I don’t just read UF, erotica, and dark romance. I also read mysteries. I love reading mysteries because I like the tension and the thrills. I tend to follow series because I like to watch the character development from book 1 to book whatever. Among others, I like Patricia Stabenow’s Kate Shugak books, which take place in Alaska and Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell stories, which are an interesting take on Sherlock Holmes, in particular, the fact that Mary Russell starts out as his apprentice and then they get married.
Just like any other genre, there are sub-genres. For mysteries, one of those sub-genres is the cozy. So, what exactly is a cozy?
A cozy mystery is one that doesn’t have a lot of sex, bad language, or violence. When the death happens, it’s usually off-stage. A character just runs across the dead body instead of the reader seeing how the person died, generally. If the person does die on-stage, the description will generally be fairly tame. Sex is off-stage too, mostly, and if it isn’t, it’s again described in the most general way, without any of the more graphic terms. Another feature of the cozy is that it is generally set in a small area with a limited amount of people around, and everyone usually knows each other. The person who solves the murder is also generally an amateur, think more Miss Marple and less Lt. Joe Leaphorn (Tony Hillerman).
Cozy mystery series can also have a theme. Diane Mott Davidson is a good example of this. Her series focuses around cooking, with all of the titles being related to cooking or food, and she includes recipes in the back of the books.
One of my favorite cozy authors is Charlotte MacLeod, who died back in 2005, about 50 miles from where I live. She has two or three series out. My particular favorite is the Sarah Kelling/Max Bittersohn series. It takes place in Boston and the characters are mostly all the upper crust, old families of Boston. There are some eccentrics, which does tend to happen with cozies. Sarah’s Uncle Jem is definitely a character, but he’s a lot of fun, and I really like him.
Anyway, that’s the cozy in a nutshell. If you want a quick, light, sometimes funny mystery to read, then the cozy is a good choice. As with any other genre I read, I have plenty of suggestions and recommendations.
If you ever want to see me write about some genre, author, book, whatever, let me know. If you have suggestions of a book, genre, author, whatever you think I’ll like, let me know. I am always on the lookout for new things to read.