Cozy definitely has some strict genre rules, much like romance (which is probably why I’m drawn to it).
Hey! If any of you is interested to share his/her work(s):
Cool, thanks for this!
I’ve always wanted to deviate and write a cozy mystery but it has been one excuse or the other, or I put in an effort and it just turns into a full fledged romantic suspense
That’s what’s happened to me, as well! I’m trying to write soft and cozy this time around LOL
I guess i found a niche for my book. But then again its an array of genres so it probably fits in other places too.
To clear up some misconceptions in this thread, and offer some general advice:
Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Nagio Marsh, Christianna Brand and other writers of the Golden Age, and modern authors who emulate the form, style and structure of the Golden Age like James Scott Byrnside and Sophie Hannah (in her New Hercule Poirot Mysteries series) are often lumped together with your modern-style cozy mysteries like your “kitchen mysteries” and your by-the-fireplace reading, though the genre on the whole is not monolithic.
@SwellOwlStories earlier brought up things like “a lovable pet”, “a simple murder” and “an underlying romance” which may play heavily into the modern-age cozies but I think any reader of Golden Age(-styled) “cozies” would be aghast to hear “simple murders” being generalized to the whole genre. The Golden Age mysteries are often lambasted now for erring on the side of the convoluted! And it’s considered against the “rules” for Golden Age crime novels to have romances for the sleuths!
So first things first, I guess the very important thing to start with would be to distinguish the Golden Age “cozies” from modern-day cozy mysteries.
Golden Age-styled novel, in mystery circles, are rarely called “cozies” anymore due to their being lumped together in with cozy mysteries of our time. Full disclosure, we can be a little elitist, so forgive me on that, but it’ll help make discussion way easier. They’re often lumped together due to tone – a bit of a whimsical approach to murder, generally irreverent – and mutual story and setting cues, like a small village and country houses and butlers and amateur detectives who have no place solving crimes! However, due to the nature of the mysteries being written, the structure, style and format we’ve come to prefer they be referred to as “Golden Age-styled”, “Fairplay Mysteries”, “Puzzle Mysteries” and “Whodunits” (which have unfairly come to encompass all of mysteries where the focus is on finding out the culprit, but genre names can be mighty misleading).
So what are the specific differences between modern cozies and Golden Age-styled mysteries? Well, like I mentioned earlier, Golden Age-styled mysteries will forever have their claim staked to the title of “Most Convoluted Style of Mystery Writing”. They got away with this, though, because generally character dramas and other narrative points were minimized so that the book could spend almost all of its effort detailing the crime at hand. This was further extremified by the idea that mysteries should be like “games” or “puzzles” that the writer was lording over and the reader was playing. There were rules – most notably the Van Dine Commandments and the Knox Decalogue – that writers frequently played by in order to make their mysteries fair, fun and engaging for the audience.
All the information you needed to solve the crime was there – and the way that this was kept engaging for a full book was by making the circumstances of the crime just as confusing as the identity of the killer, sometimes even making the murder appear “impossible”. The methods the killer employed are more often than not the main focus, rather than the criminal themselves, and you’re expected to figure that out if you want to claim you “solved” a Golden Age-styled whodunit.
Is this the kind of cozy you want to write? If it is, I can offer you plenty of advice. Just respond and let me know!
Hii, englisch is not my motherlanguage so please excuse some typos.
I write cozy mystery too à la Riverdale, 13 reasons why and so on.
If this is still current and somebody read this: I would like to chat about the genre, because unfortunately it is not that popular.
Any cozy mystery writers still active on here? Hi!
I write mystery. Not entirely sure how cozy, because there’s usually a lot of psychology and it’s not all fluffy. But it ain’t centered on gruesome violence either. Characters and their motives are in the forefront.
Merhaba tamara bende rahat bir gizem yazarıyım ve maalesef üye çokluğundan ve paylaşımlardan dolayı gözükmüyoruz
I’m writing a cozy novella on Wattpad!
I’m not sure if mine will be a novella or a novel yet or not.
Not sure if my novel falls under cozy mystery exactly.
Mine either … But it is a Romance/Suspense! lol
Mine is comedy/mystery but the MC is a fun loving nun who so happens to have a potty mouth.
Oh cool! Mine is mature…so no ‘cozy’ I guess. Honestly, I have never heard the term before, that’s what drew me in this thread!
There are a lot of mystery types: cozy, hardboiled, softboiled, etc. Cozy tends to be not gory and have amature slueths. Joanne Fluke is my go to cozy mystery writer. Her books are food themed and usually include a recipe at the end.
That sounds pretty cool! Food is always good, lol!
Mine is more of a complicated emotional romance between a woman, her professor and another man. It involves a museum heist, black market antiquities and danger. So…not ‘cozy’. It’s not gory, but has mature themes for sure though.
Museum heist? That sounds like an interesting read.