Ten Cozy Mystery Series Featuring Teachers

 School days, school days . . . for students much of the year involves time spent in the classroom, and who do they spend it with? Their teachers, of course! Mystery writers have found that teachers are curious (or just plain nosy) people who make great amateur sleuths. Whether they're active or retired, teaching kindergarten or college classes, these mystery buffs just can't resist solving the latest crime, on or off campus.

Here are ten cozy mystery series, listed in alphabetical order by series title, featuring mystery-solving teachers:

DIY Diva Cozy Mystery Series by Paula Darnell

Protagonist DIY Diva Laurel McMillan not only writes books about craft and sewing projects, but she also teaches craft and sewing classes at her local Hawkeye Haven Community Center, where she often picks up tidbits about Hawkeye Haven residents, both victims and suspects.

Bonus: recipes and project instructions.


Downward Dog Mystery Series by Tracy Weber

Seattle yoga instructor is on the case with Bella, her German shepherd canine companion.

Available in paperback format.

Ellie Kent Mystery Series by Alice K. Boatwright

Life brings the skeptical Ellie Kent from her academic job in California to a village in the Cotswolds as the vicar’s new wife; but death keeps her guessing how long she will be there.

The third book, In the Life Ever After, is due to be published in late 2020.


Family Skeleton Mystery Series by Leigh Perry 

English professor
Georgia Thackery gets more than she bargained for with she moves back into her parents' house with her teenaged daughter. Sid, the family skeleton, provides a paranormal element to this cozy mystery series.


Joanne Kilbourne Mystery Series by Gail Bowen 

Joanne Kilbourne, amateur sleuth and widow of a politician, takes the stage in this eighteen-book series. Joanne is a politican science professor, and the action takes place in Canada.

Lila Maclean Academic Mystery Series by Cynthia Kuhn

English professor Lila Maclean is thrilled about her new job at prestigious Stonedale University, until she finds one of her colleagues dead in the series starter to this five-book series.

Melanie Travis Canine Mysteries by Laurien Berenson 

 Melanie Travis teaches in a private school, but everything's gone to the dogs in this twenty-eight-book series, which focuses on the world of dog shows. Great for cozy mystery fans who love dogs, especially poodles.


Murder 101 Mystery Series by Maggie Barbieri

An English professor at a small college in the Bronx plays amateur detective when campus life and life outside the classroom turn out to be less than tranquil.


Murder She Wrote by Donald Bain (and later others)

Based on the popular Murder She Wrote television series starring Angela Lansbury, the Murder She Wrote book series now boasts fifty-three books. Jessica Fletcher, writer and retired high school English teaches finds murder and mayhem in her hometown of Cabot Cove, Maine, and around the world. The TV show helped make the cozy mystery genre popular in the 1990s.

TJ Jansen Paradise Lake Mystery Series by Kathi Daley

High school teacher TJ Jansen becomes embroiled in mysteries and investigates to solve the cases in this series, which often features a holiday theme as well.




2022 Book Award

The National Federation of Press Women has recognized Artistic License to Kill  with a book award in 2022. According to the competition judge, the novel is a "creative and well written mystery story. Interesting characters and plot. A cozy read mystery. Good from beginning to end." Thanks to NFPW!

Book Awards in 2021

It's great to be named a finalist in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards for my cozy mystery, Artistic License to Kill, the first novel in my Fine Arts Mystery series. The New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards aims to honor the "best of Arizona and New Mexico books." Artistic License to Kill is set in Arizona.

Also, I'm honored to have received another book award for The Six-Week Solution. This one comes from the National Federation of Press Women for a novel over 40,000 words, awarded in March 2020 in NFPW's annual at-large communications contest.  

From Teri Ehresman, NFPW contest director:

"Congratulations. you won second place honors in an extremely
competitive book category."

From the judge: "What an original premise, setting a murder mystery
around the mid-century phenomenon of Nevada 'divorce ranches' where wealthy women lived for six weeks in order to establish the Nevada residency needed for a quick divorce!"

Thank you, NFPW!

Book Awards in 2020

I am honored to have won two book awards in 2020 for two of my mystery novels.

The first is from the National Federation of Press Women for a novel over 40,000 words awarded in March 2020 in NFPW's annual at-large communications contest. This is for my cozy mystery Death by Association. According to NFPW contest director Teri Ehresman: "This is a huge accomplishment."  

Thank you, NFPW!


 In July 2020, I received an award from the Public Safety Writers Association for second place in the published fiction book category of the organization's annual writing competition. This award is for my historical mystery The Six-Week Solution. According to Barbara M. Hodges, PSWA board member and competition coordinator, there was "stiff competition" in the published fiction book category, so I am especially pleased.

Thank you, PSWA!