Top 8+ Cozy Mystery Books For 2023 (Witchy, Paranormal, Fantasy and Murder Mysteries)
Cozy mysteries where comfort meets chilling intrigue, and the paranormal becomes everyday.
Sometimes, a thrilling suspense with sky-high tension might tickle your fancy, and other times, you might crave a soothing narrative filled with whispers of the extraordinary.
Often, a full-throttle adrenaline-fueled thrill isn't what you're seeking but a tantalizing mystery that unfurls gently with every plot twist and turn.
Paranormal cozy mystery books have established their own unique space, standing shoulder to shoulder with popular murder mysteries. They blend the charm of cozy mysteries with elements of the supernatural. Easy to digest, and characterized by their light tone, they focus not only on the mystery or crime at hand but also on the characters, often with enchanting abilities.
Transitioning into the realm of fantasy, it's important to mention a sub-genre that has rapidly gained popularity in recent years–the cozy fantasy, with witch mysteries being especially notable. In these stories, witchy magic and simple mystery tales come together, creating a mix that readers could resonate with. Fans of magic and mischief, drawn to the witch-centric themes, have indeed sparked an entire subculture around it.
If you're looking for a lighthearted read that offers unexpected twists and turns, I highly recommend checking out my top picks for cozy mystery books of the year. You will find cozy witch mysteries, paranormal and some traditional murder mysteries.
What Are The Best Cozy Mystery Books? (Paranormal, Fantasy, Witch and Murder Mysteries)
Familiar Troubles: A Bewitching Collection of Paranormal Cozy Mysteries, by Karen McSpade (2023)
Familiar Troubles by Karen McSpade is one of the top supernatural mystery and fantasy releases this year, offering a collection of paranormal cozy mysteries that will captivate your imagination. Join Sidney Grace, a quirky journalist with extraordinary psychic witch abilities, as she embarks on a thrilling journey filled with talking cats, magical discoveries, ghostly encounters, and a race against time to uncover the truth.
With its blend of quirky witches, talking cats, fun magic, ghosts, mystery, and suspense, Familiar Troubles offers charming characters and unique plot twists that keep readers eagerly turning the pages.
Meet Sidney Grace, a journalist with an unexpected gift. She possesses remarkable psychic witch abilities, enabling her to communicate with the dead and engage in intriguing conversations with her cat companion, Mojo. As Sidney's grandmother faces an unjust accusation of murdering a resident at her retirement center, Sidney must rely on her powers to unravel the mystery and prove her grandmother's innocence.
From the bustling city of Boston to the enchanting beach town of Crystal Beach, Florida, Familiar Troubles transports readers to picturesque locations while Sidney navigates a web of secrets and unexpected twists. As she delves deeper into the investigation, she uncovers hidden truths, unearths family secrets, and unravels a dangerous plot that threatens the lives of those around her.
Immerse yourself in the world of Familiar Troubles through the captivating audiobook version, allowing listeners to experience the magic through engaging narration.
If you're a fan of paranormal cozy mysteries and enjoy stories with quirky witches, talking cats, fun magic, ghosts, mystery, and suspense, Familiar Troubles is a must-read. Embark with Sidney Grace on her remarkable journeys as she reveals the truth, captivating you until the final page.
Murder is a Piece of Cake, by Valerie Burns (2023)
Octavia, who used to organize the annual Spring Baking Festival in New Bison, is no longer around. Her niece Maddy took over and must continue the legacy. She knows what responsibility means. She must get the main prize and turn the little bakery “Baby Cakes” into the top rated unit in the community.
Unfortunately for Maddy, she doesn’t have the same abilities as her aunt. She has no kitchen skills whatsoever, which is causing the bakery to struggle. Everyone is posting pictures of failed cakes, while one-star reviews keep building up.
To make things even worse, unscrupulous businessman CJ Davenport decides to open a local bakery and starts sabotaging her. It looks like Baby Cakes is quickly going down, but one day, a murder shakes the local community.
CJ Davenport is found dead with a Baby Cakes knife stuck in the back. Everyone is looking at Maddy, whose life turned upside down. She has got so much on her mind now, but she also needs to prove her innocence.
And as if all these were not enough, she knows that a killer is out there and might be coming for her next.
Get ready for a cozy thriller with many clues everywhere, twists that will confuse you with every page you turn, and just when you believe you have discovered the mystery, your mind will be blown away.
Nonna Maria and the Case of the Stolen Necklace, by Lorenzo Carcaterra (2023)
Lorenzo Carcaterra has managed to create one of the most charming characters in cozy mystery books with Nonna Maria. It's by far one of the most intriguing books in this genre, and only because it pushes you in different directions.
Nonna Maria has plenty to worry about. The small community on the island of Ischia has been severely shaken by two crimes, and no one knows what exactly is happening, yet some of the locals have already started pointing fingers.
First, there’s a robbery. A wealthy woman on the island claims that her necklace has been stolen from a hotel room. The necklace is not just extremely expensive, but it has also been in the family for generations.
She's positive that one of the two young women cleaning the room is responsible as she points her finger at them. Now, the problem is one of these women is Nonna Maria’s goddaughter. And while everyone agrees with the wealthy woman, the young cleaner decides to prove her innocence.
Things go even worse when a dead body is found on a road. No one knows who she is. No one has seen her before, and she doesn’t have any ID on herself. One of Nonna Maria's friends was driving in the area the night before, and she did hit something, but she couldn't tell if it was a pothole or an animal.
Now, Nonna Maria must solve two cases that apparently have nothing in common. She needs to find clues and connections, but also prove her goddaughter’s innocence. And deep down inside her, she knows that her friend is not guilty for killing the unidentified woman.
Fateful Words, by Paige Shelton (2023)
This is one of my favorite cozy mystery books, maybe because the action takes place in Scotland, one of the wildest places in the world if you ask me.
Sure, there’s the big cities and everything, but there’s something special about this place. Whenever you see it portrayed in movies, it is always about wild lands, plenty of grass, and beautiful views, and don't get me started on the accent.
Anyway, let me get back to the action. Edwin runs the Cracked Spine bookstore and needs to leave Edinburgh with some business. No one knows anything about it, though. Meanwhile, Delaney, who works at the bookstore, ends up responsible for hosting the annual literary tour of the city.
The tour group decides to check into a local inn, and that’s when the unexpected happens. The inn manager falls from the roof and dies. Soon after that, one of the tour members disappears, causing even more drama.
Delaney needs to solve the mystery now, running around Edinburgh in an attempt to get to the bottom of the problem. Clues everywhere, as well as things that don’t necessarily make sense at first, that’s what you’ll get from this incredible story.
The Ghost of Mudwood Manor, by Emory Keller (2023)
You join the main character's journey to a yearly magic event where they are preparing for their first public appearance as someone who can communicate with ghosts. Excitement turns to suspense when a renowned healer is murdered, and shockingly, the protagonist becomes the prime suspect. The Elders take drastic measures by locking down the estate, trapping everyone inside, and a malicious puppet-master seems intent on pinning the crime on the protagonist.
Adding a layer of mystery, you witness the protagonist's spectral interactions with their late grandmother and a newly emerged ghostly figure whose intentions are unclear.
One of the strength of this novel lies in its unique elements, by combining mystery, supernatural elements like ghost whispering and magic, and a rich personal growth narrative. It creates a distinctive reading experience that sets it apart from conventional novels.
Hot Pot Murder, by Jennifer J. Chow (2023)
I think this is one of those cozy mystery books that could be turned into a movie. It's easy to digest, and it has got a few plot twists that will leave you speechless. Anyway, the story follows Yale and Celine Yee. They’re cousins, and they run a food stall business.
Their business booms, so they’re about to draw attention from large restaurant chains. One day, they’re invited to an exclusive dinner organized by a local restaurant association. Restaurant owners from all over the area join for a hot pot dinner and some friendly chat.
But this year’s going to be different.
Association president Jeffrey Vue ends up killed.
Every attendee is considered a potential suspect, but the local police seem to focus on two people in particular. One of them is Ai Ho, who owns the restaurant where the tragedy happened. The other one is Yale’s father.
In an attempt to solve the mystery, Yale and Celine Yee decide to start their own investigation. They know that failing to figure out who killed Jeffrey Vue could get their business closed forever.
The Raven Thief, by Gigi Pandian (2023)
Gigi Pandian is one of my favorite mystery writers these days. She has earned a few awards over the past years, mainly because of her intricate stories and surprising twists. The Raven Thief makes no exception, either.
Secret Staircase Construction has just completed the initial project, a beautiful home interior where the client is about to start a new life without her cheating husband. A famous husband, if I may add, author Corbin Colt.
It all starts with a party to celebrate the new home until Corbin's dead body shows up. Everyone is in shock, yet any of the guests could be the potential killer. Eight people are around the table, and Grandpa Ash is the only one with a bit of blood on his clothes.
His granddaughter Tempest must now figure out what happened and how the blood ended up on him. She needs to find the killer before authorities decide to take him into custody for murder. After all, the blood found on him is the only clue they have, and they won't hesitate to arrest him.
Murder by the Seashore, by Samara Yew (2023)
Scarlett Gardner has always imagined that California could be the place where her dreams would come true. She moved to the southern part of the state and opened a local bookshop, Palm Trees and Page Turners. Life was good. She had the perfect boyfriend and a great business partner.
But one day, he decides to leave her. He finds a better job, leaving Scarlett to struggle with the new business. And as if all these weren’t enough, one day, she finds a dead body under the pier by the bookshop.
To make things even worse, she knows who it is, one of her customers.
She calls the police and gives a statement, hoping her life will go back to normal. One day, a lawyer representing Lorelai Knight shows up and tells her that she has a fortune to inherit. She has no idea who Lorelai is. And before she gets to realize what’s going on, the police are all over her again.
It seems the customer's name was Lorelai Knight, and somehow, her death benefited Scarlett.
The young business owner must now figure out what happened, as more clues lead to her. Her business booms, but not because of the books. Everyone wants to see the person the media has called the Bookshop Killer.
Scarlett needs to be one step ahead of the killer in order to figure out the mystery. She knows that failing to do so will get her in jail for a murder she didn’t commit. And in order to do all these, she has to employ all her creativity. I won't reveal any more details and spoil it, but I'm certain you'll enjoy this thrilling mystery.
A Most Agreeable Murder, by Julia Seales (2023)
An exceptional story filled with clues and small details and one of my favorite cozy mystery books in this collection! Julie Seales has created Beatrice’s story filled with intriguing details and a bunch of twirls that will surprise even the most avid mystery fan.
Beatrice lives in Swampshire, a small English town, and is still struggling to find her purpose in life. She is terrible at everything she tries. However, her life’s not bad, living with her parents and two sisters.
She is passionate about crime cases she reads in newspapers, but she desires to keep it a secret and doesn't want anyone to discover it. It's a small community, and if anyone found out, they would deem her a creep. She needs to keep this obsession to herself, especially since her family’s trying to maintain a clear image.
After all, the next autumnal ball is approaching, and her sister Louisa is about to go for the best bachelor in town, Edmund. If she doesn't get married, chances are their cousin will inherit the state.
Beatrice needs to keep her cool, but her world falls apart when a detective shows up in town.
Out of nowhere, Edmund drops dead. And when a massive storm starts outside, everyone’s trapped in there. They know there’s a killer among them, but they can’t point any fingers.
Beatrice needs to use her obsession and experience to find clues and identify the killer before someone else has Edmund’s fate.Amazon
Poison & Potato Salad, by Amity Allen (2017)
Upon turning 21, Poppy Parker, a renowned TV witch detective, is taken aback as she discovers her innate supernatural powers beyond her television persona. However, her show gets abruptly canceled, leaving her to return home to explore her newfound magic abilities.
Overwhelmed by this unexpected twist of fate, Poppy seeks to blend in and find her footing, which leads her to accept the role of a judge for the annual Bloomin’ Belles youth beauty competition.
Chaos ensues when the haughty director of the pageant suddenly dies, and one of Poppy's friends is arrested for the crime. Finding herself back in her sleuthing element, albeit with a real-life twist, Poppy embarks on a mission to unveil the true culprit.
The first book in the Poppy Parker Witch Cozy Mysteries series, weaves an enchanting tale, revealing the sinister underbelly of the beauty industry.
I firmly believe these are among the most captivating paranormal, witch and murder cozy mystery books released this year. While there may be other worthy mentions, these selections will undoubtedly satiate your appetite for enigma and unexpected turns. So, arm yourself with a comforting beverage, find a cozy nook in your garden on a radiant afternoon, and let yourself be swept away in these spellbinding narratives.
If you are in love with cozy mysteries check out also Joanne Fluke's cozy mysteries.
My profession is online marketing and development (10+ years experience), check my latest mobile app called Upcoming or my Chrome extensions for ChatGPT. But my real passion is reading books both fiction and non-fiction. I have several favorite authors like James Redfield or Daniel Keyes. If I read a book I always want to find the best part of it, every book has its unique value.