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  • Phylls H. Moore

Looking to 2020

I don't want to talk politics. I want to talk fashion and book genre. Netflix has been our go-to for television viewing lately. It's hard to believe there are so many channels now and we can't find anything to watch on the networks. Binging on Netflix has been the main activity for foggy, drizzly days. I'm all about a good cozy mystery.

The most frequently asked question about what I write about has been, "What's a cozy mystery?" There are tropes in writing, things that show up in every story that define the genre. In a cozy mystery the tropes include an amateur sleuth who helps solve a crime in a small community. There is no gore, violence, or heavy sex. Browsing through cozy book covers you might see cats, bookstore, libraries, bakeries, coffee shops, things that make you think cozy. Maybe the sleuth is older, but not always. Some well-known cozies are the novels by Agatha Christie and Louise Penny. Murder She Wrote could be considered a cozy series.

Now back to Netflix. Cozies are prominent on Netflix because they lend themselves to series. We've recently started watching a couple of cozy mystery series. Of course, the Brits corner the market on these. The Midsomer Murder Mysteries episodes always begin mundane but get kinky toward the resolution. However my newest favorite is Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries, an Australian television adaptation of the novels by Kerry Greenwood. Set in the 1920's, the scenery and costumes in this series are by far my favorite. Miss Fisher is far from the aging sleuth. She's gorgeous and distracting to all her male counterparts. We're only a couple of episodes into the first season, but already the complexities of her character are being layered. She's quirky, complex and feisty, often climbing rickety ladders in an evening gown and high heels.

Miss Fisher's wardrobe is the draw for me. Sometimes I have premonitions and the one I'm having for 2020 is that the fashion of the 1920's will return and we'll be able to go to Target and get these outfits. We can make this happen. I'm sure of it. What decade in our past is so identifiable? Women were coming into their own. After World War One, almost 100 years ago now, designers were being daring and creative. The fabrics and accessories show as much creativity as the outfit. The colors are vibrant and the jewelry is gorgeous.

So, I'll be on the couch this evening watching Miss Fisher. This series fits all the tropes for a cozy mystery. My new goal is to make my characters as interesting and well-dressed as her, my new best friend.

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