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the cozy mystery. . .

Some years ago, when I was seeking an agent for my first Nora Brady mystery, I received a regretful response from one agent who stated she wasn’t in the market for a “cozy” mystery. I considered this something of a slam, not knowing this was actually a subgenre of mysteries. Years later, I’m still not sure my books belong there, but nonetheless, I’ve learned a bit more. I’ve also learned there are hybrids—books that cross over or combine genres or subgenres of fiction.

So what is a cozy? Borrowing from, here are some of the characteristics:

· The main character is usually a likeable woman (though sometimes a man) who is an amateur sleuth, with life experiences that aid her in solving those mysteries/murders she encounters

· Her talents may be such things as baking, crafting, or dog training, sometimes with a shop that connects her with other characters in the story

· The setting is usually a small town/village where everyone knows everyone else

· Her best friend, husband or significant other is likely a detective, police officer or medical examiner, so there is access to information often necessary to solving the crime

· Both violence and sex (if there is any) is generally off scene and there’s likely no profanity

Cozies are a burgeoning field and here are some authors whose works you might want to explore:

· For those who love baking: Joanne Fluke. Her novels are peppered with recipes and I wanted to try every one of them!

· For the crafters: Lois Winston. I just finished reading Assault With A Deadly Glue Gun in her Anastasia Pollack series. Very clever!

· For those with dogs: Maggie Toussaint. Her dreamwalker series includes a ghost dog who assists the sleuth in solving the mysteries. And another author new to the scene:

C.B. Wilson. Her Barkview mysteries, involve an entire town focused on dogs.

· For the unique occupation of organizing estate sales: S. W. Hubbard. The Palmyrton Estate Sale mystery series is only one of several different series by this author

So, take a break from the holiday rush and treat yourself to a cozy! And have a very


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