Cozy Shapeshifters: Alisa Day’s Tiger’s Eye Mystery

The Shapeshifter Myth is a versatile trope that can be incorporated into various genres, including urban fantasy, science fiction, and even cozy mystery. The latter is a popular subgenre of mystery fiction that offers comfort to readers. It typically features a female detective, often based on classic characters like Miss Marple or Jessica Fletcher, who solves murders in a quaint town and has a group of eccentric friends. The young heroine is also common in the subgenre, and she usually runs an equally eccentric business and has a strained relationship with the local law enforcement. In the crossover with fantasy, the heroine faces supernatural elements, and despite her flaws, she always prevails.

The Dead End series by Alyssa Day is an excellent example of the shapeshifter myth in cozy mystery. The story is set in Dead End, Florida, a town inhabited by both humans and paranormal creatures, including vampires, witches, and a powerful tiger mutant. The series follows Tess Callahan, a young woman with a peculiar talent for seeing how people will die when she touches them. She also inherits half of a pawn shop from her deceased employer and becomes entangled in a murder mystery involving the shop owner’s nephew, Jack, a tiger shifter who has returned to town after fighting vampires and performing missions for the ruler of Atlantis.

While it’s unclear how Jack became a shapeshifter, he embraces his abilities and uses them to protect Tess and solve crimes, thanks in part to his background in dark ops combat missions. Together, the unlikely duo fights against various big bads and escalations of family drama in Dead End. The series is cleverly written, and the characters are well-developed and interesting, making it an enjoyable read for fans of both cozy mysteries and fantasy.

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