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Topic: Generaly discustion question about Cozies

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Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Subject: Generaly discustion question about Cozies
Date Posted: 9/12/2012 8:49 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 43,495
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I read quite a few cozies so I thought we could have a discussion why the are developed the way they are.

Let me start with a few questions

1. Why are so many cozies set in the south or New England. I know there are few set in other states but majority seem to be in south and NE

2. I would love to see more male lead character, why mostly women, and why are so many ditzy??

3. How would we like to change cozies if we could?

4. There seems to be very few cozies set in foreign countries, why and recommendations

What other cozy questions we can discuss.

Last Edited on: 9/13/12 2:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/12/2012 4:03 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 7,024
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Interesting, Alice.

My thought as to why so many are set in the South and New England is these two portions of the country are so different from other parts of the nation as well as from each other in that their culture and speech are so different.  When you read someone say "ayuh" you know you are in Maine, if "y'all"  you know you've stumbled into the south.There is also so much more history on the east coast of the nation.  Perhaps it is simply where the writers themselves are from and know the areas best.     

I have no idea why so many of the female main characters are so ditzy.  Anyone who has ever read a cozy knows (and alot of these main characters say they read them) that you don't go down the cellar stairs in the pitch dark on a stormy night because there is a noise down there.  This never, ever ends well and I have to say I have yelled at more than one character who has done exactly that.  But I suppose it builds suspense.  It certainly builds indigestion.  :)


Ellie (EllieW) - ,
Date Posted: 9/12/2012 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 3/5/2007
Posts: 1,479
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I constantly yell at females in books and in suspenseful movies, but they never listen. LOL They always go charging toward danger instead of running the other way.

A couple of weeks ago I heard noise in the back alley of our house at around 2 AM. I was alone because my husband doesn't get off work until 3 AM, and my 25 year old son that lives here was supposed to be at his girlfriend's for the night. And what did I do? I calmly went out the front door and walked around back to see what it was. It was my son who decided to come home and he met me saying "haven't you read enough murder mysteries to know better than this?"  I have been a little more tolerant with ditzy females in cozies since then.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 9/13/2012 2:11 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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1. Why are so many cozies set in the south or New England. I know there are few set in other states but majority seem to be in south and NE

Now isn't that da truf?  I've read so many that seem to take place in the same places!  And, always small towns!  I live in what's considered a "small" area, it's a township but where I live is the most occupied area.  We're patrolled by the sheriff's department and have had about one murder a year in a place that has 50,000 people.  Yes, it's considered small.  How can the authors justify having murders happening right and left in towns that have less than 10,000 people? 

2. I would love to see more mail lead character, why mostly women, and why are so many ditzy??

Yeah, I was just thinking the same thing.  We seemed to start to get females PIs with Marcia Mueller's books in the 70's and it segued to ditzy females with their coffee cups, recipes and heading straight into dangerous situations (tsk, tsk Ellie).   cheeky  Lucky it was your son!

3. How would we like to change cozies if we could?

I think it would be better if the main characters weren't quite so ditzy.  I have run into a couple lately where instead of charging straight into danger they've let someone know what they were doing.  Wait for assistance, no but at least told someone who had the brains to send help!  Miss Marple never put herself in danger.  Plus have you noticed that more and more they've got a romance stuffed in there too?     

4. There seems to be very few cozies set in foreign countries, why and recommendations

Maybe they cozies are set where they are because the authors are familiar with the area.  There for a while it seemed like the books I read all took place in California.  Why not in a foreign country or even while our not quite so ditzy female is on vacation to get her away from the small town and all the murders? 

Date Posted: 9/13/2012 2:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 1,520
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I have sort of "given up" on the cozies written in, let's say, the last ten years.  Those are the ones who seem to center on ditzy females, lots of recipes, knitting patterns and so on.  If you go back to the 90s and earlier, they seem to be not so silly and you can find a lot with male lead characters.  The only downside is that you find yourself wondering why they are frantically looking for a pay phone instead of using their cell!!!  I was reading an older one last night (1998)...one of the characters was talking about his plans for building a summer home, and added "that may have to wait until oil hits $30 a barrel"!!!  (He was in the oil business)  If you can deal with some of these things, the older ones, I think, are much better written, have more substance to them and are more interesting.

There are a lot set in Britain...they seem to be referred to as "English Village Mysteries", but are definitely cozies. 

Last Edited on: 9/13/12 2:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/14/2012 7:31 AM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2005
Posts: 5,710
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I've read cozies since my younger years when they were just classified as cozies. Actually, Alice, I haven't noticed that most of them are in the South or New England. Might be because I read so many that I get a pretty good selection of areas in the country.

I've read several series with male leads and enjoyed their perspective on women, work, etc.

Why the women are so dittzy is beyond me. They constantly make poor choices, put others in danger, can't understand why the police yell at them for interferring, get injured, and then go out and do the same thing in the next book. You'd think there wasn't one woman out there with any brains. I agree that the old cozies had more level-headed women sleuths.

I'd change the current cozies by getting the women some common sense. And I'm really sick of the same formula in the books: Hubby cheated, I hate/don't trust men or the main character is always involved with the policeman/detective in the case. Although I read lots of cozies, after awhile, they all seem the same. I'd like to see more of the women happily married or living their life in the now, not always harping bitterly on the past. I suppose the books are just reflecting the times with so many divorced/single women.

I've read several series set in foreign countries. The Mrs. Jeffries series comes to mind. They're set in Victorian England (if I remember correctly) and are quite enjoyable with the housekeeper and her staff solving the murders.  The Agatha Raisin series is another. She's quite hard to like but sort of grows on you. The Pennyfoot Hotel series is set in Edwardian England and is another enjoyable cozy series.

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 9/14/2012 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 43,495
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I think my biggest cripe is the ditzyness and too similar of a character. It would be nice to have a few of thse cozies married women wtih children. who had some common sense. I do still read lots of cozies though they are quick and easy to read a good escape from the world.


Date Posted: 9/26/2012 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2011
Posts: 209
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Ellie, you gave me a good laff with your post..