We’re starting the week off a little colder and a little snowy. That’s right, it’s beginning to feel like winter here in Connecticut and by the middle of the week the temperatures will nose dive and there will be no turning back, winter has settled in to stay. And with the weather finally turning it’s a great time to curl up with a good book. I’m sure we all have a pretty tall stack of TBR (to be read) that we can choose our next read from and doesn’t that stack keep growing no matter how many books we pull out to read? 🙂 My stack is a combination of mysteries and romances and women’s fiction. I enjoy reading across genres and sub-genres but presently I’m not writing across genres (that’s a different post). When people find out that I am a writer the next question always is “what kind of book is it” and my answer is “mystery”. I’ve been asked a few times why I write mysteries and today that’s what this post is about. I have a full cup of coffee so lets get chatting.
For today’s post I want to focus in on the type of book I’ve written – a cozy culinary mystery and what draws me to this genre.
Cozy mysteries foster a sense of familiarity for the reader. Even though the story is usually set around a murder, there is a comfort in diving into the book. You’re visiting old friends and the town in which they call home. A skilled writer can keep the characters fresh by allowing them to grow with each book but yet keep them true to the character that they are. Relationships between the characters are often tested and strengthened during the course of the investigation because the sleuth is investigating on her own. This brings me to another reason why I’m drawn to cozy mysteries. The sleuth is usually an average woman who finds herself in extraordinary situations forcing her to step outside her comfort zone in order to find the real killer. I love that she has to become fearless, take on people who make it very clear that she’s sticking her nose in someone else’s business, that she’ll have to fight for her life at some point. As I flip each page of the book the sleuth becomes stronger and more determined.
Murder is a horrible crime, the most serious because a life is taken and at the end of the book the murderer has been revealed and justice will prevail. Sometimes in a cozy mystery a bad person is murder but he deserves justice also. The wrapping up of the murder reminds us that good can triumph over bad and that every life is precious. At the end of a cozy mystery typically the sense of normalcy that was present at the beginning of the book returns and it’s a reminder that life must go on, albeit different but life continues and we need to be a part of it.
I enjoy cooking and baking so I naturally gravitated towards cozies that feature food. I recall that the two first culinary mysteries I read were Joanne Pence’s Angie Amalfi series and Katherine Hall Page’s Faith Fairchild series. I’ve read every book in those series and loved them. Food is such an intregal part of our lives, we share food with loved ones and friends during the everydays in our lives to the most joyous or the saddest days in our lives. Food celebrates, nourishes, comforts so to weave it through a mystery where there is so much uncertainty it feels right to me.
I’m going to finish my coffee now and I’d love to know what genre of books you like to read and what draws you to them. If you don’t have a question, don’t be shy – say “hi” in the comments section!