Tag Archives: amateur sleuth

Cozy Mystery Guideposts: Start with an Amateur Sleuth!

Posted by September 25th, 2013

cozy_postMystery subgenres are usually self-explanatory: police procedurals feature detectives in uniform and historical mysteries are set in the past. But there’s one category that stops writers in their tracks: “What the heck is a ‘cozy’ mystery?”

Here’s our Book Country definition:

Cozy Mystery is a subgenre of mystery, usually set in a small town or village. Cozies are characterized by their lack of explicit sex and violence. The protagonist is usually a likable female amateur sleuth, who is often viewed as an annoyance by the local police.

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Unveiling a Book Country Mystery: The Cozy Mystery Flag!

Posted by May 23rd, 2013

It’s time to unveil the mystery… of the Cozy Mystery flag!


Once a writer chooses a genre on the map, it becomes a home. Cozy mystery writers, we want to give you a home… and a friend you can cozy up to while writing.

Cozies are a subset of the mystery genre often populated by crime-solving cats. You may also see knitting needles, baking sheets, and chopping boards—the accoutrements of hobbies of all kinds.

In a cozy novel,  a small-town’s utopia is disrupted when one of the residents drops dead. The protagonist, an amateur sleuth, is swept into the crime investigation—because she’s implicated or because she fears for her own life. The sleuth is not alone on her quest for justice. A male counterpart—often a police investigator or a reporter—comes along for the ride and lends his professional expertise. Of course, there are sparks flying, but the romance isn’t the primary reason the cozy mystery reader is turning the pages. Continue reading

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