The cozy mystery series genre is my favorite type of book — hands down, I even dream about them. While I’m an invested fan of general fiction, historical fiction, crime thrillers and general mysteries, the cozy is that old faithful friend guaranteed to make my day just a little bit better whether I’m curled up on a chair in my bedroom corner, relaxing on my NYC terrace observing the skyline or keeping myself occupied on trains, planes and automobiles.
I’ve been adding tons of books on my Goodreads “To Read” list over the course of 2016 not realizing along the way that over 50% of them fell into the cozy category. It happened naturally as I saw the title or cover of the book — just clicked “Want to Read” and suddenly hundreds of books showed up. When I went to categorize them to make my actual selection process easier (seriously, how do you choose from a list of nearly 500 TBR books when you personally picked them all?), lo’ and behold — the cozy stood out.
Perhaps it’s because I’m an only child and looking for the drama. It could be that I am a bit of an introvert but also a little bit nosy! Or maybe it’s that the cozy takes you into a magical world where you continuously create and build on the characters, setting and background. Of course, it’s the author who creates your initial picture, but when you read series fiction, each successive book adds more to the town, the family tree, the history — up until you as a reader have suddenly immersed yourself in this make-believe land that you could swear is real.
But when the series is actually a cozy series, you have every type of character including the nosy neighbor (no, that’s not really me), the scary cop, the well-meaning friends, the awkward yet lovable helper, the “is (s)he / isn’t (s)he” my love interest, and the sometimes super villain. Each character feels real, and the setting and backdrop become somewhere you hope to visit in the future. In other types of series fiction, you may have a couple of the same characters recur throughout the series, but it’s usually a very different setting and story where only the basic elements carry through.
And YES, there have been one or two occasions (I won’t admit to anymore) where I mentioned some name or place and the person to whom I was speaking thought I was losing my mind. “Yes, I did just tell you I visited a fictional place in a book. Sorry, I must just be tired.” has been an excuse I’ve had to use.
Have you ever talked with another fan of a cozy series you follow? Do you picture the characters the same way and then get all riled up over who is closest? Do you want to draw out the town on a map to get it all straight in your head? Do you create your own little family tree diagrams to keep remembering who is who? Do you write reviews where you imagine yourself as one of the characters? It happens a lot to me… especially when I’m following over 50 different authors and series. Where else can you find a genre that can accomplish all of this?
And so… as I get started with my day, knowing at some point I’ll have to pick the next book to begin reading tonight, I found myself just feeling pretty psyched that this cozy little (well not so little!) world exists… you should definitely give it a shot if you have never read one before. Feel free to reach out to me for any recommendations.
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