This is a great little guide if you are thinking of dabbling into cozy, classic crime writing. One thing that I would emphasise is that it helps to read some cozy crime novels first to get the feel of how it is done badly and how it is done well. I recommend trying out a few Agatha Christie novels along with some Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham and Georges Simenon. As an extra I would also recommend trying out a few books from the range of British Library Crime Classics.
This is another in my series on Genre Writing Tips. I hadn’t really thought about cozy mysteries as I worked through from Children’s Books to Steampunk. A member of my critique group reminded me because that’s what she writes. Cozy mysteries, in the style of Murder She Wrote–tricky but non-gory plots with eminantly cheerful characters that you’d like for a best friend.
That’s about all I knew about them, so I polled my PLN and Tweeple and anyone I could find about what the characteristics of ‘cozy mysteries’ were. Here’s what I got:
- The mystery is not bloody or ghoulish. It’s softened, the gory parts alluded to rather than spelled out.
- The lead character is likely to be an amateur detective, akin to Murder She Wrote, rather than seasoned as you’d find in a detective mystery.
- The reader likely will identify with the main character so s/he…
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