Cozy with mysteries

A while back, I got an idea for a cozy mystery series. It goes like this:

Ice cream + dragons

White pastel dragon with mint ice cream by SweetMayDreams

When I was a kid, fantasy books for kids were pretty much limited to Narnia and oddball outliers like The Dark Is Rising. So I read animal books and mysteries. I lived and breathed clues, suspects, missing diamonds, poison–and wolves, horses, dogs, and every other animal that was ever featured by Walter Farley, Walt Morey, or Jim Kjelegaard.

I worked my way through the mystery series books in the library kids’ section (ahh, the Three Investigators!). Harry Potter hit the spot because it’s mysteries in a wizard school. Rock on.

As a young adult, I discovered the YA section, which lives and breathes fantasy. I read adult fantasy. I found Tolkien and Diana Wynne Jones.

But that early foundation in the mystery genre persists, the way onions and garlic undergird taco seasoning.

So, this idea struck (people who turn into dragons! Selling ice cream! Having relationships and secrets! Urban fantasy, only cozier!) And I realized that I’d better read a bunch of cozies to learn the genre.

So here’s what I’ve read so far:

Thanks to Amazon’s Top Free Cozy Mystery list, I can pretty much read a brand-new book any time I want to. Of course, there’s a lot of drek on that list (I downloaded several books and deleted them because of the horrible writing/formatting), but eventually you find some good stuff.

So far, cozy mysteries seem to be:

A mystery

With food or some other craft

There are shoes

The sleuth is usually female

The boyfriend is usually a cop

Sometimes it’s mostly a romance novel

There are lots of long scenes describing the venue, the food, and the oddball inhabitants of the area

The crime is usually murder

Poison is usually the weapon, because there’s no blood

In paranormal cozies, it’s always about ghosts or witches

There are often cats

Sometimes dogs

Agatha Christie is invoked as the pinnacle of the genre

I’m halfway through a fourth one with a male protagonist, sort of a wacky Britcom, and I’m enjoying it.

Do you read cozies? Is there any key ingredient that I’ve overlooked? Would you be even vaguely interested in reading about dragons who solve mysteries?

3 thoughts on “Cozy with mysteries

  1. How fun! And love the dragon sculpture. I read a lot of mysteries as a kid and I hope one day to write a fantasy mystery series featuring an amateur sleuth. I am tempted to include elements of cozies though. But we shall see!


    1. I would love a fantasy mystery series! The Ella Enchanted author has a couple of books with a dragon sleuth and a human sidekick, solving fairytale-related crimes. It’s wonderful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, interesting! Will have to check it out. Thanks! I am slowly building that fantasy world for it, but it is 4th or 5th on the list of stories/worlds to tackle. 😀


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