The genre of mystery has always intrigued those with its puzzles, deduction, and looks into the human psyche to see how anyone could commit such a heinous act as murder. Through the documented police procedural mysteries the reader gets a look at the seriousness of such a horrible crime, and often feels an amount of terror as the killer gets closer to being brought to justice.
That does make a good story, but some of us get a little freaked out by the upfront gruesome details of such a mystery or just need a break from it. That is where the cozy murder mystery comes in.
The cozy mystery has taken on a life of its own filling the mystery section of bookstores and libraries everywhere. It has almost become a sub-genre of mystery.
I know some people look at those little paperbacks and think they’re slightly far-fetched, I mean typically in a cozy the police officers involved in solving the murder don’t seem to be able to do it nearly as well as the average citizen. Or that they don’t really hold a candle to a real mystery. But I say they’re wrong! Cozy murder mysteries are awesome!
The Amateur Sleuth
Cozies are the home of the amateur sleuths, they feature a civilian as their protagonist not a police officer so if you don’t particularly like mysteries where police procedural is gone into in depth, or just need a break from it, this is the perfect read for you!
Now the basic police procedures are shown, but since the main character investigating is not a police officer they don’t go into that much depth because they don’t know it. It makes the story very amusing to read as you watch the main character fumble around through their investigation.
Investigating Can be Funny
That brings up another point about why cozies are awesome: they are funny. I know it’s murder, and murder is not supposed to be funny, but somehow the cozy makes it seem so.
The murder itself is not funny, but what happens after as our amateur sleuth tries to piece everything together while usually butting heads constantly with the proper authorities, is hilarious! Cozies are mysteries and comedies all in one.
Another thing about cozies is that they always have a theme. And there is literally a theme for whatever interest you might have. Like gardening? There’s a cozy for that. Sewing? They’ve got cozies for sewing, knitting, and crocheting (different ones).
You a book fan (probably since you’re reading this) you are totally covered. They’ve got cozies about bookstores, bookbinding, book clubs, publishing houses, rare book researchers, and many more.
There are cozies featuring vintage clothing, food (muffins, cupcakes, chocolate, seriously this theme alone could fill an entire mystery section), antique shops, witches, antique shops with witches, libraries, animals solving crimes, magical animals solving crimes, theatre, this list goes on and on.
If I listed all the themes we could be here forever. Just trust me browse through your local bookstore’s mystery section and you will find a cozy with a theme featuring your exact interest (there is a cozy featuring a snow-globe shop, trust me they have everything).
Another reason cozies are awesome is because they’re good. They may not be hard core police procedurals with gruesome details, but they are hard core mysteries.
There are complex clues, engaging characters to sort them out, and often a twist at the end you didn’t see coming. And they are well researched so that their facts are accurate.
The intricacies of a murder investigation may not be gone into as deep from the actual police point of view, but that doesn’t mean it’s not even looked at, or that what is put down is not accurate. The police are just more in the background of a cozy so that the amateur sleuth can be featured.
Also, whatever theme they are using the author will have to do extensive research on that as well to make it believable. It’s hard enough to write a convincing mystery, and cozy authors have to do that as well as write a convincing theme that ties in with the murder. How does a chocolatier get involved in a murder anyway? (Read Kathy Aarons’s cozy Death is Like a Box of Chocolates to find out!)
Cozies are also the perfect beach read. I don’t know about you but I love reading on the beach, but it’s hard to find the right book for that kind of reading.
When you’re at the beach you’re already relaxed and reading something too dense or serious just isn’t something your brain is interested in. But you also want to read something that is exciting and will actually keep you interested despite your brain entering catatonic beach mode.
Cozies are the perfect solution to this quandary as they are entertaining and make you think just enough with their mystery to keep you guessing, but are funny, light, and usually not too long so as to keep your beach mode brain happy.
This is true of any vacation destination not just a beach one so don’t worry if you can’t get to a beach that often! Any vacation spot is even better with a cozy by your side.
Some cozies are actually becoming so popular that they have moved from paperbacks into hardcover (rare in the book world) which just adds evidence to my claim that the cozy murder mystery is awesome and that they are becoming their own section of mystery.
I am not saying the hard-boiled detective novels are not awesome as well, but I am saying cozies are right up there with them. Just try one once and you’ll see. And when you love it, and you will, you’ll be excited to know that cozies pretty much always come in series form.
Cozy murder mysteries: funny, hobby-oriented murder. What more could you ask for?
If you want to see a list of cozy mysteries or just want to know more there are plenty of places on the web to look here’s a site I like:
Or just check out your local bookstore!