So I write cozy paranormal mystery #PointMuse Most people, when they ask what I write, leave confused when I mime stabbing motions accompanied with a sweet smile.
So here’s the Wikipedia definition:
“Cozy mysteries, also referred to as "cozies", are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community. Cozies thus stand in contrast to hardboiled fiction, which features violence and sexuality more explicitly and centrally to the plot. The term "cozy" was first coined in the late 20th century when various writers produced work in an attempt to re-create the Golden Age of Detective Fiction.”
Clear as mud?
Basically, a cozy murder will generally take place in a small town, sometimes a village. Most likely all the suspects know each other and quite often there’s a nosy gossip who helps the sleuth gather evidence. There should be no graphic violence, swearing or open-door sex. The swearing part hurts me…I’ve been known to drop the odd one ;) #pottymouth Torture need not apply in a cozy mystery. And most of the time the crime happens off the page. I like to write victims who aren’t so nice or who have a vice. Makes for a more interesting victim. I also like to have red herrings or false clues sprinkled throughout my stories. Don’t we all love the twists and turns in a cozy? ;)
The hero or heroine in a cozy mystery is always amateur. No police detectives need apply. They are generally back-up for my plucky heroine or spunky policeman out to arrest her for a crime she didn’t commit. Favorite jobs for our amateur sleuth are: librarian (my personal fave), café owner, bakery owner, florist, caterer, bed and breakfast owner, gardener, crafter, cat/dog owner, candle/herb shop owner, bookstore owner and many more.
The sleuth tends to be smart, curious, stubborn and a fantastic puzzle solver. People tend to like and trust the sleuth…and tell them gossip which helps to solve the mystery.
Cozy mysteries are a read you feel at home with and the reader soon becomes addicted.
I know I am ;)
Let the mayhem begin…