If you’re hoping to spend Valentine’s Day curled up with a book that’s sweet, comforting, and contains just a bit of murder, cozy mysteries are the perfect fit. From postmasters awash with love letters to bakers scrambling to churn out heart-shaped cookies and the proprietors of romantic inns, the main characters of the cozy mystery genre are ripe for being drawn into Valentine-themed plot lines. And, what better day than the holiday of love to suspend some disbelief and swoon over plot lines featuring chance encounters, long-lost exes, and tidy endings tied up with a (pink and red) bow?
Whether you’re looking for a main character chasing down a murderer and falling in love at the same time, or are more in the mood to watch someone take down a vengeful ex or the town womanizer, cozies offer up a variety of options. Some of these stories center around Valentine’s itself, including such “it could only happen in a cozy mystery” plot lines as town-wide festivals and group getaways, while others are set in the types of small bakeries and chocolate shops that keep the economies of cozy mysteries running. Whatever snowy, heart-strewn path your heart takes you down this Valentine’s Day, these cozy mysteries are a great guide to celebrating all things love and romance, with a side of murder.
Buttercream Bump Off by Jenn McKinlay
Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura, owners and bakers at Fairy Tale Cupcakes, are getting ready for Valentines’s Day when they’re interrupted by the murder of Baxter Malloy. Baxter, a man with a secretive and shady past, had been dating Mel’s mom and soon fingers start pointing at her over the death. Mel and Angie have to find time to clear her name and figure out who did Baxter in, all while prepping their sweet treats for eager customers.
Addressed to Kill By Jean Flowers
In North Ashcot, Massachusetts, love is in the air, and love letters are flowing through the post office overseen by Cassie Miller. As the town gets ready for its annual Valentine’s dance at the senior center, their beloved band has nowhere to practice. So Cassie thoughtfully lets them use the post office after hours, but when a band member turns up dead, she has to figure out whodunit, and who could be next.
As Gouda as Dead By Avery Aames
The Fromagerie Bessette in Providence, Ohio is getting prepped for Valentine’s by stuffing baskets full of heart-shaped cheese and preparing suggestions for romantic meals for two. And to make things extra sweet, Charlotte Bessette is finally about to marry her love, Jordan, an artisanal cheese farmer. But before happily ever after can start, a local bar owner is found dead on Jordan’s farm! Can Charlotte solve the case (and save her wedding plans) before the big day?
Murder in the Paperback Parlor By Ellery Adams
Perennial cozy mystery favorite Ellery Adams creates another delightful story with this Valentine’s themed plot featuring book-themed owner Jane Steward. Jane is busy organizing a week of romance-related activities for guests at her literary getaway, but the festivities have barely begun at Storyton Hall when celebrated author Rosamund York is killed. Rosamund had plenty of enemies among her fellow novelists, and Jane and her book club will have to sort through her past, and her books, to figure out the culprit.
Chocolate Covered Murder by Necole Ryse
This Valentine’s novella combines romance, locked room mysteries, and chocolate for one sweet read. Brianna Coleman is no fan of Valentine’s Day, but when her friend gets sick and can’t use her ticket for the romantic Sexy & Single group getaway, Brianna agrees to go in her place. This is how she ends up meeting Nate Harrington and getting trapped by a blizzard with him at a luxury hotel, a situation that seems sweet and sultry…until the dead body shows up.
A Valentine for One by Patrice Greenwood
Ellen Rosings is planning a move and a wedding, all while keeping up with booming business at the Wisteria Tearoom as Valentine’s Day approaches, so the last thing she needs is a(nother) murder to solve. But this time, the dead body isn’t just someone Ellen knew, it’s also someone who was very likely murdered by one of the tearoom’s own staff members. Who can Ellen trust as she works to crack the case?
Secrets, Lies, & Crawfish Pies by Abby L. Vandiver
Romaine Wilder has been forced from her big-city, medical examiner life back to her small hometown, where her Aunt Zanne runs the Ball Funeral Home. Aunt Zanne may be used to dead bodies, but she’s none too pleased when an unaccounted-for corpse turns up at the funeral home’s door. Meanwhile, Romaine has left her boyfriend behind in the city, and Aunt Zanne won’t stop trying to mix up love potions to get Romaine to fall in love with someone in town. Throw in a brand-new sheriff and an Annual Crawfish Boil, and Romaine and Aunt Zanne have their hands full with both love and murder.
Death By Baguette: A Valentine’s Day Murder in Paris by Jennifer S. Alderson
If a Parisian getaway is your idea of a perfect Valentine’s, this book may have you rethinking that stance. Tour guide Lana Hansen has prepared the perfect, romantic tour of France for five couples, but for one of the group members, this trip will be their last. Swoon over the City of Lights and solve a murder in this travel-themed Valentine’s cozy mystery.
Against the Currant: A Spice Isle Bakery Mystery by Olivia Matthews
Lyndsay Murray’s dream is coming true: she’s opening Spice Isle Bakery with her family in Little Caribbean, Brooklyn, and she can’t wait to share her West Indies–inspired treats with the neighborhood. The only problem is Claudio Fabrizi, a fellow bakery owner who doesn’t want competition and tries to get Lyndsay shut down. When Claudio turns up dead just after threatening the staff at Spice Isle, Lyndsay will have to fight to clear her name and keep her anxious family from meddling in the case.
A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette
When Bronwyn Crewse agreed to take over the Crewse Creamery family ice cream shop, she thought she would be opening at the height of the summer season to plenty of customers. Instead, construction delays have pushed opening day into mid-winter, in Ohio, and then the body of a man who had a longstanding grudge against the Crewse family is found outside the store. With the help of her best friends and a cast of small-town characters, Bronwyn will have to tackle the case and keep the Creamery churning.
Looking for more Valentine’s goodness? Check out these love stories and be sure to gift your fellow readers some Valentine’s bookmarks to spread the literary love! In the mood for more cozy mysteries? We’ve got more recommendations!