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Robert Barnard: Master of the Cozy
Robert Barnard's U.S. debut novel, A Little Local Murder, set the pattern for the many popular mysteries to follow: wryly funny and ingeniously plotted social satires disguised as English cozies (i.e. mysteries with picturesque settings, colorful local residents and not much blood or gore). Unlike many other bestselling mystery writers, Barnard varied his settings and characters, focussing on different communities and social types from book to book, and sketching well-rounded characters you wouldn't want for neighbors. Two of my personal favorites are Death of a Perfect Mother and A Scandal in Belgravia. Check Our Catalog for a more complete list of titles by this author, who died on September 19, 2013.