David Wilson, The Herald, Oct. 31, 2023
I admit it, I am an Arconiac.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, this is the popular name for someone who is addicted to the TV series Only Murders in the Building, starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez, which finished its third season earlier this month. The “building” of the title is the fictional Arconia apartment complex, situated in New York’s upper West Side, although the Arconia is modelled on, and the series is filmed within, a real apartment complex called The Belnord.
I won’t spoil the series ending for those of you who haven’t yet seen the programme but, suffice to say, this comedy drama is a form of “feel-good murder”, or what is more commonly referred to as “cosy crime”. Cosy crime, whether in books, podcasts, or TV and film drama has a number of essential components.
These would include having an aspirational backdrop to the murder that is going to occur, or has just taken place; the fact that we don’t see the murder itself – it’s off-stage; the story that’s being told is a puzzle and the reader or viewer is required to solve the mystery of who it was that committed the crime; and, finally, that the puzzle will be cracked by an “amateur”, rather than an agent of the criminal justice system.