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Originally, most of the classic mystery writers were considered "cozy" writers. It was simply an insult hurled at them by writers of hard-boiled fiction. And it included anything not gritty. There is a generation gap now surrounding the Cozy -- those who started in on cozy books from before the mystery publishing crash of the 1990s, and those who started reading them after. It's very upsetting for those of use who love old cozies -- and yes, they are cozy, and clean and comfortable books, about murder -- for the category to narrow so much it excludes every single one of the top writers in our field.

But you are right that what is being published today -- and the audience that looks for those books -- is much narrower and more strict, and I think that any writer who wants to write a cozy should be aware of that. If your book is exactly like the previous generation's cozy mysteries, then it probably should be called "traditional" even though it is actually cozy in tone and subject matter.
Once again the Kboards answers my question before I even post it! You guys rock.

I was worried that my cozy series wasn't cozy. I checked the category on Amazon and they all had kittens or cupcakes and cartooned covers - which is all well and good - but apples and oranges here. I guess I am "traditional" because my books are g-rated, murder happens off-stage, solved by an amateur, but I don't think they're fluffy enough for the new definition. Could be why they are my worst selling books. Time to re-categorize.

So a question for the old-school cozy readers - do you search for "traditional" as a keyword?
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