The Three C’s of Cozy Mystery…
By Anna Celeste Burke
You’ll find the three C’s of classic COZY MYSTERY in our collection of stories, Happy Homicides 2. I suppose you could argue about what the three C’s are, but for me there are three hallmarks of the subgenre that keep me eager to read more.
Crime, of course. That includes “murder most foul,” as you’d expect to find in any collection of cozy mysteries. As advertised on the lovely cover, crimes of the heart figure into many of the stories in this anthology timed for release on Valentine’s Day. That “the course of true love never did run smooth,” is an old story told over and over in real life and in fiction since Shakespeare penned those words. Love gone wrong is almost always at the top of the list as a motive when any murder investigation starts. Sometimes love goes right, too, though. You’ll find a bit of that here in this collection as well.
Charming Characters, too. [Hope you don’t think that counts as two C’s] Likeable, sometimes quirky characters are another classic feature of the cozy mystery and you’ll find plenty of them in this collection. Characters with different ages, backgrounds, experience and skills, they all bear up under the challenge of finding themselves up to their necks in crime. Their resourcefulness, persistence, even pluckiness in the face of murder and mayhem always gives me a little boost. When they ask the right questions, snoop even in awkward or outright laughable ways, and deliberately or by accident, find out “whodunit,” I get that little vicarious zing of pleasure that rewards us as mystery readers.
Comfort, like the feeling you get from putting on a soft pair of pajamas or an old pair of slippers at the end of a long day at work, is another feature I hope to find in a cozy mystery. It’s the perfect antidote to the suspense that keeps us tagging along behind cozy mystery sleuths—especially those we already know and love because they’re part of a series. The comfort in a good cozy mystery can come from many sources. Loyal pets, for one. Whether you’re a lover of dogs or cats, you’ll find them in this collection. They sometimes rival their owners as the most charming characters in a story. Food, too, is a source of comfort. It’s such a classic aspect of the comfort found in cozy mysteries the culinary cozy has become a sub-subgenre of its own. There’s plenty of comfort food in this collection of stories—including that special C associated with comfort and cuisine: CHOCOLATE! Recipes for the comfort food found in the cozy stories in this collection have been compiled into a special bonus file for cozy mystery fans, along with craft ideas found in some of the stories, too.
I’m sure there are more than three “Cs” that speak to you in cozy mysteries. I’d love to hear what those are. All “Cs” aside, I’d be interested in learning what words you use to convey the spirit of the cozy mystery.
Cheers! Anna Celeste Burke
Happy Homicides 2: Crimes of the Heart
Stupid Cupid: A Cara Mia Delgatto Novella by Joanna Campbell Slan—Cara Mia’s search for love gets her involved in a star-crossed, homicidal romance.
A Heart for Murder by Teresa Trent—An expensive family heirloom is stolen from a local jewelry store, and Betsy Livingston Fitzpatrick would love to figure out who’s responsible.
For the Love of Dog by Neil Plakcy—A young woman’s death causes a man to consider the many aspects of love. Is it ever a justification for murder?
Wedding Knife by Elaine Viets—A groom learns to take his vow–Till death do we part—very, very seriously.
Death and a Dozen Roses by Annie Adams—Plucky florist Rosie McKay is reunited with an old love, thanks to complications that happen when she tries to deliver a dozen roses.
The Sodium Arrow by Camille Minichino—The love of a student for a favorite teacher drives a freelance embalmer to seek out justice.
Sweets, Treats, and Murder by Nancy Jill Thames—Jillian Bradley is a widow with no children, but she still has a keen sense of family. Her love of a good mystery sets her and her canine companion, Teddy, on a quest for justice.
Dying for Valentine’s Tea: A Beach Tea Shop Novella by Linda Gordon Hengerer—The three Powell sisters want their friend Thelma to find true love, but they’re having trouble believing her fiancé has her best interests at heart.
The New Normal by Kathi Daley—Although her own dreams have been shattered, Ellie Davis finds it impossible to quit loving an old friend, even after he’s accused of murder.
Bones and Arrows by Carolyn Haines—Intrepid Sarah Booth Delaney would rather face a gun than a party on Valentine’s Day. Not surprisingly, she’s decided that Cupid is a big phony. But is he a jewel thief, too?
Murder at Catmmando Mountain: Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery 1 by Anna Celeste Burke—Georgina Shaw loves her cat, chocolate, and cooking. When she’s framed for a crime, she’s forced to reconsider her priorities.
The Missing Jacket by Randy Rawls—A golfing buddy offers Jonathan Boykin big money to retrieve a stolen jacket, but Jonathan suspects something else is going on. Jonathan is smart enough to discern the difference between love and lust. But can he also figure out the scam?
Really, Truly Dead by Maggie Toussaint—Lindsey McKay has no desire to return to small town life. But her love for her father brings her back home when he’s accused of murder.
~ Bonus Story~
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