Cozy Crazy

Dr. Watson

Dr. Watson

Spooky

Spooky

Duffy Brown loves anything with a mystery. While others girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. She has two cats, Spooky and Dr. Watson, her license plate is “Sherlock” and she conjures up who-done-it stories of her very own for Berkley Prime Crime. Duffy’s Consignment Shop Mystery series is set in Savannah and the Cyclepath Mysteries are set on Mackinac Island. Duffy writes romance as Dianne Castell and is a USA Today bestselling author.

You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting someone reading a cozy mystery these days. What gives? Not all that long ago grandma’s and aging aunties were the only ones with their nose stuck in a cozy but not any more.

I think the BBC’s new Sherlock Holmes had something to do with it. That Sherlock is young and sexy and Dr. Watson is to die for. Then again I have a crush on Sherlock so I give him credit for everything mystery.

Duffy Brown MartinisThe cozy craze might be a backlash to the dark vampire blood-sucking reads. With titles like Last Wool and Testament, Beef Stolen-off, Dead as a Scone and Due or Die, what’s not to like? No whack ‘em and hack ‘em stories with blood guts and gore everywhere but some fun. Remember that? When was the last time you laughed out loud over a book? Couldn’t wait to pick up a book to get back to the fun.

Duffy Brown Pecan PieAnd then there’s the cozy characters. The ones who solve the mystery are just like you and me. They’re tooting along and then something happens to a friend or family member and they’re sucked into the finding the killer…just like you and I would. Friends don’t leave friends hanging. In cozies the main character makes mistakes, bungles along, and uses her/his brain and finds the killer. Okay, I haven’t found any dead bodies at work lately either but if I did the cozy way is how I’d probably act.

Cozies have jobs we all want. There are books where the characters quilt, knit, make wine, cheese, wedding dresses, bake pies, dream up recipes and make fudge for everyone. Eating brownies sure beats the heck out of sucking blood!

Bruce Willis, star of the Consignment Shop series

Bruce Willis, star of the Consignment Shop series

Think Cabot Cove. Who would not want to live in Cabot Cove? Most mysteries are set in small towns and if they aren’t they’re set in the small area of a big city. Stephanie Plum is in the burg of New Jersey. I set Iced Chiffon in Savannah, a small Southern city.

Castle is a cozy TV show. It’s mostly set in the police station or Castle’s home. The characters are unique and multi-aged…who doesn’t love Ryan and Esposito and Alexis and Martha? And there’s no blood and guts.

I think my love of cozies started back in the day with Nancy Drew. I read The Secret of the Old Clock in the sixth grade, not exactly Mad Men era but close.  I loved that Nancy Drew was smart and caring. I really loved that she was smarter than the guys. I wanted to be Nancy! Reading Nancy Drew was great for mystery and the ego. Nancy was self-sufficient and took charge of her destiny. It planted a seed that took root in enjoying mysteries and life.

Killer in CrinolinesSo there you have it…why everyone is snapping up cozy mysteries. Have you read one lately? Got your eye on a few? Love Castle? The new Sherlock?  Let’s talk mysteries and why we love ‘em.

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Killer in Crinolines…Launching today!

When Reagan Summerside is asked to make an emergency bowtie delivery to Magnolia Plantation for a wedding, she finds the groom face-down in five-tiers of icing and fondant, a cake knife in his back and her good friend and local UPS driver accused of the murder. Can Reagan find the real killer without winding up in the local swamp as alligator meat? Will Walker Boone, pain-in-the ass attorney and once-upon-a-time gang member, help her out or feed her to the alligators himself?

**Facedown in five-tiers of icing and fondant a dead groom leads to wedding chaos for the bride, the bff and the hotshot attorney.

I Love Castle