My younger daughter Karen emailed me last night and wrote, "Okay, Mom I like the blog. But now you've got to tell me. What's a cozy??" That's a good question, isn't it! Especially since this blog is called Cozy Crime.
I'm not real good at stuff like this, but I'll take a stab at it. (No pun intended.) A cozy mystery (some people call them traditional mysteries, but I think the term cozy is...well, cozier) is a type of mystery novel that doesn't have a lot of violence, sex or bad language. They usually have a little violence (after all it's a mystery novel, and somebody usually ends up dead) but the violence isn't real bloody and the author doesn't go into much detail in describing it.
Cozies usually have detectives trying to solve a crime. (The ones I like do, anyway.) Almost always they have a happy ending and you finish the book feeling good about things. They aren't real dark or depressing, but that doesn't mean they're not serious. Although some of them are more lighthearted or even funny, they can be serious, too. The authors just don't feel the need to put in a bunch of stuff about sex or gory violence.
Some of the great writers of cozy mysteries were people like Agatha Christie, Mignon Eberhart and Dorothy L. Sayers. Some of the authors who write them today are Julia Spencer-Fleming, Rhys Bowen and Margaret Maron. (Obviously there are a lot more. Those are just a few that I like.)
Maybe some of you can do a better job of explaining it than I can. What's your definition of a cozy mystery?