Blogging A to Z: Day 10 – Journalists as Sleuths: Cozy mysteries featuring journalists as detectives

 Discover the best cozy mystery series featuring journalists as sleuths. From Emma Lathen to Savannah Reid, explore the unique world of journalist-detective cozies and why reporters make great investigators
Photo by Frans van Heerden on

Picture this: it’s a dark and stormy night, and you’re curled up on your couch with a cozy mystery in hand. The fire is crackling, the wind is howling, and you’re just settling into the latest whodunit. But as you read on, you realize something is missing. The detective is smart, sure, but they’re missing that certain je ne sais quoi that comes from being a hard-nosed journalist.

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That’s right, my friends. There’s a whole subgenre of cozy mysteries out there that feature journalists as sleuths, and it’s time we gave them their due. From the streets of New York City to the small towns of the Midwest, journalists are solving crimes and taking names (and notes). So, let’s talk about why journalists make great detectives in cozy mysteries and explore some of the best journalist-detective series out there. Buckle up, buttercups – we’re about to get journalistic up in here.

Have you ever watched a journalist in action? It’s like watching a bloodhound on the trail of a missing sock. They’re relentless. They’re curious. And they’ll follow a lead all the way to the bitter end, even if it means getting their shoes muddy or their hair ruffled. That kind of tenacity is exactly what you want in a cozy mystery detective.

Journalists are no strangers to investigating. They spend their entire careers digging up the dirt and getting to the bottom of a story. They know how to piece together clues, find hidden information, and uncover secrets that others would rather keep buried. Plus, they’re not afraid to ask the tough questions, even if it means ruffling a few feathers along the way.

Another trait that makes journalists well-suited to solving mysteries is their attention to detail. They’re trained to spot inconsistencies, sift through large amounts of information, and put together a coherent narrative from disparate pieces. And let’s not forget their interviewing skills. Journalists know how to ask the right questions and get people to open up, even if they’re reluctant to do so.

So, it’s no surprise that journalists make great detectives in cozy mysteries. They have all the necessary skills and traits to crack even the toughest cases. And the added bonus? They’ll look damn good doing it in their fedoras and trench coats.

Now that we’ve established why journalists make great detectives in cozy mysteries, let’s take a look at some examples of series that put this theory into practice. Here are a few popular cozy mystery series featuring journalists as main characters:

  1. The Emma Lathen series
  • This series, written by a duo of authors under the pseudonym “Emma Lathen,” features John Putnam Thatcher, a Wall Street banker who solves mysteries in his spare time, and his assistant, the journalist Sarah “Sally” Van Alstyne.
  • What’s unique about this series is the Wall Street setting and the behind-the-scenes look at the financial world. If you’ve ever wanted to know what really goes on in a boardroom, this is the series for you.
  1. The Savannah Reid series
  • This series, written by G.A. McKevett, features Savannah Reid, a plus-sized private investigator and former police officer turned journalist.
  • What’s unique about this series is the strong sense of place – the stories are set in the fictional town of San Carmelita, California, and the descriptions of the town and its inhabitants are so vivid you’ll feel like you’re right there with Savannah.
  1. The Miss Fortune series
  • This series, written by Jana DeLeon, features Fortune Redding, a CIA operative who goes into hiding in the small Louisiana town of Sinful, where she takes on the identity of a journalist named Sandy-Sue Morrow.
  • What’s unique about this series is the quirky cast of characters, including a retired spy, a former beauty queen, and a one-eyed cat named Ida Belle. Oh, and did I mention the alligator that occasionally shows up in Fortune’s bathtub?
  1. The Charlie Bradshaw Mysteries
  • This series, written by Stephen Dobyns, features Charlie Bradshaw, a newspaper reporter in the town of Saratoga Springs, New York.
  • What’s unique about this series is the dry humor and witty writing style. Dobyns has a way with words that will make you laugh out loud, even as Charlie investigates murder and mayhem.

These are just a few examples of cozy mysteries featuring journalists as detectives. Each series has its own unique spin on the genre, so if you’re a fan of cozy mysteries and journalism, you’re sure to find something to love in one of these books.

Okay, so we’ve established that cozy mysteries featuring journalists as detectives are awesome. But what sets them apart from all the other cozy mysteries out there? Well, for starters, let’s compare them to culinary cozies.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me some cozy mysteries about baking cupcakes and solving crimes (because, let’s face it, cupcakes are pretty much the answer to all of life’s problems). But when it comes to adding a layer of complexity and realism to the mystery, journalist-detective cozies have got it going on.

Think about it: in a culinary cozy, the main character is usually a baker or chef who stumbles upon a dead body while whipping up a batch of macarons or something. They don’t really have any training or expertise in solving crimes, other than maybe watching a lot of Law & Order reruns.

But in a journalist-detective cozy, the main character is a trained professional when it comes to investigating and gathering information. They know how to interview sources, dig up dirt, and put together a compelling story. And let’s be real, who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned investigative journalist?

Plus, the journalism angle allows for a wider range of settings and plotlines. Instead of being confined to a bakery or knitting shop, journalist-detective cozies can take place in newsrooms, political campaigns, or even war zones. And the mysteries themselves can involve all sorts of juicy scandals and cover-ups, from corporate fraud to political corruption.

So, to sum up: while culinary cozies may satisfy your sweet tooth, journalist-detective cozies will feed your mind with a hearty dose of intrigue and suspense. And who knows, you might just learn a thing or two about the power of the press along the way.

Well, folks, that wraps up our investigation into journalist-detective cozies. I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve got a new appreciation for reporters. Who knew that all those years of snooping around and asking questions would come in handy for solving murders too? But let’s be real, if I were a journalist-sleuth, my investigation technique would probably involve a lot of caffeine and googling. Not exactly the stuff of legendary detectives, but hey, we all have to start somewhere.

So, what’s your favorite journalist-detective cozy mystery series? Do you have a soft spot for the intrepid Emma Lathen or the sassy Savannah Reid? Or maybe you’ve got a hidden gem that you want to share with the rest of us. Let us know in the comments below! Who knows, maybe we’ll discover a new favorite series and solve a few murders along the way.

Photo by Wallace Chuck on

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