Day: June 29, 2015

13 Tips for Cozy Mystery Writers

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WordDreams...

cozy mysteryThis is another in my series on Genre Writing Tips. I hadn’t really thought about cozy mysteries as I worked through from Children’s Books to Steampunk. A member of my critique group reminded me because that’s what she writes. Cozy mysteries, in the style of Murder She Wrote–tricky but non-gory plots with eminantly cheerful characters that you’d like for a best friend.

That’s about all I knew about them, so I polled my PLN and Tweeple and anyone I could find about what the characteristics of ‘cozy mysteries’ were. Here’s what I got:

  1. The mystery is not bloody or ghoulish. It’s softened, the gory parts alluded to rather than spelled out.
  2. The lead character is likely to be an amateur detective, akin to Murder She Wrote, rather than seasoned as you’d find in a detective mystery.
  3. The reader likely will identify with the main character so s/he…

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Review of ‘Sketch of a Murder’

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Sketch of a Murder by Aya Walksfar is book one in the Special Crimes Team series. In this offering, we follow the unit as it tracks down a killer, armed only with little beyond a sketch made by an artistically gifted homeless woman—who is later killed under mysterious circumstances.

The author’s use of point of view—putting us in the killer’s mind—adds to the suspense in this whodunit. There are enough red herrings and subtle clues throughout to satisfy the diehard mystery fan. The ending, which caught me by surprise, was . . . chilling, but satisfying.

A good summer read. The cover was a bit misleading, I think, so I can only give it four stars.