There’s almost nothing better on a cold night than snuggling up with a book and a hot cup of tea. If you’re the type who loves a good whodunit but you’re looking for something less intense than, say, Gone Girl, you might consider giving a “cozy” mystery a try. Cozy mysteries typically follow a female amateur detective who finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation, often with a side of romance, a cast of kooky characters, a charming small-town community, and sometimes a dash of magic.
If your ears pricked up at the mention of magic, consider picking up one of these paranormal mystery series for that aforementioned snuggling. These four cozy mystery series are the perfect quick reads for nights when you want to read something that will wrap your brain in warm fuzzies.
Magic Potion Mysteries, Heather Blake
This lighthearted series recently kicked off with A Potion to Die For. Carly Hartwell, owner of a magic potion shop in the small town of Hitching Post, Alabama, is caught up in a murder after the victim is discovered in her store. Like most cozy mystery heroines, Carly’s close family is quirky and entertaining. Her complicated relationship with her cousin, however, lends some personality to the story. Add a bit of Southern charm and a fast-paced mystery and you’ve got yourself a promising start to a book series.
A second novel set in Carly’s world, One Potion in the Grave, is due out in October.
The Wishcraft Mysteries, Heather Blake
Before she started writing Carly’s adventures, author Heather Blake penned the Wishcraft Mysteries, starting with It Takes a Witch. Small town? Check. Charming little shop? Check. A well-thought-out magic system that is used well in the series’ stories? Check! With wishcrafters, charmcrafters, floracrafters, and more, you’ll find yourself wanting to read more and more about Darcy Merriweather’s magical world. Oh, and find out whodunit, too.
Magical Bakery Mysteries, Bailey Cates
Arguably the most cozy of the cozy mysteries I’ve read, you can almost smell the sweets baking when you read Brownies and Broomsticks. Again, you’ll find small-town charm, a murder mystery, and a kindhearted aunt, but Katie Lightfoot is an easily likable protagonist who stands out from the amateur sleuth crowd.
Family Fortune Mysteries, Dawn Eastman
If you’re on the hunt for a cozy mystery with a lead who’s a little tougher than most, Clyde Fortune of Pall in the Family might be the heroine for you. Unlike the other leading ladies of the cozies listed here, Clyde wants little to do with the world of psychics that is woven into her hometown’s culture. But when she’s caught up in a murder investigation, the abilities that she fights hard to ignore might just help her find the culprit.
Do you have any favorite mystery series, cozy or otherwise? Let us know in the comments below what we should be binge-reading this fall!