Despite my best efforts—'suspense!', 'international mystery!', 'humor!'— I was quickly relegated to the 'Cozy' genre. Didn't bother me, of course. It just confused me.
What the hell is Cozy Crime?
The name, of course, gives the game away. Look up a dictionary, any dictionary, and you're likely to find the words: "comfortable, snug, warm and friendly".*
And, yes, that is one way of looking at my books. Kind of.
I mean, there are a few murders in the mix, but for the most part The Ghostwriter Mystery Series and The Agatha Christie Book Club can be read in the dead of night without looking over your shoulder and checking the locks.
They're not dripping in blood and lurking with vicious rapists or child killers. There's no gory autopsies and psycho serial killers.
They're mysteries with an edge of menace. Puzzles with a little peril. A good story with some secrecy and problem solving thrown in. And, yes, okay then, they are best read cuddled up in a cozy armchair, preferably with a cute dog/cat/cuppa by your side.
Guilty as charged!
Of course many authors, readers and publishers go even further than that, and suggest that 'Cozy' means 'small town', means 'amateur sleuth', means compulsory addition of a cat/dog/craft/hobby. And for some it does. But it needn't be that defined.
For me, 'cozy crime' just means a bloody good mystery that's enjoyable to read, fun to solve, has a very clever plot and quirky, lovable characters, and still lets you sleep at night. Or, as they say: Comfortable, snug, warm and friendly.
So, to celebrate the genre that was thrust upon me but which I have quickly grown to adore, I wanted to give a thumbs up to some other wonderful cozy authors with whom I share Amazon digital shelves and a facebook writing group. I haven't read them all but I can vouch for their sincerity and devotion to the genre, whether they intended to write cozy or not.
Take your pick...
And happy (cozy) reading everyone!
* The Concise Oxford Dictionary