One of the joys of reading is to escape our everyday lives. As mentioned in previous posts, escaping to a country house via a good mystery book is one of my pleasures.
In my opinion, the Cozy Mystery is defined as a light-hearted story that may or may not center around a murder with a loveable main character acting as the detective. The murders that happen within these types of stories are not super violent and generally happen “off the page.” The murders are generally quick such as a fatal gunshot, falling from a balcony, or a hit to the head. Of course these are violent but not drawn out deaths.
The Cozy Mystery focuses on the why and the who rather than the how. It takes place in a traditionally relaxing setting and the characters are rather simple or even archetypes.
I recently read two of these types of stories:
- Close-up on Murder by Jessica Fletcher
- Murder at the Breakers by Alyssa Maxwell
Close-up on Murder, I’m sorry to say, I did not enjoy. In fact, I hardly finished it and ended up skipping pages to get to the ending. As you can see from the author, these are books inspired by Murder, She Wrote and it felt a little forced. The characters were boring, the murder boring, and the writing left much to be desired. With all that said, those are not epic mystery novels. They are simple, quick reads you can read in a day or on a train ride. I do not plan to read anymore in the series.
Murder at the Breakers was very well written and I liked the story and characters. Because the writing style is more ‘polished’ than C.U.o.M, it took me longer to read. This one takes place in Newport, Rhode Island among the super rich of the Gilded Age which is a period in history that interests me. It is a ‘period’ mystery with women wearing bonnets and large skirts, so it felt like I was transported in time. All in all, I enjoyed this one and was certainly a cozy mystery.