Five cozy mystery series with a magical twist.
Does it have mystery or intrigue; I’ll read it! Whether it’s Agatha Christie or Tara French, any novel with a good mystery and a good twist is a novel for me. I’ve started reading more in the cozy mystery subgenre since the shutdown as a way to get away from “real life” so I feel like I have a good selection of books I can recommend.
Cozy mysteries that I gravitate towards generally have three key elements:
a. there must be an amateur sleuth and the crime affects either the amateur or their friend/loved one.
b. a romantic interest that’s either in law enforcement, or law enforcement adjacent, or else some close friend turned love interest.
c. most of the novel is spent doing something completely unrelated to the crime (which happens off page) like attending parties, baking cookies, knitting… you get the drift.
Within the cozy mystery subgenre, my favorite type is a cozy with a magical twist! These are cozies where the protagonist is also a magical person, like a witch or a psychic. I tend to lean toward the witch device, so here are five cozy mysteries with a magical twist.
Kicking this off with the witchy cozy mystery that made me love the witchy cozy mystery subgenre – Heather Blake’s Wishcraft Mystery. This remains one of my top five cozy mysteries. Darcy and Harper recently lost their dad when their mom’s sister comes back into their lives to tell them that they are witches, and not just any kind of witches but witches that grant wishes. It’s such a funny premise but quite endearing and the characters are pretty out there, but somehow it all works. The romantic interest is of course a retired cop – a single dad with an eleven-year-old who later goes back into law enforcement. There are nine books in the series and while you don’t have to read them in order I would recommend reading them in order since there are some repeating themes that tie the entire series together.
Amanda Flower’s Magical Bookshop series with fun names like Crime and Poetry, and Prose and Cons is next. Currently, there are five books out about Violet, who rushed to her grandma Daisy after she thought Daisy was ill. Instead, she found that Daisy tricked her into coming back to her small town so she could continue the family legacy of running the magical bookshop – the one with a huge magical tree growing inside. Violet ends up staying after her Grandma becomes a prime suspect in a murder case and of course, with the help of the books (yes books) and a magical cat, she solves the crime! This one also has a law enforcement beau, though that comes a little later in the series.
Due to the campiness of the premise I have to include Nancy Warren’s Vampire Knitting Club. Lucy’s grandmother died and left her a knit shop in Oxford so, to get away from her annoying ex she decided to spend time running the shop. Except, her grandmother isn’t really dead because she is a vampire, and those vampires meet in the shop at night to knit; oh, and Lucy finds out from her grandmother that she’s a witch. It’s so silly, and even though they didn’t play the witch plot up as much as I hoped I still devoured all fourteen books. While the love interest here isn’t law enforcement adjacent, he is a vampire who was around since the Elizabethan times. I do have to make an honorable mention to Warren’s Village Flower Shop series which also follows a witch but this time the magic is explored more.
While I consider Juliet Blackwell’s Witchcraft Mystery series to be cozy I think this one might be a bit darker than the rest. Lily runs a vintage clothing shop and part of her magic is to feel vibrations off of old clothing, so a lot of the mysteries deal with clothing in some way. I’ve read the first three from the series so far and will definitely keep reading but I like to keep these for the fall when the spooky season rolls around. I say it’s a little darker because it explores a lot of legends and Blackwell’s descriptions are so immersive at times that you may or may not want to keep the lights on when you go to bed.
While there are only two books in the series and the author has yet to announce a third I will also mention Auralee Wallace’s Evenfall Witches B&B series. Brynn is living with her aunts after the death of her husband. Brynn’s magic is affected – she can speak to the dead – and so we see her dealing with both losses while also trying to save her aunt from a murder conviction. It has a large cast of characters and all of them are interesting to read, the aunts in this series remind me slightly of a version of Zelda and Hilda from Sabrina. From what I found online, Wallace has been sick so unable to write, I wish her well and a speedy recovery.
“Oh,” Harper said solemnly. “I love books.”Heather Blake, It Takes a Witch