I just received this letter from a Cozy Mystery Site reader:
“Subject: Help with Author List
Dear Danna: I mostly read Christian fiction because it is clean and glorifies Christ. I read your web page definition of a cozy mystery and it said that “cozy mysteries are considered “gentle” books… no graphic violence, no profanity, and no explicit sex”. I tried a few books from your list and within the first chapter there was profanity. I guess not all authors follow the guidelines for a cozy mystery. If you know of any that are a good clean read please send me a list of the authors that do follow the guidelines.
I appreciate any help you can give me.
Thank you, Tina”
Here is my (+/-) answer:
I know exactly what you are talking about… I recently finished a book by one of my favorite cozy authors, and had that very same problem! I wonder if their publishers tell them to “spice things up” these days…
I just went through the site and found these authors who might be of interest to you. Also, since I initially posted this entry, I have received suggested authors (from Cozy Mystery readers just like you and me!) who I have also included to this entry. (*So, I have not read every book by every author on this list.*)
Hannah Alexander is a writing husband/wife team who write the Hideaway Mystery Series. This Christy award-winning team mixes medical suspence with romance.
Donald Bain & “Jessica Fletcher” write the Murder, She Wrote Mystery Series.
Christy Barritt writes the Squeaky Clean Mystery Series which features the owner of a very unusual business: a crime scene cleaning service. The amateur sleuth almost completed her college degree in forensic science, which comes in very handy while being able to get a first hand view of the evidence!
Ron & Janet Benrey: the Pippa Hunnechurch Mystery Series features an executive recruiter AND the Royal Tunbridge Wells Mystery Series which is set in England and, along with the “real” people features Lapsang & Souchong (2 British Shorthair cats), Cha-Cha (a Shiba Inu… dog) and Earl, an African Grey Parrot. The Benreys also write the Glory, North Carolina Mystery Series, which also belongs on this list.
Susan Bernhardt: Kay Driscoll Mystery Series
Laura Bradford: Amish Mystery Series
Emily Brightwell: Mrs. Jeffries Mystery Series
Lynn Bulock pens the Steeple Hill Cafe Mystery Series. I have not read any of the books yet, but from what I could find, it is a mystery series with a Christian theme.
Anne Canadeo: Black Sheep Knitting Mystery Series (Also co-authors the fiction series “Cape Light” with Thomas Kinkade, as Katherine Spencer.)
JoAnna Carl: Chocoholic Mystery Series
Laurie Cass (aka Laura Alden): Bookmobile Cat Mystery Series
Lynne E. Chandler: Mrs. Baul Investigates: Bishop Kidnapped in Egypt
G. K. Chesterton writes the Father Brown Mystery Series.
Agatha Christie (aka The Queen of Cozy Mysteries!): Miss Marple Mystery Series and Hercule Poirot Mystery Series, Superintendent Battles, and Tommy & Tuppence Mystery Series.
Mary Higgins Clark has written many stand alone mysteries and is one of the authors on the Mystery Writers of America – Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time.
Mindy Starns Clark: the Million Dollar Mystery Series AND the Smart Chick Mystery Series.
Christine E. Collier: the Writer’s Club Mystery Series has four women who make up the club and not only write, but “right” mysteries.
Sheila Connolly: Orchard Mystery Series AND Museum Mystery Series
Alisa Craig (aka Charlotte MacLeod): Inspector Madoc Rhys Mystery Series AND Grub-and-Stakers Mystery Series
Jeanne M. Dams: Dorothy Martin Mystery Series AND Hilda Johansson Mystery Series
Kathie Deviny: Grace Church Mystery Series
Elizabeth J. Duncan: Penny Brannigan Mystery Series
Sharon Dunn writes the Bargain Hunters Mystery Series, as well as the Ruby Taylor Mystery Series. Dunn describes herself as a “Christian author” who mixes the mystery genre with some of the humor you find in “Chick-Lit”.
Monica Ferris: Needlecraft Shop Mystery Series
“Jessica Fletcher” & Donald Bain write the Murder, She Wrote Mystery Series.
Amanda Flower: Appleseed Creek Mystery Series
Joanne Fluke writes the exceptionally popular Hannah Swenson/Cookie Jar Mystery Series. Hannah manages to sleuth while managing her Minnesota bakery, the Cookie Jar.
Dorothy Gilman writes the Mrs. Pollifax Mystery Series which features Emily Pollifax, a woman you would absolutely never think is a CIA agent. Emily is a senior citizen with a penchant for hats.
Sally Goldenbaum: Seaside Knitters Mystery Series
Margaret Grace (aka Camille Minichino): As Camille Minichino she writes the Periodic Table Mystery Series. As Margaret Grace she writes the Miniature Mystery Series. I am making my way (2009) through both of the series and enjoying them immensely.
Hazel Holt: Mrs.Malory Mystery Series
Jan Karon is on the Cozy Mystery Site even though she does not write mysteries. The Mitford Series AND the Father Tim’s Novels belong to her.
Josi S. Kilpack writes the Culinary Mystery Series, which features a stay-at-home mom/sleuth.
Charlotte MacLeod (aka Alisa Craig): Peter Shandy Mystery Series AND Sarah Kelling & Max Bittersohn Mystery Series
Blanche Day Manos also writes the Ned McNeil Mystery Series, set in Oklahoma.
Lorena McCourtney, armed with a college degree in agriculture, is listed under “Christian Mysteries” on her site… She writes the Ivy Malone Mystery Series (which features senior citizen sleuths), the Andi McConnell Mystery Series, the Sparrow Island Mystery Series (which features a bird watcher) and the Julesburg Mystery Series…
K. D. McCrite: Eastgate Mystery Series: Carrie Jean Lockwood is an Assistant Pastor in Arkansas.
Camille Minichino (aka Margaret Grace): As Camille Minichino she writes the Periodic Table Mystery Series. As Margaret Grace she writes the Miniature Mystery Series. I am making my way (2009) through both of the series and enjoying them immensely.
Tyora Moody: Eugeena Patterson Mystery Series – Eugeena is a recently widowed, Diabetic, retired social studies teacher in South Carolina.
Gilbert Morris was a pastor for ten years and has written many different novels, including three mystery series: the Jacques & Cleo, Cat Detective Mystery Series, the Lady Trent Mystery Series, and the Danielle Ross Mystery Series (which sometimes is refered to as the Dani Ross Mystery Series).
Katherine Hall Page has a BA from Wellesley, an MA from Tufts, and a Doctorate from Harvard… She is the first person to ever receive Best First Novel, Best Novel, and Best Short Story Agatha Awards (Malice Domestic), and writes the Faith Fairchild Mystery Series, which features a caterer/sleuth who is married to a minister.
Dani Pettrey is a homeschool teacher from Maryland who writes the Alaskan Courage Mystery Series, starring a family living in small town Yancey, Alaska.
Cyndy Salzmann writes the Friday Afternoon Club Mystery Series which features a group of stay-at-home mothers who are good friends, and great sleuths! (Salzmann bases her novels on her Christian faith.)
Susan Sleeman pens the Garden Gate Mystery Series which features a landscaper in Oregon. (Sleeman is an advocate for Christian suspense.)
Alexander McCall Smith writes The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Mystery Series.
Patricia Sprinkle has two established series: the Sheila Travis Mystery Series is set in Georgia, AND the MacLaren Yarbrough Thoroughly Southern Mystery Series. She is currently starting a new Family Tree Genealogy Mystery Series which her readers are sure to enjoy.
Jennifer Stanley (aka J.B. Stanley & Ellery Adams) writes the Hope Street Church Mystery Series.
Nancy Jill Thames writes the Jillian Bradley Mystery Series which features a gardening columnist and her Yorkie.
Janice A. Thompson writes the Bridal Mayhem Mystery Series. She describes herself as a Christian author. She home-schooled her four daughters and has done her part in planning several weddings.
Debbie Viguié writes the Psalms 23 Mystery Series. The series features a church secretary and a Reformed Rabii as its sleuths.
Chris Well writes Christian crime thrillers with a lot of humor thrown into the mysteries. His Kentucky Geezers Trilogy will be hitting the bookstores soon. Well also includes both writing and/or editing for such publications as the Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.
Patricia Wentworth: Miss Maude Silver Mystery Series
Valerie Wolzien: Susan Henshaw Mystery Series
Here are a few Series:
Annie’s Attic Mystery Series : This series follows a woman who, upon cleaning out her grandmother’s attic, finds some very baffling items. These puzzling items are the starting points of the mysteries she and her friends solve.
Annie’s Mysteries Unraveled Mystery Series: This series is an Annie’s Crafts Company series. Each mystery book is written by a different author, and they star Kate Stevens, a single mom. She works as a crochet designer in Texas.
Annie’s Quilted Mystery Series: This is another Annie’s Crafts Company series. Like the other (currently three) series from this publisher, the books are written by different authors. They follow Emma Cotton and Kelly Grace, both members of the Nimble Thimbles quilting group in Mystic Harbor, Massachusetts.
I just found the Church Choir Mysteries which also include many different authors of mystery books.
Creative Woman Mystery Series is a series of mysteries that feature Shannon McClain, a crafter who makes one-of-a-kind beaded jewelry. Shannon is a Scottish widowed mother of twins who has moved to Apple Grove, Oregon. These mysteries are published by the same company that publishes the Annie’s Attic Mysteries.
Also, Heartsong Presents Mystery Series is a series which includes many authors who have mystery series of their own. I have a detailed list on their own page.
Hometown Mystery Series is a series of mystery books that are put out by Barbour Publishing. Several of the (Christian) authors write more than one mystery book in the series, but the books are not meant to be read in any particular order.
Miss Read Mysteries is a series which features a school teacher in very Cozy, British villages. They are not mysteries.
Mysteries of Sparrow Island Series is a Guideposts mystery series which has several authors who contribute to the book list. They feature Abigail Stanton, an ornithologist (bird specialist) who moves to Sparrow Island in Washington. Mary (her sister) and Finnegan (her service dog) move with her. This is a Christian theme mystery series.
Mystery and the Minister’s Wife mysteries. This series is unique in that each book is written by different authors (some of the authors pen more than one book in the series.) I was told by one of the authors of the series that you can read the books out of order, but she did suggest reading the first one or two msyteries before reading the others… This is one time when chronological order is not important! It is an inspirational mystery series.
Patchwork Mystery Series is a Guidepost series which will revolve around a very crafty quilter who solves mysteries.
Secrets of Mary’s Bookshop is a Guidepost mystery series that takes place in Mary’s Mystery Bookshop.
Stories from Hope Haven is another non-mystery series from Guidepost which takes place in a fictional hospital, and revolves around four nurses and their patients.
Tales from Grace Chapel Inn Series is a series of books which follow three sisters who inherit a Victorian style Bed and Breakfast from their father. The series is written by several Christian authors and is not a mystery series, but I think that it falls in well with the above-listed authors and series.
Texas K-9 Mystery Series features a Texas K-9 police dog and his/her police (person) handler. Each book in the series features a different K-9 dog, and is written by a different mystery author.
Between all of the above authors and series, you should be able to find a good starting point for your search… Hope that these help…
And, here’s a follow-up entry:
If you have any authors who you think belong on this list… Please drop me a comment or contact me through the website.
***To access more Cozy Mysteries by Theme click on this link.***