Author Topic: February Feature at the Forum: Curl Up with a Cozy!  (Read 3481 times)

Becke Davis

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Re: February Feature at the Forum: Curl Up with a Cozy!
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2020, 01:15:44 pm »
One cozy "rule" I don't really agree with is that the sleuth has to be an amateur. I think it's more about the setting and atmosphere. For example, Becke, I notice that you mentioned a series featuring a police constable. One that comes to my mind is the Richard Jury series by Martha Grimes, that I consider to be cozies. Of course, those encompass two settings, and I guess Melrose's little corner of the world is the cozier of the two, and he's an amateur, but even the London bits with Jury and his crazy neighbors and colleagues are cozieish. Have only seen the series and not read the books, but Midsomer Murders definitely seem like cozies to me. Even Agatha Raisin turns pro and opens her own detective agency!

Not sure it qualifies as a cozy, although in general I consider Christie to be a cozy author, but I'm currently reading So Many Steps to Death (British title Destination Unknown), which is more in her espionage category - disappearing scientists.

If you ever do watch Midsomer Murders, brace yourself! While I often include "cozy-ish crime" with cozies, Midsomer is far too gruesome to qualify. The setting of Midsomer Murders is similar to the villages Agatha Christie writes about and the plots are nice and twisty, but the methods of murder are shocking.

On the other hand, I just finished reading Deborah Crombie's A BITTER FEAST, and I was thinking about whether her books could be considered, at least, cozy-ish. Some characters swear, which seems normal rather than shocking - at least to me. And while there are murders they are not usually shocking. Family is central to her books - the family evolves as the books progress, which is one of the things I love about them. Another thing I like is the realism about family responsibilities - the need for child care even when (or especially when) a murder is being investigated. Dogs are an important feature in many of the books, and the author doesn't skip over important things like feeding the dogs and taking them for walks, training young dogs, etc.

Some of the books are darker than others, but I don't find them remotely depressing.

I love the Richard Jury/Melrose Plant books, and I think I'd call them "cozyish", too.

I think the "rules" of cozies, and of mysteries in general, are kind of arbitrary. They haven't been revised for modern readers - I think today's readers can overlook a degree of cursing in mysteries. And the rules for mysteries in general caused an uproar even when they were first circulated. Here's that list:

Ronald Knox was a mystery writer in the early part of the 20th century who belonged to the Detection Club, a society peopled by such legendary mystery writers as Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, G. K. Chesterson, and E. C. Bentley. Among his novels: The Viaduct Murder, Double Cross Purposes, Still Dead.

Knox was also a Catholic priest, which is perhaps why he was tempted to write a 10 Commandments of detective fiction. If you write such stories, thou shalt obey these laws:*

The criminal must be someone mentioned in the early part of the story, but must not be anyone whose thoughts the reader has been allowed to follow.

All supernatural or preternatural agencies are ruled out as a matter of course.

Not more than one secret room or passage is allowable.

No hitherto undiscovered poisons may be used, nor any appliance which will need a long scientific explanation at the end.

No Chinaman must figure in the story.

No accident must ever help the detective, nor must he ever have an unaccountable intuition which proves to be right.

The detective must not himself commit the crime.

The detective must not light on any clues which are not instantly produced for the inspection of the reader.

The stupid friend of the detective, the Watson, must not conceal any thoughts which pass through his mind; his intelligence must be slightly, but very slightly, below that of the average reader.

Twin brothers, and doubles generally, must not appear unless we have been duly prepared for them.

*In truth, most of these rules have become outdated in current mystery fiction.

Source: https://www.writingclasses.com/toolbox/tips-masters/ronald-knox-10-commandments-of-detective-fiction

Denise

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Re: February Feature at the Forum: Curl Up with a Cozy!
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2020, 10:07:39 pm »
Ha, I wonder how many of those "rules" Agatha Christie broke!
"Poirot," I said. "I have been thinking."  "An admirable exercise, my friend. Continue it." - Agatha Christie, Peril at End House

Becke Davis

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Re: February Feature at the Forum: Curl Up with a Cozy!
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2020, 10:29:15 pm »
Ha, I wonder how many of those "rules" Agatha Christie broke!

It feels as if she went out of her way to break some of those rules. ;-)

VickiDelany

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Re: February Feature at the Forum: Curl Up with a Cozy!
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2020, 08:28:52 am »
Becke invited me to come and introduce myself, and I'm very happy to do so.  I'm Vicki Delany, and I also write as Eva Gates. My newest book is THERE'S A MURDER AFOOT, the 5th Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery, which came out in January. This book was quite special to me as in it the gang travels to London for a Sherlock Holmes conference. I used a lot of the places I've visited as backdrops to the story. You don' t have to be a Holmes lover to enjoy my series, but a few little 'Easter eggs' are dropped in for those who are. I also write the Year Round Christmas mysteries and the forthcoming Tea by the Sea mysteries. As Eva Gates, I write the Lighthouse Library series.  These are all cozy series. My web page is www.vickidelany.com and I'm on Facebook as Vicki Delany & Eva Gates (www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor).

JRob

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Re: February Feature at the Forum: Curl Up with a Cozy!
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2020, 05:27:42 pm »
Hi Vicki!

Love your various series and I'll be looking forward to the Tea By The Sea series as well.

As for THERE'S A MURDER AFOOT, I have my copy and it is next up on my TBR list.

Nice to see you here on the Mystery Scene forum!

Becke Davis

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Re: February Feature at the Forum: Curl Up with a Cozy!
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2020, 09:55:28 pm »
Hi Vicki!

Love your various series and I'll be looking forward to the Tea By The Sea series as well.

As for THERE'S A MURDER AFOOT, I have my copy and it is next up on my TBR list.

Nice to see you here on the Mystery Scene forum!

Hi Vicki! Thanks so much for joining us! I especially like your Christmas mysteries, which I always seem to read out of season. I think we met at Malice Domestic, and I've been wracking my brain to think who else was at our table. Another Canadian author and an Englishwoman who had written an Agatha-Christie-type mystery. I think I have a couple pictures of our table but no captions or names. :-(

Becke Davis

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Re: February Feature at the Forum: Curl Up with a Cozy!
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2020, 11:38:52 pm »
Cozies often have a theme - cooking, knit and crochet, gardening, home repair/restoration, hair styling, crafts - while others are based around a business, like a bookstore, a bed and breakfast, an antique shop, a second-hand clothing store. My mom loved books that featured recipes at the end, while several of my friends are crazy about cozies featuring cats and/or dogs. I like to read books related to gardening or books, although my cozy collection is certainly not limited to those.

What are your favorite types of cozies? (Apologies to any Brits, Scots, Welsh or Irish mystery lovers for my American spelling. I believe you prefer "cosies" across the pond.)

JRob

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Re: February Feature at the Forum: Curl Up with a Cozy!
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2020, 03:50:12 am »
I like series that are centered around books, whether it be bookstores or libraries.

I also like books set in Ireland or Scotland.

But I can read any type of series as long as it tells me a good story.

Becke Davis

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Re: February Feature at the Forum: Curl Up with a Cozy!
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2020, 11:26:03 am »
I like series that are centered around books, whether it be bookstores or libraries.

I also like books set in Ireland or Scotland.

But I can read any type of series as long as it tells me a good story.

Like you, I love books - cozy and otherwise - that are set around books, bookstores or libraries. I don't knit or crochet but I tell myself I'll learn someday, so I do read some knitting and crafty cozies. Once I've read a book and liked the author's style of writing, I'm likely to pick up more books by that author.

JRob

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Re: February Feature at the Forum: Curl Up with a Cozy!
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2020, 05:17:55 pm »


Like you, I love books - cozy and otherwise - that are set around books, bookstores or libraries. I don't knit or crochet but I tell myself I'll learn someday, so I do read some knitting and crafty cozies. Once I've read a book and liked the author's style of writing, I'm likely to pick up more books by that author.

I don't knit or crochet either. That's not my thing. When I'm not reading or working, I write about music for a couple of websites. I do album and concert reviews for one and I write a series of articles called The Cassette Chronicles for the other site. So my reading time is treasured since I have to make sure to carve it out of all the other stuff that keeps me busy.

Becke Davis

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Re: February Feature at the Forum: Curl Up with a Cozy!
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2020, 12:19:09 am »


Like you, I love books - cozy and otherwise - that are set around books, bookstores or libraries. I don't knit or crochet but I tell myself I'll learn someday, so I do read some knitting and crafty cozies. Once I've read a book and liked the author's style of writing, I'm likely to pick up more books by that author.

I don't knit or crochet either. That's not my thing. When I'm not reading or working, I write about music for a couple of websites. I do album and concert reviews for one and I write a series of articles called The Cassette Chronicles for the other site. So my reading time is treasured since I have to make sure to carve it out of all the other stuff that keeps me busy.

My husband is a music lover - how cool that you also write album and concert reviews! I squeeze in reading time when I'm not taking care of my grandkids and a friend's foster baby. Sometimes I stay up later than I should, but when I'm reading a good book it's always hard to put it down.

JRob

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Re: February Feature at the Forum: Curl Up with a Cozy!
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2020, 03:50:56 am »


My husband is a music lover - how cool that you also write album and concert reviews! I squeeze in reading time when I'm not taking care of my grandkids and a friend's foster baby. Sometimes I stay up later than I should, but when I'm reading a good book it's always hard to put it down.

I'd hazard a guess that we don't have the same tastes in music. I'm a rock and metal guy. But it is great to be able to write my reviews. It gets me into some concerts for free since I'm covering the show for review purposes. I even got to interview a singer that I've been a fan of for more than 3 decades. That was very cool!

Becke Davis

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Re: February Feature at the Forum: Curl Up with a Cozy!
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2020, 12:50:52 am »


My husband is a music lover - how cool that you also write album and concert reviews! I squeeze in reading time when I'm not taking care of my grandkids and a friend's foster baby. Sometimes I stay up later than I should, but when I'm reading a good book it's always hard to put it down.

I'd hazard a guess that we don't have the same tastes in music. I'm a rock and metal guy. But it is great to be able to write my reviews. It gets me into some concerts for free since I'm covering the show for review purposes. I even got to interview a singer that I've been a fan of for more than 3 decades. That was very cool!

My husband's claim-to-fame among rock-loving friends is that when he performed an original song at an event at Meher Baba Oceanic in London, Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane got on stage and played with him.

My husband started out as a blues fan (he met John Mayall at a concert recently and impressed him by still remembering his membership number to the Bluesbreakers Fan Club from 50-odd years ago.

We're both longtime Beatle fans, but we like all kinds of music. Who's the singer you got to interview after being a fan for so long?

JRob

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Re: February Feature at the Forum: Curl Up with a Cozy!
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2020, 03:53:59 am »
That's a pretty cool thing for your husband to have played with Townsend and Lane. And getting to meet John Mayall too!

The singer I interviewed was metal singer Leather Leone who fronted the band Chastain for years. I'm a huge fan so having her actually call my house to do the interview was a really cool thing.

Becke Davis

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Re: February Feature at the Forum: Curl Up with a Cozy!
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2020, 04:10:50 pm »
That's a pretty cool thing for your husband to have played with Townsend and Lane. And getting to meet John Mayall too!

The singer I interviewed was metal singer Leather Leone who fronted the band Chastain for years. I'm a huge fan so having her actually call my house to do the interview was a really cool thing.

That is so cool!