Best TV Shows: Cozy Mysteries and the Women Who Love Them

Since this site is devoted to planning a wedding without stressing out, I talk a lot about stress management. I had a spot of anxiety with shades of the aftermath of postpartum depression when I started my business, not realizing event planner is frequently named in the top 10 of most stressful jobs.  But it forced me to gain perspective and manage my stress effectively, more than any workshop or self help book. (Not that those are bad, but living through the turmoil of getting used to a high stress job forces you to either deal with it, or quit, and dealt with it, I did.) TV is a huge stress reliever, and some of the best TV shows I watch are "cozy mysteries."

One of my stress-relieving past times, as many of my best friends know, is watching TV.  (I am not one of those hipsters who say, "I don't even HAVE a TV." To which I say, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?") It's a great way to unwind, be carried away by an engrossing story, and decompress after a long day.

A cozy mystery is about a murder most foul, with calm, wryly observant, and charming detectives (often educated amateurs) on the case.  Examples are Murder She Wrote, Agatha Christie adaptations, anything on Masterpiece Mystery, and British shows such as Midsomer Murders.  What I also love is a lot of these shows show old people acting like total crime solving badasses. It's truly some of the best TV out there, in my humble opinion.

Mysteries tend to appeal most to women; we guzzle up podcasts, movies, and tv docs about true crime as well, and this fascination I believe ties to our empathy for the victims, our love of puzzles, and most of all, seeing those who deserve it get their punishment in the end.  Regardless of why, if you are a mystery fan or are just looking for a new genre, here are some recent favorite additions to this genre:

 

MurdershewroteMeme

1.  Cozy Mystery #1: Grantchester. 

Grantchester is about a pastor in England who ends up becoming good friends with a cop and helps him solve mysteries. What I think is hilarious about this show is that the lead, James Norton, despite playing a pastor, is half naked or otherwise taking part in an athletic pastime that shows off his sweaty body, in nearly every single episode. NOT that I'm complaining!  It's currently in season 3 on Masterpiece Mystery on PBS.

 See??  Via http://www.express.co.uk

See??  Via http://www.express.co.uk

2. Cozy Mystery #2:  Rosemary and Thyme.

This awesome older British show is about two ladies who are professional gardeners who everywhere they go (a la Murder She Wrote), find dead bodies - and solve the cases. They're sarcastic, smart, and the mysteries are fantastic. I love the counterpoint of such a quaint profession with such gruesome crimes. The show can currently be viewed on Neflix.

 

 Via  pbs.org

3. Cozy Mystery #3:  Inspector Lewis

This is an offshoot of Inspector Morse, the British (notice a theme??) series based on the legendary books by Colin Dexter.  "Morse" was considered one of the best mystery shows out there; when the lead of the Inspector Morse shows, John Thaw, passed away, his costar Kevin Whately took over, as Inspector Lewis, accompanied by Laurence Fox, and the quality didn't waver.  Inspector Lewis is about to retire, so there's gossip that Fox will continue the tradition and his character will become the latest to carry the series.  The detectives investigate crimes in Oxford, so the settings are amazing with old English buildings, and a gentle mocking of the pretension of academia hangs in the air. You can find Inspector Lewis streaming on Amazon.