No, the cozies aren’t a new toy or band of zombies!
I’m talking about cozy mysteries.
It’s no secret that I got hooked on cozies while working in critical care. The workload is staggering physically and emotionally, and to ease the stress a little dab of cozy worked fine. I decided to write a cozy from a nurse’s point of view after she’s left the hospital setting and while trying to launch a small business.
Here’s my secret confession: I wished that I had tried the self-employed route. The one time I considered such a move, I had dreams of losing the house and car. You know, the nightmares of total doom?
I know cozies have rules, but I wanted my snoop to confront bad guys and gals with more than just her wits. So, I gave her a ninja cat…Sheba. Not a good choice of weapon? You ever have a cat attack your head?
Don’t get me wrong–wits are fine, but I like action too. In my first cozy, Body Wave, my sleuth is injured in her confrontation and the stress is evident in the second book, Body Aches. Why drag out the stress? Because I think it’s a natural reaction to avoid what hurts, don’t you? And I reward her for taking the pain, I gave her a smokin’ hot fireman for her love interest. I’d call Glenn Hanover a better incentive than a carrot.
Plus, while Reece Carson admits she’s a born snoop, the truth is becoming an amateur sleuth is a process most normal people would try to avoid.
Because murder means police. Lots and lots of them, especially in smaller cities where the majority of cozies are set. Police are human too, they naturally make their way to the crime scene. Yep, that’s right almost every single one of them are snoops too. You ever tried to get between a cop and his crime scene?
So a deal breaker for me, is a sleuth, who breaks the rules of crime scenes. In real life, people are arrested for it because if a crime scene is contaminated, all the evidence is put at risk. As a cozy reader, I want them to go to jail, not win a get out of jail free card.
So, for me I like balance but also details. Most cozy writers agree, which explains why many sleuths have policeman around as romantic interests or friends. They deliver the results of the coroner’s autopsy, blood test results, and bullet tests.
Follow me as I explore the anatomy of a cozy mystery.
Here’s my question to cozy fans: What’s the deal breaker for you as far as crime details go? Come on don’t be shy. Leave a comment.