When I was writing my entry about Katherine Hall Page’s Faith Fairchild Mystery Series (click here for that entry), I started thinking about Cozy Mystery themes and the way authors sometimes weave more than one theme into many series. As most of you know, I have a number of Cozy Mystery theme lists on my site (click here for the table of contents for those themes). When I add a new series or book to the site’s lists, I try to update the themes pages >>> I have to admit that a few times times I haven’t been so good about doing that >>> but I try. Anyway, this is not a new series, so I did not have to think about updating the theme pages >>> but what I did start thinking was that even back in the early days of the modern Cozy Mystery books (circa 1990), authors, such as Katherine Hall Page, were already creating series with multiple themes.
Several of the themes that I was thinking about about when re-looking at A Body in the Belfry were the Culinary – Cooking theme (there are so many cooking theme mysteries that this is actually a link to our “where to start with culinary mysteries” discussion), the Religious theme and the Rich Sleuths theme >>> not to mention our Cozy Mysteries by state lists with this series mostly fitting in the Massachusetts list.
For the Religious theme, Faith is a daughter of a minister and the new wife of a minister. Goings on in and around the church are a big part of the Body in the Belfry, and not much happens in the story where the church and the congregation are not discussed.
Also, for the Rich Sleuths theme, although Faith has a “modest but adequate” (as she calls it) trust fund, she is not normally spending extraordinary amounts of money in these books. Her husband Tom, much like Darren in Bewitched not wanting Samantha to use her special powers, doesn’t want Faith to spend her trust money. (What’s with these husbands?!?) The only concessions he has given Faith are for her wardrobe and her kitchen >>> which are both lavish. Nevertheless, Faith is lucky to have the money when she needs it (or just really wants it).
And finally, the Culinary Theme is pretty restrained, at least in the first book in the series. Yes, I know that the series does veer much more towards culinary issues later when Faith gets her “Have Faith” catering service going again, and Katherine Hall Page is one of the authors on the Mystery Authors with Cookbooks list with her Have Faith in Your Kitchen cookbook of Faith Fairchild’s favorite recipes.
So, I found it interesting to think about how many themes Katherine Hall Page managed to squeeze into the first book in this very popular series even way back at the dawn of what I think of as the modern Cozy. I imagine it would probably be a very long list if we were to discuss every Cozy series that has multiple themes, so I won’t be trying to make a complete list.
But, I thought I might throw it open for discussion as to what your favorite Cozy series are that have multiple themes. Please leave a comment with your favorite Cozy series with multiple themes – please tell us the author, series and what themes you think the series fits in. Thank you!