I have been binge watching Father Brown Mysteries on Netflix. I love mysteries both books and on the small or big screen. And Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton belongs to the genre of “cozy mysteries”. Cozy mysteries often take place in small towns and villages, where everyone knows each other and everything is alright except for the murders. Or the kidnappings, blackmails, or theft of some object.
Cozy mysteries are not violent, the violence happens out of sight of the reader. There isn’t overt sex or foul language. Cozies are a distinct subgenre of mysteries or crime stories. I particularly like Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple (books and tv), Murder She Wrote with Angela Lansbury (tv), and Midsomer Murders.
Father Brown is a village parish Catholic priest, who solves a crime before the local professional police detectives. The detectives find this annoying. But it is the oh-so-green Cotswold countryside that stands out as another character in the story. Often a character in the story is struck by the beauty of the land stops and gazes at the green rolling hills. The chaos and nonsense the humans get up to, contrast with the peaceful, wisdom of the land.
The native honey-colored stone of the Cotswold buildings perfectly compliment the particular greens of the land. Meadows filled with wildflowers billow in the gentle breezes. The twisty, turning cobblestone streets wind through the village lined with tiny shops. If I ever write mysteries, the stories will take place in tiny villages such as these.
Here is a list of cozy mysteries that I like just as much for the land as for the story. I link to a website I use to stay aware of my favorite British television shows. I don’t have any connection to the site or any affiliate revenue.
Midsomer Murders (Midsomer County, England) https://www.iheartbritishtv.com/interview-with-neil-dudgeon-aka-dci-john-barnaby-of-midsomer-murders/
Father Brown (Cotswold region of England) https://www.iheartbritishtv.com/father-brown-series-7-premiere-details/
Shetland (remote Scottish Shetland islands) https://www.iheartbritishtv.com/shetland-series-4-premiere-date-where-to-watch/
I leave this post up in hopes that as people come across it, they will add to the list of television and books in which the sense of place and the land and its’ beauty is the main draw.