Five Cozy Mysteries Set On The Beach You Should Read

Five Cozy Mysteries Set On The Beach You Should Read

As soon as school is out and the suntan lotion begins to flow, bibliophiles everywhere are looking for books to take to the beach. This summer we’re escaping into fun, fast-paced mysteries with all the beach vibes and summer sun you’ll need. No driving required!

Just grab your favorite cold drink and pick your reading destination. What will it be – your porch, the community pool or your couch? You can’t go wrong with any of these cozy mysteries for some fun in the sun reading.

Looking for your next beach read or just a book to transport you there in your mind? No worries – Here are our five cozy mysteries to read set at the North Carolina beach this summer!

A Death Long Overdue by Eva Gates

This series is set in a lighthouse library on the Outer Banks of NC and is one of our favorites. A Death Long Overdue is the fifth book in the series, and while it can be read as a standalone we suggest you start at the beginning and binge your way through the series.

It’s summertime in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Bertie James’s college class is having their 40th anniversary reunion. The opening night reception is held at the Lighthouse Library and Lucy and her colleagues have assembled an exhibit of library artifacts showing how libraries have changed over the years. After the reception, some of the women take a walk down the boardwalk to the pier, using flashlights to illuminate the dark path, but what’s scarier than the dark is finding the former director of the Lighthouse Library floating lifeless in the water.

Helena Sanchez, the former director, wasn’t much loved and spent the party being rude to almost everyone there. As a result, Lucy finds herself in deep water as she rocks the boat, questioning several suspects. But she’ll have to batten down the hatches and fast before she’s left high and dry…and right in the killer’s crosshairs.

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A Call For Kelp by Bree Baker

This fun breezy cozy mystery series is also set in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. If you don’t know it’s a beautiful magical place and authors love to write stories set there. Anyway – this series features a funny heroine, a seaside teashop with scrumptious food and all sorts of island hijinks. A Call For Kelp is the fourth book in the series. Once again, you can start with this book if you like but the series is so good we really suggest you begin at the beginning.

Everly Swan is busy as a bee running her beachside iced tea shop, and the small island of Charm, North Carolina is abuzz–Mitzi Calgon, an iconic Hollywood actress, is in town! Everly’s great-aunts are making a documentary about beekeeping and Mitzi has agreed to help. Aunt Clara and Aunt Fran are determined to save endangered honeybees but soon find themselves in a bind when Mitzi turns up dead. Soon, reporters and fans swarm the island, muddying the water and disrupting the peaceful lives of the townspeople.

Everly’s never been good at minding her own beeswax, so she starts following her own leads and combing through the evidence. Then there’s the mystery of Detective Hays–ever since their kiss under the mistletoe, he’s been acting distant. And he’s annoyingly determined to keep Everly away from the case. With her beekeeping aunts’ reputations on the line, the sleuth will stop at nothing to crack the case. But when she receives a cryptic warning to “Bee Careful”, Everly realizes that she’s gotten herself into a really sticky situation…

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A Spell For Trouble by Esme Addison

Set on the coast of North Carolina, this first-book-in-a-series features a transplanted New Yorker reconnecting with her deceased mother’s Polish-American family in a small town. There is Polish food, an herbal apothecary and an interesting family secret featuring the Mermaid of Warsaw. We love the magical elements in this story and the focus on family. This is the first book in the series, so if you read it now you’ll be ready for the second book which releases next summer.

Aleksandra Daniels hasn’t set foot in the quiet seaside town of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina in over twenty years. Ever since her mother’s tragic death, her father has mysteriously forbidden her from visiting her aunt and cousins. But on a whim, Alex accepts an invitation to visit her estranged relatives and to help them in their family business: an herbal apothecary known for its remarkably potent teas, salves, and folk remedies.

Bellamy Bay doesn’t look like trouble, but this is a town that harbors dark secrets. Alex discovers that her own family is at the center of salacious town gossip, and that they are rumored to be magical healers descended from mermaids. She brushes this off as nonsense until a local is poisoned and her aunt Lidia is arrested for the crime. Alex is certain Lidia is being framed, and she resolves to find out why.

Alex’s investigation unearths stories that some have gone to desperate lengths to conceal: forbidden affairs, family rivalries, and the truth about Alex’s own ancestry. And when the case turns deadly, Alex learns that not only are these secrets worth hiding, but they may even be worth killing for.

You can purchase A Spell For Trouble on Amazon or

Booked for Death by Victoria Gilbert

Another new series, Booked To Death is set in New Bern, NC. Not the coast exactly but on Beaufort Inlet which leads into the Atlantic Ocean. There’s a quaint bed and breakfast with a literary theme, interesting characters and a complex mystery that will challenge you to figure out the new whodunnit. A great start to a new series, we are excited for the next book in the series which releases next summer.

Nestled in the historic waterfront town of Beaufort, North Carolina, Chapters Bed-and-Breakfast is a reader’s paradise. Built in 1770, the newly renovated inn hosts a roster of special events celebrating books, genres, and authors. It’s the perfect literary retreat–until a rare book dealer turns up dead in the carriage house during a celebration of Golden Age mystery author Josephine Tey.

The victim’s daughter points the finger at forty-two-year-old widow and former schoolteacher Charlotte Reed, who inherited the B&B from her great-aunt Isabella. Charlotte is shocked to discover that the book dealer suspected Isabella of being a thief who founded Chapters on her ill-gotten gains. Charlotte has successfully learned the B&B business in a year, but nothing has prepared her to handle a death on the premises. 

Armed with intelligence and courage and assisted by her vibrant older neighbor, a visiting author, and members of a local book club, Charlotte is determined to prove her innocence and to clear her great-aunt’s name. But the murderer is still at large, and equally determined to silence anyone who might discover the truth behind the book dealer’s death. Now, Charlotte must outwit an unknown killer–or end up writing her own final chapter.

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Smile Beach by Alicia Bessette

When Callie is laid off from her reporting job, she returns to her hometown of Cattail Island and lands a gig at the local bookstore—the same one where she found comfort after her mother died. 

In fact, the anniversary of her mother’s infamous death is approaching. Years ago, Teri Padget tumbled from the top of the lighthouse. As islanders are once again gossiping about the tragedy, devastating news strikes: the lighthouse has claimed another victim. Eva Meeks, of Meeks Hardware. 

The police are calling it suicide, but Callie does not believe Eva jumped any more than she believes her mother did—especially because Callie knows that before her death, Eva had dug up a long-forgotten treasure hunt that could have put a target on Eva’s back. 

In Callie’s search for answers, she enlists the help of some beloved books and several new friends, including the handsome local martial arts instructor, Toby Dodge. But when another death rocks Cattail Island, Callie must face her fears alone. As she earns enemies in pursuit of the truth, Callie knows she will either uncover the killer or become a victim herself.

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Five reasons to get cozy at the beach. Happy reading!

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