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Readers' Favorite

July 18, 2019

What is it about cozy mysteries?

by Donna Huber


I love cozy mysteries. I'm not sure what it is that draws me to them. Maybe it was all those years growing up that my family watched Masterpiece Mystery on PBS. Whereas in most genres (particularly in the romance drama), I grow bored when the plots become cookie cutter (in other words predictable). This doesn't happen with cozy mysteries. It is rare that I don't find something enjoyable about every cozy mystery I pick up. And pretty much if I see a cozy mystery, I pick it up.

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What is it that draws you to a cozy mystery. Is there a specific author or type (paranormal cozy, culinary cozy, etc) that you stick to?

Types of cozy mysteries

There are so many "subgenres" of cozy mysteries that sometimes I giggle at the terms that are used to describe them. I seem to be particularly partial to historical cozies and resort/vacation locale cozies, with culinary cozies being a top choice too. During the Halloween season, I gravitate towards paranormal cozies as I don't like to read horror. Maybe I just like holiday-themed cozies as I really like cozy mysteries set during Christmas, too.

I think the variety of types is the reason I enjoy cozy mysteries so much. The library or bakery or hunt club or retirement community or bed & breakfast - these elements are almost a character themselves. All these different settings and hobbies/interests focused on in the books provide interesting dynamics which can keep a series from feeling stale.

Some of my favorite historical cozy mysteries:

Death at the Paris Exposition by Frances McNamara is set in 1900. I read book 6 without having read the previous books in the series and had no problem falling in love with the characters.
Rhys Bowen's Her Royal Spyness series is set in the 1930s.
Vivian Conroy's 1920-set Murder Will Follow series.

Paranormal favorites:

Southern Spirits
Southern Spirits by Angie Fox
Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris
Graveyard Shift by Angela Roquet

Holiday favorites:

The Ghost of Christmas Past by Rhys Bowen
Aunt Dimity's Christmas by Nancy Atherton

Vacation/Resort favorites:

A Zen for Murder by Leighann Dobbs
Sunbaked by Junie Coffey

Do you see a trend in the types of cozy mysteries you read?

Characters we love

Definitely one of the biggest draws to cozy mysteries are the quirky characters. Some can be downright neurotic, but even the more normal characters are fun. They are usually someone you would want to be friends with in real life. I've also recently realized that I really like cozy mysteries that have couples as the sleuths. I know that is true with Her Royal Spyness series. In the last book in the series, Lady Georgie and Darcy finally married and I find myself really excited for the next book, Love and Death Among the Cheetahs (comes out in August), as they will truly solve mysteries as partners.

Death Comes to the Fair
I just started Death Comes to the Fair by Catherine Lloyd and I already love Lucy Harrington and Robert Kurland.

Tess Crawford from Brownies & Betrayal has just enough goofiness to make her a fun character without being a complete airhead.

Probably my favorite cozy mystery character is Maggie from JB Lynn's Confession of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman series. She's funny and loyal and gets herself into the craziest situations. The series is filled with quirky characters, plus there are animals who are just as much a part of the cast as the humans.

Animals often play a role in cozy mysteries. In any other genre, I wouldn't read a book with an animal as they are almost always sad. But with a cozy mystery, where the focus is fun, they can provide great opportunities for hilarity.

Who are some of your favorite characters in cozy mysteries?

Extras provided

Blueberry Muffin Murder
Probably one of my favorite things about cozy mysteries, besides knowing it is going to be a fun read, are the extras that are often included in novels. You know you are going to get recipes in culinary cozies, but I recently read A Likely Story by Jenn McKinlay which is a library cozy and at the end, there were tips on creating your own crafting book club (a group featured in the book). A book with a reading guide is provided but also, instructions for the craft they did in the book.

Have you ever tried making any of the recipes found in the culinary cozies? I know I've tried a couple of cookie recipes from Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swenson series. And a rice pudding recipe from Pudding Up with Murder by Julia Buckley. Sometimes I wonder if the author tried the recipes before including them in the book as I've had mixed results.

What are your favorite extras?

What's the draw?

So as you can see there are a lot of reasons that I love cozy mysteries. But I think the real draw of the genre is that it is a guaranteed fun read that is full of heart. Cozy mysteries probably get discounted as fluff. It is true they are typically easy reading however a lot about human nature is also revealed in these novels. And it isn't just the bad stuff (yes, some bad stuff as there is usually a murder or crime to be solved). There is loyalty, friendship, love, family, doing the right thing within the pages of cozy mysteries.

I'm always looking for more cozy mysteries to try, tell me your favorites.

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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2 comments:

  1. I really need to read more of them, but I do love cozy mysteries! I like the mystery but also that they are fun and easy to read.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'll confess that I don't read cozy mysteries often, but I can definitely see why you love them!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    ReplyDelete

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