This Summer why not settle back and immerse yourself into what we are calling 'Cosy Summer Crime'. Think Agatha Raisin, Marple and Poirot. The murders are gentle, the settings are scenic and the cakes and jams may be poisoned but with the help of our intrepid local sleuth, all will be well that ends well.
With a category specifically on Cosy Crime and Gentle Mysteries, we've searched through for the best Summer titles. So get comfortable and get ready to delve into some of summer's best mysteries.
By MC Beaton (6697)
Mary Forunte is quite superior in every way, and has even ensconced herself in the affections of Agatha Raisin's neighbour, an eligible bachelor. When Mary is murdered and found buried upside down in a plant pot, Agatha seizes the moment to dig up village secrets. But is this wise?
By MC Beaton (7703)
Agatha Raisin travels to Cyprus in search of her ex-fiancé. There they witness the murder of an obnoxious tourist, instead of enjoying the honeymoon they had planned. Agatha won’t rest until she finds the murderer, and the murderer won’t rest until she’s history.
By MC Beaton (11792)
Agatha is helping out at the church fete, but there's more going on than innocent village fun. Several of the offerings in the jam-tasting booth turn out to be poisoned and the festive entertainment becomes the scene of two murders.
By Robert Thorogood (14700)
Judith Potts is seventy-seven years old and blissfully happy. She lives on her own in a faded mansion just outside Marlow. There’s noman in her life to tell her what to do or how much whisky to drink. One evening, while out swimming in the Thames, Judith witnesses a brutal murder.The local police don’t believe her story, so she decides to investigate for herself, and is soon joined in her quest by Suzie, a salt-of-the-earth dog-walker, and Becks, the prim and proper wife of the local Vicar. Together, they are the Marlow Murder Club. When another body turns up, they realise they have a real-life serial killer on their hands.
By Elisabeth Hyde (8074)
The body of Diana Duprey is found floating face down in her swimming pool. When detective Huck Berlin is brought in to investigate it soon becomes clear that she was murdered. Richard & Judy Bookclub.
By Agatha Christie (10904)
Hercule Poirot realises that what he at first thought was a clever hoax, is very real - there is a dead body by the swimming pool, accompanied by a hysterical woman. Poirot’s enquiries soon reveal a complex web of romantic attachments. It seems everyone in the drama is a suspect and each a victim of love.
By Agatha Christie (2182)
Jane Marple takes a holiday in the Caribbean where she encounters a retired major who tells her the story of a strange coincidence. Unfortunately he never gets to the end of the story and once more Miss Marple is involved in a murder hunt.
By Rebecca Tope (12750)
Thea Osborne and her spaniel Hepzibah embark on another house-sitting commission with very few worries. The Phillips are obviously a laid back family and she arrives at idyllic Frampton Mansell with renewed enthusiasm. But she soon finds herself in the centre of the action when an apparent suicide takes place in one of the barns.
By Rebecca Tope (11026)
When recently widowed Thea Osborne arrives in the Cotswolds to house-sit for a local couple, her only fear is that three weeks there might prove a little dull. But when she is woken by a piercing scream outside, she calls on her neighbours to get some answers. Thea uncovers more tragedy and intrigue than she thought possible behind the peaceful Gloucestershire village.
By Rebecca Tope (12426)
Thea Osborne, accompanied by her trusty spaniel, Hepzie, is convinced nothing can go wrong on her next house-sitting assignment in the charming village of Blockley. The Montgomerys have asked her to look after their house while they take a much needed holiday. But trouble seems to follow Thea and when a body is discovered in the house next door, she finds herself in the midst of village secrets.
By Rebecca Tope (13279)
As undertaker Drew Slocombe drives to a burial in Broad Campden, the last thing he is worried about is becoming a murder suspect. Thea Osbourne becomes Drew's unlikely defender when a body is discovered minutes from her latest house-sitting assignment. Drew and Thea begin to unearth the village secrets, together playing amateur detective to find the killer, and to clear Drew's name.
By Agatha Christie (4390)
When Miss Marple spends a brief holiday in an expensive and highly respectable London hotel, she encounters violence and mystery.
By Rebecca Tope (12484)
Thea Osborne and her faithful spaniel, Hepzie, have taken on a house-sitting assignment in the charming Cotswold village of Temple Guiting. But when a skeleton is discovered at the roots of an old beech tree, Thea soon finds herself drawn into a murder investigation. Perhaps the countryside isn't that quiet after all...
By Ian Sansom (11882)
Swanton Morley, the People’s Professor, sets off for Devon to continue his 'County Guides'. He has been invited to give the Founder’s Day speech at All Souls School, but when he arrives he discovers that a boy has died in mysterious circumstances. Was it an accident or was it – murder?
By John Creasey (14439)
The murder of a Member of Parliament puts an end to Inspector West’s holiday. His wife is naturally annoyed, but West nevertheless hastens back to Scotland Yard so as to take charge of the case. However, the murder turns out to be far more complicated than he expected, with many different mysteries to solve, and there is real danger as he gets closer to the truth.
By Ann Granger (8567)
When Lucas Burton turns up at a deserted farm in the middle of nowhere hoping to conduct a business deal, he stumbles across the body of a girl. That’s just the start of his bad luck; Penny Gower from the local stables has spotted his silver Mercedes leaving the scene of the crime.
By Lesley Cookman (11718)
When a body is discovered on a rocky little island in the middle of Nethergate Bay, the media swoop on the seaside town. Soon Libby Sarjeant, the middle-aged actress and crime-solver, finds herself up to her knees in more mud and murder than she could possibly have anticipated.
By Frances Brody (12073)
When amateur sleuth, Kate Shackleton, receives a dawn telephone call from her cousin James, his news soon snaps Kate into wakefulness. The India office seek her on-the-spot help in finding a maharajah last seen on the Bolton Abbey estate. He has with him a hugely valuable diamond...
By Edward Marston (8587)
Chaos, death and unbelievable destruction ensue when the Brighton Express derails just outside the Balcombe Tunnel. Could it simply be a case of driver error? Detective Inspector Colbeck thinks not, but digging deep to discover the intended target of the accident takes time and the killer is preparing to strike again.
By Agatha Christie (10911)
An engaging collection of three of the Queen of Crime's favourite detectives: Hercule Poirot, Parker Pyne, and Harley Quinn.
By T P Fielden (13499)
A beautiful beach in Devon is turned into a crime scene when an unidentifiable body is found there. For Miss Dimont this is a case of paramount interest, and the perfect introduction for her young new recruit Valentine. Even if their meddling is to the immense irritation of Inspector Topham. But nobody can identify the body, and why does Topham suspect murder? And when a second death occurs, can the two possibly be connected?
By Martin Edwards (editor) (11196)
From a golf course at the English seaside to a pension in Paris, and from a Swiss mountain resort to the cliffs of Normandy, this selection of stories shows the enjoyable and unexpected ways in which crime writers have used summer holidays as a theme.
By Simon Brett (5466)
When Carole Seddon retires to Fethering she doesn't expect to have a neighbour like Jude, but when Carole discovers a body on the beach only Jude believes her. Together they investigate, facing up to dangers they never knew existed.
By Alexander McCall Smith (11723)
Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi are called to a safari lodge in Botswana's Okavango Delta to carry out a delicate mission on behalf of a former guest.
By John Bude (10714)
When a body is found at an isolated garage, Inspector Meredith is drawn into a complex investigation where every clue leads to another puzzle: was this a suicide, or something more sinister? Why was the dead man planning to flee the country, and how is this connected to the shady business dealings of the garage?
By T P Fielden (12879)
Gerald Hennessey, the famous silver screen star, never quite makes it to Temple Regis; the quaint Devonshire seaside town on the English Riviera. Murdered on the 4.30 from Paddington, his loss intrigues Miss Judy Dimont – a reporter for The Riviera Express. Why was a man like Gerald coming to Temple Regis anyway? And what is the connection between him and a second death?