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Cosy Crime is Blooming Murder

July 30th, 2021

So, after a couple of near misses (it got as far as two acquisitions meetings at two different publishers), I’ve just self-published my cosy crime novel, Blooming Murder.

But what exactly is cosy crime? How can crime be cosy?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines cosy as:

“giving a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation.”

How can murder (in fiction) be comforting, warm and relaxing?

Well, it’s not the fact that people die in these books that is cosy, but how the story is told and the mystery solved.

No blood or gory details

First, the victims in a cosy crime may meet a horrific ending, but we spare the reader all the gory details. There are no detailed descriptions of the murder scene, or of the dead body. Note the word detailed. Victims are still shot, stabbed, poisoned or suffocated, etc, but readers don’t want to know about all the blood and messy bits.

Amateur sleuths

The hero of these books is usually an amateur sleuth, such as a friend of the victim, or a friend of someone who knows the victim.

Immediately, this affects the way they solve the crime. Amateurs tend not to have access to highly technical laboratory tests that police forensics use, nor do they have access to pathologists’ reports. Cosy crime novels are not police procedurals where the story is about how a killer is brought to justice.

Instead, it’s often about the basic questions: who killed them, and why?

Traditional Detection Methods

Which returns us to the more old-fashioned ways of solving crime: asking questions, doing research, and determining how rock solid a suspect’s alibi is.

Agatha Christie is probably one of the most famous cosy crime writers. Her two most successful sleuths are Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. Indeed, the 1930s, 40s and 50s are known as the golden age of cosy crime, because of writers like Christie, Dorothy L Sayers, Margery Allingham, Georgette Heyer and Josephine Tey, all wrote such novels.

There are many writers today writing cosy crimes, and some choose to set their novels in these periods, purely because the police didn’t have access to sophisticated detection methods, and therefore crime solving was almost a fair competition between the police and the amateur sleuth. It all came down to brain power… and Miss Marple was rather adept at making the police look stupid!

Blooming Murder

Although my cosy crime novel is contemporary, I’ve set it in the fictitious county of Borderlandshire, based upon my home county of Shropshire in the UK. Known as the Welsh Borders, there are some extremely isolated areas, perfect for committing crimes and hiding dead bodies. (In a purely fictional sense, of course!) And in some areas, mobile phone signals and internet connections are non-existent. It’s almost like being back in the 1950s!

I named my sleuth Aldermaston, and he’s the Eighth Marquess of Mortiforde, who finds himself caught up in the humorous shenanigans between two small rural towns desperate to win a flower competition. One, though, is willing to commit murder in order to win. Why? And what’s at stake if they don’t win?

Well, to find out, you’ll just have to read the book!

To find out more about Blooming Murder, visit Simon Whaley’s website, where you can also download the first chapter for free: https://www.simonwhaley.co.uk/blooming-murder/


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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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