As you can see from the blog title she’s going to let us know the difference between straight mysteries and what she writes, cozies, at least under her name.
First of all, I want to thank Lindsay for letting me hang out at Murders and Mysteries here today. Since I didn’t know the difference between straight (mainstream) mysteries and cozies, I decided that should be my topic today. First, let’s look at cozies.
Typically, a cozy is set in the small fictitious town where the hero or heroine works at a job that is totally unrelated to law enforcement. Usually, they’re theme based—Cleo Coyle’s Coffeehouse mysteries, Linda O Johnson’s Pet Rescue mysteries, etc. And there’s a good bit of humor in them. Think Murder, She Wrote with the great Angela Lansbury as Jessica
Fletcher. There will definitely be a murder in a cozy mystery, but it will be off-screen. The same goes for sex – you can let your character have fun in the bedroom. Just close the door.
Straight mysteries, on the other hand, have no such restrictions. You can crack somebody’s head wide open with a vase and capture every gory detail. You can also get as steamy as you want with the bedroom door open and throw in as many bad words as you can think of. In essence, straight mysteries are anywhere from PG to R rated compared to G rated cozies.
Despite these differences, there is one resounding similarity in both cozies and straight mysteries. They have to have a good mystery, or you’ll lose your reader right out of the box. A great mystery has to have you guessing all the way – – and guessing wrong. I love it when I’m totally surprised to find out the killer is someone I never even thought about.
But that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to throw in a character out of the blue and call him/her the bad guy. That’s what I call a book tosser – – when I throw the stupid thing across the room.
LIVER LET DIE is the first book in my newly debuted Clueless Cook mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. I want to tell you about a great contest going on right now with the release. I’m giving away a Pandigital Kitchen Technology Center at the end of October. Go to my website www.lizlipperman.com for details. You can read an excerpt of LIVER LET DIE there, and you can watch a trailer of MORTAL DECEPTION, my straight mystery on Amazon.
And I have one copy of LIVER LET DIE to give away, thanks to Berkley. So enter leave a comment with a valid e-mail address. This is open to US addresses only, publishers requests. Lindsay will pick the winner. This way the drawing will be fair. Actually, I thought that to make the drawing really fair we’d have Jordan stop by next Monday, October 24, 2011 to do the drawing. I’ve already promised her that there will be no strange or unusual foods for her to try.
Here’s the blurb. Read an excerpt of both books at www.lizlipperman.com
Jordan McAllister, a wannabe sports reporter who follows her boyfriend to Dallas, gets
dumped, and ends up in a small Texas town where she lands a job writing personals. When she’s offered an opportunity to fill in for the culinary reporter who’s rehabbing a broken hip, she jumps on it, thinking it’s one step closer to writing that sports column she wants so badly. The problem is she was raised in West Texas, the only girl with three brothers who needed her outside every day to even up the sides for football games, and although she can throw a razor-sharp touchdown pass from 50 yards, she can’t cook her way out of a box of macaroni and cheese.
Her first assignment is reviewing the new steakhouse in town where she inadvertently
orders foie gras (fatty duck liver) that ends up untouched and shoved into a borrowed purse. Back home she discovers that she has ruined her friends beautiful handbag, but that’s nothing compared to finding her waiter from the steakhouse murdered outside her door along with her name and number in his pockets. Now she’s the prime suspect as well as the main course on the murder menu.