For those who missed my Theme Reveal post, my topic for this year’s A to Z Blogging Challenge is
Elements of Crime Fiction.
I am a great fan of detective novels. Cosy mysteries, police procedurals, psychological thrillers– you name it. For the month of April I am going to try and break up crime fiction into its components and see what makes it tick.
Today’s topic is :
The cosy (British) or cozy (American) mystery is a sub-genre of crime fiction. The violent aspects of crime such as blood or guts are not described in cosy mysteries. The crime in this type of book/film is divested of its gruesome nature and treated more as an intellectual puzzle.
Although she never named it as such, the cosy mystery was invented by Agatha Christie. Her character Miss Marple, an old maid living in a country village, manages to solve crimes that have left Scotland Yard detectives baffled. Cosy mysteries are usually solved by one or more amateur sleuths.
Cosy mysteries usually take place in quiet settings and among small ‘closed’ communities. The genre has moved from picturesque English villages to small town America (with M.C.Beaton), Quebec (with Louise Penny), and the heart of Australia (Kerry Greenwood).
Itself a sub-genre, the cosy mystery has grown offshoots in the form of culinary mysteries where you have detective stories dished up with descriptions of food (and recipes at the end). It includes knitting mysteries and even detective stories with patchwork and quilting as a theme.