Introducing Cozy Mysteries
Not too many people have heard of cozy mysteries. To them, the word “cozy” conjures up images of steaming cups of herbal teas, overstuffed chairs, and purring cats.
While those images can exist in cozy mysteries, the sub-genre contains many more intriguing elements. Written in the Agatha Christie tradition, these mysteries appeal to readers who wish to be engaged but not horrified.
In short, a cozy is a mystery that includes a bloodless crime and contains little violence, sex, or coarse language. The crime takes place “off stage” and very few graphic details are provided. Sex, if there is any, is behind closed doors. It is not unusual to read about a couple enjoying a romantic dinner and then turn the page to find them waking up to breakfast.
The sleuth is usually female and not a medical examiner, detective, or police officer. A bright and intuitive woman, the sleuth gravitates toward such “people” professions as librarian, florist, teacher, homemaker, caterer, and nun. Very social and involved in her community, the sleuth has at least one unresolved personal issue in her life: a difficult child, an alcoholic parent, or a secret past.
Gilda Greco, the protagonist of my cozy mystery series, has never gotten over a disastrous early marriage. She’s also surrounded by interfering friends and relatives who don’t always respect her boundaries. And she keeps finding dead bodies in her wake!
While the local police force doesn’t take sleuths too seriously, these enterprising women find connections to classified information. In A Season for Killing Blondes, Too Many Women in the Room, and A Different Kind of Reunion, Gilda is a career development practitioner and the chief detective on the case is her former high school crush.
The cozy takes place in a small town or village. While I’ve stretched it a bit and based the novel in the mid-size Canadian city of Sudbury, I have introduced characters who are intertwined; many of them grew up in Gatchell, the Italian section of town. Gilda’s interfering friends and relatives offer many opportunities for subplots and comedy relief.
A certain fantasy element exists in all cozy mysteries: the sleuth always solves the case, justice is served, and all loose ends are tied. But only for a short time...Another murder to solve is just around the corner.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Date Published: Spring 2018 (will send exact day later)
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
While not usually a big deal, one overlooked email would haunt teacher Gilda Greco. Had she read it, former student Sarah McHenry might still be alive.
Suspecting foul play, Constable Leo Mulligan plays on Gilda’s guilt and persuades her to participate in a séance facilitated by one of Canada’s best-known psychics. Six former students also agree to participate. At first co-operative and willing, the camaraderie is short-lived as old grudges and rivalries emerge. The séance is a bust.
Determined to solve Sarah’s murder, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers shocking revelations that could put several lives—including her own—in danger. Can Gilda and the psychic solve this case before the killer strikes again?
Jim whistled. “You sure don’t like it easy. With all your millions, you’d think this crap could somehow miss landing on you. But you do seem to attract it.” He chuckled. “Might be something to address with a therapist or maybe the psychic you’ve just met.”
“I didn’t just meet Cassandra. I got to know her and her parents very well during those seven months I taught in Parry Sound. They’re good people.” I could tell by his tone that he was dismissive of Cassandra’s psychic powers. While I was also skeptical, I did feel the urge to defend her. She had been so sincere and so open. I couldn’t fathom the notion of Cassandra faking or putting on the airs of a psychic. It wasn’t in her nature to be deceitful.
“I’m sure they are,” Jim said. “But let’s face some facts here. Most psychics need to make a living. I don’t doubt this lady has some intuitive ability—as many women do—but I don’t think it’s enough to catch a murderer. The constable is grasping at straws. What did you say his name was?”
“Leo. Leo Mulligan.”
“Tall, dark-haired guy. Good-looking and a bit of a rascal.”
“He’s evolved.” I immediately regretted my response. Knowing Jim, he would pounce and tease me.
“And you’re interested,” Jim said, chuckling. “What does your boyfriend think about this cozy reunion you’re having with a more evolved constable?”
About the Author
In 2008, Joanne Guidoccio retired from a 31-year teaching career and launched a second act that tapped into her creative side. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.