I have written (more than a few times!) about the characteristics of Cozy Mystery Books. Unfortunately, there are many exceptions to the “rules”>>>
Usually a Cozy has, as its sleuth, a non-professional… an amateur, usually a woman. But more and more “professionals” are making their ways into the Cozy Mystery books. Private investigators and police detectives are found in many cozy mystery series.
A wonderful example of this “breaking the amateur sleuth” rule can be found by just looking at Agatha Christie’s work. While Miss Marple is a prime example of following all of the Cozy “requirements,” what about our favorite Belgian detective? He not only is a private investigator in England, but he was a police detective in his pre-Great Britain days. And, let’s not forget that Hercule Poirot is also >>> a he!
Can you think of any other examples of “professional sleuths” finding themselves in Cozy Mystery Books?
You must be teasing us. There are probably dozens of professionals out there. In fact most of my favorites are professionals. It makes sense that they would be the ones most often called upon to solve a mystery.
Laurie R. King’s Kate Martinelli is a detective in the SFPD, and Mary Russel is the partner of Sherlock Holmes. M.C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth is a village policeman in Scotland. Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon is a park ranger. Joan Hess’ Arly Hanks and Sharyn McCrumb’s Spencer Arrowood are sheriffs. Lindsey Davis’ Marcus Didius Falco is a Roman “finder’.
Even if the main character isn’t a pro, they are often the wife or girlfriend of a cop or ex-cop. Think of China Bayles (by Susan Wittig Albert), Hannah Swensen (Joanne Fluke), or Goldy Schulz (Diane Mott Davidson).
Donna Lea Simpson says
I can think of a few…
Precious Ramotswe is a detective, but there is no cozier series than First Ladies Detective Agency!
Arly Hanks in Joan Hess’s Maggody series is a police officer, but her humorous cozies are some of the best!
And sometimes the main character of a cozy is not official, but their hubby or SO is…
Goldy Schulz’s husband Tom in the Catering series is a detective.
Jane Jeffrey’s (now) husband in Jill Churchill’s series (Fear of Frying, War and Peas, etc….) is a detective, too!
I know there are more, but the series escape me this moment. Looking forward to what everyone else comes up with!
Can you suggest an author as funny and original as Anne George?
I LOVED all of her book and will miss Aunt Sister and the gang as if they were old friends that moved away with out a forwarding address.
Maria BearMountainBooks says
Try this book: Big Hair, Flying Cows. Funny as Anne George? Well, AG is the MASTER, so I don’t know about that. But Dolores Wilson, the author, does a darn good job with funny and southern.
Try also, Kaye C. Hill, Dead Woman’s Shoes. The English counterpart to Anne George? Maybe. (Ignore the hideous covers).
I assume you’ve already read Elizabeth Peters (Vicky Bliss series and Amelia Peabody). If not, you must scurry to them right away. Peters is a Master Writer as well. Unbelievably good. Fabulous. I cannot say enough good about these two series.
Brad and Ash Lyon in the Teddy Bear Collecters series. Brad is an ex homicide detective and Ash is a current patrol officer.