1. The villain is always caught and punished at the end of the story.
2. Extensive violence, sex, or bad language is never shown on scene. There may be references to these off scene.
3. The murders are usually bloodless and, in many cases, committed before the story even starts.
4. The sleuth solving the case is normally an amateur, likeable person with few faults and a lot of good values. He or she usually has a job that is unrelated to her detective work and is normally an everyday person.
5. The sleuth is usually extremely analytical and can pick up clues, make connections and discover possible suspects with relative ease.
6. There are rarely serial killers or mass murderers in cozy mysteries. The usual crimes in cozy mysteries are greed or a big dose of revenge.
7. The setting for a cozy is usually limited so there is a small pool of suspects for the sleuth to interrogate. It may be a small town, neighborhood, an English manor or even a circus.
8. The sleuth often ends up being the target of the murderer due to her investigation.
9. The cozy mystery is normally a slow, unfolding story that gradually reveals the clues and normally has a surprise ending.
10. There is often a romance in the cozy mystery—but it is never overdone.
Vanessa A. Ryan is the author of:Horror At The Lake, A Vampire Tale mystery trilogy:
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