Cozy mysteries have been around for a long time, but they are a relatively new-to-me sub-genre of interest. A cozy mystery, or “cozies,” as the cool kids call them, is a crime fiction sub-genre. All of the sex and violence happens off the page. The detective is of the amateur variety, and the setting is typically a small town. As its name would imply, a cozy paranormal mystery has an element of supernatural creatures, beings, or events.
I read my first paranormal cozy mystery back when COVID-19 caused our original lockdown situation. The stress and feeling of impending doom made reading challenging for me. I tried reading authors that had worked for me in the past, I tried reading old comfort re-reads that usually shake me from a reading funk, but nothing worked for me. This was distressing because reading is often the distraction I need from reality when things feel out of control. As a last-ditch effort to get some relief, I decided to try something entirely new for me. I've always been a fan of procedural TV shows, and I love a good crime mystery, but my soul was just not up to the task of reading gore and violence on the page. Stories with a hint of magic always score a win for me, so I sallied forth to find something new. That was the best reading decision I'd made in months—reading slump busted! Take a look at some of the books I've read and enjoyed. If cozies are new to you, too, give one a look!
Witch Hunt by Cate Conte is filled with compelling characters, healing crystals, fabulous twists, and red herrings galore! Violet Mooney owns The Full Moon crystal shop in the quaint little town of North Harbor, Connecticut. She's lived with her grandmother, her last surviving relative, since her youth, along with her fat tabby cat, Monty. The unexpected death of her grandmother sends her into a bit of a tailspin. To make the grieving process worse, her boyfriend has started acting weird, and her town nemesis turned up dead after a very public argument in the local coffee shop. Things are just not going well for Violet, and then she starts mysteriously jumping time and space. Violet's life gets incredibly complicated, real quick, when her long lost mother shows back up on the scene. Now Violet has to get her once-dormant mystical powers in check while trying to prove her innocence. Oh, and apparently, a large chunk of her sleepy little town has mystical powers too! Who can Violet trust when she discovers her whole life was a lie? Friends, I picked a great book to start my cozy paranormal reading adventures—Witch Hunt hooked me from page one!
What Not to Wear to a Graveyard by Debra Sennefelder is a quick read novella staring Kelly Quinn, former Manhattanite, now small town Lucky Cove resident. Kelly has big plans for her grandmother's consignment shop, starting with a 70s themed Halloween party. News of a socialite's missing dog and its generous reward for safe return has a busy Kelly reluctantly on the search. While out scouting locations for a fashion shoot, Kelly discovers more than she bargained for! Not only does she find the missing pooch, but she turns up the murdered owner, too! To make her sleuthing even more treacherous, Kelly must contend with a creepy clown and a menacing bearded lady while planning her Halloween party! A whole lot happens in this short read! The pages and the story will fly by.
Grave Sight is by an author many of us know from non-cozy paranormals, Charlaine Harris. Having watched and read True Blood's entirety, I was shocked to discover this 2005 series from Harris. Let's be honest, True Blood is the absolute opposite of cozy paranormal mystery, no? Grave Sight is the first in her four-book Harper Connelly series, and it does not disappoint. Set in a small town in the Ozarks called Sarne, Harper Connelly uses her mystical abilities to find dead people. It may be a small town, but it's full of secrets, and people start turning up dead faster than Harper can find them. No one is safe, and no one is above suspicion.
Abby Cooper: Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie is the first in the Psychic Eye series that is sixteen books deep! Abbie is a P.I., a psychic intuitive. Her insight failed her when she didn't force the death of one of her clients. She also didn't see her gorgeous blind date turning out to be the lead investigator on the case! With the police doubting her abilities and killer on the loose, Abby's future is as uncertain as it is unsettling...
If you're on the hunt for a new sub-genre, give cozies a chance. If you want something a little mystical or spooky just in time for Halloween season, look no further than cozy paranormals!
Psst! Did you know that the keywords: Cozy and Paranormal are just two of the 350+ keywords on Book+Main Bites? You can search them individually, or together, to find the perfect cozy paranormal to read!
Donna should be an empty nester, but she's not, thanks COVID-19. She's a voracious reader of all books; she can't pick just one sub-genre. A staunch supporter of seasoned romance and a lover of cupcakes, you'll often find her with a cup of tea and a mountainous TBR pile close at hand. Follow her @DonnaSoluri on B+M Bites.
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