Oshkosh Public Library

What To Read:

Written By: Librarian - Feb• 16•21

Booklists for You!

With this cold weather, it’s good to have a list of books you want to read! If we don’t have what you want at the library, you can always try Overdrive or Libby. We would be glad to show you how to access those books for free.

Here are some booklists taken from the Madison, Wisconsin Public Library website. The first list is “Cozy Mysteries”, the next are “Women Sleuths” and last is a long list from Oprah’s Book Club. Even if you don’t especially like Oprah, her booklists have something for everyone.

Cozy Mystery Authors

A Cozy Mystery usually takes place in a benign universe, in a small town setting. They usually involve a domestic crime, one without violence or bloodshed, committed with a blunt instrument or poison. Cozies are most often solved by gifted amateur detectives, and involve solving some form of a puzzle through observation, deduction and the keen understanding of human nature. There is no graphic violence or use of strong language.

Author. Series Characters, Character’s Profession, and Character’s Hometown

  • Abbott, Jeff Jordan Poteet, Librarian, Mirabeau, Texas
  • Adams, Harold Carl Wilcox, Ex-Convict Sign-Painter, 1930s South Dakota
  • Aird, Catherine Christopher “Seedy” Sloan, Inspector, West Calleshire, England
  • Albert, Susan Wittig China Bales, Herb Shop owner, Texas
  • *Alexander, Ellie.  Sloan Krause, a brewer, Leavenworth, Washington
  • *Alexander, Tasha.  Lady Emily Ashton, a young widow, Victorian England
  • Allingham, Margery Albert Campion, Sleuth, London
  • *Andrews, Donna.  Meg Langslow, decorative blacksmith, Virginia
  • Atherton, Nancy Aunt Dimity, Romantic English Ghost, England
  • Ballard, Mignon.  Dimple Kilpatrick, first-grade teacher, World War II-era Elderberry, Georgia
  • Barnard, Robert Charlie Peace, Detective, Scotland Yard, London
  • Barnard, Robert Oddie, Inner city school teacher, London
  • Barnard, Robert Perry Trethowan, Inspector, Scotland Yard, London
  • Barron, Stephanie Jane Austen, author, 19C England
  • Beaton, M.C. Agatha Raisin, Advertising retiree, Cotswolds, England
  • Beaton, M.C. Hamish Macbeth, Police constable, Scotland
  • Beck, K.K. Iris Cooper, Flapper, 1920s Portland Ore.
  • Berenson, Laurien Melanie Travis, Special Ed teacher, Connecticut
  • Bishop, Claudia Sarah and Meg Quilliam, Bed & Breakfast owners, New York
  • Blake, Nicholas Nigel Strangeways, Amateur sleuth, England
  • Bowen, Rhys Evan Evans, Village Constable, Wales
  • Bowen, Rhys Molly Murphy, Irish Immigrant, Early 1900s New York City
  • Boylan, Eleanor Clara Gamadge, Widow of forgery expert, New York City
  • Brand, Christianna Inspector Cockrill, Constable, Kent County, England
  • Braun, Lilian Jackson Jim Qwilleran and cats Koko & Yum Yum, Ex-police reporter, Midwest
  • Breen, Jon Jerry Brogan, Track announcer at Surfside Meadows, California
  • Breen, Jon Rachel Hennings, Bookstore owner, Los Angeles
  • Brett, Simon Charles Paris, Alcoholic actor, England
  • Brett, Simon Melita Pargeter, Widow of a thief, England
  • Brightwell, Emily Inspector Witherspoon and housekeeper Mrs. Jeffries, England
  • Brown, Lizbie Elizabeth Blair, American Quilt Shop Owner, Bath England
  • Bruce, Leo Sgt. Beef, Village constable, England
  • Bruce, Leo Carolus Deene, Master in a boy’s school, England
  • Burley, W.J. Charles Wycliffe, CID Superintendent, West Country, England
  • Cameron, Dana Emma Fielding, Archaeologist, Various Locations
  • Cannell, Dorothy Ellie & Ben Haskell, Interior decorator & writer/chef, England
  • Carr, John Dickson (also Dickson, Carter) Dr. Gideon Fell, England
  • Carvic, Heron/Crane,Hamilton Miss Emily D. Seeton, Retired Art Teacher, England
  • Caudwell, Sarah Hilary Tamar, Professor of Medieval law, Oxford, England
  • Charles, Nora Kate Kennedy, Senior Citizen, Florida
  • Chesney, Marion Captain Harry Cartwright and Lady Rose Summer, Edwardian England
  • Chesterton, G.K. Father Brown, England
  • Childs, Laura Theodosia Browning, Tea Shop Owner, Charleston, South Carolina
  • Childs, Laura Carmela Bertrand, Scrapbooking Shop Owner, New Orleans
  • Christie, Agatha Hercules Poirot, Belgian cop-turned private detective, London
  • Christie, Agatha Miss Jane Marple, Spinster, St. Mary’s Mead, England
  • Christie, Agatha Tuppence & Tommy Beresford, Adventurers for hire/intelligence agents, England
  • Christmas, Joyce Betty Trenka, Retired Office Manager, Connecticut
  • Christmas, Joyce Lady Margaret Priam, New York City
  • Churchill, Jill Jane Jeffry, Suburban single mother, Chicago
  • Cleeves, Ann George & Molly Palmer-Jones, Ex-Home official/Bird-watcher & wife, Surrey, England
  • Clinton-Baddeley, V.C. Dr. R.V. Davie, Professor, Cambridge, England
  • Comfort, B. Tish McWhinney, 70ish artist, Vermont
  • Conant, Susan Holly Winter, Dog trainer, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Corwin, C.R. Maddy Sprowls, 60+ Newspaper Librarian, Ohio City
  • Coyle, Cleo Clare Cosi, Coffee House Manager, Greenwich Village
  • Craig, Philip J. W. Jackson, Ex-Boston Cop, Martha’s Vineyard,
  • Crispin, Edmund Gervase Fen, Oxford professor of English, England
  • Cross, Amanda Kate Fansler, English professor, New York City
  • Daheim, Mary Emma Lord, Newspaper Owner, Alpine, Washington
  • Daheim, Mary Judith McMonigle Flynn, B & B Owner, Seattle
  • Daly, Elizabeth Henry Gamadge, Author & bibliophile, New York City
  • Dams, Jeanne Dorothy Martin, Retired American schoolteacher, England
  • Dams, Jeanne Hilda Johansson, Swedish Immigrant Servant, South Bend, Indiana
  • Davidson, Diane Mott Goldy Bear, Caterer & single mom, Aspen Meadow, Colorado
  • Dean, S.F.X. Professor Kelly, College professor, New England
  • Deere, Dicey Torrey Tunet, Translator, Irish Village
  • Dennison, Hannah Kat Stanford, TV celebrity, Devon, England
  • Dobson, Joanne Karen Pelletier, English Professor, Massachusetts
  • Dunn, Carola Daisy Dalrymple, Aristocrat, Chelsea, England
  • Elkins, Aaron Chris Norgren, Art museum curator, Seattle, Washington
  • Elkins, Aaron Gideon Oliver, Anthropology professor, Port Angeles, Washington
  • *Ernst, Kathleen.  Chloe Ellefson, museum curator, rural Wisconsin
  • Farmer, Jerrilyn Madeline Bean, Caterer, Hollywood
  • Ferrars, E.X. Andrew Basnett, Botany professor, England
  • Ferrars, E.X. Supt. Ditteridge, Police superintendent, England
  • Ferrars, E.X. Toby Dyke, Amateur sleuth, England
  • Ferrars, E.X. Virginia & Felix Freer, Physiotherapist & businessman, England
  • *Flower, Amanda.  Fiona Knox, florist with a magical garden, Duncreigan, Scotland,
  • Fluke, Joanne Hannah Swensen, Diner Manager, Lake Eden, Minnesota
  • Fowler, Elaine Benni Harper, Folk Art Museum Curator, California
  • Fraser, Antonia Jemima Shore, Television interviewer, England
  • Frazer, Margaret Sr. Frevisse, Medieval nun, Oxford, England
  • George, Anne Mouse Hollowell, Retired English Teacher, Sister Crane, Bar Owner, Alabama
  • Graham, Caroline Tom Barnaby, Chief Inspector, Midsommer, England
  • Gray, Gallagher Theodore S. Hubbard & Auntie Lil, elderly personnel manager and dress designer, New York
  • Greenwood, John Inspector Mosley, Yorkshire, England
  • Greenwood, Kerry Phryne Fisher, 1920s Melbourne, Australia
  • Grimes, Martha Richard Jury, Investigator, Scotland Yard, England
  • Hammond, Gerald John Cunningham, War hero & hunting-dog trainer, Scotland
  • Hammond, Gerald Keith Calder, Gunsmith & sport shooter, Newton Lauder, Scotland
  • Hardwick, Mollie Doran Fairweather, Antiques dealer, Kent, England
  • Hart, Carolyn Annie Laurance & Max Darling, Bookstore owner & investigator, South Carolina
  • Hart, Carolyn Henrietta O’Dwyer Collins, 70ish reporter, South Carolina
  • Haywood, Gar Anthony Joe Dottie Loudermilk, Retired, Traveling in the USA
  • *Hechtman, Betty.  Molly Pink, widow, bookstore owner and crochet group coordinator, Tarzana, California
  • *Hechtman, Betty.  Casey Feldstein, dessert chef and owner of a yarn retreat business, Monterey, California
  • Henry, Sue Maxie McNab, Widow, Traveling in the USA
  • Hess, Joan Arly Hanks, Police chief, Maggody, Arkansas
  • Hess, Joan Claire Malloy, Bookstore owner, Farberville, Arkansas
  • Heyer, Georgette Superintendent Hannasyde, Police superintendent, England
  • Holt, Hazel Sheila Malory, Literary magazine writer, Devon, England
  • Holtzer, Susan Anneke Haagen, Computer consultant, Michigan
  • Hunter, Maddy Emily Andrew, Tour Guide, Various Locations
  • Innes, Michael George Appleby, Aristocratic inspector, England
  • Kallen, Lucille Maggie Rome & C.B. Greenfield, Reporter & editor/publisher, Connecticut
  • Kingsbury, Kate Cecily Sinclair, Hotel Owner, Edwardian England
  • Kingsbury, Kate Lady Elizabeth Hartleigh Compton, WWII England
  • Knight, Kathryn Lasky Calista Jacobs, Children’s book illustrator, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Langton, Jane Homer Kelly, Harvard professor & retired detective, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Lathen, Emma John Putnam Thatcher, Wall Street financial whiz, New York City
  • Laurence, Janet Darina Lisle, Caterer, West Country, England
  • Lemarchand, Elizabeth Tom Pollard & Gregory Toye, Scotland Yard detectives, England
  • Linscott, Gillian Nell Bray, Suffragette, England
  • Lockridge, Frances and Richard Inspector Merton Heimrich, State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, NYC
  • Lockridge, Frances and Richard Pam & Jerry North, Book publisher & wife, New York City
  • Lutz, Lisa Isabele “Izzy” Spellman, 28-Year Old Private Eye, San Francisco
  • McCrumb, Sharyn Elizabeth MacPherson, Forensic anthropologist, Southern U.S.
  • McCrumb, Sharyn Dr. James Owens Mega, College professor & science-fiction author
  • McCrumb, Sharyn Spencer Arrowood, Sheriff, Appalachia
  • McKevett, G.A Savannah Reid, Private Eye, Southern California
  • *McKinlay, Jenn.  Lindsey Norris, director of the Briar Creek Public Library, Briar Creek, Connecticut
  • MacLeod, Charlotte Peter Shandy & Helen Marsh Shandy, Botany professor & librarian, Massachusetts
  • MacLeod, Charlotte Sarah Kelling & Max Bittersohn, Investigators, Boston
  • MacPherson, Rett Victoria O’Shea, Genealogist, Missouri Small Town
  • Maffini, Mary Jane Fiona Silk, Romance Writer, Quebec
  • Maffini, Mary Jane Camilla MacPhee, Violent Crime Victim Advocate, Ottawa
  • Malliet, G. M. Max Tudor, vicar and and former MI-5 agent, Nether Monkslip, England
  • Marsh, Ngaio Roderick Alleyn, Inspector son of a baron, London
  • Martin, Nancy Nora, Emma, and Libby Blackbird, Heiresses, Philadelphia
  • Meier, Leslie Lucy Stone, Wife and Mother, Maine Small Town
  • Monfredo, Miriam Grace Glynis Tryon, Librarian and suffragette, Seneca Falls, NY
  • Morice, Anne Tessa Crichton, Actress sleuth, England
  • Mortimer, John Horace Rumpole, Barrister, London
  • Murphy, Haughton Reuben Frost, Retired Wall Street attorney, New York City
  • Myers, Tamar Abigail Timberlake, Antique Shop Owner, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Myers, Tamar Magdalena Yoder, Mennonite Inn Owner, Pennsylvania
  • Page, Katherine Hall Faith Sibley Fairchild, Minister’s wife/culinary artist, Massachusetts
  • Paige, Robin Kathryn Ardleigh, American author, Victorian Dedham, England
  • Penny, Louise Armand Gamache, Chief Inspector, Québec
  • Peters, Elizabeth Amelia Peabody, Victorian feminist archaeologist, Kent, England
  • Peters, Elizabeth Jacqueline Kirby, Librarian romance writer, New York
  • Peters, Elizabeth Vicky Bliss, Art historian, Bavaria, Germany
  • Peters, Ellis Brother Cadfael, Medieval monk & herbalist, Shrewsbury, England
  • Peters, Ellis George, Bunty & Dominic Felse, Family of detectives, Comersford, Shropshire, England
  • Pickard, Nancy Jenny Cain, Foundation director, Port Frederick, Massachusetts
  • Pulver, Mary Monica Peter & Kori Price Brichter, Police detective & horse breeder, Illinois
  • *Raybourn, Deanna.  Veronica Speedwell, adventuress, 1880s England
  • Rich, Virginia Eugenia Potter, Widowed chef, Maine & Arizona
  • Roberts, Gillian Amanda Pepper, Private Prep School Teacher, Philadelphia
  • Rowe, Jennifer Birdie Birdwood, TV Researcher, Australia
  • Rowlands, Betty Melissa Craig, Mystery writer, Cotswolds, England
  • Runcie, James Sidney Chambers, bachelor and vicar, Cambridgeshire, England
  • Sayers, Dorothy L. Lord Peter Wimsey, Pianist, bibliophile & criminologist, London
  • Scoppettone, Sandra Faye Quick, Private Eye, 1940s New York City
  • Scoppettone, Sandra Lauren Laurano, Lesbian Private Eye, Manhattan
  • Sherwood, John Celia Grant, Widowed owner of a horticultural business, England
  • Simpson, Dorothy Luke Thanet, Police Inspector, England
  • Smith, Alexander McCall Isabel Dalhousie, Amateur Philosopher, Edinburgh
  • Smith, Alexander McCall Mma Precious Ramotswe, Private Eye, Botswana
  • Sprinkle, Patricia Sheila Travis, Public relations executive, Atlanta
  • Strohmeyer, Sarah Bubbles Yablonsky, Hairdresser and Journalist, Lehigh, Pennsylvania
  • *Swanson, Denise.  Skye Denison-Boyd, school psychologist, Scumble River, Illinois
  • Taylor, Phoebe Atwood Asey Mayo, Sailor & auto racer, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  • Tey, Josephine Alan Grant, Inspector, Scotland Yard, England
  • Thompson, Victoria Sarah Brandt, Midwife, 1890s New York City
  • Trocheck, Kathy Hogan Callahan Garrity, Cleaning service operator, Atlanta
  • Viets, Elaine Francesca Vierling, Journalist, St. Louis
  • Viets, Elaine Helen Hawthorne, Minimum-Wage Worker, Florida
  • Viets, Elaine Josie Marcus, Undercover Store Spy,  St. Louis
  • Walsh, Jill Paton Imogene Quy, School nurse, Cambridge, England
  • Watson, Colin Walter Purbright, Inspector, Flaxborough, England
  • Wentworth, Patricia Ernest Lamb, Police inspector, London
  • Wentworth, Patricia Miss Maud Silver, Retired governess & spinster P.I., London
  • Winspear, Jacquelin Maisie Dobbs, Psychologist and Private Eye, 1920s – 30s London
  • Wolzien, Valerie Josie Pigeon, All-Woman Construction Firm Owner, Northeast USA
  • Wolzien, Valerie Susan Henshaw, Suburban Housewife, Connecticut

Women Sleuths

Mysteries featuring women as the primary sleuth.  

Susan Wittig Albert 

The Darling Dahlias Mysteries follows a 1930’s garden club as their members come across crimes with small town southern charm.

China Bayles is a Pecan Springs, Texas herb store owner and former attorney. Herb lore and a portrait of a modern small town being reshaped by big city refugees are important features of this series. 

Mary Kay Andrews 

This humorous series features Eloise “Weezie” Foley, who forms her own antique business after a bitter divorce.

  • Savannah Blues  and many others
Nevada Barr 

Anna Pigeon is a National Park Service Ranger. In each book, she has been assigned to a different national park, including one in Texas and one on Lake Superior. 

Laurien Berenson 

Melanie Travis is a special education teacher, divorced mother, and new owner of a standard poodle. Aided by her Aunt Peg, Melanie enters the dog show world. These lighthearted adventures will charm dog fanciers and cozy fans.

Rhys Bowen 

In this early 20th-century series, Molly Murphy travels to New York, running away from Ireland and the accidental murder of a man who tried to rape her. In New York, Molly sets herself up as an apprentice to a private detective. 

  • Murphy’s Law and many others

Although Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie has a royal pedigree, her penniless state and extraordinary sleuthing knack puts her on the trail of murderers in 1920s England. 

  • Her Royal Spyness and many others

Alan Bradley

Flavia de Luce is a precocious eleven-year-old sleuth living in a bucolic 1950s English village.  Her primary passions–chemistry, puzzles and poisons–come in handy when investigating suspicious deaths and disappearances. 

  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie 
  • The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag 
  • A Red Herring Without Mustard 

Rita Mae Brown 

Mary Minor Haristeen (Harry), postmistress of Crizel, Virginia, is helped in investigations by Mrs. Murphy (her cat), Tee Tucker (her dog) and Pewter (a neighbor’s cat). 

  • Wish You Were Here and many others

Patricia D. Cornwell 

Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner in Virginia, is able to sort out answers from available forensic evidence. 

  • Postmortem and many others

Diane Mott Davidson 

Gertrude “Goldy” Bear is a caterer in Aspen Meadow, Colorado. Mouth-watering recipes and food descriptions are liberally mixed into the plot. She works closely with officer Tom Schulz; eventually they marry. 

  • Catering to Nobody and many others

Janet Evanovich 

Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum tracks down bail jumpers in Trenton, New Jersey. Her bounty hunter pal Ranger often steps in to advise her and vice-cop Joe Morelli also joins in her cases. 

  • One for the Money 
  • Two for the Dough 
  • Three to Get Deadly 

Carolyn Haines 

Sarah Booth Delaney is a Southern belle living in Zinnia, Mississippi, who unexpectedly finds herself in the position of private investigator. 

  • Them Bones and many others

J.A. Jance  

Sheriff Joanna Brady, elected sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona after her husband is killed, is a single parent and an inexperienced police officer who learns on the job. 

  • Desert Heat and many others

Jance writes two more series that are equally as good.  The J.P. Beaumont series about a Seattle detective is the best!

Faye Kellerman 

Rina Lazarus, a widow and a member of an orthodoc Jewish community, assists police detective Peter Decker in solving crimes. 

  • Ritual Bath 
  • Sacred and Profane 
  • Milk and Honey and many others

Margaret Maron 

Lawyer and eventually Judge Deborah Knott lives in the tobacco country of Colleton County, North Carolina. She is part of a large Southern family and is at home with the rich landscape and people of the New South. 

  • Bootlegger’s Daughter and many others

Marcia Muller 

Sharon McCone is a female private eye who bears little resemblance to Miss Jane Marple. This extensive series follows her through many changes in her life and work. 

  • Edwin of the Iron Shoes and many others

Sara Paretsky 

V. I. Warshawski is a lone wolf operator whose specialty is financial investigation, but whose cases all involve murder. 

  • Indemnity Only and many others

Anne Perry 

Charlotte Ellison Pitt and her husband, Inspector Thomas Pitt of Scotland Yard, solve crimes in Victorian England using their special combination of observation and intuition. 

  • The Cater Street Hangman and many others

Kathy Reichs  

Like her fictional heroine, Dr. Temperance Brennan, Reichs serves as forensic anthropologist for the province of Quebec and commutes between Montreal and Charlotte, North Carolina.  

  • Deja Dead and many others

J. D. Robb

  • Robb (pseudonym of Nora Roberts) introduces readers to New York City in the near future, 2058 to be exact, as seen through the eyes of Eve Dallas, a detective with the New York City Police and Safety Department.  Naked in Death and many others

Karin Slaughter 

Dr. Sara Linton is a pediatrician and the coroner in Grant County, Georgia in these dark mysteries.  With 2009’s Undone, Slaughter combined Linton’s series with that of Will Trent, an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, featuring both characters as leads.  

  • Blindsighted and many others

Alexander McCall Smith 

Mma Precious Ramotswe, owner of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency in Botswana, stars in this international cozy mystery series.  

  • No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and many others

P. J. Tracy 

P. J. Tracy was the pseudonym for a mother-daughter team who write this series featuring Grace MacBride. MacBride is the founder of a software company called Monkeewrench in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

  • Monkeewrench and many others

Jacqueline Winspear 

After the loss of her mother forced her to enter service, and the death of her fiance in World War I, Maisie Dobbs knows the feeling of loss and alienation well.  Her investigations in 1920s and 30s London are tinged with the psychological wounds of the war and its aftermath. 

  • Maisie Dobbs and many more

Oprah’s Book Club (Oprah Winfrey)

Oprah has been choosing books for her book club on and off since 1996.


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