It’s the beginning of a new year. It’s the perfect time to reset, relax, and read a light mystery or two. The perfect antidote for all that stress of the new year is a light, cozy mystery. These books feature quirky characters, cute little towns, locally owned businesses, and, oh yeah, lots of murders to solve. The most rewarding thing about picking up these light mysteries is knowing that the detective (or amateur detective) will always find a way to crack the case. But how exactly will they do it? You’ll have to read to find out.
A burnt-out writer’s retreat at a fancy Swiss hotel is interrupted by a murder mystery in this metafictional, meticulously crafted whodunit from the New York Times bestselling author of The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair.
A writer named Joël, Switzerland’s most prominent novelist, flees to the Hôtel de Verbier, a luxury resort in the Swiss Alps. Disheartened over a recent breakup and his longtime publisher’s death, Joël hopes to rest. However, his plans quickly go awry. It all starts with a seemingly innocuous detail: at the Verbier, there is no room 622.
Before long, Joël and fellow guest Scarlett uncover a long-unsolved murder that transpired in the hotel's room 622. The attendant circumstances: the succession of Switzerland’s largest private bank, a mysterious counterintelligence operation called P-30, and a most disreputable sabotage of hotel hospitality. A European phenomenon, The Enigma of Room 622 is a matryoshka doll of intrigue–as precise as a Swiss watch–and Dicker’s most diabolically addictive thriller yet.
If you’re a fan of cozy mysteries like Agatha Christie’s classic Miss Marple series, then you have to pick up this short story anthology, Marple: Twelve New Mysteries. This is a collection of twelve new, original short stories all featuring Agatha Christie’s beloved character Jane Marple. Marple includes some of today’s biggest names in fiction, crime fiction, mysteries, and thrillers, including Ruth Ware, Alyssa Cole, Lucy Foley, and more.
Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.
Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection.
But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?
Blackmail and Bibingka is another fun mystery from Mia P. Manansala’s Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery series. Lila Macapal knows her cousin Ronnie brings trouble with him everywhere he goes. Now Ronnie is back in town after fifteen years of no contact with his family, and Lila is bracing herself for the worst, even though Tita Rosie is super excited about her prodigal son’s return. Lila doesn’t want to be proven right, but when Ronnie is accused of murder, Lila has to ask herself: is her cousin innocent? Or could he really be capable of murder?
Mysteries don’t get cozier than a Books & Biscuits Mystery. Soul of a Killer is the latest from Abby Collette’s series following Keaton and Koby, twin brothers trying to run their combined soul food café and bookstore. Business has been good, and yet trouble always seems to find the twins anyway. After Koby’s foster mom Mama Zola brings a peach cobbler to the church potluck, someone who sampled the cobbler is found dead. Now Mama Zola is a murder suspect, and Koby and Keaton will have to find the real killer to get Mama Zola out of hot water.
Vinyl Resting Place is the first in a new cozy mystery series from Olivia Blacke. Sisters Juni, Tansy, and Maggie Jessup have just opened their own record-slash-coffee-shop in Cedar River, Texas. Of course, starting a small business is hard, but the sisters never could have anticipated finding a dead body in the supply closet. Suddenly the Jessups find themselves in the middle of a murder investigation, and their uncle is arrested as the prime suspect. Now it’s up to the sisters to save their uncle and their record shop by figuring out whodunit before the killer’s trail (and the coffee) gets cold.
Calypso, Corpses, and Cooking starts during a cozy fall festival in Coral Shores, Miami. But everything goes terribly wrong when Cuban-American cooking-show star Miriam Quiñones-Smith wakes up to find a dead body in her front yard. Unfortunately, this won’t be the last dead body Miriam will come across during the festivities. Who is responsible for these deaths? And how are they connected?
Everyone in my family has killed someone. Some of us, the high achievers, have killed more than once. I’m not trying to be dramatic, but it is the truth. Some of us are good, others are bad, and some just unfortunate.
I’m Ernest Cunningham. Call me Ern or Ernie. I wish I’d killed whoever decided our family reunion should be at a ski resort, but it’s a little more complicated than that.
Have I killed someone? Yes. I have.
Who was it?
Let’s get started.
Death of a Traitor is the latest book in M.C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth Mystery series. Hamish Macbeth is the most quick-witted and least ambitious policeman in all of Scotland. In this novel, he’s called to investigate the disappearance of local woman Kate Hibbert. While Kate has only been a resident of the sleepy village of Lochdubh for a year, she’s already made quite a few enemies. In fact, when her neighbors see Kate lugging her suitcase to the bus stop, they can’t help but hope she’ll be leaving for good. Then two weeks later, Kate’s cousin arrives in town claiming Kate has gone missing. And as Hamish Macbeth investigates the case, he starts to suspect Kate might not be quite who she appeared.
Who is stalking Florence Nightingale and her nurses? Is it the legendary Beast of the Crimea, or someone closer to home? In 1855, Britain and France are fighting to keep the Russians from snatching the Crimean Peninsula from the Ottoman Empire, and the wealthy young society woman has made it her mission to improve the wretched conditions in the British military hospitals in Turkey—despite fierce objections from the male doctors around her. When Nightingale’s young women start turning up dead, their mouths sewn shut with embroidered fabric roses, Inspector Charles Field (a real-life police detective who was also the model for Charles Dickens’s Inspector Bucket in Bleak House), is sent from England to find the killer among the doctors, military men, journalists, and others swarming Turkey’s famous Barrack Hospital. Here Field meets both the famous Nightingale as well as Nurse Jane Rolly, the woman who will become his wife, and as he races to protect them, the prime suspect takes his own life. Case closed. Or is it?
Twelve years later, back in London, amidst the turmoil surrounding the expansion of voting rights, women again start turning up dead, their mouths again covered by the telltale embroidered rose. Did Field suspect the wrong man before, or is he dealing with a deviant copycat? Either way, he must race against time to stop the killer before more bodies turn up, and before his own daughter loses her life.
What to Read Next
Emily Martin has a PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi. She’s a contributing editor at Book Riot and blogs/podcasts at Book Squad Goals.