannah snoops around town to uncover clues and restore her bakery’s good name.
* The Hallmark Channel movie of this book and an upcoming Christmas book might also entice teen readers.
Nightmares Can Be Murder by Mary Kennedy
Taylor moves to Savannah to help her sister with her struggling candy store. Ali’s grateful for her sister’s help. She also wants to uncover why her sister can’t dream. She invites Taylor to her dream club where a group of women eat fantastic desserts and talk about their dreams. One woman claims to see a dream from the future – a murder. Could it be a coincidence that a murder takes place almost exactly as seen in the dream?
Books with a side of work:
Truly, Madly by Heather Webber
Lucy’s father has a talent that’s shared by blood relatives – except for Lucy. Instead of seeing love matches through auras, she can find lost objects. When her father’s caught having an affair, things heat up for the family business. Mr. and Mrs. Valentine head off for a tropical vacation, leaving Lucy in charge of the matchmaking business. Lucy’s never wanted to run the business. In meeting with a client, she discovers a missing item of his is on a dead women buried in the park. With the help of the young private investigator who works upstairs, she uncovers the body and uncovers a whole web of lies to untangle. Can she find the murderer before the police go after her or her client?
The Diva Runs out of Thyme by Krista Davis
Sophie and her childhood rival Natasha have been going head to head for years. Sophie is determined to win this round and the top prize of the Stupendous Stuffing Shakedown. Unfortunately during her quest to create the perfect stuffing, she comes across a dead body. When the police find her name and photo among the deceased’s items, they begin to suspect her of murder. Can Sophie clear her name?
High End Finish by Kate Carlisle
Shannon came home to take over the family contracting business. Shannon couldn’t be happier, until she’s forced to go on a blind date. It doesn’t end well and after she kicks him in the shin, she threatens to kill him if he comes near her again. The next day she finds his body at one of her work sites. She calls the police who find the murder weapon to be a pink tool – one of hers. She’s taken down to the station and interviewed for hours. When more bodies pile up, all the evidence points towards her. Can she uncover the real murderer before her enemy ends her?
Grace Under Pressure by Julie Hyzy
Grace works at Marshfield Manor as the assistant curator. She’s still within her probationary period, when she’s called downstairs to handle an unruly guest in the tea room. Non one realizes that he’s providing an excellent diversion. The real action is happening upstairs in the private wing of the manor. Abe, the head curator, is murdered in a case of mistaken identity. Now, Grace decides it’s up to her to take control of the manor. Frustrated with the police, Grace attempts to put the pieces together from the crime. Will she turn up old family secrets that should remain hidden?
~ Jennifer Rummel currently reading Bodice of Evidence by Nancy J. Parra