What makes a mystery a cozy mystery?

  • An amateur sleuth. A protagonist who could be me or you, just a regular person.
  • A small-town setting. Community is key here. A local area where we can get to know the village or town citizens and take a visit to an interesting location. And inhale the aroma of freshly baked cinnamon scones from the main character’s kitchen… yum.
  • No graphic sex or violence. Sure, there’s a dead body somewhere, but the focus is on the clues and suspects, not the gore. And romance? The protagonist can have a partner or romantic interest, but it’s just not the main focus or plot of the story. Give us red herrings, misdirection, twists and turns, and more puzzles to solve!
  • A cozy mystery is typically part of a series. We love to get to know the characters and follow them from one book to the next. I’m fond of themed cozies. Tea shop settings, coffee shop settings, British villages, and protagonists with interesting day jobs.
  • Examples: I love these cozy authors! Cleo Coyle, Laura Childs, Molly MacRae, C.A. Larmer, Deborah Garner, Julie Seedorf, M.C. Beaton, Kate Kingsbury, Sandra Balzo, Cindy Brown

Who are your favorites?