What makes them so popular?
Giant cliffs that plunge dizzyingly into the sea, leafy footpaths that meander along streams and the grandest views that reach out to an endless, hazy horizon, Cornwall is a dreamer’s paradise. With almost 300 miles of stunning coastline, historic mining heritage country, hidden coves, castles and not forgetting King Arthur, Cornwall is a playground for the adventurous.
But for many, Cornwall is just a holiday reminiscence, a future trip, or a memorable movie, and for them, books are a great way of experiencing it from their living room. And what a perfect location in which to set a cosy mystery, an ever-increasingly popular genre.
Cosy mysteries are simply delightful, there is something so special about setting one in a cute little English village with their pretty tiled cottages, or old stone buildings and quintessential English gardens. Cornwall has everything a reader needs for a perfect ‘get away’, from manor houses with their history, their grand rooms and creaking floors, to traditional wood-paneled pubs with open fires, hidden stories and fishermen’s tales. It is easy to see how the landscape and the villages can be weaved into colourful stories, designed to draw the reader in.
Villages give the reader the opportunity for their imaginations to flourish, and for wonderful characters to come alive in their own picturesque settings. After all, cosy mysteries need to be set in locations which inspire the reader to drift off mid-sentence into another world. If we, the writers fail to do this, then we are short-changing the reader, as this is one of the great joys of reading.
Also, for many, Cornwall smells good. It smells of grass, of the sea, of small, quaint places where one can aspire to visit. Books set in the countryside make the reader feel like they’re back there; feeling the air, smelling the flowers, and having afternoon tea and scones, or a glass of wine, in the same place where the mystery is going to be solved. When it finally is, it should be done by a witty and articulate heroine, while at the same time, the villain should be disliked. And in the end, the resolution should make sense, and be satisfying, and everything will be well in the once again in the county of Cornwall.