Monday, 1 February 2016

Out of the (cozy) cupboard and proud!

I knew they were crime. I knew they were fairly benign. But I never had a clue my murder mysteries were 'cozy' until I began uploading them to Amazon. 

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!
xo Christina

* The Concise Oxford Dictionary

Author of novels at Self-Employed

Fictional Escape Artist at Writer

Kathi Daley Books at Writer

Washington and Lee University

Mystery Writer at Kensington Publishing Corp.

USA Today Bestselling Author at Paranormal Mystery and Women's Fiction
Joined about 8 months ago

University of California, Los Angeles

Writer at Self-Employed

University of Illinois at Springfield

Works at Novelist

Author at Home

University of Connecticut at Storrs

Author at Writer

Works at Community College of Denver

Works at Freelance Writer and Author

Georgia State University

Works at Author

Retired English teacher at Carey High School

Author at Author Ava Mallory


  1. I Totally get your confusion on this. I've been a cozy reader since I picked up my first Agatha Christie sometime in middle school, so when I started writing my Organized Mysteries series I knew they were absolutely cozy, and I kept to all the rules. But when my Bodies of Art Mysteries were also put into the cozy category by Amazon, I was really surprised. The only thing I could figure is I don't have gory murder scenes, and my characters don't cuss all the time, and while there's light sexual tension there's nothing that would embarrass you if your mom picked up the book (LOL), so while I feel like the series aren't cozies because of my longtime reading habits made me lock into the long-term definition of cozy mystery. But you write Good Stuff, and that's all that really matters!!! :)

    1. Ritter I've only just seen your post (you must have jotted this at a busy time in my life, apologies!) Great to hear from you and, yes, I do have my mum in the back of my mind when I write my books as she's a big fan so I guess that has some influence. I love your Organized Mysteries series and yes, good writing is all that matters. xo