what is a cozy mystery blog post by morgana best

What is a cozy mystery?

A cozy mystery is a subgenre of Crime and Mystery characterised by its distinct features.

Central to a cozy is an Amateur Sleuth as the protagonist. This sleuth should not be a detective, private investigator, or police officer. 

Graphic violence is absent, with murders occurring off-camera, and there is no gore, swearing or intimate scenes. These books are set in small towns or small communities,

Cozy mysteries are feel-good stories, light in tone, and often include varying degrees of humour, and they always have a happy ending.

The mystery in a cozy should be cleverly crafted and engaging. Think Agatha Christie! The reader should be provided with all the clues needed to solve the mystery, but the author needs to throw in red herrings to keep the readers off the track.

The victim is someone not well-liked—the more horrible, the better!—and the supporting characters are often quirky. The protagonist's motive for solving the crime is usually personal. Other common traits include the protagonist being intelligent and skilled, often a small business owner, and frequently a female character. A police officer might be a friend or relative of the protagonist.

Cozy mysteries have various themes, such as Animal, Culinary, Crafts and Hobbies, Whimsical Women Sleuths, Silver-haired sleuths, Paranormal (including vampire cozies, witch cozies, and ghost cozies), and Bookseller mysteries.

Notable examples of cozy mysteries include the TV series "Only Murders in the Building," "Murder, She Wrote," "Rosemary and Thyme," and Agatha Christie's Miss Marple books. It's hard to think of an example of a TV paranormal cozy mystery series, but one which is close would be my all time favourite, "The Dresden Files." It does feature a private investigator, so it's not technically a cozy.

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