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Customer Discussions > Mystery forum

Looking for cozy mystery without vulgarity or sex

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Showing 1-25 of 75 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 25, 2008 7:58:53 AM PST
Moxie says:
I am looking for a cozy mystery series for my mother. She prefers not to read books with too much violence, swearing and cursing, or sex. This type of book is hard to find. She has read the Miss Zukas series and enjoyed that a lot. Does anyone have suggestions that are similar to this type of mystery and that meet her requirements? I would really appreciate any input!!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2008 8:40:17 AM PST
I'm reading, well actually listening to, "The Merlot Murders" (Wine Country Mysteries, Book 1) by Ellen Crosby. Most of the way through it and no sex yet! I almost stopped due to multiple uses of GD at the outset, but the author has only returned to defiling the Creator on a few occasions since then.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2008 8:47:21 AM PST
Blue Goddess says:
It's been a long time since I started the series, but Sue Grafton's "alphabet series" has very little in the way of cussing and sex. I won't say none on the sex, but if I remember correctly, it's not explicit. They are excellent books, and she's a wonderful lady who does a lot of work on behalf of animals. I highly recommend her.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2008 9:59:33 AM PST
You might try my new book The Attic Above. It is very clean.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2008 11:15:21 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 25, 2008 11:40:45 AM PST
I think anything by Agatha Christie or Ngaio Marsh would be perfect. They're entertaining, beautifully written and easily available. Also, no sex and very little on-page violence, if any.

That being said, I've always thought that Christie's work has strong portrayals of the evil and the mad in it, and some of her work is genuinely disturbing. `And Then There Were None' is one such book, and the confrontation scene in `By the Pricking of My Thumbs' still weirds me out. If your mother is particularly susceptible, these two may be a little unnerving for her.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2008 11:38:00 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 25, 2008 11:39:44 AM PST
Mary Moore says:
Try: Anne George; Laura Childs; Katherine Hall Page; Monica Ferris; Jill Churchill; Marion Babson; Dorothy Sayers; Allington; N. Marsh ; Sara Woods; Rex Stout

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2008 11:48:59 AM PST
S. Couse says:
The Number One Ladies' Detective series by Alexander McCall Smith would perfectly fit the bill. Set in Botswana, these books are charming, whimsical and offer wonderful insights into another culture. They are beautifully written, and it is impossible not to fall in love with the characters and the country of Botswana as you read them, preferably in order.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2008 5:51:56 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 25, 2008 5:55:18 PM PST
L. Ryan says:
There is a series by Lilian Jackson Braun called a cat swearing.nothing offensive .very clean cut.I hope that helps you.Also The sunday philosophy club by Alexander McCall Smith

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2008 7:22:07 PM PST
Maria says:
Maggie- great question. I have the same taste as your mother. Glad I found this post. Now I have some new authors to try. I love N Marsh, Margery Allingham, Josephine Tey, Dorothy Sayers, Sara Caudwell and Agatha Christie. Also Conan Doyle. Try some of PG Wodehouse's humorous novels.They are not true mysteries but they seem to appeal to mystery lovers. Beverly Nichols is known for his garden novels but he wrote an entertaining mystery, "The Moonflower". All these are clean and well written. Enjoy.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2008 7:29:52 PM PST
Maria says:
Forgot to mention Michael Innes

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2008 7:31:08 PM PST
JP Colter says:
Another poster already mention it but Sue Graftons books would be good ones. Also, Sue Henry's books that have an Alaska theme are good. I like Nevada Barr's books that take place in US National Parks very much. These also mostly have female protagonists. Another Alaska series is Dana Stabenow's Kate Sugack series. There is a little sex but it's not detailed at all - some romance kind of the "fade to black" when it comes to sex. Not described, but the romance part is and the focus is mostly on the mystery. There is some violence though which you almost always have in a mystery... Hope one of these is enjoyable by your mom!


In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2008 8:34:21 PM PST
B. Nunn says:
Ron and Janet Benry have a good 2 book series, The Tundbridge Wells Mysteries.
Book one is called Dead as a Scone, and book 2 is The Final Crumpet.
Well worth reading.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2008 9:48:51 PM PST
T. Hauk says:
My reading tastes seem to parallel your mother's and I really enjoyed reading the Tony Hillerman mysteries. If you like the Southwestern US cultures, history and geography, his books are for you. I also recommend the Alexander McCall Smith No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2008 9:50:59 PM PST
H. Wong says:
Earlene Fowler and Anne George write great mysteries with no sex or violence but still build suspense.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2008 10:10:21 PM PST
D. Neal says:
I don't know if you already have these, but there was a series of books written by the mythical "Jessica Fletcher" under the Murder She Wrote banner. The stories were not on TV and , although similar in kind, are not exactly like the TV program. Lilian Braun wrote her stuff about a "perfect man" (rich, well-read, good-looking, non-existent) who loves cats in The Cat Who series, but the premise (romance more than mystery) might insult her intelligence....

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2008 4:53:20 AM PST
I have always gone back to re-read Phyllis Whitney's & Mary Stewart's mysteries. Lovely genre of pulp mysteries; mac & cheese for a voracious reader. I've been reading both authors for (embarassed cough) 40 years.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2008 7:36:09 AM PST
I love Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody series! They take place beginning in Victorian England. The main character is Amelia Peabody, amateur Egyptologist. The books are mysteries with humor, romance and have mild, and i mean MILD language! I work in a library and recommend them to anyone who is looking for an inoffensive mystery.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2008 7:36:13 AM PST
You want to give Tamar Myers a try. She writes two
different series & both are great. You might, also, like
Nancy Martin, Lisa Scottoline & Sarah Stromeyer.

Philly Hot Flasher

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2008 8:12:42 AM PST

Victoria Thompson
Tasha Alexander
Earlene Fowler
Carola Dunn (Daisy Dalrymple)
Carolyn G. Hart (Death on Demand)
Dorothy Cannell (Ellie Haskell)
M. C. Beaton (Hamish McBeth or Agatha Raisin)
Rhys Bowen (Constable Evan Evans)
Karen MacInerney

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2008 8:21:10 AM PST
Lydialynne says:
Hi Maggie,
My tastes (and my mother's!) run to the same type of clean books. Here's a list of authors that my mother and I have found and love, that I haven't seen mentioned in this thread yet: Augusta Trobaugh, Donna Andrews, Nancy Atherton, Mignon Ballard, Kate Borden, Dorothy Cannell, Joanna Carl, Barbara Colley, Mary Daheim, Joanna Fluke, Dorothy Gilman, Philip Gulley, Carolyn Hart, Maddy Hunter, Jan Karon, Charlotte MacLeod, Sharyn McCrumb, Tim Myers, Ann B. Ross (hilarious and clean), Corinne Holt Sawyer, Barbara Burnett-Smith, and Patricia Sprinkle. Gar Anthony Haywood also has a short series of 2 books about the Loudermilk family that are laugh-out-loud funny and quite suitable. He writes a grittier crime series that I haven't read, but his Loudermilk books are wonderful. I also second the recommendations of Jill Churchill, Tamar Myers, Anne George, Laura Childs, Katherine Hall Page, and Lilian Jackson Braun. Happy reading to your mom.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2008 9:02:38 AM PST
ANN SELF says:
Hello Maggie. My romantic suspense SOMETHING MOST DEADLY, is a modern, but genteel romance, minus the graphic sex scenes. I call it a "cozy thriller" since there is a lot of mystery going on at a large horseshow barn on a luxury estate. I write the kind of books my mother and aunts love; they used to read every Phyllis Whitney and Mary Stewart they could get their hands on, and so did I. I'm surprised to find so many people still looking for "sweet" romances, thought they were going out of style, but I guess not!
If this book sounds like what you are searching for, you can read more about it at AUTHORSDEN.COM/ANNSELF

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2008 12:39:52 PM PST
mizgilbert says:
Dear JP, I have to make an observation here on Dana Stabenow's Kate Sugack series; it was sooo my favorite that I could barely wait for the next one. I think I had about ten when 'the next one' got a little sexy. I was taken aback but decided it was such a good series that the sex wasn't too bad...not gross. Unfortunately the next one was downright hardcore and, while I can take adult sexual encounters so long as they are not explicit, this was so explicit it should have come in a brown paper wrapper and sold in adult X stores. I was really angry so I went to Ms. Stabenow's website and told her she'd had a series destined to go into 'classics' rank and she'd turned into a 2-bit titillation. Her answer was "well, I guess you told me." I threw them all out and have not bought another so I don't know if she continued the nastiness. Yes, Kate should have a lover and I fully expected her to go to bed with him, but not with descriptions of male gentitals in erection to any degree, much less the Nth.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2008 12:47:52 PM PST
Book Cat says:

Try "Perpetuations" by J.B. Doyle - it is a good mystery, thriller - my mother is the same way and she loved it. The sequel is due out soon so this would be a perfect time to read the 1st installment!


Book Cat

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2008 1:34:29 PM PST
Moxie says:
I am absolutely thrilled with the responses! I am making a list of the suggestions and will have plenty of books to get my mother through the winter (and beyond!). Thank you very, very much.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2008 1:36:34 PM PST
Hi Maggie,

My "Exile" murder mystery series contains absolutely no swear words and almost no sex (there is some kissing). The first novel in the series, Murder in Exile, was published by St. Martin's Press in 2006, the second book, Reduced Circumstances, was released in 2007, and the third installment, Exile Trust, will be in bookstores this July.

Please read a sample chapter at my website,

Vinny O'Neil
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Discussion in:  Mystery forum
Participants:  65
Total posts:  75
Initial post:  Feb 25, 2008
Latest post:  Aug 30, 2008

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