After the first few weeks, it’s clear that 2021 is going to be almost as bad as its predecessor.
That’s why we all need a little escapist fiction to help ourselves overcome all this shit.
One of the best ways to leave the real world behind is to escape into another world. Books can transport you and take your mind off reality, and cosy novels that you know you’ll enjoy are always a great bet.
It’s this has helped the book industry out of the water and driven so many of us into the arms of escapist fiction. I’ve already talked about the continued popularity of romanticised fiction from Mills and Boon, which is the epitome of escapist romantic fiction.
However, I’m a fan of reading quality literature, such as crime fiction. Cosy crime fiction is great literature that can also help you to escape the crap that’s out there in the world today.
If you’re looking for escapist crime fiction, then read on. I’ll share some of my favourite cosy crime fiction books that have helped me to escape reality and feel happier despite the current situation.
5. Moonflower Murders: The sequel to Magpie Murders, Anthony Horowitz’s latest crime fiction novel sees amateur sleuth and former book publisher Susan Ryeland running a hotel on a Greek island with her boyfriend. She might seem happy and at peace, but inside Ryeland’s itching to get back into the swing of her literary life, even if it had previously put her in the thick of a murder plot. Then, a couple comes to stay at the hotel, with a tale of mystery that took place in a hotel where her daughter got married recently. Then their daughter goes missing, shortly after reading a book Ryeland edited featuring renowned fictional sleuth Atticus Pund, putting the protagonist back in the thick of another engaging literary and crime solving caper.
4. The Dead Of Winter: The latest in Nicola Upson’s Josephine Tey Mystery series is set in the winter of 1938. The book shows the author, who’s been fictionalised in this engaging and creative series, gathering with friends in Cornwall for a cosy Christmas gathering. Things quickly get creepy, when a renowned film star arrives unexpectedly and seeks shelter. Two deaths also put a damper on the festivities, and with the small Cornish village cut off by bad winter weather, the hunt for a killer gets desperate and fraught. The novel combines traditional Golden Age tropes with modern writing styles to create a captivating cosy crime novel that will transport you to another time and place.
3. The Killings At Kingfisher Hill: The newest in Sophie Hannah’s series of new Poirot novels, which continues Agatha Christie’s legacy, is an engaging tale that’s both cosy and cryptic. Poirot and his new sidekick, Inspector Catchpool of Scotland Yard, are sent a mysterious message to visit a house in the prestigious Kingfisher Hill estate. They visit under the guise of being board game enthusiasts, but they’re quickly exposed and thrust into the thick of an unforgettable adventure. If you’re a fan of the Queen Of Crime and her pernickety Belgium sleuth then you’ll love this new addition to the series, which is full of surprising twists that will keep you guessing until the very final page.
2. The Thursday Murder Club: Written by TV show host Richard Osman, The Thursday Murder Clubis a funny, witty and engaging crime fiction romp centred around a retirement home in Kent. When a local gangster turned builder, who also happens to be responsible for the luxury care home around which the story revolves, is battered to death and left with an old photo of himself, a group of bored seniors investigate. The story is brilliantly told and there are plenty of red herrings and twists to keep you hooked, while also full of witticism and funny asides.
1. The Marlow Murder Club: The name and premise are both similar to Richard Osman’s offering listed above, but The Marlow Murder Club is a unique and cosy novel that’ll help you to escape and unwind during these chaotic times. Like Osman’s novel, this new book from the creator of TV’s modern cosy crime caper Death In Paradise, centres around senior characters who form a club to solve a real-life murder case. In this case, the protagonist is a 77 year old crossword setter, who lives alone in a dilapidated mansion, keeping herself busy by indulging in all of her favourite pastimes like drinking whiskey and spending time outdoors. One day, while out swimming in the Thames, she witnesses a murder, but finds that the authorities don’t believe her. So, she joins forces with a down-to-earth dog walker and a vicar’s wife to solve the case. This is another Golden Age style mystery set in the present day that every cosy crime fiction fan should read in 2021.