Showing posts with label cozy mysteries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cozy mysteries. Show all posts

Jul 25, 2016

In Defense of Cozies



Product Details
Upcoming Release of a Series I Enjoy
When authors get together, there's a tendency to disparage cozy mysteries, and many of my friends think of themselves as "just" cozy writers. To be honest, cozies can get pretty silly, with amateur sleuths bumbling through situations that no sane person would put herself into. Often they have only the faintest of reasons to do so, and most of us would have called the police, told them our suspicions, and gone back to canning green beans.

So why do zillions of people read zillions of cozies each year?

Possibly because we trust them.

We trust cozies to provide a few hours of entertainment that won't depress us, scare us, or force us to ponder the darker side of humanity. Cozy villains might be a little papery, but we don't imagine them showing up in our bedrooms with a butcher knife or shadowing us in a dark parking garage as we hurry to our cars.

It might be my age, or it might be TV's predilection for long-running segments on cop series where a single crazy-but-oh-so-clever killer menaces the hero and his/her family and friends for months, even years (think Red John), but I'm tired of psychopaths. It seems dishonest to me for an author to create a character whose psychosis allows him/her to do just about anything with only his own delusional thoughts for a road map. Traditional mysteries, including cozies, rely on logic: the killer has to have a reason for what he does, and the reader should be able to believe he was pushed to the point of murder by his situation, whether by greed or hate or whichever deadly sin it turns out to be.

I also hate blood, torture, and mental anguish in books (well, actually, anywhere). When a character is helpless and the killer is standing over him with a knife, things better get more positive pretty quickly, or I'm closing that book. Many times I've stopped reading when it felt to me like the author was just seeing how sick things could get (see last week's blog), and my tendency is to not return to that author again once she's done that.

Finally, cozies restore justice in the end. The killer is caught, life in the small town returns to normal (until Book 2 or Book 22!). With 24-hour news telling us about every abnormality they can dig up, it's nice to have that Shakespearean return to order in our fiction.

Do I read cozies all the time? No. I prefer straight traditional mystery, but I'm pretty careful about who I trust to write it for the reasons listed above. I completely understand why people stick to cozies, because if you like a little murder and a good puzzle, they're comforting and comfortable. 




Dec 3, 2015

30 Days of Christmas Day 9: A Pet Question



If you know the Sleuth Sisters, you've met Buddy, Faye's mongrel, and Styx, Retta's Newfoundland. You know Barb has formed a tenuous relationship with a stray cat. Book #2 had some horses join the family, and Book #3 took us to the family farm, where there are reindeer and peafowl.
In the 4th Sleuth Sisters book, chickens are an inciting factor--Bet you never heard that in a mystery before!


All this brought to mind a question for today's post: If money, space, and other possible drawbacks were somehow taken care of, what animal would you choose to get for a Christmas gift? (to add to the ones you already share space with, of course)


Dec 1, 2015

30 Days of Christmas Day 7: Let's Surprise an Author!

Guess how this author picks winners for giveaways and such!
These days as many of my friends are authors as are not. I thought for the Dec. 1st post I'd tell you about someone else's books for a change. These people have no idea what I'm doing, so I'm hoping it's a nice surprise for the next few Tuesdays for them and possibly some new reading for those who read this blog.

Today's "honoree" is Janet, who has a book releasing today. She has two series published under pen names, and both are worthy of a read if you like cozy mysteries and haven't yet tried them.

The PTA Murders series is published under the name Laura Alden and features Beth Kennedy, recently divorced with two kids. When she gets drafted into more involvement in the local PTA, things start happening, and Beth is reluctantly drawn into sleuthing. The five-book series is notable to me because the humor is genuine, not derived from exaggerated characters who do unbelievable things.
Murder at the PTA
Foul Play at the PTA
Poison at the PTA
Curse of the PTA
Plotting at the PTA
See more here: http://www.amazon.com/Laura-Alden/e/B0058QKBH8

Janet's newer series, written as Laurie Cass, is the Bookmobile Cat Mysteries, which feature bookmobile librarian Minnie Hamilton and a cat named Eddie. Set in Michigan, the books again feature my type of humor, not zany but more observational, pointing out life's oddities in a droll way.
Lending a Paw
Tailing a Tabby
Borrowed Crime
Pouncing on Murder DEBUTS TODAY!!!
See more here: http://catmystery.com/

There really is an Eddie, and he really does help out, as you see above.

What's the Deal with Subscriptions?

 I'll be honest. I know that the "deal" with subscriptions is guaranteed income for the entities that sell them. But if I were...