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Cosy Whodunnits - my gripe

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Offline LindaGruchy Reading The Chandelier Ballroom by Elizabeth Lord
25 Jun 2012, 05:30 AM | Post: #11

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RE: Cosy Whodunnits - my gripe

I have a US friend who writes English Police Procedurals (thouhg I don't know if she's ever tried to get them published). She does her rersearch thoroughly and has visited Britain, but there are some basic cultural differences we're unaware of until started to ask questions of us to get facts right. It wasn't just the facts which were on dodgy ground, it was the basic cultural concepts which were "England, Jim, but not as we know it".

Apparently there is a large contingent of US readers and writers besotted with the UK Cosy. When you consider how far a Cosy is from reality anyway, it doesn't matter (really) if they get things wrong... providing you are a US reader.

I dislike a lot of Disney cartoon films for this reason. The baddy is always an Englishman (Shere Khan, Scar). I loathe Cruella DeVille's "Cockney" sidekicks. But that's just me.
Offline Parish Spinster
28 Jun 2012, 03:26 PM | Post: #12

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RE: Cosy Whodunnits - my gripe

Hello everyone. Hope you don't mind me joining in.

I love period whodunits, the Christies and the Allinghams and so on. Do you think some modern authors of cosy crime write as part of a long-standing tradition they wish to emulate, or to tap into a ready-made readership, knowing that all the - I was going to say cliches, for want of a better word, but that's unfair - all the conventions are known to the majority of readers, leaving the authors free to skimp a bit on the research and get on with the plot?

And I agree Lexi about some of the Regency Romances, especially the ones where everyone seems to swear all the time in a deucedly modern fashion.

Going off at a slight tangent (I do this a lot), has anyone read any Edmund Crispin? One of my favourite authors and his books are beautifully plotted, not to mention so funny I usualy have to put them down at some point because I'm laughing too hard to read.

I am now going to adjust my pearl brooch, put on my hat and catch the omnibus into town to take afternoon tea at the spa hotel. Big Grin

Offline lyndawrites Reading The Twopenny-Hat Detective by Brian Sellars
28 Jun 2012, 04:44 PM | Post: #13

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RE: Cosy Whodunnits - my gripe

Hi, Lucie, of course we don't mind you joining in. Take that comfy chair next to the fire and relax.

I too love the older whodunits. Christie, in my view, being the doyenne of them all, whch is why I was so delighted when someone told me that Strictly Murder was like Agatha Christie meets chick lit Big Grin Having said that, my book is set in the present day so I generally don't need to research the time period, at least.

Going back to Plummie's original point ... of Americans getting the British all wrong, I think this may be attributed, at least in part, to television and all those period dramas we do so well and the Americans lap up. And if your visit to the UK is only to visit London - well, that will distort their view of us, too
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Offline Dorte Hummelshoj Reading Blood Harvest by S.J. Bolton
28 Jun 2012, 08:35 PM | Post: #14

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RE: Cosy Whodunnits - my gripe

I just found this thread, and obviously I´m wondering if British readers see my ´Knavesborough´ mysteries in the same way as the American ones. Well, I hope I have made it clear there are elements of parody in them because I don´t believe the archetypical cosy environment ever existed. I love ´Midsomer Murder´, but your villages are not quite like that, are they? Whistle
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Offline patrickt
29 Jun 2012, 03:45 PM | Post: #15

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RE: Cosy Whodunnits - my gripe

This post was last modified: 29 Jun 2012 03:48 PM by patrickt.
(20 Jun 2012 07:03 PM)Plummielass Wrote:  Me I LOVE cosy village whodunnits.

But why do some US writers insist on doing them. I am fed up with steriotypical characters, books set in modern times and the characters speaking like they are in an Edwardian country house.

I half expect the staff (yeah we all have staff) to doff their caps, 'gawd bless you guvnor'

I do wonder if some of these writers have ever been here?

Now I know that in America, they all speak with a Southern Drawl, call all women Ma'am, do not own a passport and have no idea where anywhere outside their little realm is.

Of course we can all generalise, but I have just read a book set in Tunbridge Wells about a Tea Museum, which in all honesty was a great story spoiled by the authors' (2 of them) obsession with Brits being just too British.

And can someone enlighten me, do we not in this country RENT our flats not LET them. In my book a flat is LET to a tennant and a tennant RENTs. In this book one of the lead characters spoke of the flat she was LETTING, when she was in fact RENTING it.

It seems that whenever I post on here I seem to always be moaning. Let me tell you, I have toned all my postings down, and I am a really happy person, but a pedant at heart.. Off now to hang up the washing...Thumbs Up

Well, Ma'am, I'm realize that you are unaware that one of the many problems in the U.S. is that it isn't a "little realm".

Some authors have their books translated into British English or American English. Then I've read some books by Scots who use a lot of slang and won't stoop to explaining any of it. Some words and phrases can be found on the internet and some can be guessed by context and some just hang there.

One of the things I have enjoyed in Agatha Christie's early work was the astounding and unabshed class bigotry. She did adapt over the years.

I am not a writer. I am a reader. I enjoy reading books written by authors from other countries and cultures but I prefer the setting be one with which they're familiar. And I rarely read books written by people who whine.

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