Howdy, howdy! It’s currently Monday (June 6th) and, instead of being productive, I decided to watch one of the Garage Sale Mystery movies. Yeah, Hallmark channel crap. Don’t judge me. Anyway, it got me wondering why a cozy is such an attractive thing. I mean, I can’t really say I’ve read any. And I have zero desire to write one. But I do enjoy watching the movies and some of the TV shows within that genre.
So, what exactly is a cozy mystery? It’s a subgenre of crime fiction. Some random lady (it’s usually a woman in my limited experience, anyway) in a small, close-knit town stumbles across a crime scene and takes it upon herself to solve the murder despite a fairly capable police force being present and numerous warnings not to get involved. There’re usually subplots of romance or family drama. And there’s almost always a BFF or creepily close sibling for the protagonist to bounce ideas off of and occasionally drag into some dangerous situation or another. They’re cheesy, (usually) family friendly crime dramas. Granted, some cozies break the rules, but this is the general set up.
What’s so appealing about this type of thing? I really don’t know. There tend to be dominant themes that link the movies together (baking, flowers, garage sale items, etc.), usually based around the protagonist’s career. I prefer food related ones (because who doesn’t love food?). I also know someone who writes a grittier type of cozy that revolves around the music scene, which is cool (okay, so I have read at least part of a cozy). It’s partly a matter of finding one with a theme you’re drawn to. It also helps if you like punny titles.
Personally, I think it’s mostly just the combination of a picturesque small town and a scarily naive protagonist who saves the day/solves the case and comes out of it all just as perky and unscathed as she started out. Yeah, I know that’s not how it works in the real world. I know most people who find a dead body would be scarred for life. But this is fiction, by golly! It’s a world where it’s possible to wrap everything up with a neat little bow in under two hours (or an hour if we’re talking TV shows) and have everyone end up happy. Sometimes, we need to escape to a place where that stuff is possible. Otherwise, reality gets depressing.
What about you? Are you a fan of cozy mysteries? Would you admit it if you were (because I know there are people who view the genre as “lowbrow,” and thus not worth their time)? If you are a fan, what do you like about the genre? Do you have any recommendations for movies or books or whatnot? Better yet, what’s a genre you enjoy, but have no idea why? Share your pleasures! Share your guilty pleasures even. And remember that this is a judgment-free zone.
Until next week!