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A New Cozy Renaissance

About the hit show that cozy mystery fans are proud to call their own

In the future, those of us who lived through the dark times of the 2020-2022 pandemic will measure those years in what we watched while we tried to mentally disconnect from the virus and the world.

Binging streaming TV series was a balm for our stressed souls.

We started, of course, with Tiger King, a docu-series about troublingly strange people who were obsessed with big cats. Some of us sampled the sexy-yet-mind-numbingly dumb 365 Days, if only because the main characters were beautiful and were having the sex we weren’t.

After that, we did a one-eighty and tried to redeem what brain cells we had left with Ted Lasso, or perhaps the Queen’s Gambit.

By 2021, we were ready for a touch of the real world. But not too much, because things were still dicey.

And that’s when we were given the best viewing gift of all: a cozy mystery series. There is nothing like a little gentle murder, one that’s low-stakes yet interesting, to capture our attention.

Only Murders in the Building, starring Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez — along with a rotating list of A-list stars — was released in August of 2021, just as Hot Girl Summer was withering into another dreary, lonely fall.

Readers of cozy mystery novels recognized the series for what it was right away. It had all the hallmarks of the genre: amateur sleuths, a tight knit, closed community, a non-gory homicide, no on-screen sex.

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