Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Do I Really Write Cozies?

When I was first invited to be on this list, I think it was because it was assumed I was writing cozies. Every time I read the definition of a cozy, I don't think my books quite fit that category.

In my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, of course Tempe is a resident deputy sheriff. Most deputies don't solve murders, but she lives in a small town in the mountains--the Southern Sierra in California to be specific. She covers a much larger area than the town, including the local Indian reservation. Often times, just the fact that she is Native American is the reason she is involved in murder investigations.

The Rocky Bluff P.D. series, set in a small beach community, revolves around the lives and families of the members of the police department and how the job affects the families and what's going on in the family affects the job. Of course, there is always a murder.

In neither is the sleuth a non-professional with a hobby or job that is what seems to constitute a cozy.

What might qualify my books as cozies is the fact that I don't use any bad language and I shut the bedroom door.

In any case, I've been with the Stiletto Gang since the beginning, and I love hanging out with all these bright young women.

My latest Tempe Crabtree mystery is Invisible Path. Tempe is taken away from planning her family's Christmas celebration by the murder on the reservation of a popular young Indian man which somehow seems connected to a para-military group with a compound hidden high in the mountains. Mundania http://www.mundania.com is the publisher.



  1. Marilyn: I, too, wonder about the cozy label that my books are given. Heck, there is death and dismemberment which, to me, ain't cozy at all. I prefer "traditional mystery" because it doesn't pigeonhole the books and makes it clear that there might be something for everyone. Great post. maggie

  2. I think you're right, your books aren't traditional cozies, but they're so good so who cares?!

    I think the labels and parameters for books are so funny. I see the need, but sometimes books don't fit nicely into a box (*cough cough* Lola Cruz Mysteries *cough*).

    I'm proud to be part of this awesome group of women, as well (I invited myself--when I want to be part of something, I go for it!).

  3. Marilyn, I'm so glad you are part of The Stiletto Gang

    I think labels like cozies, hard-boiled, noir, etc. are best used to generally describe to the librarian what you are looking for when you are scanning the shelves for a book to take home. Then they might say, "if you like so-and-so, you'd probably like Evelyn David's new book"...at least that's what I hope happens!

    I just feel lucky that I blog with such a talented and delightful group of writers, whatever they write!


  4. Thank you, Stiletto Gang for the reassurances. I love being a part of this group--cozy writer or not.


  5. Although I understand the need for pigeonholes, I wish there was a way around them. I write mysteries with romance, but they have to be marketed as romantic suspense, because someone decided that was the catch-all for romances that included any of the mystery sub-genres. My books aren't suspense, they're mystery.

    And for cozies - yes, I was told the 'rule' was an amateur sleuth. Someone else said, 'they should be funny.'

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  6. Huh, I thought they were called cozies because I got myself all comfy-cozy and started reading. Ya learn something every day, don't you? Of course, I usually think everything's all about me, so my reasoning makes perfect sense.


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