The best cosy crime books to curl up with

Cosy mystery books are perfect for crime fans looking for some light-hearted escapism. Here's our edit of the best cosy crime books to curl up with.

2 minutes to read
A country vilage

Full of compelling mysteries, but without the graphic violence of many crime and thriller books, the cosy crime genre is perfect for crime and thriller fans who are looking for some light-hearted escapism. If you prefer a clever whodunnit to a shocking thriller and are a fan of Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club and M.C. Beaton's books, you're sure to enjoy our edit of the best cosy crime books to curl up with. 

For even more crime reads, don’t miss our list of the best crime books of 2021.

Date with Danger

by Julia Chapman

Book cover for Date with Danger

The Dales Detective Agency is about to face its biggest challenge after a fatal accident at Bruncliffe's livestock auction. Detective duo Samson O’Brien and Delilah Metcalfe are called in for a simple health and safety investigation, but things take a dark turn when they discover evidence that points to murder. If you love cosy crime books set in spectacular landscapes, you'll love this intriguing murder mystery.

Date with Deceit

by Julia Chapman

Book cover for Date with Deceit

Escape to the Yorkshire Dales in Julia Chapman's sixth Dales Detective Agency mystery. When Samson O’Brien and Delilah Metcalfe are asked by the town Mayor's wife to investigate his potential infidelity, the duo knows they must tread carefully. Soon, what they thought would be a simple–and safe–case to investigate turns potentially deadly, and O'Brien and Metcalfe find themselves risking their lives on a stakeout. Packed with Chapman's trademark wit and bags of Yorkshire humour Date with Deceit is the perfect escapist read for anyone who loves cosy mysteries and clever whodunnits.   

A Bird in the Hand

by Ann Cleeves

Book cover for A Bird in the Hand

The first book in the George and Molly Palmer-Jones series by Ann Cleeves, author of the Shetland and Vera Stanhope crime novels, deals with a murder in a birdwatching paradise on the Norfolk coast. When elderly birdwatcher George Palmer-Jones and his wife Molly decide to quietly to look into the crime, they get more than they bargained for.

A Little Local Murder

by Robert Barnard

Book cover for A Little Local Murder

This classic small-town murder mystery from Robert Barnard has everything you could ask from from a cosy crime novel.

A radio documentary on the small village of Twytching provokes a fierce rivalry amongst the villagers. Inspector George Parrish is keen to stay out of all the fuss until the murder of one of the villagers and a rash of poison pen letters uncovering secrets about Twytching's leading citizens forces him to get involved.

Dr Finlay's Casebook

by A. J. Cronin

Book cover for Dr Finlay's Casebook

Set in and around the fictional Scottish town of Levenford and village of Tannochbrae during the inter-war years, the classic tales of Dr Finlay, his senior colleague Dr Cameron, and their unruffled housekeeper Janet, remain as heart-warming, funny and touching now as they were upon first publication.

The Human Flies

by Hans Olav Lahlum

Book cover for The Human Flies

Hans Olav Lahlum is a historian, chess player, politician and Norway's answer to Agatha Christie.

This first novel in the series featuring ambitious young detective Inspector Kolbjørn Kristiansen, known as K2, and his precocious young assistant Patricia, is an intriguing murder mystery set in an apartment complex in 1960s Oslo.

The Lavender Ladies Detective Agency: Death in Sunset Grove

by Minna Lindgren

Book cover for The Lavender Ladies Detective Agency: Death in Sunset Grove

There's a mystery to solve at Sunset Grove retirement home and residents Siiri and Irma are about to turn their hand to detective work.

Like a Finnish Miss Marple mystery, the first book in The Lavender Ladies Detective Agency series is perfect for fans of Alexander McCall Smith and Agatha Christie.

The Murder at the Vicarage


Book cover for The Murder at the Vicarage

Agatha Christie is the undisputed queen of detective fiction and her tales of the unlikely amateur sleuth, Miss Jane Marple, are some of her most beloved mysteries.

Murder at the Vicarage marks the debut of Christie’s unflappable female detective. With her gift for sniffing out the ‘wickedness in village life’, Miss Marple is led on her first case to a crime scene at the local vicarage where Colonel Protheroe, the magistrate whom everyone in town hates, has been shot through the head.

Here, Emma shares some of her favourite cosy crime novels:

Book Break - The Best Cosy Crime