Monday, March 2, 2020

Mystery Critique Group

After beta reading for a writer friend, I was invited to join Cozy CRIT-ters, a newly-created critique group for authors of cozy mysteries.

Cozy mysteries follow a set of guidelines including: an amateur sleuth solves the crime; the murders are bloodless or occur off the page; and the story does not include violence, sex, or foul language. (This partial list is from Nancy Curteman’s blog post ‘The Characteristics of a Cozy Mystery.’)

Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple mysteries are cozies, but the Detective Scott McGregor mystery series don’t seem to fit in the same category. McGregor is a police detective, not an amateur. The murders do generally occur off the page, and usually before the story begins. The McGregor mysteries do not include violence, although sex is occasionally referenced, and a few mild swear words crop up in some stories. I label my books as ‘police procedurals with a touch of cozy.’

Fortunately, the critique group also accepts ‘cozies with an edge,’ so I’m in. At least until they discover the third McGregor mystery begins as a cozy but is highjacked by thriller.