While the mystery is the reason for the cozy mystery, it's not the only thing. Reading cozy mysteries is like traveling to places you want to go to visit with friends. Good cozy series develop characters you want to care about. More than that you want to learn about them. Love is such an integral part of real life, whether good or bad, and it stands to reason it finds its way into cozies.
Almost all cozies have a touch of romance in them. Sometimes it's hints, sometimes it's more obvious. It's never explicit and sometimes it's never even acted upon. The "will they or won't they" is a common theme. The cozy mystery embraces all types of romance.
Probably the least common romance in cozy series are those that start with a couple already married. There are married couples involved in many series, but it's not that common for our protagonist to start off married. The Bear Collector's Mysteries by John J. Lamb feature a happily married couple as does the Clay and Crime Series by Melissa Glazer. While I'm sure there are others, these are the only two series that pop into my head. What I find interesting is that both of these authors are men!
Some cozy protagonists start out single, but eventually marry their love interest. I'll only give one example of this type as I don't want to spoil anyone's reading-but since the first book in the series was published in 1975 I'll risk this one, The Amelia Peabody Series by Elizabeth Peters.
A lot of times the love interest is a member of the police force. The romance oftentimes starts as a conflict, with the protagonist being a suspect. Sometimes she's not a suspect, but she's poking her nose in police business. This was the case with Jessie Hewitt in the Cueball Mysteries by Cindy Blackburn, Sophie Winston in the Domestic Diva Mysteries by Krista Davis, Sunny Meadows in the Fortune Teller Mysteries by Kari Lee Townsend, and many more.
Sometimes our protagonist has multiple romances throughout the series. Josie Marcus in the Mystery Shopper series by Elaine Viets is a single mom who is unlucky in love. We get the romance, but as oftentimes happens in real life, we discover he's Mr. Wrong.
Sometimes there's more than one love interest. Katie Lightfoot has feelings for two men in the Magical Baking Mysteries of Bailey Cates. This series has only just begun, so we'll have to see if she'll choose either of these men. There are currently 16 books in the Hannah Swenson Mysteries by Joanne Fluke and, unless something happened in the newly released Red Velvet Cupcake Murder, which I haven't read yet, our baker still hasn't decided which of the two men she's seeing is Mr. Right.
In life, love and romance isn't always easy. The same goes for our cozy mystery romances. But some people have it trickier than others. I so want Penelope Thornton-McClure to find happiness with Jack Shepard. Author Alice Alfonsi makes it difficult for these two in the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries as Jack is a ghost! One of my favorite characters is Lily Ivory in the Witchcraft Mysteries by Juliet Blackwell. I'm not sure which of the possible love interests is best for her, and that makes the reading even more interesting.
What do you think about romance in cozy mysteries?
Now for the winner of the e-book A Charming Wish by Tonya Kappes: Cricket! Cricket, please send me your e-mail address so that we can get your prize to you. You can message me on Facebook at my Cozy Up With Kathy page or e-mail me at cozyupwithkathy @ gmail dot com. Thanks to everyone who entered.