When I first decided to write a book, I knew it would be a cozy mystery. That seemed logical give I grew up reading Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and Trixie Belden books. As a young adult, I progressed to books by Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle. Now that I’m published, I’ve discovered some friends and family members are unsure as to exactly what a cozy mystery is.

Let me explain.

(1) It’s a fun, entertaining and easy read.

(2) Cozy mysteries are “gentle” books. They contain no graphic violence, profanity, or explicit sex. Although most stories include a murder, the crime itself takes place “off stage”.  

(3) The crime is solved by an amateur sleuth who just also happens to be female, and she is somehow connected to the victim. She may not know it at the beginning of the book, but she does by the end.

(4) The setting of a cozy mystery is a small town or village. In this community all of the suspects know each other. Gossip plays a significant role, and one individual (ie. the busybody) helps the amateur sleuth figure it out by relaying important tidbits of information.

(5) Cozy mysteries are fast-paced reads. Red herrings are provided to distract both the reader and amateur sleuth, however, the heroine is able to sift through the clues and toss aside the useless information. Puzzle solving is a definite requirement of the cozy mystery.

(6) Supporting characters play significant roles in a cozy mystery series. As such, there is no shortage of funny, eccentric, and entertaining secondary characters.

FRANK, INCENSE AND MURIEL, first book of the Muriel Reeves Mysteries series, fits all of the above requirements of a cozy mystery. Released in e-book format in November 2010, the print version of FRANK, INCENSE AND MURIEL will be available later this year.

What is your favorite cozy mysteries series? Why?

1 comment:

Mystic_Mom said...

When I think of cozy mysteries I think of Janet Evanovich. Great explanation, will be sharing that with some of my reading friends.