Long ago in a village named St. Mary Meade lived a spinster named Miss Marple, who could, through her knowledge of human nature, solve crimes. Thanks to her status as an older lady who knitted and gardened, she was frequently overlooked and underestimated. This was an asset to Miss Marple. Fast forward to the present day. The slew of amateur female detectives at work in the form of the contemporary cozy novel are not overlooked (though many of them are starting over). They are strong women who in general run their own businesses and have successful relationships. It’s no longer an asset to be overlooked – in fact, one of the characters in Jane Cleland’s new book has “Be Bold” tattooed on her arm.
I read many books in a year, but I still can’t claim an encyclopedic reading of the cozies that were published in 2021. These delicious morsels of storytelling are reason for joy, as the storytellers, even though they include murders, are in general optimistic. You like the characters in these books, and would love to be friends with them. These are my favorites this year. For a really deep dive, check out Dru Ann Love’s blog, Dru’s Book Musings, which tackles everything in the cozy universe. All of these titles are available on our website.