What Are Cozy Mysteries?
When it comes to this year’s While I Was Reading Challenge, one of the categories I get the most questions about is cozy mysteries.
Cozy mysteries are a sub-genre of crime fiction. Accoding to Wikipedia, The term “cozy” was first coined in the late 20th century when various writers produced work in an attempt to re-create the Golden Age of Detective Fiction.
Like most sub-genres, there are specific criteria that must be present in the story for it to qualify as a cozy:
- The protagonist in an amateur detective
- The violence takes place off the page
- The crime and detective work occur in a small community
The main takeaway from a cozy mystery storyline is that an average person can solve a crime. Maybe the protagonist is a baker, a florist, a knitter, or runs a cat shelter. The point is anyone can solve a murder!
Here are some examples of popular cozy mystery series:
The Flavia DeLuce Series by Alan Bradley
This is one of the few cozy series I’ve read and I adore Flavia. She’s an eleven year old girl with a penchant for chemistry experiments and solving murders.
The Cat Who Series by Lillian Jackson Braun
The amateur sleuth in this series is Jim, a journalist who solves mysteries along with two cats named Koko and Yum Yum. The first three books came out in the 1960’s. Then, the author published new volumes in the 1980’s.
The Coffeehouse Mystery Series by Cleo Coyle
Clare is the manager of a coffeehouse in New York, where a surprising number of murders seem to take place. The buying and making of coffee is a theme throughout the series.
I hope this clears up the cozy mystery prompt for you. As always, feel free to comment below or reach out to me if you have any questions about my reading challenge!