Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cozy Mystery

My latest WIP is a murder mystery set in a retirement home. It's different from my usual suspense novels so I've been trying to find a spot for it. I thought it might be a cozy mystery with a senior sleuth because the protagonist is an older woman.
I found this definition, "The crime-solver in a cozy mystery is usually a woman who is an amateur sleuth. Almost always, she has a college degree, whether she is using it or not. Her education and life’s experiences have provided her with certain skills that she will utilize in order to solve all the crimes that are “thrown her way.” The cozy mystery heroine is usually a very intuitive, bright woman.
The cozy mystery usually takes place in a small town or village (click here to read more on the village setting). The small size of the setting makes it believable that all the suspects know each other. The amateur sleuth is usually a very likeable person who is able to get the community members to talk freely (i.e. gossip) about each other. There is usually at least one very knowledgeable and nosy (and of course, very reliable!) character in the book who is able to fill in all of the blanks, thus enabling the amateur sleuth to solve the case. (i)
As I read this I realized that Josi Kilpack's Lemon Tart and English Trifle definitely fit in this genre. Here's a list of some other great cozy mystery authors with senior sleuths:
Deb Baker
Nancy Bell
Emily Brightwell
Dorothy Cannell
Sue Henry
Sherry Lewis
Stefani Matteson
Cynthia Riggs
Deborah Sharp
Patricia Wentworth
Rita Lakin
Suzann Ledbetter
Camille Minichino
Have you read any cozy mysteries that you enjoyed? Please share the authors and titles.


  1. Thanks for the list, as I LOVE the cozy mystery but when I'm in the mood for one, I reach for Agatha Christie. I will definitely branch out and try some of these authors.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Karen. I haven't read all of these ladies myself, so I'm excited to try them all out too.

  3. Hey, thank you Cami for including me on the list! My so-called directional series (East of Peculiar to Halfway to Half Way) doesn't just have one snoopy senior, but six of 'em. Delights me no end that my adorably nutty Numero Uno senior investigator, Delbert Bisbee, seems to be as popular with readers as the hunky Sheriff, David Hendrickson. I figure it's because everybody knows or is related to a Delbert, but handsome, single sheriffs are a wee bit on the rare side.

    Again, many thanks for the mention and I'm honored and flattered for my books to be among your favorites!

    Suzann Ledbetter

  4. Cami, I'm doing a contest if you want to stop over to my blog and enter.

  5. Thanks, Karen. I'm coming right now!

  6. Hi Suzann,

    Wow. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm kind of partial to the hunky Sheriff, but I really do love Delbert!

    Best of luck with your writing,

  7. Hi, Cami ... I'm thrilled to be among the authors you mentioned (for my Mace Bauer Mystery series, featuring Mace's wacky ''MAMA,''63 years of age last Fourth of July). Thanks for the shout-out, and good luck with your own cozy.
    Deborah Sharp (latest book: Mama Rides Shotgun)

  8. Deborah,

    Thanks so much for stopping by. I only mentioned the best! Actually, I'm certain I missed some other fabulous authors, I just mentioned the ones I've read and loved. I would love to hear any other suggestions.


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