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Topic: Cozy mysteries

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Subject: Cozy mysteries
Date Posted: 8/20/2010 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,606
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A question, now, for all you ladies to help me with.

I really like Tony Hillerman.s books. (not nearly as much as the "dark" ones by Elizabeth George or the original master, Raymond Chandler). In Hillerman's books, the good guys (Leaphorn and Chee) will always succeed in solving the crime, almost always a murder, and punishing the perpetrators. The villains, insofar as the true villains can be determined, will always come to a bad end. But there will almost always be considerable "collateral damage," usually of a fatal nature.

Do these books qualify as "cozies?"

Date Posted: 8/20/2010 10:19 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 485
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I love Hillerman, but I'm not sure I would call his books "cozy."  I think he falls into a gray area along with Bill Crider's Sheriff Dan Rhodes books.  IMO cozies contain a lot of details about the main character's home, family, social life, job/hobbies and the murder is not the only focus of the book.  My favorite cozies are also funny, such as the books by the wonderful Charlotte MacLeod.

Date Posted: 8/20/2010 10:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I don't think he qualifies as "cozy" either.  Cozies usuallly have an amateur detective, although not always.  It's been awhile since I read one of his but I don't think they fall under cozy.  Like Michele says-the personal life in cozies is usually more prominent and the murders are frequently just a back story.  Almost every cozy I"ve read has also had somewhat of a comedic element.  Lots of bubbling by the amateur detective-though again not always.  They're also usually on the short side-under 300 pages. At least that's been my experience.

Date Posted: 8/20/2010 11:52 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Nope, not cozies.  Chee and Leaphorn are police officers.  The definition of a cozy is an amateur sleuth as the main crime solver.  Of course, this isn't always the case anymore, but to my mind, a true cozy has an amateur at the helm.  Think Miss Marple.

Date Posted: 9/10/2010 9:14 AM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2005
Posts: 5,840
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No, definitely not a cozy. More a real mystery/thriller. And, there a little darker in tone than cozies.