• Reader is usually a woman who easily identifies with the protagonist.
• Often, protagonist is an outgoing, friendly woman, 30+ years old, with an interesting job or hobby. This provides the opportunity to solve a mystery she never asked for, but is obligated to solve.
• The setting is a community or location providing a sense of camaraderie and frequent contact with the population or patrons. (e.g., small town, college campus, coffee house, gymnasium, cruise ship.)
• Protagonist is an animal lover and often has a dog or cat. She has a sense of humor and a good deal of humor is mixed into the story line.
• She has a friend or boyfriend connected with the police department. This provides access to legal material and information.
• Cozies are frequently a series. Emphasis is on the plot and character development. Readers become emotionally attached to the characters and want to ‘go back’ and spend more time with that character and community. Readers often choose the series or author due to setting which may provide instructions, recipes or household hints. (e.g. knitting shop may give knitting pattern. Bakery or caterer gives recipes.
• No graphic sex. Any suggested sex is always behind closed doors. No explicit violence. Any death occurs off screen or in the past. We never harm a child or kill a cat. No profanity. The story is suitable for younger readers or those who prefer a clearer read.
• Multiple hints or clues (red herrings) are provided so the reader can play along as she reads and attempt to solve the crime with the protagonist.
• Murder with a lighter touch. Never a storyline or situation that lingers to trouble your mind or keep you up at night. Reading a cozy mystery allows you to escape from reality for a while, have fun and forget your troubles.
Black Cat’s Legacy: With the aid or his ancestors’ memories, Thumper, the lodge black cat, must help solve a cold case murder, but someone at the lodge will stop at nothing to hide the Fern Lake mystery. Elaine Faber Author