I love reading mystery books and watching TV mystery series. And thanks to Netflix delivered to my TV, I have been watching the British cozy mystery series “Rosemary & Thyme,” which features two female landscape gardeners.
In this series, as in the majority of cozy mysteries whether written or filmed, the pace is what I would call genteel. Yes, there are murders, and, yes, somewhere in the background the police are working on solving the murders.
In the forefront of the stories, though, are the amateur sleuths, which are probably a major requirement for a cozy mystery. These protagonists are busy doing numerous things besides trying to solve the murders.
In the TV series “ Rosemary & Thyme,” Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme’s landscape gardening takes them to beautiful sites, including places in Italy and Spain. The gardens themselves are wonderful to behold, while the banter between the two protagonists is engaging even when not on the topic of the bodies falling around them as seemingly everyday occurrences.
I have been pondering why are these cozy mysteries so satisfying to read and watch?
First, there is no detailed depiction of gruesome violence. In fact, the bodies often seem as simply necessary “props” to give the amateur sleuths something to do.
Second, we the reader or viewer can match wits with the amateur sleuths. Can we solve the murders before the amateur sleuths do?
Third, often we are treated to a world that we know little about. For example, who knew that landscape gardening could be so interesting?
Fourth, factual information can be shared in a fictional story in a way that encourages people to learn the info. For example, the information on PTSD included in my cozy mystery CAST THE FIRST STONE: A REBECCA STONE MYSTERY.
Fifth, cozy mysteries often include recipes, as do CAST THE FIRST STONE and my cozy mystery short stories ebook TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE: REBECCA STONE MYSTERY SHORT STORIES. (Recipes are from the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION that I co-authored with Rabbi Karen L. Fox.)
Sixth, the solving of the murders in a cozy mystery provides a sense of justice achieved. Often the murderer is cornered into confessing and all the loose ends are tied up.
© 2012 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks, including the military fiction MRS. LIEUTENANT: A Sharon Gold Novel (2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist) and the cozy mystery CAST THE FIRST STONE.
She also has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the online marketing company www.MillerMosaicLLC.com