What is a RomCozy? 10 Books that Bring Together Romance and Cozy Mystery Tropes

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CJ Connor


CJ Connor is a cozy mystery and romance writer whose main goal in life is to make their dog proud. They are a Pitch Wars alumnus and an Author Mentor Match R9 mentor. Their debut mystery novel BOARD TO DEATH is forthcoming from Kensington Books. Twitter: @cjconnorwrites |

Romance and cozy mysteries are two of the most comforting, escapist genres. So books that blend the two would be the ultimate cozy read, right? If you’re of a similar mind, good news: this sub-genre is called a romcozy, and it brings together some of the best elements of both genres.

So, what are romcozies? While I’ve started to see romcozies mentioned more often, the sub-genre and term appear to be new. The earliest usage of the word I could find was in a blog post by cozy mystery author Gabby Allan, who appears to have coined the word. She describes it as books that are a “rom com and cozy mixed into one.”

Romcozies are similar to romantic suspense in a few key ways. Both sub-genres have at their hearts both a mystery and a love story. But romcozies are usually gentler and more humorous and all graphic violence are kept off the page. Also, unlike a traditional cozy mystery, romcozies may talk about sex and relationships more frankly depending on the series.

In some cases, the romantic subplot is fully established over the course of a single book. In others, the romance is more of a slow burn, developing and hitting different milestones (dating, moving in together, engagement, and so on) over a series. For that reason, unlike romantic comedies, the first books in a romcozy series may not involve a set HEA. Rather, each installment may lay groundwork for a love story developed throughout the full series alongside the standalone cases in each novel — similar to a mystery TV series with a romantic subplot.

Read on for eight examples of books that fall within the romcozy genre to get started, along with two upcoming romantic cozy mysteries to put on your TBR list.

8 of the Best RomCozy Books

something fishy this way comes cover

Something Fishy This Way Comes (Whit & Whiskers #2) by Gabby Allan

This series is where I first saw the word “romcozy” used, and the term appears to have been coined by the author.

After leaving her unfulfilling office job, Whitney Dagner moved to Santa Catalina Island to help run her family’s tour boat business. She hopes for a stress-free life there, but she has an unfortunate knack for running into (and solving) local crimes.

In this installment, Whitney investigates an unusual death linked to an intense family rivalry. Along the way, she reconnects with her ex-boyfriend Felix Ramirez, who now works as a police diver (and who she may still have feelings for).

Mimi Lee Gets a Clue cover

Mimi Lee Gets a Clue (Sassy Cat #1) by Jennifer J. Chow

When Mimi Lee opens a pet salon called Hollywoof in Los Angeles, she can’t wait to do what she loves full-time with her cat Marshmallow by her side. But soon after discovering a local breeder mistreats his Chihuahuas, she is framed for his murder. Now, Mimi must juggle proving her innocence with running her new business and pursuing a potential romance with her neighbor Josh.

A Pairing to Die For cover

A Pairing to Die For (Colorado Wine #2) by Kate Lansing

After establishing her dream winery in Colorado, Parker Valentine hopes for smooth sailing in business and in her relationship with her new boyfriend Reid. But the latter is put to the test when Reid is framed for murder. Parker must prove his innocence while navigating his strained relationship with his family, who are in town for the opening of his new restaurant.

This series includes recipes with wine pairings at the end of the book, which can make for a romantic and bookish date night meal.

Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies book cover

Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies (Pies Before Guys #1) by Misha Popp

Magic runs in Daisy Ellery’s family, and hers manifests in the form of baking. What she most often bakes are pies, which she uses to bring vigilante justice to abusive men.

But when Daisy is blackmailed by a stranger who knows her secret, she must catch the culprit while protecting the women whose lives are endangered by his threats. Along the way, Daisy grows close to Noel, a local farmer who dreams of opening a cidery.

obsession deceit and really dark chocolate cover

Obsession, Deceit, and Really Dark Chocolate (Sophie Katz #3) by Kyra Davis

Sophie Katz is mystery writer who often finds herself entangled in unusual and at least a little comedic crimes. In this installment of the series, Sophie investigates the murder of her best friend’s unfaithful husband while flirting with her old flame, private investigator Anatoly Darinsky.

Cover of Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto.

Dial A for Aunties (Aunties #1) by Jesse Q. Sutanto

This novel is a bit less of a “whodunit” than a “what-do-I-do-now,” but the humorous, quirky plot and the second chance romance at the story’s heart bring to mind elements of a romcozy.

After Meddy Chan accidentally kills her blind date, her mother and three aunties waste no time in helping her hide the body. But after a series of mishaps, the corpse ends up in a cooler headed for a destination wedding that Meddy’s family was hired to plan. And to make things even more chaotic, who is she to run into at the hotel but her college sweetheart Nathan?

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Curds of Prey (Cheese Shop Mystery #3) by Korina Moss

Weddings make an excellent setting for both romance and cozy mysteries. They bring people together and sparks can fly between unassuming guests. They’re also a hotbed for drama — leading to, if you’re the protagonist of a cozy mystery, the occasional murder to solve.

When Sonoma Valley cheesemonger Willa Bauer is hired to cater a wedding, however, murder is the last thing she expects. But before the couple can walk down the aisle, the groom is found dead. Now it’s up to Willa to solve the crime while navigating sky-high family tensions and the possibility that Roman, a local meadery owner who Willa has feelings for, may somehow be involved.

Like a few other cozies mentioned, the romance in the Cheese Shop Mysteries is a slow burn developed through the series.

cover image for Dead in the Garden

Dead in the Garden (Grasmere Cottage #1) by Dahlia Donovan

Queer couple Valor and Bishan enjoy a quiet life running a biscuit shop in Grasmere, England. But their cozy routine is upended when Bishan is framed for the murder of an old classmate. Valor loves watching classic mysteries on TV, but can he use his armchair sleuthing skills to catch a killer in real life and protect his partner?

2 Upcoming RomCozies to Add to Your TBR

Hard Dough Homicide cover

Hard Dough Homicide (Spice Isle Bakery #2) by Olivia Matthews (May 23, St Martin’s Press)

This series is written by an author experienced in the romance genre and is perfect for those interested in a slow burn romcozy.

While hosting the retirement party of a high school principal she has a complicated relationship with, Spice Isle Bakery owner Lyndsay Murray finds herself in the middle of a homicide investigation. Because the cause of death appears to be poison, suspicion falls on her.

As word gets around and customers start avoiding the bakery, Lyndsay must fight to keep her business afloat while searching for the real killer… and while pursuing a chance at love.

The Body in the Back Garden cover

The Body in the Back Garden (Crescent Cove #1) by Mark Waddell (August 22, Crooked Lane Books)

This novel is the first in a quozy mystery series, a term coined by the author Rob Osler for cozy mysteries starring queer characters.

After inheriting his estranged aunt’s home in a seaside Canadian town, investigative journalist Luke Tremblay is shocked to find a corpse in his garden soon after moving in. Now he’s a prime suspect in a murder case, which unexpectedly reunites him with a handsome man from his past.