Thursday, January 15, 2015

Cozy Mysteries of the Magickal Variety

I’ve always been an avid reader and mysteries were my first love. I started like most kids, with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Then I found the best (IMO) mystery series for young adults of the time, the Three Investigators Series. The three boys from working class families were easier to relate to than Nancy’s upper class lifestyle. They were smart, resourceful, and expected to be home for dinner. They were my kind of protagonists. Over time, my reading tastes expanded to include science fiction, fantasy, and the occasional literary title. Then a co-worker introduced me to the Cat Who Series by Lilian Jackson Braun and my obsession with cozy mysteries was born. They have a slow-paced, charming quality I need after hours of retail work.

For those who aren’t aware of them, cozy mysteries “are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community.” --definition courtesy of Wikipedia. The main character is usually not in law enforcement and the murder doesn’t happen on-stage. The most popular series have a theme of some sort, such as Laura Childs’ Tea Shop Mysteries, Monica Ferris’ Needlecraft Mysteries, and the aforementioned Cat Who Mysteries. Name a hobby and there is probably a cozy series to go with it. There are also lots of them with magickal or paranormal themes. These are my preference right now. Well, that and cats. I'm a sucker for cats. One fairly new series (6 books since 2011) combines the two with a pair of magickal cats. One can walk through walls and the other becomes invisible in the quest to find out whodunit. Naturally, those are high on my list of favorites. Next week, I start a regular series of posts talking about magickal/paranormal cozies, one book at a time. So join me on the 19th for Cozy Mystery Mondays where I'll introduce you to "Witch Way to Murder," the first book in the Ophelia and Abby Mystery series.