Thursday, April 20, 2017

What's a Cozy Mystery? by J.Q. Rose

Cozy mystery author J.Q. Rose
Dangerous Sanctuary available at the Books We Love bookstore

What's a Cozy Mystery? by J.Q. Rose

When my romantic suspense novel, Dangerous Sanctuary, was first released, I received this review from Susan B. "It was a delightful cozy, with some romance, some religion, and lots of mystery. This novel has an interesting cast of characters, humorous situations, and was filled with surprises."

As I read the review, I wondered how many readers had heard of a cozy mystery. How many writers? For sure, when I began writing Dangerous Sanctuary, formerly published as Coda to Murder, I wasn't thinking "cozy mystery." I just wanted to write what I like to read. 

I like stories with 
▶ a mystery and some humor, 
▶ a strong female protagonist, 
▶ not a lot of blood and gore, 
▶ and some sweet romance. 

I had to research police procedures for my novel, Dangerous Sanctuary.
I didn't choose a main character who was in law enforcement mainly because I have no experience with police methods.  Because there was a crime committed in my story, I had to research a few procedures. Thank goodness my neighbor was a policeman and a valuable resource.

Until I received Susan's review I never even considered I had written a cozy mystery! I definitely began looking into the elements needed to fit the qualifications for a cozy mystery and discovered my novel did fit into the cozy mystery genre. Most authors and readers agree on the following points:
1. The investigator is not a professional in law enforcement In Dangerous Sanctuary the female pastor is the sleuth.
2. The main character's vocation is different and interesting. I thought a female minister fit the vocation requirement very well
3. The crime is usually murder, but not a lot of gory description
4. Quite often the story takes place in a small town.or a place where the investigator has contact with many people e.g. the church members. 
5.  Romance, but no explicit sex.

Abraham the pig has become quite a star in the cozy mystery, Dangerous Sanctuary.
Do you read cozy mysteries? What do you like about this genre? Please leave a comment below. If you have other elements to define a cozy mystery, please add them in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you. Thanks.

Find several talented cozy mystery authors at the BWL bookstore.

Connect online with JQ Rose
J.Q. Rose blog