Jayne Ormerod

"What in the Heck is a Cozy Mystery?"

     When I tell people “I write cozy mysteries,” about half of the people say, “Wow.  That’s cool.”  Pause while they think about that.  “What the heck is a cozy mystery?”  The other half say, “Wow. That’s cool.”  Then they pull out their i-phones and Google the term.  Well, some Google it.  Most just continue on through life never really knowing. 

     So let’s take a moment to talk about everything you’ve always wanted to know about cozy mysteries, but were afraid to ask.  First stop, Merriam Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary.  Mystery: a piece of fiction dealing usu. with the solution of a mysterious crime. Cozy:  Enjoying or affording warmth and ease.  Snug.  So “cozy mystery” is an oxymoron, of sorts, but it is a term used to define a sub-genre of mystery that has a warm fuzzy feeling about it.  Think Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple.  Or Murder, She Wrote’s Jessica Fletcher.  Or the intrepid Girl Detective, Nancy Drew.  Yes, there’s a distasteful criminal element involved, but the sleuth is so charming and clever that the reader thinks of them as a friend and enjoys tagging along on the adventure.  It’s the kind of book you want to grab a cup of tea and a fleece blanket then curl up by a nice crackling fire to enjoy.  A “cozy” scenario, you’ll agree, and hence the term.

coastal cozies with a splash of humor