Last Updated on: December 3, 2014 by Ingrid King


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.


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.)


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…

Death-with-All-the-Trimmings copy 2

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 love this series, and cats belong in cozy’s because they are mysterious too. Shared on FB and Twitter

  2. 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. 🙂

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

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

  10. Cats are extremely perceptive, both in the cozies I read and while I am reading them. After all, if I am sitting down, reading a book, I must have at least one hand free to pet one (or both) of the kitties who assume I am sitting there just so that I can pet them. Can’t wait to read this latest installment in a great series.

  11. Cats are aloof creatures that are as hard to figure out as a mystery so it’s a mystery within a mystery!

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  12. Nothing is cozier than snuggling down to read with a cat on your lap! Okay, maybe a cup of hot tea or coffee and a bit of chocolate handy but the cat keeping us company and all warm on our laps is the best. Of course, most of us feel too guilty to disturb a napping kitty on our legs so that allows us more reading time! I think it sounds so good that I’m going to move to the couch now!
    Hear kitty, kitty! 🙂

  13. I think they go well together as cats are mysterious creatures. And they go perfect with cozy mysteries. Pretty book cover. Thanks for the giveaway.

  14. Cats and cozy mysteries go together because they are very smart animals and can make very entertaining characters.

  15. Cats are independent and do what they want, when they want. Most cozies feature someone who will go find the answer to the puzzle (who killed ….. or how did this get stolen). They don’t wait around for someone to give them permission or encourage them.
    I love this series. Can’t wait to get to read it. Be thrilled to get an autographed copy.

  16. Cats are adorable, intelligent, careful, and for the most part very calm.
    Cats seem to be very insightful and pensive and make Great characters

  17. Maybe not a rule, but definitely a welcome bonus. Since allergies prevent my having a cat, I substitute by enjoying others’ cats, real or fiction. A friend’s very shy cat was her de facto security system; if the cat was at the door too welcome her home, she knew all was secure.

  18. Cats were worshipped in Egypt, they are great hunters, they are curious, they like to investigate, they are mysterious, they are loveable, and they know how to train humans. With their skill set, they can help any character solve a mystery. No wonder cats grace the cover of so many cozy mystery books. 🙂

  19. Cats know what is going on in their world, they are protective of their family and are natural crime solvers. They are too curious to leave anything unsolved. Plus they are so cozy to cuddle.

  20. I am sure if I had a cat she would help me with the clues as I try to figure out who has done it. My dog just looks at me with no idea.

  21. My cat is always getting into something and exploring. She can also be very mysterious herself. Thanks for the chance to win! I shared giveaway too

  22. I love cats they are way smarter than dogs, they’re freedom seekers and loyal at the same time, and their most troublesome way would be NOSEY!

  23. Whether the cat is in the book or curled up in your lap as you read, there is nothing more comforting and warm than a cat and a cozy mystery.

  24. Cozy mysteries and cats? Well, that is an easy one. Both give me comfort, and can take my mind off the stress of everyday life, of course!

  25. Cats and cozies go together because cats make everything interesting. They fit in any situation and love a good mystery.

  26. First, both cats and Cozy mysteries are, well, cozy. And cozy mysteries are about real life more than other books and cats are often smarter than real people, so…

  27. Cats and cozies. Thanksgiving and turkey. Christmas and eggnog. New Years and resolutions. Just the way it is!

  28. Cats are naturals for mysteries. They are naturally curious, and they seem to get into things and situations that no person can. Several of my cats snuggle with me while I read mysteries with cats in them. I have read most of the Joe Grey mysteries and a number of the Dixie Hemingway mysteries. What fun they are.

  29. Cats go with cozies because they know everything and go everywhere. Plus they make great reading buddies.

  30. Cats fit perfectly in books of all genres, and make them all more enjoyable, just as they do with everything else! 🙂

  31. Cats & Cozys are perfect together, as cats are the perfect sidekick….cats are perceptive & highly intelligent……

    Thank you for the giveaway….

  32. I love cozy mysteries and read them all the time, accompanied by my wonderful kitty-boy who is himself an avid reader! As our Home Security Patrol Officer, Joey the red tabby is always on the lookout for crime and bad guys!

  33. My cats love to help me read, but I think it’s their inate curiosity that makes them belong in cozy mysteries.

  34. I just finished a book in this series, Topped Chef, so I would be interested in the further adventures of Evinrude and Hayley. The Key West setting adds to the series.

  35. Cats help you wind down at the end of the day creating the perfect atmosphere for relaxing in a comfy chair with a cozy mystery. 🙂

  36. Three of my favorite things in the whole world: mysteries, food & cats! They would all go together very well in a book in my Christmas stocking, too.

  37. Cats and cozy mysteries go together, because unless I try to read standing up [that’s a no], then wherever I bend my knees to sit down to read, there will be at least 4 cats all trying to get the prime real estate next to or on top of me. The others just have to wait their turn.

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