Blogging A to Z: Day 19 – Sherlock Holmes: The influence of Sherlock Holmes on cozy mysteries

A humorous exploration of how Sherlock Holmes has influenced the cozy mystery genre, from plot elements to characters and settings.
Photo by Anna Kozlova on

Hey there, fellow bookworms! Before we dive into today’s topic, I’ve gotta get something off my chest. clears throat Ahem. “I am an affiliate for some of the products and services mentioned on this website. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I earn a small commission when you purchase through my links. Thank you for supporting this website!”

Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about Sherlock Holmes. You know, that super smart detective guy who’s always wearing a cape and a deerstalker hat? Yeah, that’s the one. He’s been solving mysteries since before it was cool, and his influence on the mystery genre is undeniable.

But here’s the thing: not all mysteries are created equal. Some are dark and gritty, full of twists and turns that’ll keep you up at night. Others are more, well, cozy. You know, the kind of mystery where the worst thing that happens is someone’s prized rhododendron gets trampled. (Side note: if you ever need a plant-based murder weapon for your own cozy mystery, just let me know. I have some ideas.)

So, what exactly are cozy mysteries? Simply put, they’re mysteries that are light on violence and heavy on charm. Think Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple series,

or the books in the “Cat Who…” series by Lilian Jackson Braun.

Cozy mysteries are like a warm blanket on a chilly day – comforting, familiar, and just a little bit quirky.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “But Jen,” you say (I assume we’re on a first-name basis at this point), “what does Sherlock Holmes have to do with cozy mysteries?” Ah, my friend, that’s what we’re here to talk about today. Buckle up and grab your magnifying glass, because we’re about to go on a literary adventure. And when we’re done, don’t forget to like, comment, share, and subscribe!

Ah, yes. Cozy mysteries and Sherlock Holmes – two things that go together like hot tea and scones. It’s no surprise that cozy mysteries have taken inspiration from the great detective himself, because let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to solve a mystery like Sherlock?

Cozy mysteries often feature similar plot elements to Sherlock Holmes stories, such as puzzles, clues, and red herrings. It’s like a game of Clue, except with more tea and fewer candlesticks. And let’s not forget the importance of a good alibi. Without a solid alibi, you might as well be the prime suspect, even if you were just innocently knitting a sweater at the time of the murder.

But back to the Sherlock Holmes influence. Some cozy mysteries have taken inspiration from specific Sherlock Holmes stories. For example, “The Hound of the Baskervilles” has inspired many cozy mysteries set in the English countryside with a spooky, supernatural twist.

And “A Study in Scarlet” has inspired many cozy mysteries with a focus on decoding cryptic messages and deciphering hidden clues.

But the thing that makes cozy mysteries truly stand out is the cast of characters. Much like Sherlock Holmes himself, cozy mystery protagonists are often intelligent, observant, and eccentric. They have a knack for solving puzzles and seeing through red herrings. And let’s not forget the side characters – the loyal sidekick, the bumbling police officer, the suspicious neighbor – who all play important roles in helping to solve the mystery.

So the next time you’re cozied up with a good mystery novel and a cup of tea, think about the influence of Sherlock Holmes. After all, he’s the OG mystery solver, and his legacy lives on in cozy mysteries today.

Oh, we can’t talk about cozy mysteries without mentioning the quirky, eccentric protagonists who always seem to find themselves knee-deep in a murder investigation. And who better to compare them to than the ultimate eccentric detective himself, Sherlock Holmes?

Cozy mystery protagonists often share traits with Sherlock Holmes, like his intelligence and keen observation skills. But let’s be real, they also share his tendency to be a little odd. Maybe they have a collection of vintage teapots, or they talk to their cats like they’re human. But hey, it’s all part of their charm, right?

And just like how Sherlock has his trusty sidekick Watson, cozy mystery protagonists often have their own side characters who play similar roles. Maybe it’s their best friend who is always there to lend a listening ear and offer advice, or the local sheriff who they constantly butt heads with but ultimately work together to solve the case. It’s all about having a great supporting cast to bounce off of.

And let’s not forget about the classic detective duo of Holmes and Lestrade. In cozy mysteries, you might see a similar dynamic between the protagonist and the local law enforcement. There’s always that one detective who’s convinced they know who the killer is, but the protagonist has to use their smarts and charm to convince them otherwise.

So, while cozy mysteries may not be as serious and intense as the Sherlock Holmes stories, they definitely share some similarities when it comes to the characters. But hey, who says solving a murder can’t be a little quirky and fun?

Now, let’s talk about setting. You know what they say: location, location, location. And when it comes to cozy mysteries, that location is often reminiscent of the Victorian England setting of Sherlock Holmes stories. Because let’s face it, nothing screams “cozy” like gas lamps, foggy streets, and corsets.

But don’t worry, you don’t have to time travel to enjoy a good cozy mystery. There are plenty of modern authors who know how to capture that classic Sherlock Holmes atmosphere. Take “The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie” by Alan Bradley, for example.

It’s set in 1950s England, but it still manages to transport you back to the Victorian era with its quaint village setting and plucky young protagonist.

Or how about “A Study in Scarlet Women” by Sherry Thomas?

This gender-bent reimagining of Sherlock Holmes takes place in the same time period as the original stories, but with a twist. And while there may not be as many corsets, there’s still plenty of intrigue and clever deductions to keep you entertained.

And let’s not forget about the countless cozy mysteries set in small towns across America. Sure, they may not have the same historical flair as a Sherlock Holmes story, but they make up for it with their charming characters and quirky settings. From the quaint shops of “Murder, She Wrote” to the quaint cafes of “Cozy Cafe Mysteries,” there’s something for everyone.

So whether you prefer your mysteries with a touch of historical elegance or a side of small town charm, there’s no denying the influence of Sherlock Holmes on cozy mystery settings. It just goes to show that even in the world of literature, location really is everything.

In conclusion, it’s clear that Sherlock Holmes has had a huge impact on cozy mysteries. From the puzzle-filled plots to the eccentric characters, it’s hard to escape the shadow of the world’s greatest detective. But hey, if you’re going to be overshadowed by anyone, it might as well be a genius with a killer fashion sense, am I right?

All joking aside, it’s remarkable to think about how one character could have such a lasting impact on literature. Sherlock Holmes has been inspiring writers and captivating readers for over a century, and it’s clear that his legacy isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

So if you’re a fan of cozy mysteries, take a moment to appreciate the debt we owe to Sherlock Holmes. And if you’re not a fan of cozy mysteries yet, give them a try! Who knows, you might just find yourself falling down the rabbit hole of amateur sleuths and suspicious small towns.

Don’t forget to like, comment, and share this post if you enjoyed it, and subscribe to stay up-to-date on all the latest cozy mystery content. Until next time, happy sleuthing!


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