13 Deadly Cozy Mysteries for the First Half of 2022
What does 2022 have in store for cozy mysteries? Plenty of delightful series debuts and continuations of already-loved series from years past!
Book Rioter Carole V. Bell noted last year that cozy mysteries are becoming increasingly diverse and, while the genre is unfortunately still dominated by white and straight authors, this trend towards diversity is continuing in 2022. When I compiled similar cozy mystery release lists in 2021, I was unable to find any traditionally published cozies featuring LGBTQ main characters. This year, there are at least four queer cozy mysteries set for publication so far — three from Crooked Lane Books and one from Kensington!
I’ve rounded up 13 of the best cozy mystery novels coming out through the first six months of 2022. Whether you’re in the mood for a cozy set at a whimsical home renovation company, a magical pie-making business, or a bed and breakfast run by witches, you’re sure to find plenty of twisty mysteries and lovably sharp sleuths here.
Once you’ve checked out the releases to look forward to this year, this round-up of the best cozy mystery series can help new and seasoned mystery lovers alike find their next read.
A Killer Sundae (Ice Cream Parlor Mystery #3) by Abby Collette (January 4, Berkley)
Amateur sleuth and ice cream shop owner Bronwyn Crewse is back! When her town’s annual Harvest Time Festival rolls around, Win attends as a vendor with her newly purchased food truck.
But the festivities this year are not as they seem. When a customer is poisoned and Win’s ice cream appears to be the cause, she must catch the culprit to clear her name.
The Maid by Nita Prose (January 4, Ballantine)
Twenty-five-year-old Molly Gray is a neurodivergent hotel maid who struggles with social situations — especially since her Gran died several months ago. When a wealthy man is murdered in his suite under strange circumstances, Molly is the one who finds the body. When the police target her because they consider her behavior atypical, Molly uses the same skills that make her an excellent maid to find the real killer.
Hot and Sour Suspects (Noodle Shop Mystery #8) by Vivien Chien (January 25, St. Martin’s Press)
Running her family’s Chinese restaurant Ho-Lee Noodle House keeps Lana Lee busy. But when her best friend Megan asks her to co-host a speed dating event, Lana is happy to help. Things take a deadly turn when one participant’s match is murdered, and Lana must use her sleuthing skills to find the killer amidst the victim’s unsavory romantic past.
Shady Hollow (Shady Hollow #1) by Juneau Black (January 25, Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
Shady Hollow is a quaint village where very little happens to its animal inhabitants. Until, that is, a sharp fox reporter named Vera Vixen moves in and trouble follows. When a grumpy old toad dies under suspicious circumstances, it’s up to Vera to catch the killer before they strike again.
Homicide and Halo-Halo (Tita Rosie’s Kitchen #2) by Mia P. Manansala (February 8, Berkley)
Between romantic attention and the possibility of opening up a new cafe, Lila Macapagal is overwhelmed. Things go from moderately to extremely stressful when the judge of a local teen beauty pageant (the same pageant Lila won years ago) is murdered. When Lila’s cousin Bernadette is framed for the crime, Lila must put aside their childhood rivalry to prove her cousin’s innocence.
Devil’s Chew Toy by Rob Osler (February 8, Crooked Lane Books)
When twentysomething teacher Hayden McCall connects with dancer Camilo Rodriguez at a gay club, he wakes up the next day in Camilo’s house. But the dancer is nowhere to be found and Hayden soon finds himself in the middle of a missing persons case. Convinced that the police will not pursue the disappearance because Camilo is a Dreamer whose parents were deported when he was a child, Hayden is determined to solve the case himself.
A Fatal Glow (Odessa Jones #2) by Valerie Wilson Wesley (February 22, Kensington)
Odessa Jones’s catering business is thriving, and she’s thrilled to count wealthy businessman Casey Osborne among her new clients. When Dessa receives a psychic warning that all is not as safe as it seems, she tries to ignore it. But after Osborne’s sudden death propels Dessa and her friends to prime suspect status, she must find out who really killed the businessman — and why.
Under Lock and Skeleton Key (Secret Staircase Mystery #1) by Gigi Pandian (March 22, St. Martin’s Press)
Budding stage magician Tempest Raj returns to her childhood home to California following a seemingly career-ending accident. Though it’s comforting to be home, she feels increasing pressure to work for her family’s whimsical home renovation company, Secret Staircase Construction.
When a body is found hidden in a wall that the owner — and her dad’s client — claims has been sealed for a century, Tempest’s focus turns to solving a seemingly impossible crime.
The Burning Pages (Scottish Bookshop Mystery #7) by Paige Shelton (April 5, St. Martin’s Press)
Arson is any bookseller’s worst nightmare. In the latest installment of the Scottish Bookshop mystery series, that’s exactly the crime Delaney Nichols must solve. When she and her young coworker Hamlet are invited to a dinner at the historical Robert Burns House, grudges about a decades-old act of arson between the Cracked Bookshop owner Edwin and another guest emerge. When the Burns House catches fire later that night and a body is discovered, Delaney must work fast to prove her coworker’s innocence.
When the Crow’s Away (Evenfall Witches B&B #2) by Auralee Wallace (April 5, Berkley)
After repressing her magic following her husband’s untimely death, witch Brynn Warren is working through her grief and once again using her powers. When the ghost of recently deceased chocolatier Mortimer Sweete insists he was murdered, Brynn is determined to solve the case despite the coroner’s ruling that Mortimer died of natural causes.
The Vanishing Type (Secret, Book, and Scone Society #5) by Ellery Adams (April 26, Kensington)
Nora Pennington is a bibliotherapist with a knack for finding the books her customers in Miracle Springs, North Carolina, need to heal. When her best friend Hester’s boyfriend asks her for help planing the perfect proposal, she’s happy to oblige. But when an anonymous person sends threats to Hester and a dead man is found on a local hiking trail, Nora must find the killer with Hester’s life on the line.
Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies by Misha Popp (May 10, Crooked Lane Books)
This darkly hilarious cozy mystery is pitched as “Pushing Daisies meets Dexter,” and it lives up to those comparisons well. Disgusted by all the abusive men in the world, Daisy Ellery delivers justice in the form of magical (and usually deadly) pies.
But a stranger from her past has discovered her secret, and threatens to tell everyone unless she kills three innocent women. Now, Daisy must uncover and put a stop to her blackmailer before he threatens her life or the lives of other women.
Renovated to Death (Domestic Partners in Crime #1) by Frank Anthony Polito (May 31, Kensington)
PJ Penwell and JP Broadway are not only stars and producers of a home renovation TV series. In real life, they’re a couple. To follow up the success of their first season, PJ and JP plan to renovate a Tudor Revival home owned by identical twin brothers. But when one of the brothers is found dead shortly before filming begins, PJ and JP are determined to catch the killer amidst a suspect list of vengeful ex-boyfriends and potentially murderous family members.
Ready for more mystery recommendations? Check out this list of spellbinding paranormal cozy mysteries.