This is a fun post from Book Riot: SO YOU’RE STUCK IN A COZY MYSTERY: A SURVIVAL KIT
It’s really about preparing to be the protagonist in a cozy mystery, complete with suggestions for lockpicks.
You, my friend, have stumbled upon a mystery.
Surely you’ve prepared for this? You can whip open your carpet bag and pull out exactly the item you need. Perhaps a camera to photograph the crime scene? Or a notebook to take down your observations? No? Nothing? What’s that? A phone? Sure, if you want to call someone else to take care of this.
Listen, if you’re planning a life of amateur sleuthing, you’re going to have to be prepared. … Of course, you’re going to need a flashlight. A nice heavy one can do double duty — yes, obviously that is what I mean. And no, I don’t want to hear another word about your phone. Notoriously shoddy batteries and no reception in caves.
And on to the suggestions for how to Be Prepared, like a cross between Miss Marple and a boy scout.
However, I particularly liked the reference to this book, which I’d never heard of, but it certainly sounds entertaining.
This looks a lot like the Cozy English Mystery version of The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, which I have enjoyed flipping through. As you know, DWJ’s The Tough Guide is the … “handbook to everything you might find: Evil, the Dark Lord, Stew, Boots (but not Socks), and what passes for Economics and Ecology” in a fantasy novel. I didn’t know anybody had written a version for any other genre. It kind of makes me wonder what various other travel guides to genres might look like. The “don’t get murdered” idea makes me think of one for horror, with blood and worse dripping from every page …
5 thoughts on “So you’re Stuck in a Cozy Mystery”
My parents watch a ton of British murder shows (they got through all of midsummer murders during the pandemic), and whenever someone goes for a walk in the woods I assume they’re either going to find or become a dead body.
“in a quaint English village” is just a little bit sarcastic when it comes to murder mystery. The “quaint English village” (or my mother and I used to say, the “English manor”) is why I quit reading mysteries for a number of years. Then Tony Hillerman, Ellis Peters, etc came along.
While I liked Tony Hillerman’s books a great deal, I never read so many “quaint English village” mysteries to become bored with them. I like Ngaio Marsh and those are the ones I think of first when it comes to English village murder mysteries, though of course they weren’t all set in villages.
Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered is pretty funny. So is Midsomer Murders (set in Midsomer County, the most murderous county in England). I haven’t read the other book you mention but will seek it out now. Thanks!
The “quaint English Village” goes back to Agatha Christie. Plus Dorothy Sayers, and as you mentioned, Ngaio Marsh. And that’s just the biggest names. I mean really: