We’ve been talking about mysteries this week, so we turned to author Amanda Lee for insight about writing a cozy mystery. Amanda has two amazing series under her belt: the Embroidery mysteries and the Myrtle Crumb books she’s written as Gayle Trent. Also, hers is our favorite definition of the cozy mystery genre; she calls it: “Desperate Housewives meets Mayberry RFD. Everyone knows everyone, but someone has a deep, dark secret.”
Here, we chat with her about her craft, as well as her most recent Embroidery mystery, CROSS-STITCH BEFORE DYING.
NG: What draws you to writing cozy mystery?
AL: When I was a child, I loved the Nancy Drew books and Enid Blyton’s series, The Secret Seven. As I got older I enjoyed reading Victoria Holt. I was drawn to those types of books–and still am!–because I like to solve puzzles and get caught up in mystery and suspense, but I don’t want to be grossed out with a lot of bloody, gory imagery. I love TV mysteries too. With both venues, I like trying to figure out “whodunit” and why before the big reveal. I like to get it right, but it’s even better if I’m surprised…given that the writers don’t “cheat” the watchers or the readers!