I’d like to take this time to discuss another popular mystery subgenre: the cozy mystery. I will admit that I do not read cozy mysteries. They have never been my thing. Anyone who has read my book, One for the Road, will notice that I do not write in this style. In fact, if there is a spectrum of mysteries, noir and cozy might be placed at opposite ends.
What I find interesting is the cat theme mystery novels. I know that Lillian Jackson Braun has made a career out of cat themed cozy mysteries, all titled The Cat Who . . . [insert verb here]. And I know that there is a huge readership for such books. I just never understood why cats have such an affinity for mysteries. As a cat owner, I love my cat, however, I don’t expect him to do anything other than sleep and eat. I can’t imagine relying on him to solve a murder. I can’t get him to move off the table most of the time. Any answers to this would be appreciated.
The cozy mystery subgenre differs from other mystery subgenres in a fews ways. They are usually light-hearted (or rather lighter than other mysteries). The main characters are seldom professional crime solvers, but rather amateur sleuths with specific specialties that help hem solve these themed-based crimes. Violence, sex, and shootout? Not here. Actually, not violent deaths are preferred in these stories, such as poisonings and accidents, where the bodies and death scenes are seldom described in detail.
Am I missing anything? Or perhaps I’m wrong in generalizing this well sought after reading phenomenon. As a writer in a genre (mystery) with such a wide range of readers and subcategories, I am intrigued by the differences in style and plot devices. Romance, for example, has several subgenres as well (i.e. paranormal, historical, contemporary, etc.). However, the writing style might be considered similar. Just the time period and characters change. A duke or rogue is swapped with a vampire or werewolf. Victorian England is exchanged with Twenty-first century New York.
Just some thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, I have no intention of judging writers or readers of these genres. All I know is my own understanding of these styles that I do not read. Please feel free to let me know your own thoughts.