Cozy Café Mysteries

August 7, 2018 | M. Elwood

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Sometimes you just want to relax with a book that lets you escape from the troubles of the world for a few hours on a summer afternoon. Cozy mysteries are perfect for doing that. The genre keeps graphic violence and sex off the page and often feature amateur detectives who find themselves involved with a murder and decide the best course of action is to solve it themselves. Cozy mysteries are often set in charming small towns filled with quirky characters. Often recipes and puns are included, too.  

Each of the following mystery books features a café, except for Silence of the Flans which is about a dessert delivery service: 

Death at the yoga cafe

A Death at the Yoga Cafe by Michelle Kelly

Keeley Carpenter has opened a combination yoga studio and vegetarian cafe in the small English town of Belfrey. When the town mayor is found murdered after a public squabble with his girlfriend, Keeley steps in to prevent a miscarriage of justice. Includes vegetarian recipes. 

Death by vanilla latte

Death by Vanilla Latte by Alex Erickson

Krissy Hancock and Vickie Patterson own Death by Coffee, a bookstore and café. In this book, Krissy's father, a famous author, comes to town and is accused of murder when his unpleasant agent is murdered. 

Live and let chai

Live and Let Chai by Bree Baker

Everly Swan has recently returned to Charm Island, her home town where she has opened a café, Sun, Sand and Tea in a beachfront home. When a town councillor who doesn't approve of the new venture is poisoned apparently with tea from the café, and Everly must find the real culprit. Includes recipes for tea based drinks.

Murder with cinnamon scones

Murder with Cinnamon Scones by Karen Rose Smith

Daisy Swanson runs a café in a small town in Pennsylvania’s Amish country. During the excitement of the town’s quilt festival the owner of the local art gallery is murdered and his girlfriend who works at the Daisy's Tea Garden comes under suspicion. Includes an apparently amazing recipe for cinnamon scones. 

Silence of the flans

The Silence of the Flans by Laura Bradford

Winnie Johnson has decided to combine her passion for baking with a recently inherited antique ambulance and launches The Emergency Dessert Squad--a catering business that will deliver baked goods to desperate citizens. In the second novel in the series, a customer is poisoned by a dessert made by Winnie's new employee. 

Silence of the jams

Silence of the Jams by Gayle Leeson

When head of her town's Chamber of Commerce dies in Amy Flowers' café, she is prime suspect especially because he wanted close her business. With the help of her family, friends and police officer boyfriend, Amy sets out to clear her name. 

Till death do us tart

Till Death Do Us Tart by Ellie Alexander

This is the most recent entry in The Bakeshop Mystery series, featuring pastry chef Judith Montegue Capshaw. While Jules is planning an Elizabethan themed wedding for her mother, her estranged husband drops in and someone is poisoned with a glass of wine intended for Jules.  

Wedding cake crumble

Wedding Cake Crumble by Jenn McKinlay

Angie and Tate, partners in the Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery are getting married but the photographer they've hired is murdered. Police link this death to another murder victim who turns out to be the limousine driver hired for the occasion. Is it coincidence or is someone targeting the happy couple?

There are a lot of gentle mysteries in the library system, so if food-related books are not for you, talk to staff. There are cozies about crafting, libraries, pet-sitting, construction and so much more.