Marilyn Levinson is the author of the Twin Lake series under her own name and The Haunted Library series as Allison Brook. The next Haunted Library novel, Checked Out for Murder, will be released on September 8.
People often ask, “What is a cozy mystery?” Well, it’s a mystery that evokes a sense of coziness in the reader, a much-needed feeling these days, in the Time of the Coronavirus. But what makes a mystery a cozy? The term is believed to have originated with Agatha Christie’s mysteries. Picture Miss Marple gathering clues as she chats with various neighbors in St. Mary Mead.
What makes it Cozy
The following are elements of the mystery cozy genre.
1. Cozies usually come in series, enabling readers to become familiar with the sleuth and her circle of friends, her romantic interest and her family.
2. Cozies usually take place in a small town where most people know one another.
3. Cozies usually have a theme, perhaps one revolving around food or a hobby. My Haunted Library series focuses on my sleuth’s position as head of programs and events in the Clover Ridge Library.
4. Cozies usually include pets. Smoky Joe, the Clover Ridge Library cat, plays an important role in one of my books.
5. Cozies usually but not always are murder mysteries. The homicides usually occur off scene. On scene they are never bloody or the result of violence such as a shoot out.
6. Cozies are mysteries that are usually solved by an amateur sleuth.
7. Cozies include a few subgroups. There are historical cozies and paranormal cozies. And even series featuring a dog or cat sleuth.
What cozy series are your favorite and why?
What elements of cozy mysteries are especially important to you?
How do you select the cozies you read?
More on Marilyn Levinson
You can find out more about Marilyn Levinson on her website and on Amazon, and/or follow her on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter both as Marilyn Levinson and Allison Brook, Pinterest, BookBub both as Marilyn Levinson and Allison Brook, and Instagram.