As I told you a little while back, I’m going to start to look more closely at the most recommended Cozy Mystery authors and series you all have recommended. This time, I’m taking a look at Donald Bain (and “Jessica Fletcher‘s”!) first Murder, She Wrote mystery, Manhattan & Murder. Oh, and before I forget, Donald and “Jessica” have been recommended many times, so I must not be the only one who enjoys their Cozy Mysteries! (Gin and Daggers is actually the first Murder, She Wrote mystery – although it was republished chronologically as the 13th book. Hope that makes sense!)
I have to be honest – normally I don’t expect a lot when I hear that a television show or movie has a series of books based on the format. Generally such works seem like blatant cash-ins, with little actual effort going into their production, and whatever magic was involved in the show tends to get lost in translation. This hasn’t ever been the case with the Murder, She Wrote mystery books, a fact that I think can be traced to Donald Bain’s (and “Jessica Fletcher’s”!) quite excellent work.
Of course, the classic cast and the characters they portrayed in the show certainly do help set the stage. Jessica Fletcher is one of the greatest personifications of the author-sleuth, a mystery writer who uses her imagination and “experience” with fake murders to helps solve actual crimes. Her recurring supporting cast from Cabot Cove also help set the right tone, with just the right amount of small city affability without turning them into caricatures. I’m not sure I’d enjoy the books as much if I didn’t have a perfect mental image of Jessica Fletcher already in my head – but fortunately this isn’t a question I’ll ever need answered. If you enjoy the television series and love reading Cozy Mysteries, I’m sure you’ll love Donald Bain’s (and “Jessica Fletcher’s”!) book adaptations of the Murder, She Wrote television show.
P.S. If you’re interested in other entries about some highly recommended Cozy Mystery series, you can see them on the Most Recommended Cozy Mystery Series page on my site.