Monday, November 10, 2014

The Art of the Cozy Mystery

By Vicki Delany

Did someone mention cozies?

I do believe Sybil did.

I’d like to take that opening to introduce a new cozy writer to the good people of Type M.

Her name is Eva Gates, and here’s a picture. Look familiar?


No, she is not my evil twin (or my good twin). She’s just me.

Eva Gates is the pen name for the new series I am writing for Penguin US. I am going over to the light side, and becoming a cozy writer.

And so far, I am loving it.

As you know (you don’t?, then time to find out) the books I write are mainly middle-boiled. The traditional police procedurals of the Constable Molly Smith series or the slightly darker standalone gothic thrillers.  What most of those books deal with is human tragedy. Broken families, bad people, conflicted cops, traumatized soldiers.

Here’s a line from Among the Departed that I think sums up my approach to the books I write.  

“When I decided to become a police officer I knew I’d have to deal with the hard side of life. Beaten children, raped women, accident victims, blood and gore. But that’s not the hardest part, is it? It’s the goddamn tragedy of people’s lives.”

Now that I’m writing cozies, I’m loving it. It’s great fun to be writing a book just for fun.  But more than fun, these books are about REAL people. Librarians, the people on the library board, the owner of the local bakery, a small-town mayor. Friends and relatives are close and loving and supportive. They are shocked, shocked, when murder interrupts their peaceful lives. They don’t have tragic lives and are stunned when bad things happen.

And then they, in the person of the protagonist, are determined to solve the crime, clear the innocent-accused, and put things back to rights.

In many cases the author uses whimsy and humour to do that.  Because there is a lot of humour in most people’s lives, isn’t  there?

And, as Sybil pointed out, there are usually pets. Cozies are heavy on pets because it helps the reader relate to the characters.

By Book or By Crook is now available for pre-order. Pre-orders are important for writers, in creating a buzz and letting our publishers know people are interested in this book.  If you want to pre-order the book, either in paperback or in e-book, here’s a couple of links. Amazon.com, Amazon.ca.

3 comments:

Sybil Johnson said...

Welcome to the gentler side of murder. (If there is such a thing.)

Eileen Goudge said...

I like my cozies with a bit of grit. Humor and whimsy also good. Your new one sounds intriguing. Good luck with it, Vicki.

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