Robin Stevens on Cosy Crime
Robin Stevens on why there’s nothing better than a detective novel and a nice cup of tea.
After years of waiting, Tommy and Tuppence, Agatha Christie’s sweetest detectives (and no, Miss Marple doesn’t count – she’s hard as nails, with eyes that miss nothing), are finally where they belong – a prime-time weekend slot on BBC1. Even for Christie, queen of comfort, they’re a cosy duo – a little bit wide-eyed about the world and (in the books, at least) fond of silly jokes and jolly parties, and I don’t think it’s any coincidence that viewers were treated to an ad for the upcoming series of the Great British Bake-Off as the credits rolled. This summer, comfort is back in a big way.
This might seem at first an odd link to make – after all, murder is not exactly a comforting idea – but I think that there’s nothing more connected than a detective novel and a nice cup of tea and a slice of cake. They’re both soothing in the same way, safe and utterly delicious.
Although some crime fiction – think Scandi
I grew up with Agatha Christie – I read my first, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, aged
We live in frightening, chaotic times, and it would do children a disservice to claim that they don’t notice this as much as adults do. We are all subjected to horrific news stories everywhere we look, and that makes us crave comfort like nothing else. We’re all keeping calm and carrying on, focusing in on small perfection, be that a Victoria sponge or a detective novel. Our impulse is to solve problems – and in detective fiction, just like in baking, we can.
For years I’ve thought that detective fiction was the perfect antidote to life – we can peek at darkness and then banish it with no problems. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be safe, and there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a murder mystery. Daisy and Hazel solve murders and they eat copious amounts of
Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are taking a holiday on the world-famous Orient Express - and it's clear that each of their fellow first-class passengers has something to hide. Even more intriguing: there is rumour of a spy in their midst. Then, during dinner, there is a scream from inside one of the cabins.