The Men of Cozy Mysteries, Part One…

Bill wrote a comment to the site that started me thinking, so I thought I would post it here:

I have a question about cozy mysteries: Why are they seen as largely geared to female readers? I enjoy many elements of cozy mysteries — their plots, their wit, their avoidance of relying overly much on gratuitous graphic details, etc. I wonder why there are not a greater number with male protagonists, etc.? Do you have a list of those that might be more appealing to male readers? Thanks! (I don’t suppose writers such as William Tapply and Bill Crider would quite fit into the cozy genre, would they? I like those two authors, among MANY others.”

Bill, you are right! Cozy Mysteries really do seem to be marketed for women. It seems like even male authors of Cozy Mysteries prefer to have women as their protagonists. But there are many men who enjoy the subgenre. (My husband listens to Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh… two of the four Queens of the Golden Age of Mysteries, and he would not listen to them if he didn’t like them>>> Believe me! He has access to many different books.) 

As for your Bill Crider and William Tapply question… I don’t read either of those authors, so I don’t know… but I do read Reginald Hill (Dalziel and Pascoe Series), Colin Dexter (Inspector Morse), and R. D. Wingfield (A Touch of Frost) and I know that they don’t qualify as Cozy. (They are police procedurals.) To me, they don’t seem to bog themselves down with minute, gratuitious details. (This is not to say that they aren’t grittier than Cozy Mysteries… In some cases, they are quite a bit grittier!)

Right now, I am drawing a blank, except for J. A. Jance‘s J. P. Beaumont series, but I’m not sure if her books really qualify as Cozies… they are a little grittier than, let’s say, Agatha Christie. (I happen to be a fan of both her J. P. Beaumont and Joanna Brady series.)

So, readers, do you have any suggestions for Bill? If you do, I’ll post them, and then make a theme for the male protagonists in Cozy Mysteries.


  1. says

    I’ve heard he’s really good, also!

    Actually, I checked out your website while I was grammar/spell checking my blog entry yesterday (Yes, I do actually “cheat” on the dates I post my blogs!) and truly loved your site! I had already (before being totally embarrassed by the fact that you “called me out”) decided that you were my next new author to try!

    A Univ. of Texas/Austin graduate who has visited Machu Picchu, loves his cats and The Fabulous G-Strings, wrote Mike Gonzo and the UFO Terror and a Wishbone book, AND has followed his wife’s gentle suggestions to finish up his Ph.D. must have a lot of great mysteries in him!

    So, yes, I do think that it’s time that I try a Bill Crider mystery.

  2. says

    Jeff Abbott comes to mind as meeting the ‘criteria’ of a cozy series. His Jordan Poteet series is super. B&N synopsis:
    Jordan Poteet has left the big city to work as a librarian in his hometown of Mirabeau, Texas. But his dream of the quiet life is shattered when he locks horns with Miss Beta Harcher, the town’s prize religious fanatic, in a battle over censorship. When Jordan finds her murdered body in the library, he becomes the prime suspect. And when the police find a cryptic list stashed next to her fanatical heart, it seems as if Beta Harcher has the whole town in a death grip . . .

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