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Best Culinary Cozy Mysteries

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While we love learning through books, we’re also big advocates of picking up some books for pure entertainment and escape. Lighter books often serve as palate cleansers for us between heavier topics. And while we’re personally drawn to rom coms most often, cozy culinary mystery books are another amusing choice. Even better, they’re almost always in the form of a culinary mystery series so you can read about the same characters again and again.

What is a Cozy Mystery?

Cozy mysteries are less graphic, scary, and intense than other books in the mystery genre. They have a familiar storyline of the main character finding themselves accidentally involved in investigating a crime. This is often to clear their own name. Usually, there’s a mix of humor, light suspense, and delightful characters as you try to figure out whodunit. Red herrings are abundant along the way.

Covers of 3 culinary cozy mysteries, mostly Arsenic and Adobo, which has the torso of a lady in a yellow apron pouring something into a wok

We appreciate that these books don’t take themselves too seriously, won’t give us nightmares, and often have amusing punny titles. One of the biggest subsets of the genre is culinary cozy mysteries. Since we love food as much as we love books, it’s a big bonus that several of the titles include delicious recipes within the books or have companion cookbooks!

Many of these food mystery books are also on the shorter side, often under 300 pages. Quick reads are ideal when you just want a little break. However, don’t worry if you’re thinking that’s too short!

For our list, we’ve highlighted the first book in each series, noted the series name, how many books have been published, and linked to the most recent installment. We have noticed that it’s common for the first book in a series to be slightly lower rated. As readers get to know the characters and the series progresses, the ratings get higher. So if you’re on the fence about continuing through a cozy mystery series, we recommend giving the 2nd book a read before deciding.

If you’re ready for a silly escape, here are our recommendations for both cooking mystery books and baking mystery books!

If you’re looking for food fiction outside the cozy mystery genre, feel free to hop over to our list of the best fiction books about food. That list includes a section full of books that incorporate recipes and another of highly-rated books with food in the title

Best Cozy Culinary Mysteries

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We've noted the books and cozy mystery series that are included free with a Kindle Unlimited membership. You can read all about Kindle Unlimited (including our pros and cons) in this post, and you can sign up for a free trial of Kindle Unlimited here.

Black text in white box reading "13 Entertaining Culinary Cozy Mystery Books"

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Fiction Books About Food - Book Girls' Guide

Monday 6th of February 2023

[…] list, there are two more posts full of food fiction. For cozy mystery fans, don’t miss our Culinary Cozy Mystery list. And if you love baking, you’ll find plenty of books set in bakeries on our list of Christmas […]

Terri Schimmel

Friday 6th of January 2023

I am an avid reader. Unfortunately or fortunately I read so much I read everything my favorite authors write. Always looking for new culinary cozy authors. I've been desperately trying to find out if Cleo Coyle will have a new one out this year.

Marilynn Chintella

Thursday 21st of July 2022

What? Sadly you left author Ellie Allexander off your list. Loved "A Batter of Life and Death" and "Donot Disturb" among so many other delicious titles. She was sadly overlooked and deserves a mention.

Melissa George

Thursday 21st of July 2022

Thanks for the recommendation!

Louise Forman

Friday 29th of April 2022

I was also going to recommend the Cleo Coyle Coffeehouse Mystery series (there are 19 so far but I’ve only read one!) and the new Caribbean Kitchen series (first one is Mango, Mambo and Murder) by Raquel V. Reyes.

Nancy Morgan Link

Friday 29th of April 2022

These are such fun! I’m into three of these listed. Also great are the coffee shop ones by Cleo Coyle and Alex Erickson … and the cheese shop ones by Avery Adams… Do these count as food?!! Then there are the many Scotland and the WWll ones… Yes!

I’m a Principal and I just shared you guys with several of my teachers. They are so excited by it all. Thank you for what you do. My friends and I love it!