The other day I received a letter from a site reader who said she was quite happy about finding my site. She knew she had the right place when she read my description of what a Cozy Mystery is.
Unfortunately, when I wrote that description, I should have added “most of the time” as a clause. My description says that Cozy Mystery books are ” ‘gentle’ books… no graphic violence, no profanity, and no explicit sex.”
I still stand behind my description; unfortunately, a lot of authors of Cozy Mystery books want it both ways… They want the growing market of Cozy Mystery fans, but at the same time, they want to be considered >>> modern, 21st century, “with it,” hip (whatever the term is)… They bend the rules as set by such great Cozy Mystery authors as Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, etc.
This particular site reader checked out her first book by a “Cozy” author who I have on the site, and was quite upset about profanity being used throughout the book. She felt like I had added an author who did not qualify as a Cozy Mystery author under my description of what a Cozy Mystery is.
Although there was no graphic violence, there was plenty of profanity and explicit adult situations. Unfortunately, she had taken for granted that all of the books on the Cozy Mystery site would contain “no graphic violence, no profanity, and no explicit sex.”
So, I am now qualifying this description of what a Cozy Mystery should be… It seems like many authors (or their editors) feel like there is a need for certain situations/language/details. As you watch a current television show today… ask yourself: Would Ricky and Lucy Ricardo or Andy and Barney be in this situation or say those things? I bet the answer is “Probably not!” more times than not… but that’s the way a lot of writers (and that includes Cozy Mystery authors) write today…