Let’s Get Cozy

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Sometimes, genres are broken down into sub-genres. One of my favorite reads is the cozy mystery, which is a sub-genre of crime fiction.

Here, point by point, are those factors which delineate them as such:

1- Profanity, sex and violence are downplayed.

2- They are usually set in small, socially intimate communities.

3- The detectives, almost always amateurs, are frequently women.

4- The main characters are usually well-educated, hold jobs which bring them into contact with others in the community.

5- They often have a contact on the police force (a spouse, relative, or friend) that gives them access to important information about “the case.”

6- The “detectives” are usually discounted by the authorities as nosy busybodies,(especially if they are elderly women) but are generally well-liked and gregarious members of the community.

7- The detectives get their information by eavesdropping, or even “stumbling” upon clues.”

8- The murderers are usually members of the community where the murder takes place and have hidden in plain sight. They often explain their motives after the unmasking.

9- The secondary characters are often comedic.

10- The murders often happen off stage, or even before the story begins. The real story is in the solving of the puzzling mystery.

11- These mysteries often have a prominent thematic element introduced by the detective’s hobby or job, such as fishing, golfing, antiques, etc. Some are based on holidays, such as Cozy Christmas Mysteries.

Cozy mysteries are fun, both to read and write!

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