Guest Post: Tough Topics in Cozy Mysteries by Debbie De Louise

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Guest Post

Tough Topics in Cozy Mysteries
by Debbie De Louise

Cozy mysteries are thought to be fun reading. Even though they usually feature a murder, it’s seldom that the killing is gruesome. They also don’t include profanity, bad language, or sex other than what takes place behind closed doors. But that doesn’t mean that cozy mysteries are to be taken lightly. Many of them, like my new release, No Gravestone Unturned, the 5th book of my Cobble Cove series, include subplots with more serious topics. In my book, that topic is domestic abuse.

When Alicia discovers that John’s cousin, Suzanne, is a battered wife, she considers herself lucky for being married to a gentle man who wouldn’t think of hurting her. While I also have no experience in this area, I’ve read about and heard of these cases. Sheriff Ramsay explains that even though the small town of Cobble Cove has seen some murders, there are more reports of domestic abuse in the town, although many of them are hidden.

Gilly, Alicia’s friend who is married to the sheriff, discusses the class she took on spousal abuse. She explains to Alicia why Suzanne refuses to press charges against her husband or seek a restraining order. It’s because, as a victim, Suzanne feels she’s caused the abuse by doing something wrong or not being a good enough wife. She believes that when George apologizes after hitting her and tells her that he loves her and will never hurt her again that he’s telling the truth. She’s not aware that this is a pattern that will repeat itself until she leaves him or is injured so badly that he’s arrested. Healthline identifies 3 stages of Battered Woman Syndrome: Stage 1: The woman doesn’t accept that she’s being abused or justifies it as only happening once. 2: The woman believes the abuse is her fault. 3. She realizes that she didn’t deserve the abuse and acknowledges that her partner has an abusive personality but still feels helpless to do anything about it. 4. She finally accepts that only the abuser is at fault and may decide to end the relationship.

This look into the world of battered wives isn’t a cozy topic. It’s a sad statistic that affects both the wealthy and the poor. According to Medical News Today “Abuse can affect people of any gender, age, social class, or education. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) refers to the type of abuse that occurs within a relationship as intimate partner violence (IPV). While it’s a subplot in my book, it serves to characterize George Winters, a man who works with his wife’s brothers in a tech company. He’s driven and in control and that’s the way he likes it.

There’s a sentence toward the end of the book that Suzanne says that I think summarizes how women feel who finally become free of their abusive husbands. Suzanne says “George didn’t escape. I did.”

If any reader is facing this situation or knows of someone who is, they should call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. There are also state, county, and local helplines that are listed online and in phone directories.

How do you feel about serious topics in cozies? Do you think they add to the plot, or do you prefer simple stories that keep you at your comfort level?

Tell us in the comments below.

Book Trailer

Will the humans solve the crime, and can Sneaky, Kittykai, and Salem, the inn’s guest cat, team up to help? … No Gravestone Unturned by @Deblibrarian

About The Book

About The Book:

It’s October in Cobble Cove, and Alicia is busy preparing for the library’s Halloween party when she learns that John’s aunt from Florida has died and that John’s cousins and their spouses are coming to town to bury their mother. The day after the funeral, the caretaker’s son is found dead by John’s grandfather’s gravestone, from a blow on the head. The only witness seems to be Sneaky the library cat, who, having left the library, turned up at Alicia’s door with blood and dirt on him.

As Alicia, Gilly, and Sheriff Ramsay investigate, a generation of family secrets is uncovered. Are one of the guests staying at the inn a killer? Will the humans solve the crime, and can Sneaky, Kittykai, and Salem, the inn’s guest cat, team up to help?

Book Links: Amazon / Bookshop

About The Author

About The Author:

Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Long Island Authors Group, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island University. Her novels include the four books of the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series: A Stone’s Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard PlaceWritten in Stoneand Love on the RocksDebbie has also written a romantic comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Acea paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbowand the standalone mysteries Reason to Die and Sea Scope. Her latest book, Memory Makers, is a medical thriller. She lives on Long Island with her husband, Anthony; daughter, Holly; and three cats, Stripey, Harry, and Hermione.

Author Links

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    1. You are very welcome. In answer to your question, I simply want to be told a story. My cozies can touch on any topic within that framework, no matter how serious or hard-hitting.


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