Crime, Cozy is just as thrilling
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’