Virginia

Cozy Mysteries

17 posts in this topic

My name is Virginia and I am addicted to "Cozy Mysteries." Please help. :giggle2:

 

Seriously, I have been binging on M. C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin series. I have listened to the audio of 5 books in as many days and I see no end (well, until I finish all that I can find) to it. It just seems to be the perfect way to spend a lovely spring day, on the patio, with laptop, magazines and study material. 

 

Agatha is obnoxious, thin skinned, rude and a right pain but she grows on one. The Raisin series is much different than the Hamish McBeth series but they both take place in a quirky village and have its mainstay of interesting villagers. The thing that stands out most about the Raisin books is that I often get the feeling that Beaton has based her protagonist off of herself.

 

I think that I'll be reading the cozy mysteries throughout the summer. Once I finish this one, I'll move on to another one. For some reason, I haven't found an American series that I enjoy as much as I do the English ones.

 

For those of you who read the cozies, which do you like the most English or American? 

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I far, far prefer the American cosies ( English spelling :), though I use `cozy` a lot myself) .

 

I`ve tried a couple of the Agatha Raisin books and just couldn`t get into them.... Maybe I just prefer the `exotic` US ones ( well, Joanne Fluke`s Hannah Swensen in Minnesota seems exotic to me. :lol:)

 

I also like Rita Mae Brown`s Mrs Murphy and Sister Jane mysteries, and Nancy Atherton`s Aunt Dimity mysteries ( set in the UK`s Cotswold`s, but written by an American ). Cleo Coyle - writing as Alice Kimberly - has a series with a bookseller and a ghost who solve mysteries together which are fun, and I`ve just started on EJ Copperman`s series which is LOL funny and has some great twists ( the first is called Night of the Living Deed ). 

 

Also - Hi Virginia ! I`m Sarah and I`m also a Cosy addict. ;)

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Posted (edited)

I like the Agatha books too, although I don't for one single second take them seriously.  Aggie is a bit of a nightmare with a huge chip on her shoulder, I don't think I'd like to know her in real life!  But she does care about her staff, and has a soft side.  They're s nice quick read which I like to fit in between longer, more detailed books.

 

The only US cozies I've read are the first 3 Aurora Teagarden books by Charlaine Harris, I think the English village setting seems to lend itself better to the cozy genre, although I suppose any small town would do.

Edited by Madeleine

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I love Agatha Raisin books too, Virginia :D You might enjoy Alan Bradley's books featuring Flavia de Luce, a very precocious but lovable eleven year old, with a fascination for poisons and amateur sleuthing. And the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich are very funny.

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I like the Stephanie Plum series too, although they can get a bit repetitive, so I leave gaps between each one.

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I too like the Agatha Raisin series.

 

I have been reading Cherringham A Cosy Crime series by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards - the two main characters are Jack Brennan a former NYPD homicide detective and Sarah Edwards a web designer - the stories are based around the village of Cherringham in the UK.  They are harmless easy to read stories.

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20 hours ago, Madeleine said:

The only US cozies I've read are the first 3 Aurora Teagarden books by Charlaine Harris, I think the English village setting seems to lend itself better to the cozy genre, although I suppose any small town would do.

 

Have you seen the TV movies - with Candace Cameron Bure and Yannick Bisson - they`re making of them ? :)

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I've seen the first two, and recorded the 3rd one which was on last week, they're OK, slightly different to the books, and I notice they filmed the first two books the other way round ie the 2nd one first, then the first book second if that makes sense....?  Not sure why!

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On 4/17/2017 at 4:48 PM, Virginia said:

For those of you who read the cozies, which do you like the most English or American?

 

Like you, I tend to prefer the English ones.  I'm a big M. C. Beaton fan, and I think I've read the first 20 of the Agatha Raisin series, although I think I've had enough of them for the moment, but maybe I'll catch up with them in the future.  I started the Hamish Macbeth series too, but I have such fond feelings for the BBC adaptation from the 1990s (which I don't think Beaton liked that much as it was so different from the books, but I might have misremembered that) that I can't quite get attachment to them.  As an aside, I do love Beaton's historical romantic comedy series as well - they're light and frothy, but usually have a feisty heroine and are huge fun. :D  Under her other writers name, Marion Chesney, she also wrote a short series of Edwardian Murder Mysteries, starting with Snobbery With Violence, which were also a cross between the romcoms and the cosy crime novels!

 

Others I like are the Daisy Dalrymple series by Carola Dunn, and I'm almost upto date with them.  And also, although not set in England or America, I enjoy the Elizabeth Peters series of Amelia Peabody thrillers which are mostly set in Egypt.  Again, not English or American but from Australia, I love the Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood too.

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On 4/17/2017 at 0:45 PM, Little Pixie said:

I`ve tried a couple of the Agatha Raisin books and just couldn`t get into them.... Maybe I just prefer the `exotic` US ones ( well, Joanne Fluke`s Hannah Swensen in Minnesota seems exotic to me. :lol:)

Isn't it interesting how we find other countries more exotic than our own? I have heard of Fluke and I may even have a couple of her books but never read them.

 

On 4/17/2017 at 3:32 PM, Madeleine said:

 

I like the Agatha books too, although I don't for one single second take them seriously.  Aggie is a bit of a nightmare with a huge chip on her shoulder, I don't think I'd like to know her in real life!  But she does care about her staff, and has a soft side.  They're s nice quick read which I like to fit in between longer, more detailed books.

 

The only US cozies I've read are the first 3 Aurora Teagarden books by Charlaine Harris, I think the English village setting seems to lend itself better to the cozy genre, although I suppose any small town would do.

 

It is hard to take her seriously, isn't it? Have you watched the series yet? They haven't gone past series 1. Nothing like the books yet I find them enjoyable. Here in the US we have a television channel called Hallmark that features nothing but mysteries, like Murder, She Wrote, Columbo, Father Dowling, Hart To Hart, Diagnosis Murder. They also do the feature movies like Aurora TeagardenI find that my television stays on this channel.

 

10 hours ago, shirley said:

I have been reading Cherringham A Cosy Crime series by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards - the two main characters are Jack Brennan a former NYPD homicide detective and Sarah Edwards a web designer - the stories are based around the village of Cherringham in the UK.  They are harmless easy to read stories.

Never heard of the Cherringham A Cosy Crime series! Interesting, a NYPD homicide detective in an English village. I can only imagine the culture shock! lol!

 

9 hours ago, chesilbeach said:

Like you, I tend to prefer the English ones.  I'm a big M. C. Beaton fan, and I think I've read the first 20 of the Agatha Raisin series, although I think I've had enough of them for the moment, but maybe I'll catch up with them in the future.  I started the Hamish Macbeth series too, but I have such fond feelings for the BBC adaptation from the 1990s (which I don't think Beaton liked that much as it was so different from the books, but I might have misremembered that) that I can't quite get attachment to them.  As an aside, I do love Beaton's historical romantic comedy series as well - they're light and frothy, but usually have a feisty heroine and are huge fun. :D  Under her other writers name, Marion Chesney, she also wrote a short series of Edwardian Murder Mysteries, starting with Snobbery With Violence, which were also a cross between the romcoms and the cosy crime novels!

 

Others I like are the Daisy Dalrymple series by Carola Dunn, and I'm almost upto date with them.  And also, although not set in England or America, I enjoy the Elizabeth Peters series of Amelia Peabody thrillers which are mostly set in Egypt.  Again, not English or American but from Australia, I love the Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood too.

I hadn't realized there were twenty books in the AR series. I've pretty much run through what my local library has available. I may need to look elsewhere. I've watched the Hamish McBeth adaptation and enjoyed them although much like the Hobbit, I had to watch it as though it hadn't been adapted from a book. Even though HM is preachy and has no real concept of the law (seems to make them up along the way, lol!) I am constantly drawn to the little village. I've seen the other series but haven't read those and I had no idea she wrote under another name, must look into it!

 

 

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I like the Edwardian mysteries too, only read the first two so far.


I wasn't that impressed with the AR TV series, I thought the pilot was awful and was surprised it went to a series, the series was a bit better but I thought that Ashley Jensen was totally miscast, and they seem to have erased Aggie's background completely, which in the books does at least show why she has such a chip on her shoulder and is so keen to get ahead of everyone. 

 

I like Elizabeth Peters too, her Vicky Bliss series is also fun.

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7 hours ago, Madeleine said:

I wasn't that impressed with the AR TV series, I thought the pilot was awful and was surprised it went to a series, the series was a bit better but I thought that Ashley Jensen was totally miscast, and they seem to have erased Aggie's background completely, which in the books does at least show why she has such a chip on her shoulder and is so keen to get ahead of everyone. 

You are definitely right about that. It is NOT the Aggie we know. This one is more of a fashionista. They did get the heels and huge handbag right, tho, lol! After watching the first episode, I quickly realized that it was definitely an interpretation of the book, dropped all my expectations of it resembling the book in everything except the name and the characters and then I was able to enjoy it as a series separate from the book. 

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Yes they got  the heels right!  I agree, best to watch it as a bit of escapism.

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I`d also recommend the first few Mary Russell ( Mrs Sherlock Holmes ) mysteries, by Laurie R King. :)

 

Oh, and Donna Andrews - she has a series( ` Meg Langslow`)  set in Virginia which is very funny and has great characters. 

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Mrs Sherlock Holmes?!! Now THAT sounds intriguing! I've also got to look at Donna Andrews as I'm a Virginia native so that definitely holds an appeal for me, thanks!

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30 minutes ago, Virginia said:

Mrs Sherlock Holmes?!! Now THAT sounds intriguing! I've also got to look at Donna Andrews as I'm a Virginia native so that definitely holds an appeal for me, thanks!

 

:D

 

Have you tried any of the 1930s+ classic mysteries, like Margery Allingham, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L Sayers ? They`re very cosy-ish. I also really like Stuart Palmer ( he wrote the Hildegarde Withers series - turned into films - about a NY school marm who investigated murders ) and Frances & Richard Lockridge ( The Mr and Mrs North series, particularly). :)

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I'm currently on the last book of the Food Truck Mysteries series by Chloe Kendrick. They're very cozy ad easy to solve, but I've enjoyed them. :)

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