Pinkie asked:

What in the world is a "cozy" mystery?

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Johanna It's a sub-genre of mystery, characterized by being more light-hearted, and often taking place within a small, intimate community with unique characters.

Agatha Christie's Miss Marple, Rita Mae Brown's novels and the television show Psych are examples of more cozy mysteries. It's been awhile since I've read them, but I think The No. 1 Ladies' Decretive Agency would qualify as well.

Personally, I would call Still Life a cozy mystery: while it has dark elements (any murder mystery does) there's none of the darker elements you sometimes see within the mystery genre: excessive violence, organized crime, child molestation, or rape. Additionally, all the action takes place within a small village setting, and most of the characters are pretty sympathetic.

It has a warmer outlook than say - a hardboiled noir by Dashiell Hammett, or mystery with more of a thriller angle, like something by Patricia Highsmith.

Hope that helps answer your question.
Kay Dee this series has more character development and more terrific scenery than most books classfied as cozy mysteries. it makes you think and also touches your heart.
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by Louise Penny (Goodreads Author)
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