WHY I WRITE COZIES, AND WHY I READ THEM, TOO
by Mollie Hunt
This is a harsh world. The last nearly two years have brought an even harsher layer to what already was. Pandemic, violence, civil unrest. In the face of this reality, I choose to see also the good, the beauty, the kindness, the times people go over and above for each other. This is what I want to convey in my cozy mysteries. This is what I want to read about when I’m in front of the fireplace with a cat on my lap.
Someone recently asked me if my books were going to reflect the pandemic in any way. I considered it—my cat shelter volunteer character wearing a mask and washing her hands three times a scene. Maybe she could solve a crime from home quarantine, the way Nero Wolfe did. Maybe there could be a cat involved in the ongoing downtown riots, and Lynley is the only one who can save him. Maybe the closure of Friends of Felines cat shelter would require Lynley to foster several cats at once, like I had done in real life for the Oregon Humane Society. Maybe someone near and dear could get Covid and die, except it was murder. Maybe the villain would run around coughing on his enemies and giving them the deadly virus—people had been known to do that, believe it or not.
No, I hated all those scenarios. My cozies were soft, friendly fiction and would remain that way—no covid, no riots, no hatred, no violence except for the obligatory murder, and that would be done quietly offstage. The people who read cozy mysteries are looking for a puzzle to solve. If they want graphic violence, there are thrillers aplenty for their gruesome reading pleasure.
I ditched the idea of a covid-era mystery and concentrated on scenes that included taking cats for walks in a lovely spring garden and a perfect paisley feline curled up under a red maple tree. I liked these things much better than a pandemic scenario. How about you?
An elfin recluse, a handsome feline archaeologist, a stolen artifact, and one very special cat…
Five years ago, cat shelter volunteer Lynley Cannon discovered a gym bag in a warehouse. Inside the bag were a kitten, a cat toy, and ten thousand dollars. Then shots began to fly. Now, half a decade later, Lynley is thrown back with the very people from whom she’d been running.
Adventure cats, those fantastic felines who go boating, hiking, and traveling into the wilds! When Friends of Felines cat shelter starts their own adventure cat group, taking cats for strolls in the quiet parks of Portland, Lynley can’t wait to join up.
Then disaster happens! Dirty Harry slips out of his harness and runs up the Mt. Tabor hillside, leading Lynley on a merry chase. Finally, she finds him resting in the arms of an enigmatic stranger named Carry. Carry lives a solitary life in a bungalow at the top of the hill, surrounded by an amazing red-foliaged garden. Carry has a cat of her own, the very kitten Lynley rescued five years previous and been shot at for the effort! Suddenly Lynley finds herself embroiled in the caper that precipitated that long-ago encounter. She survived the first round, but can her luck continue to hold?
Purchase Link – Amazon
Cat Writer Mollie Hunt is the award-winning author of two cozy series, the Crazy Cat Lady Mysteries and the Tenth Life Paranormal Mysteries. Her Cat Seasons Sci-Fantasy Tetralogy features extraordinary cats saving the world. Mollie also pens a bit of cat poetry. Mollie is a member of the Oregon Writers’ Colony, Sisters in Crime, the Cat Writers’ Association, and Northwest Independent Writers Association (NIWA). She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and a varying number of cats. Like her cat lady character, she is a grateful shelter volunteer.
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