Lola’s Ramblings is a feature on my blog Lola’s Reviews where I ramble on about a book related or a non-book related topic. These are discussion type of posts where I talk about a topic and readers can weigh in on the topic in the comments. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like tours, cover reveals, memes, challenges, recaps or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are discussions of a certain topic and my point of view on them. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.
Recently I read a post on Addicted To Romance her blog about why Historical Romance was her favorite genre. I liked how her love for that genre showed through in that post. It was very well written. Somehow that post stayed in the back of my mind the rest of the day and later I suddenly came up with the idea to write about some of my favorite genres and general things I like about them, the first genre to come to mind was cozy mysteries so I decided to start with that.
How I started reading cozies
It’s hard to imagine that a little over a year and a few months ago I had never read a cozy mystery, until in 2015 I set out to broaden my reading genres and read more cozy mysteries. I only got around to reading them late in the year, but as soon as I read a few I quickly knew this was a genre I would enjoy. Since then it has quickly grown into one of my favorite genres. Last year I read a total of 26 cozy mysteries and this year I made reading cozies one of my goals as well. So yes I love cozy mysteries and I wanted to list what aspect of cozy mysteries I generally enjoy. These are often themes that many cozies have, although even with those elements present I don’t like every cozy I read. And not every book has all of these themes.
Why I like cozies
- The Mystery. When I started reading cozy mysteries I quickly found out that I love a good mystery. It’s so exciting to try and figure out who is the murderer alongside the main character. I really like the mystery element as there is so much guessing and figuring out to do. It makes for an engaging read. I especially like a mystery that keeps me guessing, but that when the murderer is revealed it does make sense looking back. And even better if you can figure out who the murder is and the author gives enough hints for the reader to figure it out.
- No Gore. I like that in cozies there is almost no gore. Yes it’s about death and murder, but the focus is on the mystery, not the gore or details of the death. I am not a fan of gore or too dark reads, so I like that cozies give me a good mystery without the gore or scary parts.
- Small town setting. I am a sucker for a good small town setting and a lot of cozies seem to take place in a small town. I like how close everyone seems to be in these town and that comforting atmosphere these towns have. The setting of a cozy mystery can really enhance the story in my opinion and it’s one of the things I like.
- Characters. In cozies you often have a big group of characters, everything from multiple suspects, to the victim, to friends of the main character, acquaintances of the main character and the main character themselves. I like how in most cozies these characters seem to come alive and you have this group of characters you come back to in each book. And all the characters often have some role to play. Often the characters are one of my favorite parts of a cozy mystery, especially when well done and they all have a clear personality.
- Series. I like how many cozy mysteries are series as I like reading series. And having more books to follow to same characters figure out yet another mystery is a good thing in my opinion. Now that I think about it, I am not sure if I even have read or seen a standalone cozy mystery.
- Standalone and Continuity. Cozy mystery series seem to have this unique mix of being able to be read as a standalone, but also a sense of continuity. Each book has it’s own mystery that gets wrapped up be the end of the book. But at the same time plot lines regarding the characters, romance or developments in the town can take multiple books to develop. Somehow this mix of a new adventure each book and continuity at the same time really works for me.
- Profession/ Hobbies. A lot of cozy mysteries seem to feature either an interesting profession or hobby. I like reading about different professions and hobbies in books and cozy mysteries seem to provide me with the opportunity to discover new professions and hobby. Often the theme of the cozy mystery is what catches my attention.
- Pets/ Food. Another thing I like is how a lot of cozies seem to either involve pets, food or both. Both are topics I like reading about and it’s nice to see these being a common theme in cozy mysteries.
- Romance as side plot. I absolutely love romance everything whether as a main plot or a side plot, so I like seeing romance in a cozy. But at the same time I like how the romance is often a sub plot that develops slowly and not overtakes the plot.
It is fun to talk about why a genre is a favorite. I still haven’t gotten into cozies as much as regular mysteries and thrillers, but once in a while I want a non-violent smalltown lighter-feel to the mystery and they are great for that.
I’ve gotten a few good recommendations from your reviews.
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It was a fun post to write and to talk about my love for this genre. I don’t read a lot of normal mysteries and thrillers as I don’t like the too scary of gruesome stuff, so cozies are perfect for me.
I might pick up a mystery or thriller when they really sound good though and cozies have given me a better appreciation of a good mystery. Glad to hear you got some good recommendations from my reviews :).
This is a genre that I keep wanting to try, and just never get around to it. I’ve heard some really great things and I follow several people who read and listen to cozies. I will get to them one day.
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I am sure you will get to them eventually. I wanted to try them for a long time before I eventually picked them up. It’s such a fun genre.
I enjoy cozies as well – though I don’t read nearly enough of them! My favorite thing about them are the small town setting they usually take place in. It’s like a whole different world, not to mention the characters are just different in a small town. I really need to read them more often!
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I always like reading about small town settings, also in other genres. But cozies almost always seem to be set there, which is fun.
I like cozies, too, though it’s not my main go-to genre. I love how they’re so light-hearted and fun, sometimes very cute, and a lot of times humorous. And I sometimes like how we get to keep following the same group of characters through their “murder of the week” plot, kind of like watching a less dark television crime series.
Great post! Makes me want to do one for my own: “What I like about Romantic Suspense.” hehe 😛
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Cozies have become one of my main go to genres nowadays, it’s a green that really works for me. Yes I also like how we follow the same group of people in a murder of the week type of plot. They can be a bit unrealistic, especially with how many murders occur in a small town, but they are so much fun!
Let me know if you decide to write a what I like about romantic suspense post :). That’s a genre I am only slowly beginning to read more in, but so far I like it.
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You know… I wanted you to write this post SO BADLY. Because this is genre I think I HAVE NEVER read [I think it is because of the covers] and I wanted to know more about it. I will try one. I’ll be perusing your blog for a 5-stars raving review to try. Great Post! Thanks!
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That’s such an awesome thing to say, thanks! I think I have done a best cozy mystery post last year when I started reading them. I love this genre and the covers for it 😉
I can at least recommend HY Hanna her two cozie series (Oxford Tearoom and Bwitched by Chocolate), SJ Pajoans her Daydreamer Detective series, Diana vallere her costume mystery series is great or and Death of a Toy Soldier is really good too. But let me know if you want more recommendations. I actually don’t think I’ve rated any cozies with a 5 star, but those I listed above would be 4.5 stars if I did half stars.
I used to love cozies but haven’t read them in quite some time but I love the way they are written. The setting is always so well done in them. I need to look into them again and pick them back up.
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I never used to read cozies until recently, but I really like them now. There’s so much I like about the genre. Although I’ve had a few meh reads as well.
I start with these then! Thanks Lola! 😊
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I hope you like them 🙂
You know I haven’t read a cozy in a while but I do like them. And I only started them recently too, maybe 2014 or 2015? It kind of grew out of some historical mysteries I read, like Victorian era stuff or 1930’s… I’m much more into those than the contemporary ones, although I like a contemp too if there’s amysterious or paranormal slant. I definitely agree about continuity too, I like one of Ellery Adams’ series because they have a writing group and I’m more interested in following their writing progress than I am the actual mysteries lol.
But I also agree w/ you about the small town feel. And food too . Ha ha great post!
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I actually never tried a historical mystery, but I got a historical cozy mystery recently that sounds interesting. I really like cozies as a genre. I do go through weeks that I hardly read them and then I read a bunch of them in one month. And yes sometimes following the characters and their progress is as interesting if not more as the actual mysteries. Got to love the food! I just finished a paranormal cozy mystery about chocolate, it really made me crave some good chocolates.
I do really love cozy mysteries. I find the ones that deal with books in some way are fun. I need to read them more though! That’s awesome they are such a big genre for you now. It just shows that branching out is good sometimes.
I really love that the books usually revolve around a certain hobby, etc. Makes it fun!
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I don’t think I have read of many that dealt with books so far, but I do have some on my to-read list. And yes it definitely shows how branching out can be a good thing.
I love cozies! My mother-in-law got me into them back when I was dating my husband. She introduced me to the cozies of an author that lived right here in our city, so that was pretty neat. I got to meet him not long after that at a signing at Barnes & Noble. I haven’t read very many cozies lately because I’ve gotten into reading romance, but I’m looking forward to going back to them. I love all of the things that you listed. The suspense and mystery trying to figure out who the killer is, the small town atmosphere, the characters, the different and unique hobbies that are covered, etc.
Do you have any recommendations on a good cozy series to start?
That’s fun your mother in law got your into them. That’s nice you read a series by local author and even got to meet him. I really like romances as well, but it’s fun to mix things up with other genres.
I would recommend HY Hanna her Bewitched by Chocolate and Oxford Tearoom series. They are two fo my favorites. SJ Pajonas her daydreamer detective series is really good too and it’s set in japan! And I read A Disguise to Die for by Diane Vallere and Death of a Toy Soldier by Barbara last year, which are both great! Oh and Cheryl Hollon her Webb’s Glass Shop series and the Country Store Mysteries by Maddie Day are both great ones too.
That’s interesting that you didn’t read a cozy until 2015 and then you ended up loving them so much! But it does seem like the perfect genre for you since all the fun of the mystery an crime but none of the darkness and gore. Plus all the pets! (It’s weird, I’m an animal lover in real life, but I don’t really care to read about them in books.) And the hobbies/professions aspect does seem like a really cool aspect to me. Cozies just aren’t my thing, but I’m glad you’ve found a genre you love 🙂
It’s hard to believe sometimes I am still pretty new to this genre as it quickly became one of my favorite genres. And yes it does sound like a perfect genre for me indeed if you describe it like that, with the fun of the mystery but none of the gore and darkness. And pets! I love pets in books and in real life. And it’s always interesting to read about other hobbies and professions, it’s actually one of the things I track in my reading sheet as it’s fun to see about which professions I read.
While that’s not my go to genre, I can understand why you like that type of book.
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Thanks :). It’s one of my favorite genres lately.
I love cozies. That was actually the first genre that I love to read when I started being a bookworm. I can still remember my first cozies though and how it made me feel.
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That’s interesting you actually started reading with cozies. They are so much fun!
This is not a book I would normally pick up to read unless it’s around the Christmas Holiday. I do enjoy a book that focuses on a neat hobby and is featured in a small town, and a good mystery is always awesome! Great topic! Hugs…
I like them every time of the year, they are fun to read. I always like how the focus on a hobby or job that’s interesting. And yes a good mystery is always awesome 🙂
All of your reasons are why I got into WRITING cozy mysteries too! And it’s funny that we both fell in love with the genre at the same time. 🙂 I’m glad I’m writing in genres you’re interested in!
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Oh I hadn’t even thought about this from an author point of view, that’s interesting that the reason you write them are the same as why I like reading them :).
I like almost every genre and if you’re a favorite author of mine (which you are) I pretty much follow you to every genre.
But cozy mystery is one of my favorite and it was great timing you started writing them just as I got interested in this genre. Looking forward to the next Daydreamer mystery 🙂
I hadn’t even thought about the fact that there is almost never any gore in cozy mysteries, Lola… I don’t mind the gore – but sometimes, it’s nice to have a good mystery without it 🙂
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I am not big on the gore, although I don’t mind books that have it a bit as I can usually skip over it when it becomes too much. But I do like the fact that with cozies I don’t have to worry about that as I know there will be no gore, but still get a good mystery.
I love cozies too 🙂 I came across a Facebook memory not long ago from a few year ago where I basically said ‘wtf is a cozy mystery and why would I want to read one?’ lol so funny to go from that, to how much I love them now. They’re my preferred type of ‘chick lit’ I guess 🙂
They remind me of good old BBC murder mystery shows in a way, it’s about the mystery with little cute sideplots and things.
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I know a few years ago I never heard of them either and wasn’t sure if I would like them and now they are one of my favorite genres. I like the combination of a good mystery and fun side plots.
I’ve been getting into them a little with audiobooks and having fun. The small town and the food are good ones 🙂 Little gore, too. I hadn’t thought about that. Good call!
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Nice to hear you’re getting into cozies as well, I think quite some of them are in audio format nowadays.