Librarians are by nature curious and great puzzle solvers. Solving problems and the puzzle of what people versus what they mean is a major part of daily life in any library setting; I see it first hand every single day. Therefore, when I see books that feature librarians I cannot resist taking a look and see how the librarians are portrayed and if I can immerse myself in the story. Here are five great examples of fun cozy mystery series featuring crime-solving librarians.
Abby and Ophelia Mystery series by Shirley Damsgaard features a librarian in a small town. Ophelia Jensen is a thirty something that has to deal with a horrendous supervisor, dwindling funding and the joys of working with the public. Thankfully, I can say that I have not dealt with the personnel issues that Ophelia has to deal with in the series, but the rest is par for the course. The interaction Ophelia has with the public is very realistic and chuckle inducing. The mysteries also carry a supernatural element, since Ophelia is a natural born witch with a psychic gift. Her grandmother Abby is also a witch and plays a major role in Ophelia’s daily life. If you normally avoid paranormal or witch focused novels I suggest you step out of your comfort zone and try this series. It is fun with twists in the mystery plot that are intelligent, intriguing and continually surprising. The series starts with Witch Way to Murder and currently has seven books with room for more in the future.
Charlaine Harris, best known for the Sookie Stackhouse series, has also written several other books. Her Aurora Teagarden series follows a librarian in her twenties that takes part in a club that studies real crimes from the past. In the first book of the series, Real Murders, someone is reenacting some of those crimes on members of the club. A love triangle, red herrings and great pacing keep this series moving ahead with new mysteries in each book. This is a southern mystery series that has the same combination of wit and impending doom, but no supernatural twists to disguise the horror that real people can inflict on others. Honestly I loved this series, which is eight books long, but it is not my favorite series from Harris. My favorite Harris series is the vampire and librarian free Lily Bard series which starts with Shakespeare’s Landlord is made up of five books.
The Cat is the Stacks series by Miranda James, a pen name for Dean James, offers something unexpected. In the majority of mysteries featuring cats or librarians offer female leads, but starting in Murder Past Due we get to follow librarian Charlie Harris and his cat Diesel. So, if the simply draw of a librarian mystery does not peak your interest, the new perspective should. Charlie has just lost his wife and returns to his home town to try and rebuild his life. His cat Diesel is a huge maine coon that he walks around with a leash. The mystery is solid and the characters build through out the series. It is a fun cozy mystery for anyone that loves mysteries, cats or librarians.
The Scrappy Librarian series by Marion Moore Hill starts with Bookmarked for Murder. This series follows Juanita Wills, the head librarian of an Oklahoma town’s public library. She has an insatiable curiosity and a driving need to solve puzzles which leads her into investigating crimes that she should steer clear of. The stories are mainly about our lead librarian’s determination, natural intelligence and satisfying curiosity despite the treat of personal danger. The research skills and tenacity possessed by the scrappy librarian is what saves the day. Currently the only other book in the series is Death Books a Return. Both books are worth exploring and enjoying.
The Reading Group Mysteries or Megan Clark series by D.R. Meredith focuses on a reference librarian with a love for mysteries. In the first book of the series, Murder in Volume, a member of her book club is murdered. This brings mystery and true crime too close to home. As the series continues, Megan and her Murder by The Yard book club work together to solve mysteries. The series does a great job of delivering a mystery and developing the characters and their relationships as they go through their sleuthing. There are five books in the series.
There are more cozy mysteries out there featuring librarians; however these are my favorites from those that I have seen and read. There are mysteries like this for just about every profession now, librarians, chefs, store clerks, secretaries, you name it. There is a cozy mystery out there for everyone. I hope everyone will give at least one of these a try, even if you haven’t set foot in a library for years.