Monday, September 3, 2012

Cozy Mystery Crime--A Tempest in the Teapot by Linda Kozar

Last week Nancy started us off with a discussion about tea cozies. She has quite a lovely assortment, a fact which brings me to a sad confession.

While I have quite a collection of teapots and teacups, I have but one tea cozy. (See below)

Bought this on a trip to England of course.

Oh gosh--I forgot about the teapot set with the built-in cozy covers on the pot, creamer and sugar bowl! Here it is:

Built-in tea cozies

To make up for it though, I've included a picture of my favorite mystery writer's teapot. I love the pistol, the typewriter, picture of Marilyn Monroe on the desk and all the rejected pages the author crumpled and tossed in the trashcan.

The Mystery Writers Desk

Tea Time Break:

Whimsical dessert teapot and MUGS!
For good tea, one must have boiling hot water. The first and most crucial step is to pour some of that boiling water into the empty teapot and replace the lid. Allow the teapot to get good and hot for a few minutes. Then pour off the water, add loose tea and pour the rest of the boiling water over the tealeaves. Place a tea cozy over the pot and let it steep. Wait about five minutes, fill your teacup and enjoy with or without cream and a few sugar cubes.

While crime novels revel in gore, true-life descriptions and hard-edged wisecracks, cozy mysteries are similar to tea cozies in that the sleuth must uncover what is brewing beneath the surface. And that sleuth or someone close to her (or him) is sure to wind up in hot water at some point in the investigation.

Detective fiction flourished in a “Golden Age” from the 1920s to 40s. Agatha Christie was of course, the leading lady of the “Cozy” mystery. The cozy genre can be best described as gentle mysteries involving a murder off stage and an investigation by an amateur, yet remarkably astute sleuth in a comfortable setting.  These gentle mysteries contain no violence (save for the off stage murder or crime to be solved), sexual reference or abusive language. 

Alice in Wonderland collection

My sweet Irish clovers!
The characters are often miscast, not the kind of person one would think of as best qualified to solve crimes. Think of Agatha’s “Miss Marple” and you’ll have a fairly good idea of what a cozy mystery character is. Humor, both subtle and not so subtle is also employed in cozies. The main character can entertain odd penchants or peculiarities or is avid in some sort of craft like cooking or collecting, knitting, scrapbooking, gardening, etc. Many Cozies are thematic. Explore the mystery aisle at a bookstore and you will most likely find a mystery that is—ah—your cup of tea.

With the above assortment of themes, it is no surprise that most cozies are read and written by women.

Which brings me to my latest mystery--Strands of Fate. It released as an eBook last week and comes out in print this October.

The character, Shannon McClain is a Scottish widow trying to put two kids through college while making ends meet by beading, knitting and crafting. An unexpected inheritance lands her on American shores, Oregon to be exact, and right in the middle of a mystery. Did I mention that Shannon LOVES a strong cup of tea? She's very particular about how her tea is brewed as well. And she has a favorite teapot. . .

To order Strands of Fate in eBook form or to pre-order the print book,which releases in October, click here:

Linda Kozar is the co-author of Babes With A Beatitude—Devotions For Smart, Savvy Women of Faith (Hardcover/Ebook, Howard/Simon & Schuster 2009) and author of Misfortune Cookies (Print, Barbour Publishing 2008), Misfortune Cookies, A Tisket, A Casket, and Dead As A Doornail, (“When The Fat Ladies Sing Series,” eBooks, Spyglass Lane Mysteries, 2012). Her latest novel Strands of Fate releases in October 2012 (Creative Woman Mysteries). She received the ACFW Mentor of the Year Award in 2007, founded and served as president of Writers On The Storm, a local ACFW chapter for three years. In 2003, she co-founded, co-directed and later served as Southwest Texas Director of Words For The Journey Christian Writers Guild. She and her husband Michael, married 23 years, have two lovely daughters, Katie and Lauren and a Rat Terrier princess named Patches.


  1. Oh, my! What a sweet collection, Linda. Your article superbly tied in the cozy mystery theme. "All things lovely, think on these things."

    ~Nancy Jill

  2. Thanks Nancy--Now let's see some more of your teapots! I love to see what other collectors have. It's almost as good as owning your own:)

    1. I agree - I loved seeing yours! I'll post mine on Friday along with a doo-dah on my heroine serving afternoon tea.

      Have an awesome week!

      ~Nancy Jill Thames
      Author of the Jillian Bradley Mysteries
      "Queen of Afternoon Tea"

  3. Love the post Linda. The tea sets are so cute. I have a miniature tea set. I like the way you explained a cozy mystery, too.

    Deborah Malone
    "Death in Dahlonega"

  4. Thanks Deborah--I used to collect a few of those miniature sets, but I love to use my tea sets and the little ones are just too small:)


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