Why I Write Cozy Mysteries
by Amanda Cooper (aka Victoria Hamilton)
I’ve been reading mysteries for a long, long time (see my bio at the end!). I started with Agatha Christie, and continued with Ngaio Marsh (a new Zealand writer) and Dorothy L. Sayers. I then moved on to many other mystery writers, among them M. C. Beaton, Donna Andrews, Joan Hess, Mary Daheim, Laura Childs and others.
But I don’t think I really ever had a grasp on what a cozy mystery was until I decided I wanted to write them! I had what I thought was a wonderful premise, wrote the book, worked up a proposal and went looking for agents to replace the agent I had who primarily dealt in romances and cookbooks. The agent of my dreams (aka, my current agent) wrote back and said the premise was interesting, but it didn’t feel cozy to her. I asked what was cozy? She said, read any first mystery in her stable of mystery authors. I did just that.
Aha! I got it. A cozy series often includes a craft, or cooking, and often features cats, and sometimes dogs, though not always. The main character is often (though not always) female. The mystery is what is important, and the investigation takes precedence over everything, but the main character’s personal life will also be explored. That’s one of the things I like about it; I can write about people, not must murder. The skill at characterization I developed writing romances serves me well in writing cozy mysteries.
After all… people are the ultimate mystery. My main characters are generally trying to figure out their life as they figure out mysteries, one clue at a time.
Since beginning in this sub-genre, I have found the absolute best community of writers and readers, those who write and read cozies. They are warm, smart, friendly and kindhearted. Most of them are probably nicer than I am, but I’ll keep trying. As I said to a friend when I discovered all the likeminded cozy readers and writers out there, ‘These are my people!’
And it’s true; they are.
About the Author:
Amanda Cooper is the pseudonym for bestselling mystery author Victoria Hamilton. She writes the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and the Merry Muffin Mysteries as Hamilton, in addition to the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper.
Cooper’s long time love of mystery novels started at age twelve when her mom handed her an Agatha Christie book and said ‘Read!’. Thousands of novels later Cooper is still reading. And writing.
But besides those two favorite pastimes, Cooper also enjoys collecting vintage kitchenalia, old books, teacups, teapots and other ephemera. Perfume is her secret addiction. She likes to cook, hates to clean, and enjoys time spent with friends chatting over wine or tea. She loves crafts, loathes boredom, and her guilty pleasure is ‘reality’ TV, which she knows is largely fake but enjoys anyway.
Cooper thinks that people are the most interesting study of all, and more than anything, she loves to hear from readers, not just about her books but about anything and everything.
To learn more about Amanda Cooper and the Teapot Collector Mysteries see these pages:
Avid teapot collector Rose Freemont takes a break from her Victorian tea house only to find a new mystery brewing elsewhere…
Leaving her home in Gracious Grove behind her, Rose is off to the annual convention of the International Teapot Collector’s Society. Her granddaughter Sophie is minding the tea house while she’s away. Rose is eager for tough cookie Zunia Pettigrew to appraise a prized antique teapot she believes may be a holy water vessel from China.
But when Zunia declares the pot a fake, Rose is really steamed. After Zunia’s found dead beside Rose’s dinged-in teapot, Sophie must rush to her grandmother’s aid and find the real killer—before Rose is steeped in any more trouble…
Jennifer’s Review of Shadow of a Spout
Review (4 Stars): These characters are such a delight and always seem to make me laugh out loud with the snappy dialogue in this series. In this mystery, Rose and Laverne are off to the annual convention of the International Teapot Collector’s Society while Sophie is back home running the tea house in their absence. While there, Zunia Pettigrew, the president of the Teapot Collector’s Society, is found dead with Rose’s teapot next to the body. Now Rose is being blamed for a crime she didn’t commit and Sophie comes rushing to her side to help track down a killer before it is too late.
This is the second installment in the entertaining Teapot Collector Mystery series and I love the interaction between these lovely ladies. The mystery was smart, fun and engaging until the very last page. I loved how Sophie is settling into her life in Gracious Grove and how she is adding her personal touch to the tea house after her negative experiences in New York. Can’t wait to read more about these characters and looking forward to Ms. Cooper’s next book in the series.
I’m excited to give away a copy of Shadow of a Spout. This giveaway is for US Residents only. To be entered in the drawing by April 17th, please leave me a comment below: