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A Guide to Write A Bestselling Cozy Mystery

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mbark on a literary journey where imagination and intrigue intertwine, as we delve into the art of creating a bestselling cozy mystery. From developing compelling characters that leap off the page to crafting intricate plots that keep readers guessing, every step of the writing process will be illuminated. Discover the perfect blend of suspense, charm, and clever sleuthing that will hook readers from the very first page. Get ready to unleash your creativity and embark on a path towards cozy mystery success.

The cozy mystery genre has experienced significant growth in recent years, deviating from the traditional focus on brutal murders to delve deeper into the “why” behind the crimes. Cozies are characterized by their:

  • Lack of explicit violence or gore
  • Absence of sexual content or descriptions
  • Recurring ensemble of characters
  • Amateurs amateur detectives who stumble upon mysteries
  • A tendency to be part of a series.

However, these guidelines can make it challenging to grasp the art of writing a successful cozy mystery, especially for aspiring authors new to the genre.

\Hooked on Reading Cozy Mysteries

Enter the captivating realm of cozy mysteries, where the allure of puzzling crimes, endearing characters, and quaint settings will enchant you from the very first page. Prepare to be spellbound as you immerse yourself in a world where intrigue and suspense intertwine with the comforting embrace of a cozy atmosphere.

Understanding the motivations of readers is crucial for authors, as they are the ones ultimately purchasing the books. Cozy mysteries attract readers who appreciate the suspense, crime, and action found in traditional mysteries but prefer to avoid explicit depictions of violence or romantic encounters.

Why an Author Would Be Compelled to Write a Cozy Mystery

For authors, the allure of writing cozy mysteries lies in the creation of the “why” behind the crime or murder.

Developing intriguing plot lines centered around the motives of the characters about writing cozy mysteries. Authors often draw inspiration from relatable experiences and transform real-life individuals into fictional characters, witnessing their growth throughout the story.

Ultimately, cozy mysteries offer readers an enjoyable means of escape devoid of excessive violence, crudeness, or inappropriate content, ensuring the safety of minors and animals within the narrative.

Different Categories of Cozy Mysteries

Before embarking on the writing journey, it is essential to determine the subgenre or category that the cozy mystery will fall into.

Cozy Culinary

Bestselling Cozy Mystery

For instance, are a popular subset where the story unfolds within a bakery, coffee shop, or other food-related establishment. These books typically include recipes that readers can learn and attempt on their own.

In some cases, a companion cookbook is released alongside the novel, as exemplified by Tonya Kappes‘ Scene of the Grind, which provides recipes for both humans and even dogs.

In summary, the cozy mystery genre has gained immense popularity by shifting its focus to the “why” behind crimes, emphasizing relatable characters, and maintaining a cozy atmosphere. Understanding readers’ preferences and motivations is crucial for authors seeking success in this genre.

Crafting engaging plot lines and choosing the right subgenre, such as cozy cuisine, allows authors to create compelling stories that provide readers with an enjoyable escape without compromising on violence or explicit content.

Cozy Hobbies, and cozy crafts

A subgenre of cozy mysteries that incorporate arts and crafts projects or hobbies for readers to explore while immersing themselves in the book.

For instance, Reagan Davis’ Knit One Murder Two features a knitting pattern alongside the mystery.

Bestselling Cozy Mystery

Cozy Animal

Cozy animals represent another category where animals play a central role. As mentioned earlier, cozies maintain a no-harm policy towards animals, making cats and dogs the most common companions in these stories.

Sometimes, animals take on the role of solving mysteries or providing support to amateur sleuths. Eryn Scott‘s Littered with Trouble, for instance, includes a cat adoption agency in a bookstore.

Paranormal Cozy

A genre infused with magical or mystical elements. These can range from Harry Potter-style magic to the inclusion of witches and ghosts.

Downward Death by Stella Bixby exemplifies a paranormal cozy where the amateur sleuth possesses magical powers.

Bestselling Cozy Mystery

Historical Cozy

Set in specific time periods, with the 1920s being a popular era for such books. These stories pay close attention to historical details, ensuring that the setting, characters, and mystery align with the chosen time period.

Murder on the Front by Lynn Morrison, set in the 1920s England, serves as an example of a historical cozy.

How to write a compelling cozy mystery.

Prepare to unlock the secrets of crafting a cozy mystery that will transport readers to a world of intrigue, charm, and puzzling enigmas.

Join us as we embark on this thrilling journey, arming you with the tools and techniques to weave an unforgettable tale within the enchanting genre of cozy mysteries.


One of her key suggestions is to read bestselling books within your genre, not for the purpose of imitation, but to gain insights into what works and what doesn’t. Understanding the essence of your own book is another crucial tip.

Book’s Identity

Write what resonates with you, but be aware of your book’s identity so that you can effectively market it to the right audience and set appropriate expectations.

Getting multiple perspectives by having others read your manuscript is another important step towards writing a successful cozy mystery.

Feedback from beta and ARC readers can provide valuable insights and help refine your book into its best version.

Leaving clues

Leaving clues throughout the story is a specific tip related to cozy mysteries.

Instead of revealing all the hints in the first chapter, strategically place them throughout the book, while also incorporating red herrings to keep readers engaged in solving the mystery.

Relatable Characters:

While it’s significant to make them interesting and enjoyable, it’s also worth considering adding characters that readers may not like.

This adds depth and complexity to the story, enhancing the overall reading experience.

Bestselling Cozy Mystery

Strategies for Promoting a Cozy Mystery Series

Utilizes various strategies on the platform, including maintaining an active Facebook Author Page, where she posts engaging content daily. It ensures to respond thoughtfully to all comments, fostering relationships with her readers.

Another effective tactic she employs is running Facebook Ads, focusing primarily on promoting her first book, “The Key to Murder.” These ads often include intriguing excerpts from her book to capture viewers’ interest. Actively engages with commenters on her ads and invites those who have liked the ads to join her Facebook Group.

Joining cozy mystery readers Facebook groups have also proven to be a successful marketing approach. Actively searched for such groups on Facebook, adhering to each group’s specific rules and guidelines.

It is essential to interact with both readers and fellow authors within these groups, rather than simply promoting one’s work without engagement.

Found success with additional marketing methods, including selling books in person at community book events, participating in author takeovers within Facebook groups, offering free short stories through Book funnel, utilizing website email opt-ins, and more.

Her key advice is to choose a social media platform that you enjoy using and create as much content as possible on that platform, as this approach yields better results than spreading yourself thin across multiple platforms.

Book covers for cozy mystery

It is crucial to ensure that the imagery aligns with readers’ expectations of the genre. While elements like a knife can be included, it is important to avoid excessive violence or gore.

Emphasizes the significance of investing in a professional graphic designer for book covers, as it greatly impacted her sales. A skilled designer helps maintain consistency and brand identity in cover imagery.

Successful Cozy Mystery Examples

Bestselling Cozy Mystery

Agatha Christie and her iconic amateur sleuth Miss Marple exemplify the essence of cozy mysteries. Cozy mysteries are written by authors of various backgrounds and ages, and series tend to be particularly popular among readers.

Authors like Tonya Kappes, with her multiple cozy mystery series, such as the Campers & Criminals and Holiday Mystery series, have found success in the genre.

Cozy Mystery Popularity

In the vast digital landscape, where trends ebb and flow like the tides, cozy mysteries have emerged as a shining star, steadily ascending in popularity according to the oracle of our time, Google Trends. With each passing year, the enchantment and allure of cozy mysteries have captured the collective imagination of readers, igniting a fervor that shows no signs of waning.

Cozy mysteries have experienced a steady rise in popularity, attributed to factors such as increased reading during COVID-19 lockdowns, independent authors improving their marketing skills, and a strong and supportive community within the genre.


Cozy mysteries offer an enjoyable genre for both readers and writers. While there are guidelines to follow, authors also have the freedom to push boundaries and explore cultural norms.

The genre’s rapid growth and potential make it an enticing choice for aspiring or seasoned authors. If there are any questions about writing cozy mysteries, the selfpublishondemand team and available to provide insights and support.

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