Thursday, February 16, 2012

What's the difference between a cozy and a thriller?

If you're wondering how a cozy mystery differs from a thriller, here are some tips:
   1.    A cozy centers around a small puzzle, like “Who Killed The Cat Lady?” while a thriller is concerned with a larger crime, such as “Where is the President’s Birth Certificate?”

2.    A cozy heroine uses her hobby to solve the crime, such as her quilting skills or cooking knowledge, while a thriller hero uses his contacts with the police or hookers.

3.    A cozy has more to do with figuring out whodunit, like “Was it the ex-con or vicar?” while a thriller deals with emotions, such “What kind of person would kidnap a dog?”

4.    In a cozy, the sex and violence take place off the page and behind closed doors, while a thriller offers lurid and explicit details of throbbing thighs and rare poisonous darts.

5.    A cozy is set in a small town, such as Podunk, Iowa or Flat Skunk, California, while a thriller takes place on a larger stage, like Berlin, Moscow, or the Antarctica.

6.    A cozy offers clever clues like broken lipsticks and strange keys, while a thriller provides shocking surprises, such as secret safe deposit boxes and iPhones with microchips.

7.    A cozy keeps the killer’s identity a secret until the end, such as the butler did it, while a thriller tells you the butler escaped from an insane asylum and is a ticking time bomb.

8.    Cozies are usually series, filled with victims who are friends or family members, while thrillers are usually standalones, with larger-than-life victims like Enron presidents.

9.    Cozies look for suspects, like men with scars and women who work as “masseuses,” while thrillers look for betrayers, such as your own husband, child, or hairdresser.

10.    Cozies have ordinary protagonists, like beekeepers, seamstresses, and cupcake makers, while thrillers have disgruntled CIA agents, nearly retired cops, and reformed ex-cons.

11.    Cozies are often humorous, with comical sidekicks who work as inept prostitutes, while thrillers aren’t funny, because they’re really serious.

12.    Cozies have cute tongue-in-titles, like Dead Body Language or How to Host a Killer Party, while thrillers have pithy, dynamic titles, like Murder One! or Perfect Alibi!


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