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Cozy Up with Quozies: 9 of the Best Queer Cozy Mysteries

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Rachel Brittain

Contributing Editor

Rachel is a writer from Arkansas, most at home surrounded by forests and animals much like a Disney Princess. She spends most of her time writing stories and playing around in imaginary worlds. You can follow her writing at rachelbrittain.com. Twitter and Instagram: @rachelsbrittain

Looking to queer up your TBR? These 10 queer cozy mysteries are a great place to start. Queer cozy mysteries — sometimes called “quozies” — are a subset of a subset of the ever-popular mystery genre. Cozy mysteries have been growing in popularity over the past few years, with authors like Jesse Q. Sutanto and Richard Osmond topping the lists with their multi-award-winning mystery series. But as much as I love Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers, Dial A for Aunties, and The Thursday Murder Club, they’re not nearly gay enough. That’s where these books come in. Featuring characters across the LGBTQ+ spectrum, from gay to asexual, these queer cozy mystery books deliver on the mysteries and the queer representation.

While murder may be a key component of many mystery novels, you don’t have to worry about any of the main characters being killed off here. The gays remain delightfully — and determinedly — unburied. You can just sit back and enjoy the mild chills and pun-filled thrills of cozy mysteries that center queer characters who just happen to find themselves at the heart of a murder mystery. Think you’ve got what it takes to pull off a little sleuthing of your own? Read this list and determine which queer cozy mystery novel you’re most likely to rate 5 stars!

Murder Most Actual cover

Murder Most Actual by Alexis Hall

This is one of the first cozy mysteries I ever read, and it is such a fun introduction to the genre. Not only is Alexis Hall a seasoned writer with many great books under their belt, but they also just know how to write great characters, which is so important in a cozy mystery. When a crime podcaster and her corporate financier wife go on a weekend retreat to a Scottish castle, they’re hoping for some time to rekindle their relationship. Instead, they get a dead body, a locked-room mystery, and a murder investigation. But can Liza’s armchair sleuthing hold up against an actual murderer in their midst? Only one way to find out!

cover of Renovated to Death by Anthony Polito

Renovated to Death by Frank Anthony Polito

As someone who’s watched my fair share of HGTV home renovation shows, I’m obsessed with this premise. Peter and JP are partners at home and at work as stars and producers of a hit new home renovation show called Domestic Partners. But when a dead body shows up on the new season, will their skills as a mystery novelist and former star on a cop show be enough to help them solve this real-life murder?

Devil's Chew Toy by Rob Osler cover

Devil’s Chew Toy by Rob Osler

When the man whose bed Hayden McCall wakes up in goes missing, he becomes the police’s prime suspect in what might be a case of foul play. But Hayden doesn’t know anything. In fact, Camilo Rodrigues was practically a stranger before he accidentally kicked Hayden in the face at a nightclub. Now, Hayden needs to track down Camilo’s friends and find out more about this guy before anything else happens. Because even worse than the police suspecting Hayden would be them not investigating this disappearance at all.

cover of Board to Death by CJ Connor

Board to Death by CJ Connor

Book Rioter CJ Connor’s queer cozy mystery novel is set in a Salt Lake City board game shop. When the owner is offered a great deal on the rare vintage board game Monopoly was based on, he passes, thinking it’s too good to be true. He was right. Soon, the collector is found dead behind Ben’s dumpster, and with a mysterious bag of $100 bills on his doorstep, it’s no wonder the police think he’s the number one suspect. Can he get to the bottom of this board game mystery before he’s put away for a murder he didn’t commit?

Mise en Death book cover

Mise en Death by Nikki Woolfolk

A luxury airship banquet ends in death, and it’s up to chef Alex LeBeau to solve it when her son is charged with murder. Alex just wanted to start over and provide a quiet life for her son, away from their past, when she got a job as a cooking instructor in Louisiana. That means staying away from any romance, too. But soon enough she’s falling for warm-eyed Josephine and trying to solve a murder to save her son, all while stopping the real killer from striking again.

Poisoned Primrose (Motts Cold Case Mystery #1) by Dahlia Donovan cover

Poisoned Primrose by Dahlia Donovan

In this cozy British mystery series, an asexual autistic woman who goes by the nickname “Motts” has her quiet life turned upside down when she discovers a dead body buried in her garden. Now she’s mixed up in a criminal investigation, with a murderer out to get her and a cute detective on her case. This is really not what she had in mind when she moved from the bustle of London to the quiet British countryside. Can she stay alive long enough to solve the case and get back to the life she wanted, or will she wind up as another body buried in the backyard?

The Mimicking of Known Successes cover

The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older

Cozy mysteries can come in the form of science fiction novellas, too! When a missing person’s case linked to her former university takes Investigator Mossa back to Valdegeld, she is also reunited with her former flame, a scholar studying the Earth of old named Pleiti. The case, though, is more than it first may seem. While Mossa reacquaints herself with Pleiti and her old stomping grounds, she also uncovers a conspiracy threating everything Pleiti and the other academics at Valdegeld have been working for.

Floating Hotel book cover

Floating Hotel by Grace Curtis

Another cozy sci-fi mystery, Floating Hotel takes place on a luxury star liner filled with intrigue. On the Grand Abeona, you’ll find the last word in fine dining and guest service alongside mysterious love poems littering the lobby and an unknown number of imperial spies. Everyone here has a secret, but it’s one-time stowaway turned manager of the Grand Abeona, Carl, who has to face them all down and decide whether the only place he’s ever called home is still worth the cost of admission.

cover image for Volume 1 of Goldie Vance

Goldie Vance by Hope Larson, Brittney Williams, and Sarah Stern

If you’ve ever wished Nancy Drew could be a queer Brown girl, then do I have good news for you! Goldie Vance has all the Nancy Drew / Veronica Mars vibes you could ever want in an all-too-cute graphic novel form. Goldie lives at the hotel where her father works as a manager with dreams of one day becoming the in-house detective. So when the current detective encounters a new case he can’t crack, Goldie is eager to put her smarts and love of problem-solving to good use.

Honorable Mention:

cover of Arsenic and Adobo

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

Although the lead character in the series has never been described as queer, author Mia P. Manansala is, and a number of prominent characters in the series are as well. When Lila Macapagal returns home after a bad breakup to help out at her aunt’s Filipino restaurant, a dead food blogger gets them all in hot water. With her family’s future at stake, Lila decides to take matters into her own hands and prove someone is trying to frame the Macapagals for murder. It’s a perfectly cozy culinary mystery series full of family and Filipino recipes.

Now here’s hoping one day Mia P. Manansala will grace us with a queer cozy mystery book/series where the main character is queer as well!