What is it about the mystery of a book that appeals to so many of us?
I am of an age now that I cannot remember not reading, or wanting to read. Books have always been a huge part of my life. Only when we moved into the house we live in now (almost 16 years come October) did we have enough space to have an actual library. Even when we viewed the house initially this odd little room screamed library to me.
Fitted with shelves from floor to ceiling on three walls, it is something special to me. The window has no coverings, making it an ideal spot to sit and read in natural light. I would often put two chairs facing each other when I am alone at home - one chair for my butt, the other for my feet. The room is too small to leave the chairs permanently like that.
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I also like to draw or paint in the library because of the light in the first place, but it just feels like the best place to be creative among all these wonderful words.
But it is primarily a place to sit and read. These days I cannot devour enough cozy mysteries to satisfy my craving for them. I still read the odd romance, and science fiction novel, but the mystery sleuth always gets my attention first.
I love the characters in these novels. Ordinary people who do things that I like to do upon occasion: knit, grow their own fruit (I have a vegetable garden), run their own business, be part of a writers group and so on. I love the way their stories grow with the series.
Their friends and relationships, and the support they give each other in good and bad times. Their good and bad choices and how things don't always work out the way they hoped. Cozy mystery novels are primarily a character based story, with the odd murder thrown in to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Who dunnit? Some authors like to drop tiny crumbs throughout the story, others like to play their cards closer to their chests, until the end.
I like to see if I can spot the clues. I like the 'realness' of the characters and the settings. Even though I have never been to a lighthouse library, or walked on a beach with a French poodle, or waded through an apple orchard in picking season, the authors made it happen for me too.
Their sleuths had to rely on logic, some well thought out questions and a few moments of gut instinct to find the killer, usually to save a friend or a close acquaintance from being locked for a murder they didn't commit.
Some part of the stories are predictable - the murderer will be found, and the sleuth will always carry on, but that is also what I love about them. Happy endings do not happen so often in real life, so the relaxing escape into a world where it does exist is exactly the reason I can spend hours with my feet up, coffee mug close and struggling through the pages with the sleuth to solve yet another murder.
In celebration of International Authors' Day you can find all my books discounted (no coupon required) until the end of the month - grab them all, since I am not going to do it again for a long time.
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