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Murder, Mayhem, and Cats: Starting Your Journey into Cozy Mysteries

November 21, 2019

I love love love cozy mysteries. These books and shows are what I consume after reading and/or watching my other favorite genres—Horror and SciFi. Cozies are what I cozy up to when I’m feeling too exhausted and stressed. They are also what I go to if I don’t want to be overwhelmed by too graphic or too explicit content. All the TV series mentioned have books associated with the series. All of the series mentioned here are available from Nashville Public Library!

The Miss Marple series and Hercule Poirot series are mainstays for many cozy mystery fans. Most rival series struggle to live up to the standards of both. I personally prefer the TV series over the books, because too many instances of racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and anti-Semitism can be found throughout Agatha Christie’s works. For some readers, this can be a non-issue. For others, the casual bigotry can throw a person right out of the story, because Miss Marple is characterized as a logical, forward-thinking woman. With the TV series, viewers get the very logical and progressive elderly woman, who is shocked by nothing, who is smart and nosy, and who is willing to accept all people; as long as they are not harming those around her.

This series is based on the book series by M.C. Beaton (also Marion Chesney). The series is about a middle-aged public relations agent who retires from her PR firm in London, and goes to live in the Carsely in the Cotswolds of England  (i.e. the country). In the course of her being in Carsely, murders take place that she happens to solve, she adopts some cats, makes new friends, competes against other people, and falls head-over-heels for unavailable men. The stories are messy and hilarious!

Based on the book series by Kerry Greenwood, the series follows Phryne Fisher (referred to as Miss Fisher). She is a glamorous and stunning private detective, who solves crimes in 1920s Melbourne, Australia. Miss Fisher grew up in poverty, but found fortune after some of her rich relatives passed away, and left her an inheritance. She sets out to travel the world and help those in need, while maintaining her independence. She lives life on her own terms, and refuses to be tied down by marriage and the responsibility of a husband. However, she is not opposed to taking a lover or three! Miss Fisher is quick-witted, intelligent, determined, and a crack shot.  She is also a feminist protagnonist, which is always a blessing.