Genre tips

#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Cozy Plus

The A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post 26 articles on a themed topic. It’s supposed to be every day except Sundays during the month of April but I find that too busy and decided to post mine ‘about’ once a month. Yes, it’ll take me a couple of years. Sigh.

My topic, like the last three times, will be writing genres.

This genre:

Cozy Plus


A cozy with some swearing, a bit of cursing, sex and violence off camera

Tipsa to z

  1. Follow the general guidelines for a cozy–crime solved by every day folks like us who reluctantly participate and solve the mystery using common sense. Think Angela Lansbury in Murder She Wrote.
  2. Do include some swearing, sex, violence (if you’d like) but not in scene.
  3. Most cozies are serials. Cozy Plus would be no different.
  4. Most cozies are mysteries or romances but not all. Be flexible in what you pick.
  5. Here’s a long list of tips for writing cozies, from Write On Sisters:
    • Cozy mysteries are always a puzzle to solve.

    • All clues are revealed to the reader but obscured with red herrings and false leads.

    • Cozy mysteries feature a murder (most often) or a crime of great substance.

    • The victim typically is not admirable, thus the crime, if not justifiable, is often understandable.

    • Click here for more

  6. The story has a happy ending–the criminal is brought to justice and balance is restored.
  7. Right and wrong are clearly defined; there’s no moral dithering. Murder is wrong and catching the guilty returns society to its rightful balance.

Popular Books

  1. A Home for her Daughter by Jill Weatherholt (or any of Jill’s Love-inspired books. Note: This is really a cozy, not a plus, just wanted to mention it)
  2. The Cruise Ship Stole My Daughter by Morgan Mayer (aka, Carrie Rubin) — more cozy than plus and a great read
  3. The Opposite of Dark by Debra Purdy Kong
  4. Agatha Raisin series by MC Beaton
  5. The Berger and Mitrie series by David Handler
  6. Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Series by Louise Penny
  7. Mama Detective series by Nora Deloach
  8. Murder She Wrote series by Donald Bain
  9. Miss Marple series by Agatha Christie

Click for complete list of these 26 genres

Click for a complete list of all genres I’ve written about

More C Genres:

Help me crowdsource the books

This year, instead of searching for popular books in each genre, I’ll crowdsource them–include books as often as possible written by Indie authors. That means yours. Here’s how you get involved:

  • Go through the list of genres (and subgenres) below. They are less common than the usual so you’ll have to read the definitions and decide where your books fit. If you’re close, that’s good enough. For example: If you write suspenseful historical fiction, add your name to “historical suspense”.
  • In the comments, tell me your name, your book, a link to where it’s sold, and the genre it fits.
  • If no genre fits your books, give me your favorites in a genre. I’ll still credit you with a linkback.
  • When I get to that genre (between April 1, 2021 and about two years later), I’ll put your book in the list of examples with a link to where it can be purchased. If you suggested a book, I’ll link to your blog.

That’s it! I sure hope you play along with me on this!

Here’s the genre list (links aren’t live until publication).

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Man vs. Nature saga, and the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Summer 2021. 


76 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Cozy Plus

  1. *Love* cozies (after all, it is what I write), but haven’t read many that would be classified as cozy plus. Mild swearing wouldn’t worry me (but I find heavy swearing seems to often be used as a replacement for showing rather than telling), but the sex scenes I always flick over because I want to get on with the crime story, lol. Woudln’t stop me reading one though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cozy mysteries are a new genre to me and I’ve read a few from an author friend of mine, Ellen Jacobson. She stays away from cursing, violence, and sex, though, so certainly not a cozy plus. It surprises me to fond Jill’s book(s) here as I didn’t think there are clues, a puzzle to solve, or detective elements in her stories.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. That’s interesting that the victim in a cozy usually isn’t an admirable character. I guess the reading doesn’t want to feel too bad about the murder or too squeamish about cursing, sex, and violence. It all makes sense now, Jacqui. A great list of possible reads.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I heard a friend use this term to describe a movie I was asking about. Now I know what she meant. I’m not into violent stories (books or movies), so this fits into my sweet spot.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I never thought Agatha Christie would fit in this category. I always thought she was pure and simple murder mystery ( that’s what we called them growingup)

    Liked by 1 person

    • It seems many genres now have appended sub-genres and most regular genres now have the cozy version. Plus surprised me too. It treads the line between mystery with it’s cussing, killing maybe, and cozy without.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve never heard of cozy plus, but it makes sense – I read quite a few cozies, and some of them do trend this way, I just hadn’t considered it to be a separate genre until you pointed it out. Duh.

    Liked by 2 people

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