Phyllis M. Betz: Reading the Cozy Mystery: Critical Essays on an Underappreciated Subgenre

This review comes to us courtesy of Jonathan Wilkins, a poet and cozy aficionado.  I’m delighted that the cozy mystery is being taken seriously – as it should be!  For more on cozies, you can read my essay here

For most of us our introduction to the crime fiction genre was through the cozy mystery, and at last we have a critical approach to that almost ignored genre. Ignored because it has not been taken seriously in the past.  The advent of Nordic Noir and now Domestic Noir seems to have pushed it further back. Time for the cozy crime to fight back and show its value to the literary world. read more

Cozy round up 2020

“Cozies certainly provide solace from many of the dark edges of the actual world.” — Edith Maxwell in Mystery Scene

I read a lot, and I read lots of cozies, partly thanks to my column in Mystery Scene.  There I am restricted to reviewing mass market paperback originals, and I am generously showered with advance reading copies.  I sort through them by reading the premise and a bit of the beginning.  If the writing doesn’t hit me quite right, I skip that one, and check out another one.  And while I certainly read many, many cozies, I am in no way claiming to have read even a comprehensive number of the books in this sub genre published this year.  For that kind of scope, I highly recommend checking out Dru’s Book Musings, which is a comprehensive review blog of all things cozy.  In addition, Dru has guest posts from authors and publishes a guide to what’s coming out, sometimes weekly. read more

A Little Comfort Reading

As we’re all stuck at home, a little (or a lot) of comfort reading is in order.  Not a re-reader?  I’ve included some newer books, and hopefully there are some authors here that are new to you as a reader.  A great resource, should you want to read whole series in order (and why not?), is Fantastic Fiction.  There you can find authors with their series listed in chronological order.  If you want to delve deeper, check out Stop, You’re Killing Me, and drill down to finding a series by occupation, location, time period or character name.  See what awards your favorite writers have won.  These two sites are essential to any reader. read more