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Topic: Floozies in cozies?

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Subject: Floozies in cozies?
Date Posted: 12/17/2007 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2007
Posts: 57
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Just wondering if anyone else gets peeved at times over the "flooziness" of some popular cozy heroines.

I just finished Witches Bane and really didn't feel much sympathy for China Bayles. Granted, I'll most likely read the rest of the series because Susan Wittig Albert writes well (and I figured out who did it BEFORE China did! SCORE!) but in this one, China just seemed...too lovestruck at times. Also, maybe I just ignored it, but I really couldn't get China/McQuaid's connection.

Also, Earlene Fowler's Benni Harper. She is  a very willful character who is definitely a woman but comes off as very needy sometimes, especially in the most recent Fowler I've read: Irish Chain. I'm also not a huge fan of Benni's faux-western world, but Fowler writes well and Benni is mostly likeable, so I continue to read them.

I'm not saying that a protagonist needs to be matronly (Jessica Fletcher) but needs to be a little more grounded and a little less damsel-in-distress and less erotically/sexually charged by the leading man in the story. A good example of this is Theodosia Browning of Laura Childs' Tea Shop series. Obviously an independent woman, gets involved with men, but they are not central to her character and she can live without them. Theodosia also struggles with real-world woes that I can identify with, such as stress, trouble making friends (not exactly the epitome of popular, a la Ms. Fletcher), depression, loneliness (in one book, she speculates who would show up at her funeral if she were to die). Childs' New Orleans scrapbook hero, Carmela, is almost Theodosia's polar opposite (getting stuck in an above ground tomb? Come on, lady.)

So, back to my question...anyone else find some cozy heroines to be just a bit too much on the floozier side of things? And what's your opinion on them? Like? Admiration? Disgust? I can't be the only one who feels this way.


Date Posted: 12/17/2007 11:42 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,223
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First, I'm not sure what you mean by floozy. Perhaps you meant flighty since that seems to be more like the examples you gave? Floozy usually means sexually permisive.

But anyhow .... no I don't find them floozy but keep in mind, for the most part, cozies are meant to be fun and light-hearted, which means characters that illicit smiles and laughs out of the readers. They're not meant to irritate people.

But I think cozies, like everything else, needs to apeal to a wide variety of people so the characters are going to vary. Also, there are tons of people in this world and not everyone is perfectly grounded. Heck, no one is and I think making characters with flaws is a bit more realistic than making them the out to be "role models" or perfect specimens in an imperfect world. So Benni is needy, aren't we all some times? And China falls in love .... again, and gets goofy.

But in NO way would I call Benni Harper a floozy anyhow. There is a very human touch to her character. I've read all the books and I continue to like her very realistic character. We're all needy once in awhile and I never found Benni overly so.

So, no again. I don't find cozy characters to be too floozy or flighty - either one. Some I like better than others but I look at the whole character and not whether they might have a moment of imperfection or realness to them.

I would also think that if I found them disgusting I wouldn't be reading them. I have to like the characters to continue with the series.

No, I also wouldn't say I admire any of them either although I wish Jessica Fletcher was my mother.lol :) I love that lady!!  Regardless,  I couldn't really admire a fictional characters. :) For me it's all about enjoyment. If I enjoy the book the writer and the character I'll continue reading them. If I don't I move on to something else. And I've  read them all from Bubbles Yablonsky to Jessica Fletcher to Rei Shimura to Sarah Quilliam and a million in between. They're all unique and interesting.

Last Edited on: 12/17/07 11:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/18/2007 12:49 PM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2007
Posts: 57
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I agree, perfect characters (a la Encyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew) aren't fun to read about...I think Theodosia Browning has a great balance of groundedness/spontaneity and can think on many levels. Benni and China are great to read about, sometimes I just question their higher thought processes. I've only ever figured out the mystery to two cozies before the heroine did (Shades of Earl Grey and Witches Bane) and it's heartwarmingly satisfying, but I don't know if the authors intentions are for you to read along and see through the characters eyes or try to solve it yourself. I mean, in those two it was just glaringly obvious and I was giddy with pleasure over being smarter than the heroine.

It's not really a matter of irritating, the women do entertain me and are pretty good characters - I just feel that sometimes the cozy veers dangerously into romance (which I'm not a huge fan of)...which is a subplot but shouldn't overshadow the mystery. Blech. No love in my life, maybe that's why I'm feeling bitter...

I do agree, they are great reads and I wouldn't trade one cozy for a box of John Grishams or Nora Roberts.

Date Posted: 12/18/2007 6:44 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 1,837
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I love cozies.  My only real complaint with them is when they degenerate into a romance novel.  Just not my cup of tea.

Date Posted: 12/19/2007 8:31 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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the only character so far in the cozies I'vve read that I don't like is the one in the flower shop mysteries. And I know others like this series and I'll probably read the rest one of these days. I didn't like the scrapbook (the first one!) but it was mainly the setting..New Orleans isn't my cup of tea but I imagine I'll read those too. I think the main character is supposed to ahve some faults to make these more enjoyable..at least to me. and I've never though of benni  harper as 'floozy'..the only thing about her stories that got to me was the constant bringing up of her dead hubby Jack and the tension between her and Gabe at times..the country part is what makes her, well, her!

Date Posted: 12/19/2007 10:28 AM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2007
Posts: 57
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thanks for supporting my ideas, Susanna and Carol Ann! Just trying to stimulate a fun conversation :)

Susanna - I agree, Carmela (scrapbook series, Laura Childs) really isn't a great character...it seemed like her husband did most of the dirty work, and she was a bit too infatuated with him to be independent/ex...Benni Harper's another issue, the Jack/Gabe thing is a bit much.

Will respond more when I'm not so stressed :)

Date Posted: 12/20/2007 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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Jacob, wait til the 'other' guy gets introduced in the benni series! I talked to the author at quilt festival a few years ago and told her she needed to get that sucker settled down and she said other readers were bothered my  him too LOL!

I agree for the most part with some of their stupidity LOL..but they're not 'professionals'..but the ones that bullhead into danger get to me, like the one in the flower shop series and i hate how she uses the guys or tries to use them and acts like her mom and others are total idiots beneath her...sigh...

the romance part has never bothered me but then I read a l ot of romance! I like the yellow rose cozies though the main character I dislike! they're set in the Houston area where I live but she's rich rich rich and hardheaded and moans about being adopted which she oughta stop and think how good she actually  had it!

I wish they'd make it clear though which are mysteries with a romantic thread running through them and which are just plain mysteries. I read the cozies mostly for the location or occupation/hobby thread of it though LOL!

ETA: have you read the psychic eye series and the new g hosthunters by victoria laurie?? there's a romance going on but the character is very cute and I like the secondary characters in most of them too!

Last Edited on: 12/20/07 10:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/23/2007 12:28 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2005
Posts: 22
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Just wondering what the yellow rose cozies are.  Haven't heard of them yet.  I love the mystery cozies and don't mind some romance at all.  In fact, I can hardly wait to read "Key Lime Pie" to see which guy the girl chooses.



Date Posted: 12/23/2007 5:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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The yellow rose mysteries are cozies set in the Houston area by Leann Sweeney. starts off with 'pick your poison' and you really have to start with the first one as it sets the groundwork/basis/business for the main character for the other 3 that are out. the next comes out in  january I think. the main character is young and rich and I really don't care much for her but Ilike reading some of the storylines and hearing places that sound familiar!