Crime, Cozy is just as thrilling

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - BOOKS -

Peter Wim­sey was res­ur­rected for three books by Jill Pa­ton Walsh while Agatha Christie’s fa­mous Bel­gian sleuth Poirot has been brought back to life by So­phie Han­nah, a best-sell­ing au­thor fa­mous for her do­mes­tic noir ti­tles. Han­nah’s books are all clev­erly plot­ted which made her a nat­u­ral choice to con­tinue Christie’s legacy. The Mys­tery of Three Quar­ters (Harper Collins €17.99) is Han­nah’s third Poirot book, which sees the fa­mous de­tec­tive ex­er­cise his lit­tle grey cells over let­ters, pur­port­edly sent by him, to a num­ber of peo­ple ac­cus­ing them of the mur­der of Barn­abas Pandy, an old man who died ac­ci­den­tally. As be­fits both Christie and Han­nah, The Mys­tery of Three Quar­ters has an ex­tremely labyrinthine plot.

Co­zies are not confined to the in­ter-war years — the best­selling Agatha Raisin se­ries by ‘Queen of Cozy Crime’ MC Beaton, has a con­tem­po­rary set­ting as does A Clean Can­vas (Con­sta­ble €11.19), the sec­ond of a, hope­fully long, se­ries fea­tur­ing Lena Szarka, a Hun­gar­ian cleaner and am­a­teur de­tec­tive by El­iz­a­beth Mundy.

The uni­fy­ing theme be­tween the his­tor­i­cal Co­zies and the con­tem­po­rary kind are they both es­chew overt sex and vi­o­lence. While that might make them sound twee, they’re not. Both Lena and Agatha are for­mi­da­ble and funny women who like men. Lena keeps get­ting in her own way with her po­lice­man friend and in her lat­est jaunt Agatha Raisin and the Dead Ringer (book num­ber 29, Con­sta­ble €25.19) Agatha finds true, al­though not nec­es­sar­ily last­ing, love.

It’s too cold to be cool in Jan­uary. Get Cozy.

David Suchet may have re­tired Poirot, but the Bel­gian sleuth has been brought back to life by So­phie Han­nah in ‘The Mys­tery of Three Quar­ters’

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