5 Cozy Mysteries That Push the Boundaries of the Genre

These five cozy mysteries celebrate what we all love about the genre while also touching on new topics and introducing storylines you might not usually read in a cozy mystery. So, if you’re new to the genre or you’ve been reading them for a while and are interested in exploring some new ideas for the genre, here are your book recs!

A Half-Baked Murder by Emily George

Food is a staple of cozy mysteries but with this new series, culinary cozies get a twist with a cannabis-themed cozy. California pastry chef, Chloe Barnes, opens up her own cannabis bakery alongside her quirky Aunt Dawn to elevate the perception of edibles by creating delectable treats for excited customers and her ailing grandmother. But when an unwelcome past acquaintance reappears to stir up trouble and then suddenly dies suspicion falls on Aunt Dawn. Chloe will do everything in her power to find the real culprit and make her bakery succeed, and when she finally gets a chance for a break there are a batch of brownies waiting for her!

Charlotte Illes Is Not a Detective by Katie Siegel

Ever wonder what Harriet the Spy would be like all grown up? This witty news series by TikToker @katiefliesaway plays with that question. As a kid, Charlotte was famous for her detective skills. When she gave up the practice in high school, she thought finding her next passion would be as easy as solving those early cases, but living in her mother’s house in her mid-20s and looking for a job Charlotte fears she may have peaked in middle school. And then she gets asked to help on a new case, but unlike finding stolen pudding cups this one involves real danger and real bad guys who she can no longer disarm with childish naivete. Anyone who misses the Scooby gang will love this new mystery.

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano

A meta take on the mystery genre, Finlay is a struggling single mother and novelist who is overheard discussing the plot of the suspense novel she is writing and is mistaken by an eavesdropper for a contract killer. Hired to knock someone off, Finlay soon becomes entangled in a real murder investigation and realizes real life crime is a lot more complicated than what she writes about! Finlay Donovan Is Killing It is a hilarious send up of the mystery genre for veteran and newcomer fans alike.

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

Lila Macapagal thought she was in store for a romcom but ended up in a mystery when she is tasked with saving her Tita Rosa’s restaurant. On the brink of closure, things for the restaurant and Lila get worse when a food critic (who also happens to be Lila’s ex) dies moments after fighting with her. The cops are looking to her as suspect #1, so Lila must investigate on her own to find the real killer. With a network of meddling aunties on her side along with her best friend and her loyal Dachshund, Lila may just stand a chance in hell of saving the restaurant and her reputation!

Witch Hunt by Cate Conte

A traditional cozy mystery meets new age tactics in Witch Hunt when Violet Mooney opens a crystal shop in quaint North Harbor, Connecticut. When a local town councilwoman takes issue with what she calls Violet’s “voodoo shop” and promptly winds up dead Violet is suspected by the police. But with the sudden emergence of long absent family members and the awakening of long dormant powers Violet didn’t even know she had she just may be able to solve the mystery herself. But is Violet up to the case? And how will she be able to explain the use of her magic to the cops?