Are you making happy readers?
Most writers are learning that they must also become marketing experts, and the key rule in marketing is to know your target audience.
Most readers have other interests and a good writer can tap into those. A lot of cosy mysteries are aimed at niche markets that are also interested in crafts and cooking. These clever writers have worked out their market - mostly women who like sew, cook, scrapbook or just like the idea of trying those activities.
I'd never tried one of these mysteries so I downloaded Cream Puff Murder by Joanne Fluke:
What I found was initially exactly what you expect from a cosy-mystery:
- Friendly village/small town
- Amateur detective with unusual skills (cookie baking)
- Low levels of violence (even with a murder)
But also weaved through the story were several ultra-yummy sounding recipes! I'm pretty keen to try some of these with my kids.
On the narrative side, I did find it a bit slow to start, it went way over the 10% mark before any of the 'mystery' started. This goes agains Michael Hauge's formula for fiction (you can see my earlier post Writing Novels - Formulas and Structure). The only other problem I had with the novel was some of the town's people were just 'super-nice' and the main character felt the need to over-explain their niceness. I'd rather nasty or pathetic characters, they're more fun. Other than that, it was an enjoyable read and I loved getting the recipes.
My kid's mystery, Dog Show Detective will hopefully eventuate into a series of mysteries surrounding pets and dog shows. I try to weave through my story, interesting facts for kids about dog showing or breeds of dogs.
If you'd like to find out more about this style of mystery you could visit:
If you have a favourite cosy/craft mystery, please share the title or perhaps you've seen another site or blog we can visit on this topic?