If you’re anything like me you like a little bit of witchery and a good mystery. The problem? There are a lot of bad murder mystery writers out there. At least in the cozy mystery niche that I enjoy. The good thing? There are some blooming brilliant writers out there too! I’ve had the pleasure of discovering a few. In this article I’ve gathered my three favorites. I’m still waiting for someone who will write mysteries without the murders, I mean, do you actually have to kill someone off to write a good mystery? Or could you just be satisfied with thievery and possibly the odd kidnapping? Growing up with Nancy Drew, I consider it quite possible.
So without further ado: three great series that focus on mystery and witchcraft.
The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Magic Series by Helen Harper
This series is set in Oxford, England, and evolves around a very lazy witch who suddenly finds herself caught up in murder, mystery and mayhem. This is somewhat inconvenient as it means she has to get off the couch. At least if she wants to prevent whatever lunatic is at large from striking again. She also happens to get involved with a rather brilliant man, who is her polar opposite in many ways: fit, ambitious and rarely ever hanging out on the couch. Of course, he’s utterly irresistible.
What I love so much about this series is that it’s intelligently written and filled with humor. The humor part is particularly refreshing.
Juliet Blackwell’s Witchcraft Mysteries
This series evolves around a witch, Lily Ivory, who picks up on the vibrations of second-hand clothes. As such, it’s only natural that she sets up a vintage clothing store — Aunt Cora’s Closet.
Growing up in Texas, Lily was bullied for her “witchy ways” and ever since she was run out of town by the scared townsfolk she’s lived as a nomad. Settling in San Francisco she learns what it’s like to find home and stand up for who she truly is: a witch.
The books are filled with an array of characters that are as quirky as the city of San Francisco itself. For all its supernatural themes, the series is refreshingly down to earth. You actually believe these characters could exist and you could run into them on any given day in San Fran.
There are also elements of humor in the books, such as a familiar who’s a shapeshifting pet pig.
Heather Blake’s Magic Potions Mysteries
This series is fun. So much fun. Set in Hitching Post, Alabama, where people go to get hitched, these books' leading lady is Carly Bell Hartwell, who owns a shop selling potions. One day Carly finds a dead man in her shop and a certain sheriff has to come investigate. A certain sheriff who she has a past with.
Of course, Carly can’t leave the investigation entirely to the sheriff. Not when her reputation is on the line. So she decides to do a little bit of digging herself.
This series is a favorite of mine because of the Southern charm and quirky characters who infuse the books with humor. It’s what I call good entertainment.
Often when looking for cozy mysteries I’ve found stories that are about as inspiring as you’d expect a poorly written romance novel to be. That’s to say: there are so many unbelievable scenarios (and I’m not talking about the witchcraft and magic) that it’s hard to actually sit back and enjoy what you’re reading. Therefore, whenever I come across a book that doesn’t just have great atmosphere, but also believable characters and an intelligent plot I get excited. The three authors mentioned in this article have all pulled that off, but in very different ways.