From the time I could read, my life has been consumed by books. I remember my mom reading the American Girl series to me when I was just beginning to read picture books. I was so impatient to read it myself, and dreamt of the day when I could read a “big book” by myself. Fast forward about 15 years, and I was in college regularly reading 2 (required) books a week, some of which topped out at over 1000 pages. I still loved books, but damn was I burnt out.
While I still read a ton of books for grad school and work, I definitely don’t read as much for pleasure as I used to. Partly because my brain needs a break from “serious literature”, and partly because it’s so hard to find time to read for fun.
Enter cozy mysteries.
If you haven’t ever heard of or read a cozy mystery, then you are missing out, my friend. These books are the perfect match for the stressed out, overworked book lover. Cozy mysteries (as you may have guessed) are a subgenre of mysteries that are just a bit gentler than your normal slasher fare. The protagonist is usually a woman, and she’s usually kick-ass.
Cozy mysteries generally center around a theme: there are tea shop cozies, cat cozies, cooking cozies, and cozies for just about every craft you can think of.
As with other genres, quality of cozy mysteries can vary widely, so definitely do your research before diving in. To get you started, I’d like to introduce you to a series of cozy mysteries that definitely won’t disappoint:
Mary Marks’s Quilting Mysteries represent the best of the genre: they’re funny, well-paced, and well-written. Martha Rose, the lead character, is awesome and so relatable. She’s a fifty-something quilter who struggles with her weight (as a fellow Weight Watchers devotee I feel her struggle whenever she’s confronted with an apple fritter!), and is navigating the dating world post-divorce. Martha also has an unfortunate penchant for discovering dead bodies. Fortunately, her knowledge of quilts and excellent people skills help her find clues that the police miss. As a bonus, each book also includes quilting tips at the end. I always love reading Mary Marks’s books with a big cup of tea beside me (and ok, occasionally an apple fritter as well). They’re fun and light-hearted while still being intelligently written. Plus, you can’t beat those punny titles.
I’m always looking for new things to read, so please tell me about your favorite cozies! And if you haven’t tried any yet, get reading!