cats-in-cozy-mysteries

Guest post by Lucy Burdette and Evinrude the Cat

Lucy: I don’t need to tell you guys: Cats are smart and secretive and mysterious and quiet stalkers–and yet so adorable that we forgive them anything. I’ve had a cat in my life ever since the year I turned 13. I was desperate for a date with Mickey Dolenz for my birthday, but my mother was smart enough to give me a kitten instead. (Yoda, seen below doing his best trick, is our current feline denizen.) All my fictional characters have had cats too–Cassie had Cashbox, Dr. Rebecca Butterman had Spencer, and Hayley has Evinrude.

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In my mysteries, cats provide connections and comfort and clues. For example, in Deadly Advice, the neighbor’s mother uses her deceased daughter’s cat to get her foot in the door and ask Rebecca to help solve the murder.

In the first Key West food critic mystery, An Appetite for Murder, Evinrude the cat acts as a litmus test for Hayley Snow’s boyfriend. (By the way–he flunks!) and Hayley connects with a new roommate over cats. In the newest installment, Death With All the Trimmings, the houseboat cats Evinrude and Sparky can definitely be credited with an assist during the capture of the murderer.

In a nutshell, cats go together with cozies like butter with hot biscuits, or chocolate cake with cold milk, or fresh tomatoes with basil and olive oil… You get the picture! Oh, wait a minute, Evinrude insists on saying something…

Evinrude: Recently I read a post on Facebook in which readers were admiring the brand-new cover for Lucy’s fifth Key West mystery, Death With All the Trimmings. 

But one ignorant person asked: “is there a rule that a cat must appear on every cozy mystery cover?” 

Well, duh… 

At first I thought I wouldn’t even bother to answer such an absurd question. I am very, very busy these days, with extra jobs like keeping the dumb schnauzer on the houseboat next door guessing. (Sparky and I like to tease him when we see him tied out there until he barks his fool head off and makes his owner crazy. Hee hee hee: it doesn’t take much to get that silly dog going.)

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If cats aren’t important, then why in the world were there six or eight emails going back and forth between Lucy and her editor trying to decide which expression should be on my face? (Need I say, ON THE COVER??) 

If you think I’m joking, take a look at this version above, the one with my fierce cat face. They decided they liked me smiling better—I scared my readers in the fierce version.

Anyway, Lucy tells me I’ve said enough except that we’re having a book giveaway today. All you have to do is leave a comment explaining why cats and cozies go together like…kibbles and milk…

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Win an autographed copy of Death With All the Trimmings

To enter the giveaway, tell me in a comment why cats and cozy mysteries go together. For an additional chance to win, share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest, and leave a separate comment for each social network, letting me know that you shared. Please don’t post the link to your share. This giveaway is only open to readers in the United States, and ends Wednesday, December 10. Winners will be chosen by random drawing*.

Look for my review of Death With All the Trimmings this Friday!

Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib) is the author of 13 mysteries. Lucy’s books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She’s a past president of Sisters in Crime. For more information about LucyBurdette, please visit her website.

*No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Winners will be notified via e-mail. Prize winner must provide The Conscious Cat with a physical address to which the prize will be mailed within 72 hours. If this information is not received, an alternate winner will be chosen by random drawing. Winners will be announced in a separate post following the drawing.

76 Comments on Why Cats Belong in Cozy Mysteries, and a Giveaway

  1. I just wanted to let Lucy and Evinrude know that I STARTED reading this series because Evinrude was on the cover. Almost all of my favorite cozy series have cats on the covers. When I am looking for a new series to start if it has a cat on the cover I’m sure to pick it up. the latest being the Ashton Corners books. I would love to have this book. It is on my Christmas wishlist but if I win on then I can take it off my list and ask for a different cozy. 🙂

  2. Cats are calm, cool, and collected. They can contemplate a problem without a lot of barking and running around. Their aloof demeanor put people at their ease and they forget someone is taking in their every move. Then they pounce and the case is closed.

  3. As I’m writing this, my cat, Henry, is trying to keep me from seeing the screen or moving my hands. He always “helps” me read my cozy mysteries, too.

  4. Cats belong in mysteries, their antics can help advance part of the plot, and the main protagonist can talk with them, thereby helping to provide information in a fun way. And cats are just fun. I talk to all my cats (five in the house) a lot.

  5. Cats belong in cozies because they are always so independent and they will think of ways and solutions that don’t come naturally to a human mind.

  6. Two of my favorite things — food and cats — just belong in cozy mysteries because they just somehow fit in with this type of story! Fun and lighthearted!

  7. Were it not for Cats, my life would feel vacant–missing something vital that makes me want to get up in the morning! When I get too serious, my 2 sibling Maine Coons get me up and laughing! What is ANYTHING without Cats? They keep secrets; know answers; alert me to danger; help me write [member SFWA], think, and best of all, show me how to live in balance and harmony. I am only a Cat Guardian, so they teach me how all of life is mysterious, fun, intriguing…and TAKE time to relax. When Cats are written about in a book, I am instantly intrigued. THEY ARE the mystery. I listen to the Cats more than humans. People have info and ‘facts’. Cats have Knowing. What is written–without a cat invovled–feels empty. Thanks for showing how CATS are the real Heroes!

  8. I love cats in Cozies!! Their natural sneakiness and curiosity makes them perfect sleuthing partners.
    I’m sharing on Facebook.

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