My queers, I have a problem.
It’s not a big problem, and I recognize it, but the problem is that I am totally addicted to murder TV. Only it’s a very niche specific: I love cozy murders.
What’s Cozy About Murder?
I don’t mean stuff like Law & Order or even CSI (which I’ve seen most episodes for), those are procedurals and veer (especially with SVU) towards sensational gut wrenching drama.
No no, we’re talking simple, one hour (maybe 2) mysteries where everything is wrapped up with a bow, answers are found, and we may have a cup of tea at the end. On top of that, most cozy mysteries omit the gore, blood, and sex. Oh we know everyone has sex, but they don’t show it except for people getting out of a bed, or kissing.
They generally take place in small towns, but considering that most of Agatha Christie’s stuff is one, and some take place in London, maybe it’s better to say they take place in small locations. There’s rarely a big chase across continents, which may be why most of them take place in England…
Basically these are all simple, easy to watch, shows. Yes, like Murder, She Wrote, which was appointment TV for me when I was a kid.
Murders I Like
If you also like them, here are a few I can recommend. And yes, queer.
- The Madame Blanc Mysteries
Premise: A woman, Jean White, has an epically terrible time after her husband dies. Not only was he screwing up their business, but he had an affair. When she goes to France to settle their little house in a sleepy town, she finds out about the affair. While waiting to sell her house, she meets the locals and solves crimes.
The Queers: A married lesbian couple owns the local antique shop.
The Verdict: The show itself is well written, well acted, and incredibly enjoyable. It does not have a great ending for the queers, mind you.
- Father Brown
The Premise: A meddling priest post WWII solves crimes, befuddling multiple detectives, few of whom actually like him, and frustrating his superiors.
The Queers: For a very long time, they were only the killers (hence why I posted about it a couple years ago). I’m happy to say they’ve started to slip in some happy-queers!
The Verdict: If you like period dramas and easy crime, you’ll like Father Brown. Also check the spinoff (no queers yet…), Sister Bonifce Mysteries. The only thing I dislike about it is that Lady Felicia leaves the show as a regular.
- Midsomer Murders
The Premise: A series of local detectives solve weird crimes.
The Queers: Primarily queers of the week, and they’re often either dead or the killer.
The Verdict: Someone is laughing that I added this because I kind of like and don’t like this show. The first two(!!!) episodes are about incest. It settles after that, thankfully, but this show has the least ‘wrap up’ of all the mysteries.
- Death in Paradise
The Premise: A series of awkward British detectives end up assigned to a tiny island in the tropics, where a lot more murders happen than one might expect.
The Queers: Sadly, queers of the week, and they generally end up dead or the killer.
The Verdict: This is one of my favourite mysteries. I love all the various detectives, and we generally refer to the show as “Detective Fish Out of Water.”
The Premise: A tiny, snooty, Belgian man is a PI in London and solves crimes that the police can’t, using his little grey [brain] cells and that fabulous moustache.
The Queers: Queers of the Week, I know.
The Verdict: The absolute best series that covers every single book, with stellar acting, and the best Hercule Poirot ever.
- Harry Wild
The Premise: Jane Seymour (yes) is Harry Wild, a newly retired professor who allies with her attempted mugger to solve crimes and make sure he graduates school.
The Queers: The local bartender.
The Verdict: Neither good nor bad for the queers, they clearly had a hoot of fun making this.
- Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
The Premise: The brilliant, dazzling, sassy Phryne Fisher is taking Australia by storm and with her golden gun, solving crimes and winning hearts.
The Queers: Phyrne’s BFF, Mac, is a suit wearing female doctor. You even get a 1920s coming out!
The Verdict: It ends on a bit of a weird cliffhanger, but has a followup movie that makes it (mostly) better.
- Murdoch Mysteries
The Premise: Toronto detective William Murdoch solves crimes in the most innovative, tongue in cheek, fashion ever.
The Queers: Currently they’re on queers of the week, but previously they had a suffragette who eventually wooed a medical examiner, and they were set to run off happily ever after.
The Verdict: It isn’t the best with queer rep, but it’s one of the better shows, as long as you don’t take it too seriously when Murdoch invents the Fax machine in the 1800s.
- Mapleworth Murders
The Premise: Think Mrs. Marple, only younger and queer-er. And intentionally a comedy.
The Queers: The main character herself.
The Verdict: It’s on our Bingeworthy Lists for a reason. Each ep is 7 minutes, and it’s incredibly fun.
- Only Murders in the Building
The Premise: A washed up actor, a struggling Broadway producer, and a mysterious girl renovating her auntie’s apartment solve a murder in their building.
The Queers: At first it’s only the cop, of course, but in season two… Well.
The Verdict: Season one surprised everyone with how amazing it was, and season 2 appears to be just as much fun. The first 2 episodes of the season dropped yesterday!
- Frankie Drake Mysteries
The Premise: Frankie Drake, con-artist and war hero, is Toronto’s first, greatest, PI. With her best friends at her side, there’s no crime she can’t solve.
The Queers: None of the mains, but in the final season we get not just one queer, but a whole damn episode devoted to queers, AND K Knox!!!
The Verdict: With crossovers galore (to Murdoch Mysteries and also Agatha Christie herself!), the show enjoyed the hell out of being anachronistic. It was recently canceled, but is four fantastic seasons.
Looking for more? Books? Movies? Check out Cozy-Mystery.com!
Got a rec for a great cozy mystery? Give a shout in the comments! I could use more to watch.