Sunday, April 23, 2017

What Makes a Cozy Mystery Cozy, Anyway? - Guest Post, Review, & Giveaway

What Makes a Cozy Mystery Cozy, Anyway? 
By Julie Chase

Popular as the cozy subgenre of mystery is, and as fast as the love is growing, there are still plenty of readers who have no idea what I’m talking about when I tell them I write cozies. I imagine they think the little word is thrown in there to describe something else like an emotion I’m feeling as I write. Maybe they just think that I think mysteries in general are warm and comfy. I’m not sure. But I get that wrinkled nose or slow blink, and I know they’re hearing the term for the first time. Hopefully not for the last.

Cozies are making stride in popularity these days, reaching lots of new readers, and sometimes breaking away from the mold, but at the heart of every cozy, we will always find these six things:

1. Murder. There will always be a central murder to catapult the heroine into action. After all, this is a mystery. In Cat Got Your Cash, my heroine, Lacy, is excited to meet her hero, a local fashion designer who made it BIG, but when she arrives at the appointment, her hero is dead, and she’s accidentally picked up the murder weapon. Yikes!

2. An amateur sleuth. It used to be that the sleuth was always a woman. That’s no longer true, and honestly, I’m seeing some former PIs and not-so-amateurs slipping into the list, but traditionally, the heroine is busy living her life until the body drops.

3. The heroine has a fun job or hobby. Cozy heroines do fun things, either for work or play, and the story centers around them. Maybe she owns a bead shop, a tea shop or yoga studio. Maybe her dog helps her solve the crimes, or her bakery is enchanted. Whatever it is that is unique to the heroine, readers love coming back for more. In Cat Got Your Cash, Lacy runs Furry Godmother, a pet boutique and organic treat bakery in New Orleans. A cozy heroine’s pastime is guaranteed to be fun and original. Something the reader enjoys learning about as much as the murder. My cozies include Lacy’s recipes for homemade pet treats!

4. The setting is delightful. Cozies are set in closed communities. A small town, or neighborhood, so that readers can get to know your heroine’s people. Regular reoccurring characters often become reader favorites. They might frequent the heroine’s shop, be related to her, a neighbor of hers or the instructor at her favorite art class. Regardless of how often the heroine leaves the area on business or pleasure, we can count on the local cast to pop up and make us smile.

5. Humor. Humor is the thread that pulls it all together and ties the adorable bow. Cozies aren’t focused on police procedure or the down and dirty of crime. They follow an amateur sleuth, someone like you or me, through the chaos of her life while also trying to clear her name (or a loved one’s – or trying to bring justice to a murdered friend etc) by solving a murder. Imagine yourself attempting this task in your spare time…..funny, right?

6. A PG-rating. Despite the central story line of murder, cozy mysteries can be trusted to keep it clean. There is no blood, guts or gore. The language is kept to church standards (I was recently asked to change the word ‘crap’ in a cozy because it could be perceived as distasteful). You might read about how a character swore under his breath or uttered an oath, but you’ll have to use your imagination on what that was exactly. Also, cozies often have romantic chemistry brewing between the heroine and a local detective or other reoccurring character, but you won’t see them being romantic. Maybe some squeezing of their hands, a hug goodbye or cheek-kiss hello, but anything unbecoming will be off the page or simply not present. The relationship, after all, is a side dish to the main course. And the main course is Mystery!

If you’re in the mood for a new cozy series, I hope you’ll give my Kitty Couture Mysteries a try. Lacy and her gang in New Orleans are just waiting to draw you in, pour you a cup of sweet tea and fill you with crawfish and beignets. See you there!


Cat Got Your Cash: A Kitty Couture Mystery

Lacy Marie Crocker’s whimsical pet couture has gained a following in New Orleans’s cozy Garden District, and word of mouth has traveled all the way to her favorite fashion designer, Annie Lane. Lacy’s thrilled when Annie schedules a private session at her home to discuss a companion line for her evening wear, but when Lacy arrives for the appointment, she enters the kitchen to two mewling Siamese cats--and one very dead Annie.

Lacy takes the kittens home to care for them until they can be properly claimed by Annie's family or friends, but after a busy day of work, she returns home to find them missing. And when Lacy learns the cats are set to inherit Annie's fortune, she begins to wonder if the killer was after the kittens all along. Now Lacy will stop at nothing to save the Siamese and find justice for Annie--if the killer doesn’t sink his claws into her first.

Luckily, Lacy has the help of handsome NOLA PD homicide detective Jack Oliver to help her catch the cat-napper before its too late in Cat Got Your Cash, the endearing second Kitty Couture mystery from Julie Chase.


About the Author:

Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three spunky children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey. Learn more about Julie Anne Lindsey here.



CAT GOT YOUR CASH by Julie Chase
The Second Kitty Couture Mystery

Lacie Crocker, who has declined financial assistance from her family, is making a go of it at her Furry Godmother shop, but barely. She now has a chance get her big break by partnering her pet couture with the famous designer Annie Lane. Yet instead of discovering a new opportunity, Lacie finds Annie's dead body. Unwilling to let Annie's two Siamese kittens be taken to the pound, she assumes responsibility for them until Annie's will is probated. That decision puts her in the cross hairs of angry animal activists, a mad ex-husband, and a mysterious stalker. But nothing can stop this self admittedly nosy designer from trying to figure out the truth and help solve the murder.

Filled with memorable characters, the Kitty Couture Mystery series is a fun, feel good escape. The ongoing battle between the Jazzy Chicks and the Llama Mamas showcase part of the personality that is the New Orleans Garden District. Steeped in tradition and money, its citizens generally try to do good and make the world a better place. Detective Jack Oliver, Chase Hawthorne, and newcomer Henri LaSalle, provide enough testosterone to ignite some swoonworthy moments while Imogene gives a healthy dose of comfort and realism, with a dash of the unknown. Lacie Crocker is an endearing protagonist, even though she made me sigh at her ignorance of proper cat introductions and makes me want to smack her to realize Jack's feelings toward her! But Lacie is real. Trying to make it on her own, yet knowing when she needs to call for help. Admitting her faults, yet accepting them and trying to do better, for herself, her friends and family, and the community itself.

CAT GOT YOUR CASH is an engaging mystery with a heart stopping climactic scene that will leave you breathless. I thoroughly enjoyed my second trip to New Orleans via the Furry Godmother and eagerly await my next visit.

Pet recipes included.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I can't wait to check out these mysteries.

  2. I'm really looking forward to reading "Cat Got Your Cash". Love the cover and the New Orleans setting and the cats featured in the story.

  3. I'm really looking forward to reading "Cat Got Your Cash". Love the cover and the New Orleans setting and the cats featured in the story.

  4. Looks like a fun cozy. thanks for this opportunity.