Cozy mystery books

BookTok Is Loving the Cozy Mystery Genre: Here Are 15 Reads for Crime Fans Who Want Hallmark Vibes

The perfect low stakes thrillers for the somewhat faint of heart.

Everyone loves a good whodunit — but not everyone loves the gory details. If you find most crime novels to be a little too violent for your tastes, then "cozy mystery" books might be the low-stakes subgenre you've been searching for.

Unlike the dark, creepy and borderline-terrifying stories you might find in the thriller section of the bookstore (or anything by Stephen King), cozy mysteries are cheeky, more lighthearted and a bit easier to stomach. The murder takes place off-screen. Rarely will you read a page that makes you want to flip on the lights. Amateur underdog-esque sleuths are center stage. And the scene of the crime? An unsuspecting-yet-charming small-town bakery.

In other words, these books are a lot less Pennywise and a lot more Hallmark.

Book Riot, an independent editorial book site, predicted that cozy mysteries will be one of the potential "it" subgenres of 2024 as readers continue to look for a nice escape from reality between the pages. Striking the perfect balance of intrigue and snugness, these books provide just that.

But don't let the "cozy" label make you think these books are any less captivating. Cozy mysteries can be just as complex and well written as their darker counterparts. So if you're a fan of crime fiction who doesn't want any more nightmares, add these 15 cozy mystery books to your TBR list.

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