Whether relaxing in a lawn chair, cozying up on a rainy spring afternoon or cuddling up in the chill of winter, my favorite selection of relaxing cozy book series beckons me. Whenever I have some time to catch up on the series I follow, these are the ones I turn to. I know they will provide me with intriguing plots to mull over while performing mindless tasks, and allow me to follow the fictional lives of characters I have grown fond of. Each of these series takes place in a location far from my home, and gives me the chance to vary my surroundings, if only in my mind. Join me as I adventure to faraway places from the comfort of a cozy reading spot!
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The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Series by Alexander McCall Smith
Set in Botswana, this first book chronicles the beginning of a detective agency begun by the intrepid and clever Precious Ramotswe. Full of humor and gentle lessons about human nature, this series has received world-wide acclaim. I have followed the books from the series inception, eagerly awaiting each new installment. With 19 books written thus far, the author provides a healthy dose of heart-touching entertainment and endearing characters. I have become quite attached to them. Follow along as Mma Ramotswe bumps along in her trusty white van, solving mysteries with tact and skill. Curl up in your favorite chair and enjoy!
The Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries by Carola Dunn
The Honorable Daisy Dalrymple seems to have a knack for the unconventional, especially in 1920’s England. As a member of the upper class, Daisy is expected to live a quiet life being supported by her relatives until she marries (advantageously, of course). Breaking from family tradition, young Daisy embarks upon a career in journalism. What a shock it is when her first assignment lands her in the middle of a murder investigation. Using fortitude and common sense, Daisy’s mystery-solving misadventures (and some romance) continue for all 22 books in the series.
Her Royal Spyness Series by Rhys Bowen
This set of cozy reads follows the spunky British Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie as she sets out to do some investigating at the behest of her royal relatives. 34th in line for the throne, Georgie is only too happy to escape the confines of her brother’s chilly Scottish castle and live the high life in 1930s London. I love the nod to royal protocol and fun period details. These books have allowed me to experience the upper class social scene of a bygone era. Filled with charming characters and humorous subplots, this series of 12 books is sure to please.
The Maisie Dobbs Series by Jacqueline Winspear
Ten years after the end of World War 1, well-educated Maisie Dobbs, who had served as a nurse during wartime, puts her skills to the test as a private investigator. This series is more serious in tone than the others listed previously. Maisie encounters the dark side of human nature in the cases she is presented with. Surrounded by a cast of interesting supporting characters, Maisie uses her intuition to unravel tangled webs of deceit. Complications from her own issues with the past add an element of interest. Thought-provoking and intriguing, this series will not disappoint.
The Aunt Dimity Series by Nancy Atherton
I debated about whether or not to include this series in my top 5. Although I am quite fond of the books, there is a supernatural element involved as the main character, Lori Shepherd, communicates with the benevolent spirit of her Aunt Dimity, whose words appear written in a journal whenever Lori needs advice. The main reason I keep coming back to these books is the setting, which is a quaint English village called Finch. The quirky villagers, touches of romance, and the light-hearted humor throughout are soothing to me when I need to relax. If you can suspend your disbelief and if you enjoy picturesque settings, these 23 books will keep you going for awhile.
Hmmm…I think I noticed a pattern. All but one of these series takes place in England. Ironically, on a side note, all of the authors, except Alexander McCall Smith, now reside in the United States.
What Are Your Favorites?
There are many, many amazing series out there for those in search of a cozy read. If you have any favorites you would like to share, I’d love to hear about them. I always appreciate book recommendations from friends. Relaxing with a book and a cup of tea is my number one self-care strategy!
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