SOLVE: The mystery of the missing cozies

Looking for clues . . . for the next best cozy mystery!

Recently I’ve had a couple of different reasons to try to find recommendations for softer crime audiobooks, and I’ve discovered it rather challenging. Are you a cozy or traditional mystery fan who has a difficult time finding the books you want on audio? Is the audio publishing industry missing an untapped well here? I decided to do a little digging, this time making note of my findings.

A friend has an elderly mother she wants to ply with audiobooks. Her mother’s vision is too bad to read print books now. She told me her mother would like mysteries but they needed to be on the “nicer side.” In other words, no graphic violence or sex, easy on the language— basically your cozy subgenre.

119985My usual reaction is to recommend Louise Penny’s Three Pines series, Chris Grabenstein’s John Ceepak series, or Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire series. These aren’t cozies; they’re traditional mysteries, but they are on the softer side. That bit me in the butt the last time I did it because while they are tamer when it comes to sex and violence, the language is still an issue. Recommendation: fail. Back to the drawing board.

74661A hot series now in the mystery community is Catriona McPherson’s Dandy Gilver historicals, but I couldn’t find any sign of those on audiobook. David Handler’s Berger & Mitry series is one I’ve wanted to read for some time, but hoped to find the audios so I could listen instead. I can’t find any of that series on audio either. (You can, however, get his older Stewart Hoag series on audiobook.) Rochelle Staab? No. Gabriella Herkert? Not her either. No Rosemary Harris, Meredith Cole, Jeff Cohen, or Cathy Pickens. (Note, you can find Jeff Cohen writing as E.J. Copperman.)

99022I found some incomplete series like Stephanie Barron’s Jane Austen mysteries, Bill Crider’s Sheriff Dan Rhodes mysteries, and Sue Ann Jaffarian’s Odelia Grey mysteries. But it’s frustrating to get caught up in a series only to find books missing.

So what recommendations have I come up with so far? If you like a good P.I., how about checking out Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency? Lisette Lecat performs the entire series. Is western more your speed? Steve Hockensmith’s Holmes on the Range series, narrated by William Dufris, is great fun. I would like to see Hockensmith’s new Tarot Mystery series narrated, though. Looking for something more historical? How about Ann Parker’s Silver Rush series, read by Kristen Potter? In the more paranormal realm, maybe try Juliet Blackwell’s Witchcraft Mysteries or Haunted Home Renovation series. Both are performed by Xe Sands. 62365And I’m hoping you all can help us compile a good list of amateur sleuths in the comments, but one I personally enjoy is Judith Flanders’s Sam Clair.

Now it’s your turn. What’s your favorite cozy mystery on audiobook? And what’s one you’d love to see become available on audio that currently isn’t – or maybe it’s only available on good old cassette tape. Have you run into any of those? Let us know!



Author: jenforbus

A freelance book and audiobook reviewer, I have also written numerous interviews of authors and narrators. Story entrances me and if I'm not reading for myself I love having a story told to me. In addition, I'm an avid photographer, where stories are in the images!

4 thoughts on “SOLVE: The mystery of the missing cozies”

  1. I can only listen to the Flavia De Luce series by Alan Bradley – that is how much I love narrator Jane Entwhistle. Ditto the Chet and Bernie series by Spencer Quinn, which has a lot of humor. The Andy Carpenter series by David Rosenfelt also has bits of humor. The Goldy Bear catering series is read by Barbara Rosenblat, who is one of the best readers around. While these last two suggestions are not “cozies” per se, I think they still meet the criteria of acceptable language and no overt violence: the Rosatto and Associates series by Lisa Scottoline and Commissario Brunetti series by Donna Leon.

  2. Maisie Dobbs series. They aren’t really cozy, but they aren’t gruesome or sexual either. The storylines are too smart and too involved to be a cozy, but the main characters are quite warm and caring people. Elizabeth Peters, Amelia Peabody series definitely fill the bill. Laugh out loud fun. Bailey Ruth series by Carolyn Hart. Classic Cozy about a ghost solving crime. Reminded me a bit of the old Topper movie. Rhys Bowen’s Her Royal Spyness mysteries, also a true cozy. Poor relation royal starts a cleaning business which leads to intrigue. The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax series by Dorothy Gilman. Middle-age widow becomes a CIA spy. Great fun. Maggie Hope mysteries by Susan MacNeal starting with Mr. Churchill’s Secretary. World War II era intrigue. A bit of a step up from a cozy but not too much. Great characters, especially Mr. Churchill. Chronicles of Brother Cadfael (classic) by Peter Ellis. Though not mysteries, anything Fannie Flagg is a great comfortable read, like catching up with an old friend. All of these are available in audio and are expertly narrated.

  3. There are lots of great cozies on audio. That’s all I listen to, and I have hundreds. Some of my favorite authors? Lorna Barrett/ Lorraine Bartlett , Molly MacRae, Leann Sweeney, Jenn McKinlay, Miranda James, Robert Thornhill, Krista Davis, Donna Andrews, Julie Hyzy, Elizabeth Edmondson, Carola Dunn, Ann B Ross, Julie Seedorf, T.E. Kinsey, Leslie Budewitz, Jana DeLeon, Maggie Pill, Victoria Abbot, Amanda Flower, Elaine Orr, and Ellery Adams. There are still plenty more. Maybe this will help you. I’ve given 5 stars to at least most, if not all, of the books by these authors.

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