Am I cozy?
by Clea Simon
Readers sometimes ask me: Are my books cozy? And the honest answer is, I’m not sure. Yes, I can promise you that in my new A Spell of Murder, the story is gentle. There is no sex or foul language and, while there is a murder, the blood (as the old saying goes) is dry before it hits the page. Plus, there are cats – three of them – and cats always make a story cozier, don’t you agree?
But more and more these days, I find myself telling readers that my books aren’t strictly “cozies,” per se. They’ve got a few too many twists, a couple of extra characters, and even a few extra felines, all designed to make the book a little more challenging than some cozy readers might expect.
For example, although Becca, the human at the center of A Spell of Murder, is a perfectly likable young woman, she’s not the point of view character. Her youngest cat, Clara, is. And although Clara wishes she could spend all her time focusing on Becca, especially as Becca gets involved with some shady characters (and a murder), she also has to deal with her two litter-mates, Harriet and Laurel. While they love their human too, they have a bit less respect for Clara, their youngest, and they act as sisters often do.
So if you ask me how I would describe this book, I would say it is whimsical and fun and warm, but a bit challenging as well, since it deals with personalities as well as a caper, cats as well as crime. But if you can stick with it, I promise you a happy ending – because who doesn’t like a happy ending? Does that make it cozy? In its own way, I guess it does!