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Friday, April 3, 2015

On Why I Love Cozy Mysteries

Mrs. MRM here with a quick post on why I love a good cozy.   On a long drive the other day, MRM and I got into a discussion of what defines a "cozy" mystery, and it got me thinking about why I am a cozy fan.  He's a big fan of the grittier side of the mystery genre, and he tends to gravitate toward the hard boiled.  I am more of a  traditional cozy girl.  I love, love, love the puzzle of a mystery.  Throw in a theme like cooking, crafting, or bookshops, and I'm pretty much sold.  (Case in point - Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen mysteries!)  The grit, the gore, the dark, intense psychological element of crime...not so much my cup of tea.  

I think it goes back to the books I cut my teeth on growing up - the gracious, if formulaic, regency romances that I devoured by the box full after visits to our local used book store.  Those novels were about experiencing the grand romance between ladies in beautiful gowns and dashing gentlemen dressed to the nines.  They took you  to another place and time and allowed you to enjoy the experience without dwelling on the mundane things like how awful it must have been to have worn a corset every day and to have needed a tussy mussy filled with flowers to sniff when the stench of body odor was too much to bear.  Ick.   

There, my friends, is where my love affair with cozies begins.  You get to enjoy the thrill of the chase, puzzling over a who-dun-it without sinking too far into the disturbing depths of crime.   I will always love the pleasure of relaxing with a book that allows me to just dive into the story and puzzle it out with the protagonist, minus the blood and gore. 

Please comment below and tell us why you're a cozy fan...or not!


  1. Great question for readers! I think the issue for me is one of balance. I'm a big fan of the "traditional" mystery (think Miss Marple), and to me a "cozy" is a traditional mystery with a theme. If the theme is appropriate to the mystery and, better yet, can be used by the amateur sleuth to solve the crime, then it is a book I'll likely enjoy and I series I'll continue reading. I have problems with cozies that seem to artificially adapt a mystery to fit the theme, where the theme is more important than the mystery. (Worse, where it seems the author and/or publisher spent more time coming up with a clever title than a clever plot.) The author that takes that approach strikes the wrong chord with this life-long reader of mysteries, and is likely one I won't read again.

  2. It was a Trixie Belden book that drew me to reading. I have always loved a wide range of mysteries but I have anxiety problems now that have pulled me back to the adult version of my childhood first love. I also love that I can relate to the characters in a good cozy although I will never have the choice between too hot guys! I have the guy I need.

  3. I began reading at a very young age, when Nancy Drue and Trixie Belden and the Hardy Boys first were published. I read those through quickly and then began more adult mysteries and have never stopped loving them. Luckily I married a man who loves to read mysteries as well. With both of us in bookclubs in our neighborhood we read a big selection of books, not just mysteries, but for our own personal reading we both choose mysteries most of the time. I have read a few mystery and romance and historical mysteries too and some are GREAT. Cozies are one of my favorites but I do try other genres from time to time, just to know if I am a true mystery fan and I guess that I am as I rush back to a mystery as soon as the other books are read. I do not read horror however, but anything to do with mystery is perfect for me.


  4. I love cozy mysteries for pretty much the same reasons you do. No gore or horror or any of that icky stuff. just a good story with a mystery to solve with a little light romance.


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