Who am I today? Gwen Gardner is here. You’ll find me at Gwen’s.
Murder Most Foul Cozy
Yes, murder can be cozy! Just follow a few simple rules of the mystery subgenre called “cozies,” and you’ll see. What is a cozy mystery? As just stated, it’s a subgenre (one of many) of mystery. It typically has an amateur sleuth who lives in a small village setting and is often humorous, character-focused and part of a series.
Imagine my surprise when I realized I had written a cozy! And not just a cozy, but a subgenre of a subgenre of cozy mystery. I thought that The Indigo Eady Paranormal Cozy Mystery series for young adults might even be the first of its kind, until I looked it up online and found others out there, although not widespread, and not typically for young adults.
So what else makes a murder mystery cozy?
Nothing is explicit. No profanity. All murders happen off screen. Any sex being had is behind closed doors.
In my first book, the victims were murdered by the infamous blunt object: a shovel. In my second novel, the victims were killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. My stories always pick up after the fact. But here’s a true story: my husband and I still laugh over the British cozy mystery we watched on television where the murder weapon was a frozen fish. I’ll tell ya, it’d be a cold day in hell before I used a frozen fish as the murder weapon–a red herring, maybe, but…
The worse thing my character says is, “crap,” but she says it with such relish! It’s almost a tag line, too. At the end of the first chapters (so far), when Indigo discovers that she’s dragged into another murder investigation, she always says, “Oh crap!”
And sex? My teens are so far from having sex that they’ll probably be sitting on the virtual psychiatrist’s couch years from now, talking about their sexual hang-ups and inability to perform. In my own defense, what’s wrong with chaste kisses and first love, I ask you?
Cozies typically feature thematic jobs or hobbies, such as quilters, book store owners or bed & breakfasts. Cat lovers are popular as well.
My series’ theme is paranormal. In particular, Indigo is a reluctant ghost whisperer with psychometric capabilities–she reads the energy of objects or people through touch, often with dire consequences. Such as the time (in Givin’ Up The Ghost) she became drunk by merely touching a pint glass. Poor Indigo might actually end up on the virtual psychiatrist’s couch on more than one occasion.
Ghost cat? Of course my series has a ghost cat. Her name is Cleo, after the original Cleopatra herself. Persian – pure white with a squashed face, one blue eye, one green, and a sparkly collar with a pretty silver bell. I almost named her Prissy, but her tag said Cleo. *shrugs*
In A Guilty Ghost Surprised, I even had a ghost dog named Chance – named after my real life granddog, also named Chance. Cleo was not amused!
I love to read cozies myself. M.C. Beaton and Emily Brightwell are two of my favorites. It’s fun to hang out with the sleuth and help solve the mystery.
Who are your favorite cozy mystery authors?
An Angel Among Us
Paranormal happenings at the Eady household are the norm. Recently, things have become downright peculiar. Childish giggles at odd hours of the night lead Indigo Eady to her little cousin, Bryan, a guileless cherub spirit, complete with Spider Man pajamas and a set of faux angel wings. The problem is that Bryan died nearly three years ago in a hit and run that killed him and his mum. The driver was never found. Now the gang must solve the mystery of his death in order to send him back to heaven. But where to start when the trail is three years cold?
Indigo Eady is not clumsy. At least, that’s what she keeps telling everyone. Can she help that the overactive spirit community of Sabrina Shores causes her psychic abilities to short-circuit? It’s unfortunate that her cute friend Badger is often on the receiving end of her mishaps. At times, she is positively hazardous to his health. Even so, sparks fly in more than one direction.
About the Author:
Gwen Gardner is a native Californian living in sunny San Diego, where her love of reading and writing led to a BA in English literature. Life is now complete with her husband, two dogs and a daily call from her daughter.
Since ghosts feature prominently in her young adult Indigo Eady Paranormal “Cozy” Mystery series, she has a secret desire to meet one face to face – but will run screaming for the hills if she ever does. Gwen adores travel and experiencing the cultures and foods of different countries. She is always up for an adventure and anything involving chocolate – not necessarily in that order.
What am I writing about at Gwen’s? You got sci-fi in my fantasy! You got fantasy in my sci-fi! Check it out!