A little while back, I got an interesting question from Patti. Rather than rephrase it, I’m going to just quote some of Patti’s letter:
What types of cozies do you and your cozy-mystery loving friends like the best: Thought provoking? Darker? Lighter? Silly? Nothing but humor? A mixture of humor, seriousness, dark and character warmth?
I like a mixture of everything but find that lately I’m turned off by cozies that are way, way, way too silly or ones where the protagonist is too stupid to live. I can take a little bit of the too stupid to live thing, but sometimes it’s way out of control. Silliness with little to no depth of character bugs me! I kind of wish we had more gothic-like (Victoria Holt-ish!) cozies that give the reader a feel for time and place and characterization, but still move at a great pace.
For my own response, I’ll say that I do appreciate both comedic and dramatic elements as long as they are done well. I try to see the best in all the books I read, and there are plenty of great Cozies that lean strongly toward one end of the spectrum or the other! That said, all of the authors that I consider my particular favorites tend to mix lighter and more serious elements in various amounts >>> after all, it is hard to portray something as serious as murder in a purely comedic light, but it is also hard to hold a reader’s attention for a long period of time without a bit of a lighter element to relax the mood a bit as well.
So I guess I would have to say that I prefer a balance. A good example of this would be Agatha Christie‘s Poirot mysteries. While Christie deals with the actual crime in a very serious manner, there are always interesting, comedic elements that are thrown into her novels. At the same time, I love Anne George‘s Southern Sisters series, and those are pretty funny all the way through.
What types of cozies do you… like the best: Thought provoking? Darker? Lighter? Silly? Nothing but humor? A mixture of humor, seriousness, dark and character warmth?
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