Cozy Mysteries: Background information when reading Three Things About Elsie

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Three Things About Elsie

by Joanna Cannon

Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon X
Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Aug 2018, 384 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Tomp

Buy This Book

About this Book

Cozy Mysteries

This article relates to Three Things About Elsie

Print Review

Angela Lansbury in the cozy mystery show Murder She WroteThe mystery is one of the most popular genres of literature, and the "cozy mystery," a term coined in the late 20th century, holds steady as a favorite subset of crime fiction.

Cozy mysteries are marked by compelling, yet relatable characters. The "detective" is an amateur, thrown into an unexpected, undesired situation. Most often these stories feature an educated, pleasant, and mature woman as the star of the story. Importantly, this main character is someone the reader could imagine befriending. She may have a special interest or skill, but overall she is more ordinary than extraordinary.

An insular community, like a small town, confined resort area, or a retirement community, as in the case of Three Things About Elsie and The Last Stop series by Kirt J. Boyd, makes the ideal setting for a cozy mystery. This type of location keeps the suspect list to a minimum and allows for a brief and intimate portrayal of all related parties. The amateur detective generally has a chorus of supporters in the background cheering her on and providing inspiration and insight.

Much as the detective is an ordinary "every person" type character, so is the villain. Rarely is the murder or theft committed by a sociopath or serial killer. The crime is motivated by a common emotion like jealousy, greed, or revenge, typically as the result of something that happened in the distant past.

Despite the clear "wrong" of the crime, a cozy mystery avoids the gory details and does not explore lurid "adult" situations. This is escapist literature without shocking details.

Typically, the solution to a cozy mystery is revealed through a series of missteps and plot twists resulting in surprise revelations. The clues are in the story and easily retraced once the answer is revealed, but the surprise is part of the delight of this genre. In the story's conclusion, justice is served and the main characters earn their happily ever after (until the next crime in the series).

Although cozy mysteries lend themselves to a series, as readers become enamored with particular detectives, Three Things About Elsie appears to be a stand-alone cozy.

Angela Lansbury in Murder She Wrote, courtesy of TV Series Finale

This "beyond the book article" relates to Three Things About Elsie. It first ran in the August 29, 2018 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Brother
    Brother
    by David Chariandy
    Brother is the brief, moving account of how a single, tragic moment in time can alter the course of ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Islamic Enlightenment
    by Christopher de Bellaigue
    In this comprehensive and well-researched history, de Bellaigue examines the evolution of Islamic ...
  • Book Jacket: The Spy of Venice
    The Spy of Venice
    by Benet Brandreth
    Benet Brandreth's delightfully diverting historical thriller brings the Bard to vibrant life. ...
  • Book Jacket: Three Things About Elsie
    Three Things About Elsie
    by Joanna Cannon
    The novel opens with the primary narrator, Florence, prone on the floor after a fall. She is in her ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott

A crowning achievement of one of the finest American writers at work today.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Sold on a Monday
    by Kristina McMorris

    An unforgettable novel inspired by a stunning piece of history.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton

A rich, spellbinding new novel from the author of The Lake House. On sale Oct 9.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T Turn T S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.