I have just tweeted for someone to explain to me what a ‘cozy mystery’ actually is. A tall order I know in 140 characters. Anyway, a tweeter sent me a link to Wikipedia. I know this may not be the definitive answer but it is certainly a start.
I questioned it because I was wondering if ‘Murder Now and Then’ would come under this category, so let me break this down.
- Sex and violence are downplayed or treated humourously ~ certainly there are no explicit sex scenes and the violence is not graphic to the extreme
- The crime and detection takes place in a small and intimate community ~ in Murder, Now and Then, this is certainly true on the whole and the book has been likened to Midsommer Murders ~ say no more!
- The detectives are nearly always amateurs ~ No, in Murder Now and Then the detection is undertaken by police officer, although they do not always work ‘by the book’
- The book revolves around the amateur detective’s hobby ~ not true and yet there is an underlying theme of an interest in family history which binds the characters together
- The murderers are not psychopaths or serial killers and are usually known in the community ~ true
- There is little or no profanity ~ true
- Emphasis is on puzzle solving and suspense ~ true
- There is a great deal of humour ~ not true
The verdict ~ six out of nine are true. I believe that readers who love cozy mysteries will enjoy Murder Now and Then even though it does not quite fit into the category.
With 24 good or excellent reviews so far, why don’t you give it a try and let me know what you think?