Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pickiness That Can Trouble A Reader

I'm back to looking for a new cozy series to follow again. Part of the problem I am having is that, while I really enjoy a lot of the tropes, I've now read enough books to be getting picky.

I'm not sure how to categorize the kind I've been devouring lately, but they are a subgenre of the cozy and usually include:

1) A female amateur detective
2) A bitchy rival--often she's the person who dies in the first book, thus making Our Heroine suspect number one and getting her involved in crime solving.
2) Sexual Tension between the amateur detective and the police detective in charge of the crime.
3) A carefully described, usually idyllic setting (Idyllic except for the bodies)
4) A punning title
5) Lots of good food.
6) A murder that really doesn't bother the reader significantly and is usually not that big a deal to the protagonist either (Unless it's bitchy rival; then she gets whatever niche to herself).

Also 7) They tend to be written quickly for summer reading and therefore don't generally have the best prose (though there are exceptions).

And...I am probably missing a few traits.

The thing is, when I'm in the mood for these, I really love them. They are reassuring and comfortable, like a favorite pair of jeans, or the baggy T-shirt you wear just for watching TV or reading in.

But--even while I love them, I eventually turn away because some of the tropes start to grate. Like--Why does the heroine have to date the policeman in charge of the investigation? Can't she just investigate alone? Or date the local chef or something? And, can we please, forever and always ditch the bitchy alternate? All she really does is prove Our Heroine to be good by contrast. And die. Like I said, she often dies. Surely the heroine can start elsewhere?

Yet, it's almost impossible to find a punny-titled cozy that doesn't include those two things, and I'm left with a quite unreasonable push and pull.

Do you ever find that pickiness gets in the way of enjoying something? How do you overcome it?

This doesn't mean I haven't found any to enjoy, on the contrary. It just means sometimes I get in my way!


  1. I can definitely get in my own way with certain comfort books at times, but it usually is just a sign that I need a break from that specific type of book. And after a break, I am nearly always happy to go back to them eventually.

    1. Yes, I should probably take a break from the punny mysteries soon.

      The bitchy alter-ego I probably won't recover from: I've been disliking that since I first read the Dana Girls.