by Kirsten Weiss and Kassandra Lamb
At misterio press, we write a lot of cozy mysteries. And one of the most common questions we get is, Why are they called cozy?
The easy answer is because these mystery novels typically include a lot of coziness – including the joy of snuggling down with a good book.
Yes, a frequent cozy trope is… books! Cozy mysteries are often set in bookstores, in libraries, in book clubs, they may feature book lovers… You get the idea.
Maybe these common cozy mystery scenes and tropes will inspire you to get cozy as the temperature falls and Christmas approaches.
Twelve ways to get cozy…
1. (Kirsten’s fave) Build a fire and enjoy it with friends — real people or the “friends” inside the pages of your favorite book.
2. (Kass’s fave) Eat chocolate and put as much time into savoring it as your favorite cozy mystery writer does describing the sensation of chocolate melting on the tongue.
3. Knit a scarf or mittens for someone for Christmas (knitting mysteries are big), maybe while sitting in front of that fire in #1.
4. Snuggle with your pet – most cozy mysteries feature a dog or cat, and these animals usually have a heavy dose of character.
5. Watch an old movie – preferably something romantic and/or mysterious!
6. (Kass’s second fave) Drink wine and see above re: savoring (or hot chocolate, hot toddies, Irish coffee, whatever winter drink you like to snuggle up with.)
7. Light fall-scented candles, dim the lights, and enjoy the mysterious dance of shadows on the walls.
8. Bake cookies. Or scones. Or pie. And the scent of the baking as it fills the house… Num! (Baked goods and other sweets are another favorite cozy mystery trope.)
9. Take a long bath, and bring your paperback!
10. Make a scrapbook (scrapbooking — another cozy trope) or photo album as a present for someone special. I (Kass) made one about his grandmother’s life for my grown son one year. I savored the process of making it as much as he enjoyed receiving it.
11. Get super soft sheets and blankets for your bed. What a great place to snuggle up with a book! Or if you have a favorite chair or couch where you read, make sure it is equipped with a soft, warm throw.
12. Bundle up and go for a walk in a small town. Most cozy mysteries are set in quaint towns and villages for a reason – they’re cozy!
How about you? What’s your favorite way to get cozy this time of year? (Keep it clean, folks, we are talking cozy mysteries here…LOL)
And Kirsten has another fun Christmas goodie for you! She is celebrating the traditional 12 Days of Christmas with a new Doyle Witch cozy mystery on Instagram and Facebook! The episodes will start on Christmas Day and run through January 6th. And though a cozy witch mystery might seem odd for the holidays, it actually fits the 12 Days of Christmas theme.
According to folklore, the 12 Days of Christmas, the period between two major Christian celebrations (Christmas and Epiphany) and the switch between two calendar years, is thought to be a dangerous in-between time. Maybe this was part of the reason for the Victorian tradition of telling ghost stories on Christmas Eve.
And don’t forget her new, quirky collection of short stories and a novella, The Gargoyle Chronicles, starring Brigitte, metaphysical detective Riga Hayworth’s gargoyle sidekick.
Kirsten Weiss has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. The latter gives her heartburn, but she drinks it anyway.
Now based in San Mateo, CA, she writes genre-blending cozy mystery, supernatural and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of fun and enchantment.
If you like funny cozy mysteries, check out her Pie Town, Paranormal Museum and Wits’ End books. If you’re looking for some magic with your mystery, give the Witches of Doyle, Riga Hayworth and Rocky Bridges books a try. And if you like steampunk, the Sensibility Grey series might be for you.
Kassandra Lamb is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She is the author of the Kate Huntington psychological mysteries, set in her native Maryland, and a new series, the Marcia Banks and Buddy cozy mysteries, set in Central Florida.
We blog here at misterio press about twice a month, usually on Tuesdays. Sometimes we talk about serious topics, and sometimes we just have some fun.
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