Anytime I tell people what my main genre of writing is (because I can’t limit myself to one, but it’s the one most of my projects fall under), I get this question: Literally, what the fresh f#%! is a cozy, Raine? I don’t really know what folks expect me to say so I always go with, “It’s like light-hearted murder.” Put that in your tinder bio.
That’s not really all there is to a cozy. There’s a bit more to this genre than simply light-hearted murder. You know how in James Patterson (I cringed a little typing his name) novels, you’ve got the hard-ass cop who has to solve the murder? Well… in cozy mysteries, the protagonist solving the murder is almost never a certified investigator of any sort – with some exceptions.
All of the cozies I’ve read have a female lead that runs her own business – usually a book shop or bakery (ahem, like my own Basic B!tch Bakery series). Some of these books have recipes, which is awesome if you ask me, because a lot of the time they’re family recipes that the author chose to share with the readers.
There’s almost always a romantic interest throughout the series that our strong, independent protagonist doesn’t end up with until much later in the series. Sometimes the first romantic interest ends up being the murderer! I always love the books that start off with the protagonist being as blind to red flags as I am (don’t even get me started on my last relationship – or do, because I love spilling the tea).
With most books in the mystery genre, there’s a ton of sex and violence – which I’m not opposed to, and honestly I’d love to reread the Dexter series just for that reason. In the subgenre of cozy mysteries, the violence and sex are implied but never shown on scene. We’re looking for light-hearted here, remember?
One last detail that is present in about 90% of cozies is that it takes place in a small town. I lived in a small town in my early 20s and let me just say that the fictional world is much less brutal than the reality. But just like the town I lived in, there are a ton of sheep-in-wolves-clothing in our cozy towns.
If you’re into the genre, comment with your favorite series! If you’ve never read a cozy, stay tuned; I have a ton of reviews coming up!