Cozy Mystery, Female Detective & Softboiled Short Stories

In “cozies”, as they’re also called, nothing graphic happens on stage. They generally have a small town setting, and the detective work is done by an amateur. There’s a higher percentage of women detectives in this type of story.

Also included here are other stories with female detectives or softboiled mysteries. These might not necessarily be cozy mysteries, but they’re close to that type.

See also:

“The Tuesday Night Club” by Agatha Christie

A group of friends are socializing at the home of Miss Marple when the conversation turns to unsolved mysteries. Each member of the group believes their profession gives them an advantage in crime solving. They decide to take turns telling a crime mystery of which the teller knows the solution. Then they will put their perceptive powers to the test and try to identify the real culprit.

In this first story, Mr. and Mrs. Jones and Miss Clark get sick after supper, and Mrs. Jones dies. Suspicion falls on Mr. Jones because he was dependent on his wife’s money, and due to a letter he wrote. Nothing solidly implicates him for the crime.

This story can be read in the preview of Miss Marple: The Complete Stories(Kindle version)

“The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan” by Agatha Christie

Poirot meets the Opalsen’s at a hotel. Mrs. Opalsen insists on showing Poirot some of her jewels. She runs up to her room to get them. Shortly after, a page boy summons Mr. Opalsen upstairs. Poirot notices increased activity among the staff and realizes something has happened.

Read “The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan” (second story in preview)

“The Blue Cross” by G. K. Chesterton

Valentin, head of the Paris police and famous investigator, is in London on the trail of criminal mastermind Flambeau. While having breakfast at a restaurant, Valentin gets his first lead when he learns that two clergyman had stopped in earlier and one of them had made a mess before leaving. Valentin is open to oddities so he follows up on this unusual incident.

This story, which is the first appearance of the famous Father Brown, can be read in the preview of The Complete Father Brown Mysteries.

“A Cozy for Christmas” by Charlotte Macleod

While her husband, Max, is away solving a mystery, Sarah visits family at the boarding house they run. Mrs. Gates, an elderly boarder, is finishing up the tea cozies she promised to make for the Holly fair at church. Sarah has the difficult job of finding appropriate presents for her in-laws, and thinks one of the cozies would be nice. Getting one turns out to be a bit complicated.

Some of this story can be read in the preview of Mistletoe Mysteries: Tales of Yuletide Murder(22% in)

“Counterfeit Christmas” by Charlotte MacLeod

It’s the Christmas season. The faculty dwellings at Balaclava Agricultural College are decorated and food is being sold on the grounds. Large crowds are gathering for the festivities. Professor Peter Shandy doesn’t enjoy the gaudiness. He gets a visit from Moira Haskins, the college comptroller. She shows him a twenty dollar bill, a fake, that was passed at one of the booths.

Some of this story can be read in Christmas Stalkings: Tales of Yuletide Murder(30% in)