Hi folks! Nicole Peeler here, sharing with you one of my favorite subgenres. It's a little different, maybe, for some of you, but if you like para-rom or UF I really think you'll like...
Paranormal cozy mysteries!
The mystery genre, for those of you who don't read it much, are divided into two primary strains: thrillers and cozies. Thrillers are things like Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or The Snowman, which have lots of action, violence, and violent themes. As for cozies, you're probably most familiar with them in the shape of Murder She Wrote or Miss Marple. Cozies usually feature an amateur sleuth, rather than a professional, and the sex and violence are toned way down. There are still murders, but they will often be offstage, using a method such as poisoning or a single stab-wound, rather than showing a big gory murder like a thriller would.
I love cozies and always have, but recently cozies have begun to stretch their wings a little, allowing things into the genre that would never have been considered before. One example of this is the paranormal cozy. You might remember stories like "The Hound of the Baskervilles," in which there appears to be a paranormal element. But, just like in Scooby Doo, those elements were always "unmasked" to reveal a human villain.
Lately, however, some cozy authors have been playing with the supernatural in a "real" way. The murderers in these books are still going to be human, and that's one of the things that makes the paranormal cozy different from urban fantasy. But nowadays we have amateur sleuths who are witches with real arcane power, or true psychics, or mediums who really can see the dead, et cetera.
So a cozy paranormal mystery will have all the elements of a cozy. There will be a murder to be solved by an amateur sleuth. There will be minimum sex and violence on stage, although there may be a love interest and some "closed door" intimacy. There will be a really developed world that's small in feel, so an actual small village or a small community within a larger one. And there will be lots of great character development, as part of the joy of the cozy is watching someone who shouldn't have to deal with murder and intrigue being forced to chase after baddies.
But a paranormal cozy will have some fun supernatural extras that will appeal to readers of both para-rom and UF.
If you like the sound of this genre, two writers I highly recommend are Juliet Blackwell and Victoria Laurie. Both have series with great supernatural elements, wonderful love interests, and very intriguing murders to solve by fun protagonists.
As someone who has always loved the cozy, I'm happy to see it opening up to new themes and premises, while still remaining true to its roots.
Thank you to Nicole Peeler for sharing her recommendations today. I asked Nicole to be a part of this feature because her Jane True books add some much needed laughter to my life. The title character is a half-human half-selkie who is just learning about the supernatural world around her and her place in it. The series also features a sexy shapeshifter named Anyan who ratchets up the sexual tension between action and the humor. You can check out my review of the first book in the series, Tempest Rising, for more info.
In the meantime, I've got a cozy mystery for you to try. Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter to win a copy of Juliet Blackwell's In a Witch's Wardrobe. US Only.
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