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Author Topic: Cozy or amature detective?  (Read 38492 times)

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B L McAllister

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Re: Cozy or amature detective?
« Reply #30 on: November 21, 2006, 12:56:53 PM »

Nice list, i.e.
1) Traditional (aka "cozy" or "soft-boiled")
2) Hard-boiled private eye
3) Police procedural (usu hard-boiled)
4) Spy (usu hard-boiled)
5) Criminal protagonist (usu hard-boiled)
6) Undefined (doesn't fit into any of the above-named categories
But
To the "egg" categories, add
7) scrambled (the plot can't possibly be followed) ???
and #8 [the "8 followed by right parenthesis" turns into a funny-face): fried (that's what the alcoholic detective always is--but there are three subcategories: hard-fried, which overlaps hard-boiled, over easy, which has a happy ending, and sunny side up, which has an extremely happy ending, middle, and beginning.)
« Last Edit: November 21, 2006, 12:59:55 PM by Byron Leon McAllister »
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Books by Byron and Kay McAllister can most easily be obtained as e-books or in print from the publisher at http://www.writewordsinc.com/ For "Undercover Nudist," the print version is an improved version of the ebook version. The others are the same in both formats.

Ingrid

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Re: Cozy or amature detective?
« Reply #31 on: November 21, 2006, 02:26:05 PM »

Susan, in book marketing "deviant mysteries" would certainly sell better than "defiant" ones.  In fact, I can almost guarantee it.  Note the success of Vachss (I think he does the pedophile series).  "Deviant" pushes all sorts of buttons for readers (and agents and editors).

Ingrid
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Poisonguy

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Re: Cozy or amature detective?
« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2006, 04:00:30 AM »

Good stuff, Jim. Your knowledge is astounding. Still, I believe your breakdown is too profession oriented (although your response to my first query seemed to address the "mood" of a story to a greater extent for where stories fit, which I liked better. I think story content, mood, theme, etc, are probably a better gauge as to where to classify a story than the profession of the protagonist (so, I guess I prefer the soft and hard-boil type of designation a little better, without any type of profession attached to them). But, you do have a cop background, so that influences things too. And I happen to also associate a "procedural" to a story about cops. Thanks for the wealth of info...I'll be taking a closer look at Frank G. Slaughter's work. Cheers.

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Charles King

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Re: Cozy or amature detective?
« Reply #33 on: November 29, 2006, 02:02:31 AM »

Spy stories typically are never going to be cozy unless the spy is killed on page one and the nanny takes up the banner of trying to solve who killed him, but even then she'll probably dance around whatever the spy's mission was and never take it over herself. And this goes to another shade of the question posed. Suspence vs. Thriller(High Suspense). Cozies live on suspense, but they don't typically-- if ever-- have the stakes that Thrillers (which make up most spy plotlines) do.

Charles  8)
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Elena

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Re: Cozy or amature detective?
« Reply #34 on: November 29, 2006, 08:43:05 AM »

Marc Lovell wrote a delightful series about a very inept spy named Appleton Porter - definitely light and fluffy for those like me who enjoy broad spoofs - no nanny, but he did acquire a helpful taxicab named Ethel.

Just a bracing word for those of us who like a bit of fun in our mysteries.

Elena :D
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JIM DOHERTY

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Re: Cozy or amateur detective?
« Reply #35 on: November 29, 2006, 11:10:09 AM »

Charles,

What about the Mrs. Pollifax series?  Miss Marple as a CIA agent.  Rosalind Russell played the character in her last movie, and there were at least a half-dozen books about the character.

« Last Edit: January 07, 2007, 10:50:39 PM by JIM DOHERTY »
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Lee Lofland

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Re: Cozy or amature detective?
« Reply #36 on: November 29, 2006, 11:23:23 AM »

After reading several Jake Reacher-type books I like to read something a little lighter with less explosions and gunfire. During those cravings for a lighter read I enjoy seeing what Stephanie Plum, Kinsey Milhone, and Hercule Poirot are up to. I just don't like to think that I'm reading something called a "cozy." Doesn't seem right. Like the books aren't not manly enough for me, or something. But, on the other hand I do own a toy poodle...   :-\
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Ingrid

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Re: Cozy or amature detective?
« Reply #37 on: November 29, 2006, 02:12:10 PM »

LOL, Lee.

Speaking of Jack Reacher:  I'm just finishing ONE SHOT, an exceptionally well-plotted book. Strangely, the stakes aren't very high to start with, but the situation is incredibly interesting: a serial sniper is caught through excellent forensics (that part itself is worth reading) work by the police. And he asks for Reacher!
This one does an admirable job of keeping the twists coming. Beats Grafton all to pieces. And much, much better that the olive-drab paint thing.

Ingrid
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Lee Lofland

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Re: Cozy or amature detective?
« Reply #38 on: November 29, 2006, 02:24:49 PM »

Ingrid, I haven't read ONE SHOT, but I have read John Lutz's book, FEAR THE NIGHT. Oddly enough, it's about a serial sniper who asks for a specific cop, a retired detective. Hmmm....
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Dave Freas

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Re: Cozy or amature detective?
« Reply #39 on: November 29, 2006, 02:31:21 PM »

I love Child's Reacher.

I started Echo Burning just the other day and found it (Like all the Reacher novels) a terrific read that pulls you in right from the start.  Child is right up with Connelly, Parker, Pearson, and Burke on my must-read list.

Lee, like you, I go for changes of pace in my reading.  Especially after an author who is 'heavy' such as Connelly or Burke.  I read two Connelly novels back-to-back once and was so down after the second, I switched to non-fiction for a couple books.  After this Reacher story, I'll pick up something lighter.

Dave
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Ingrid

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Re: Cozy or amature detective?
« Reply #40 on: November 29, 2006, 05:10:34 PM »

You know there isn't much to the character of Reacher.  He's static. And taciturn. One thing drove me batty in this book: the constant repetition of "Reacher said nothing."  Reacher is predictable, a John Wayne sort of guy. His ethics are somewhat questionable at times, but I buy that. I figure the risks he takes and the bad stuff he runs into buy him a bit of tolerance.  The women are invariably cardboard figures. They serve Reacher.  :)  It is, after all, a very macho experience.

Ingrid
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Susan August

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Re: Cozy or amature detective?
« Reply #41 on: November 29, 2006, 05:24:12 PM »

Ingrid,
You perfectly describe what I recall of Reacher novels I have read.  I was surprised that it appealed to you and thought that I ought to give One Shot a try.  I read one or two previously and while they were entertaining/fast-paced, I wasn't compelled to come back for more.  I might even have read One Shot...  I have a tendency to forget which books I've read sometimes.   :-[  Anyone else buy a book and discover on about page 50 that you've already read it?? 

Susan
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krisneri

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Re: Cozy or amature detective?
« Reply #42 on: November 29, 2006, 09:27:40 PM »

I hate the term 'cozy,' while I do like the genre. To me the term makes it sound like lesser or diminutive writing. I forget which convention had this as a panel topic, though it's my favorite panel title: "They're still dead in a cozy."

Kris
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Ingrid

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Re: Cozy or amature detective?
« Reply #43 on: November 30, 2006, 05:39:24 PM »

Susan, I have ONE SHOT in audio format, but even given the fact that I'm a lot more tolerant in traffic, this book moves very well. I like well-plotted books. The action should keep you wanting to read on.

And yes, I often encounter books I had previously started and tossed after a few pages. I toss them a bit farther the second time.  The good books I remember.

Ingrid
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Dave Freas

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Re: Cozy or amature detective?
« Reply #44 on: November 30, 2006, 06:32:58 PM »

You know there isn't much to the character of Reacher.  He's static. And taciturn. One thing drove me batty in this book: the constant repetition of "Reacher said nothing."  Reacher is predictable, a John Wayne sort of guy. His ethics are somewhat questionable at times, but I buy that. I figure the risks he takes and the bad stuff he runs into buy him a bit of tolerance.  The women are invariably cardboard figures. They serve Reacher.  :)  It is, after all, a very macho experience.

Ingrid

I suggest you read Tripwire for a Jack Reacher book with a well fleshed out female character who doesn't appear right off the bat (It's not the one you think).  And you'll see a different side of Reacher in the book.

Dave
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