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Challenges: Monthly > December 2013 - Tea Cozy Anyone?

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message 1: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 47817 comments You are invited over for a spot of tea, a scone, and a culinary cozy mystery to solve.

What is a cozy mystery, you ask? It is a sub-genre of Mystery, that is characterized by an amateur sleuth (often a woman though not restricted to that). Cozies very rarely focus on sex, profanity or violence. The murders take place off stage, and are often relatively bloodless (e.g. poisoning), while sexual activity (if any) between characters is only ever gently implied and never directly addressed.

But we aren't going to read just any cozy mystery this month. We are going to read a themed one - Culinary Cozy! If we're going to be cozy this month, we may as well have some comfort food to go with it. Your challenge is to read a cozy mystery that has a word designating food or drink in the title.

Examples:

Murder and Marinara
A Catered Christmas Cookie Exchange
Mai Tai One On


General rules:

1. The book may be in any format - paperback, ebook, audiobook.
2. The book may NOT be combined with the Year Long Alphabet Challenge.
3. The book must be read between December 1 and December 31, 2013.
4. The challenge is for one book. You may read more books if you chose, but only the highest scoring book will apply.
5. The book must be 200 150 pages or more determined by the issue you read. If reading eBook or audiobook page numbers will be deteremined by the issue that comes up on a Goodreads search.

Specific rules:

1. The book you choose must be a cozy mystery with a word designating food or drink in the title. Note: They must be food or drink names or items. Culinary terms do not count. So "A Catered Murder", "Two in the Kitchen", "Sidewalk Cafe Murder", etc do not count. The word must be something that is ingestible. If in doubt, check it out.

Scoring: (Count all that apply)

Specifically Cozy Scoring:
5 pts - The amateur sleuth is not a woman (man, cat, child or teenager).
4 pts - The book contains an actual recipe(s).
3 pts - Is set in New Orleans, France, or Italy.
2 pts - Has a Christmas theme as well.
1 pts - Is the first book in a series.

Author:
5 pts - First and last name have same initial
4 pts - Has one or more initials
3 pts - First name could be male or female
2 pts - Lives in Europe
1 pts - The last name is two syllables

Title: (sub-titles do not count)
5 pts - Main words have same initial (Choked on Craisins) (Tea for Two)
4 pts - Has two food/drink related words in it (must be two - not three or more)
3 pts - Has a sweet connotation.
2 pts - Has a savory connotation.
1 pts - Does not start with the words "the", "a", or "an"

Cover: (based on the issue you read)
5 pts - Does not have a picture of a food item on it.
4 pts - Has a cat or dog on it.
3 pts - Is bright and multicoloured.
2 pts - Has a table on it.
1 pts - The title's name is in large type.

Pages:
5 pts - 500 - 1000 pages
4 pts - 400 - 499 pages
3 pts - 300 - 399 pages
2 pts - 200 - 299 pages
1 pts - 150 - 199 pages

Bonus points:
3 pts: - If anyone gave or received a gift. (counts only once regardless of how many gifts are mentioned)
3 pts: - Has a root vegetable or exotic fruit mentioned (observance of Root Vegetable and Exotic Fruit Month).
3 pts: - If the book has a recipe in it (see above), add 3 points if you make the recipe. You must post pictures.


message 2: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 47817 comments Suggestions as to where you can find lists of cozy mysteries to possibly fit this challenge:

Cozy Mystery Website Scroll down to find the culinary themed authors.

Goodreads Listopia, Mysteries in Good Taste Not all of the book on this list qualify.

Our own Nancy's Year Long Challenge Scroll to her last few messages where she has all the ones she has read so far.


message 3: by AmyCynthia (new)

AmyCynthia (amy011883) | 146 comments Does The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie count? Sorry no link, I'm on my phone.


message 4: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 47817 comments Yes, it does.

From Cozy Mystery Website, "Alan Bradley's first book in his Flavia de Luce Mystery Series won the Agatha Award (among many others) in 2009. Don't forget that the Agatha Award is the most Cozy of Cozy Mystery books' awards!


message 5: by AmyCynthia (new)

AmyCynthia (amy011883) | 146 comments Yay! Thanks, that is what I will be reading! Thanks for the fun challenge!


message 6: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments Phew! I am so glad The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie counts, it's the only book on my TBR and wishlist shelves that fits this challenge!

Great challenge as always Janice :)


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm intrigued by :
3 pts: - Has a root vegetable or exotic fruit mentioned (observance of Root Vegetable and Exotic Fruit Month).
What on earth would one eat during root vegetable AND exotic vegetable month? potato and papaya mash? Kiwi & carrot soup?
I remain unconvinced that they make good fork-fellows.


message 8: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 47817 comments LOL! I agree Helen. I clicked the link beside the event on the calendar I use and this is where it took me: http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone...

It's not what I was expecting, and I don't see anything related to December being "Root Vegetable and Exotic Fruit" month. But, the event calendar says it is, so we'll observe it.... along with gingerbread, plum pudding, turkey, and candy canes.


message 9: by Marnie (new)

Marnie (marnie19) | 1994 comments What a "punny" challenge! The titles of these books are cracking me up. Can't wait to eat I mean read the thread to see what everyone selects.


message 10: by Peggy, Moderator (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 14773 comments Fun!

I have read one cosy mystery before (Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, a few months ago, which would have been great for this challenge! There are more in the series luckily, and it's a fun genre for every now and then, if you're in the mood for something light. Looking forward to reading (so much in fact, that instead of couch-and-no-computer I did turn on the computer when I saw this thread in my goodreads app). I'm going to look in my TBR now. Maybe I'll read the second book in the Hannah Swensen series, but I think I have more that fits the topic.


message 11: by Esther (last edited Nov 23, 2013 01:11PM) (new)

Esther (nyctale) | 4214 comments Lol. I also was thinking about The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. It's in the pile by my bed, waiting for the end of my alphabet.


message 12: by Peggy, Moderator (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 14773 comments I narrowed it down to two books, Strawberry Shortcake Murder and The Chocolate Cat Caper. I have some questions about the points though, before I make my final decision ;-)

Strawberry Shortcake Murder - does that also get the points for same initials? It fits for the first 2, not for the 3rd.

The author's initials - does that apply to the name on the book, their full name, or also their real name if they used a pseudonym?

Food-related words in the title - one of the books I consider is called Chocolate Cat Caper. Caper can be food or it can be something else, and I honestly have no idea what's meant by it in the title. Is it an English expression maybe? And can I count it as food even if it turns out it's not meant to be food in this context?

I hope I don't ask too much... :)


message 13: by Thing Two (last edited Nov 23, 2013 07:37PM) (new)

Thing Two (thingtwo) Oh, my! I've never even HEARD of a cozy mystery. I thought ALL books were cozy opportunities! So, I'm backing my way into this list, and here's what I've come up with:

The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard (key word scent) oops - scent isn't ingestible.

Paris Trout by Pete Dexter (key word trout, and it won the National Book Award)

Tomato Red by Daniel Woodrell (key word tomato )

Get Shorty (Chili Palmer #1) by Elmore Leonard (key word chili )

Florida Roadkill by Tim Dorsey (key word roadkill!)

I really have no idea what a "cozy murder" book really is. Hope one of these works!


message 14: by Almeta (new)

Almeta (menfrommarrs) | 10068 comments HEY! 150 pages? Who sent you the bribe and what was it?


message 15: by Karey (new)

Karey | 15 comments Just wanting to confirm Murder Passes the Buck wouldn't count correct? Already found The Grave Gourmet which is also on my nook that should count. Forgive me that I don't know how to link the books.


message 16: by Almeta (last edited Nov 23, 2013 02:11PM) (new)

Almeta (menfrommarrs) | 10068 comments Love the Flavia de Luce series!

I envy those of you who are going to be reading about her for this first time in The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.

I can't believe that all the books that I have queued up with a food in the title are not a cozy mystery and the ones that are a cozy mystery have no food mentioned in the title (even if they are food related in storyline)!

Gophering I go.


message 17: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18168 comments I haven't got any food related cozy mysteries on my TBR. Just been checking out the links you provided Janice and I have found Brownies and Broomsticks which I might give a go if I get chance.


message 18: by Lynn G. (new)

Lynn G. Peggy wrote: "I narrowed it down to two books, Strawberry Shortcake Murder and The Chocolate Cat Caper. I have some questions about the points though, before I make my final decision ;..."

Caper is often used in mystery titles to refer to the "job" or the crime that has been committed, the escapade that the perpetrator has pulled off. It sometimes has a whimsical flavor in those cases.


message 19: by Lynn G. (new)

Lynn G. Thing Two wrote: "Oh, my! I've never even HEARD of a cozy mystery. I thought ALL books were cozy opportunities! So, I'm backing my way into this list, and here's what I've come up with:

The Scent of Rain and ..."</i>

Thing Two, I am new to the group so I may not understand the challenge well, but I believe that [book:Tomato Red
and Paris Trout are the only books that meet the challenge requirement that the culinary term be something that can actually be ingested.



message 20: by Lynn G. (new)

Lynn G. Almeta wrote: "Love the Flavia de Luce series!

I envy those of you who are going to be reading about her for this first time in The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.

I can't believe that all t..."


Help! What is gophering?


message 21: by Marnie (new)

Marnie (marnie19) | 1994 comments Gophering is term that means digging deep into your TBR titles for books that meet the challenge.

You will become an expert at gophering Lynn G- and welcome to the group :)


message 22: by Rusalka, Moderator (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 16832 comments Peggy wrote: "I narrowed it down to two books, Strawberry Shortcake Murder and The Chocolate Cat Caper. I have some questions about the points though, before I make my final decision ;..."

oooo meta. I like it.


message 23: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 47817 comments Peggy wrote: "Strawberry Shortcake Murder - does that also get the points for same initials? It fits for the first 2, not for the 3rd."

The ruling was that the main words all have the same first letter. Murder is a main word in the title, so no points.

The author's initials - does that apply to the name on the book, their full name, or also their real name if they used a pseudonym?

I would say that we keep it simple and go with the name on the book.

Food-related words in the title - one of the books I consider is called Chocolate Cat Caper. Caper can be food or it can be something else, and I honestly have no idea what's meant by it in the title.

Caper can be a food item, or it can be an illegal enterprise. Its context in the title is that of an illegal enterprise. But, the rule doesn't specify context. So, I will grant you points for caper as a food item.


message 24: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 47817 comments Thing Two wrote: "Oh, my! I've never even HEARD of a cozy mystery. I thought ALL books were cozy opportunities! So, I'm backing my way into this list, and here's what I've come up with:

[book:The Scent of Rain and ..."


Oh! Oh! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but none of your books qualify because they are not in the proper genre. "Cozy mystery" is a genre with clear demarcations. You may want to review the definition of a cozy mystery in message #1... amateur sleuth, no sex, no violence, no profanity... It's light, fluffy, and easy to read. Think Agatha Christie's Miss Marple, or Murder She Wrote Jessica Fletcher. Brother Cadfael is another example.

Once you've got the genre figured out, then you zero in with the food/drink items. Also remember that sub-titles don't count.

Check out the links in message #2 for suggestions.


message 25: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 47817 comments Almeta wrote: "HEY! 150 pages? Who sent you the bribe and what was it?"

My lips are sealed.


message 26: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 47817 comments Karey wrote: "Just wanting to confirm Murder Passes the Buck wouldn't count correct? Already found The Grave Gourmet which is also on my nook that should count. Forgive me that I don't know how to link the books."

Neither book will qualify because there is no ingestible food or drink items in the title.

If you are using a mobile app, you won't be able to add links. If you are using a computer, there is "add book/author" link above the comment box. Just click on it, type in the title and you will get a list of titles to chose from. Click "add" for the correct title.


message 27: by Peggy, Moderator (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 14773 comments Thanks for clarifying the rules Janice, and also thanks to everyone who explained caper!

As for the genre: I always think of cozy mystery as chicklit with a crime involved. A light and fluffy book in which a murder has taken place, and someone with no experience goes to solve it in a not very serious way.


message 28: by Rusalka, Moderator (last edited Nov 24, 2013 03:34AM) (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 16832 comments Interesting with the no sex thing. I would count the Phryne Fisher's as cozies (Cocaine Blues) and is on your links Janice. But according to my Mum both they and the Earthly Delights series also by Kerry Greenwood, get a bit of "action" in them. But I'm guessing genre rules are made to be broken ;)

Annoyed as Raisins and Almonds would be a great choice but its book number 7 or so.


message 29: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18168 comments Yes I've read a few of Charlaine Harris's Lily Bard series and they have some sex scenes although not very detailed and don't last very long and they are classed as Cozy (although don't fit the culinary criteria).


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh no! I brought home Cinnamon Roll Murder on my last library haul, after drooling over Nancy's list, and was planning on starting that today. **Hides it somewhere out of sight until next weekend** Better find something else quick!

I really like the sound of the Phryne Fisher series as well - I'd only come across that this morning. Beginning to see how this group could be bad for the state of the tbr pile. ;)


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

I have found The Chocolate Snowman Murders in the library. No earthly idea what it'll be like but hey ho!.
I wonder if I ought to buy some chocolate snowmen to murder eat while reading this one?


message 32: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18168 comments Helen wrote: "I have found The Chocolate Snowman Murders in the library. No earthly idea what it'll be like but hey ho!.
I wonder if I ought to buy some chocolate snowmen to murder eat while readi..."


Sounds like a plan Helen! You can also use the book for the Group Read "Wintery" theme too.


message 33: by Kirila (new)

Kirila | 612 comments Does rye count as food? I am referring to A Pocket Full of Rye. I love Miss Marple and I would be excited to read another book with her :)


message 34: by Thing Two (new)

Thing Two (thingtwo) Janice wrote: "Oh! Oh! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but none of your books qualify because they are not in the proper genre...."

Oh, crud! I thought Florida Roadkill would qualify for sure. It's even listed as a cozy mystery on Goodreads.

Okay, for now, I'm going with an Alexander McCall Smith book, but since I'm so very, very CDO (that's OCD for the rest of you) I'll have to read through the series to get to a food related one. This is going to put a real crimp in my ABC race, Ms. Meanie! I'd say I'd pass, but I've done all of the other challenges and it seems silly to quit at the end.

*looks for toothpicks to prop open eyes*


message 35: by Karey (new)

Karey | 15 comments Thanks Janice for all of your help.


message 36: by Esther (new)

Esther (nyctale) | 4214 comments Thing Two wrote: "Janice wrote: "Oh! Oh! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but none of your books qualify because they are not in the proper genre...."

Oh, crud! I thought Florida Roadkill would qu..."


It mighht be a cozy, but unless Janice accepts Roadkill as food...


message 37: by Anna (new)

Anna (annamatsuyama) | 1042 comments Esther wrote: "Thing Two wrote: "Janice wrote: "It mighht be a cozy, but unless Janice accepts Roadkill as food... "

I've heard that people eat that.


message 38: by Thing Two (new)

Thing Two (thingtwo) Esther wrote: It mighht be a cozy, but unless Janice accepts Roadkill as food ..." Anna wrote: I've heard that people eat that."

Absolutely people eat it! That's what's so hilarious about the title. I've got a whole cookbook of roadkill recipes to try. Haven't worked up the courage, but if I don't go back to work soon, it may come to that. Watch out little critters!


message 39: by Janice, Moderator (last edited Nov 24, 2013 07:57AM) (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 47817 comments Rusalka wrote: "Interesting with the no sex thing. I would count the Phryne Fisher's as cozies (Cocaine Blues) and is on your links Janice. But according to my Mum both they and the Earthly Delights s..."

I recall reading on Cozy Mystery website that there were "... or very little sex" and "often implied" clarifications. Shall we amend to say "no gratuitous sex". LOL!

As for Raisins and Almonds, you'd get points for the double food item, but no points for the first in series.


message 40: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 47817 comments Rachel wrote: "Oh no! I brought home Cinnamon Roll Murder on my last library haul, after drooling over Nancy's list, and was planning on starting that today. **Hides it somewhere out of sight unti..."

Phew! Good thing I posted the challenge when I did. I couldn't wait to spill the beans (pun intended). Wouldn't you have been annoyed if you started the book this weekend and I posted the challenge on Monday?


message 41: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 47817 comments Kirila wrote: "Does rye count as food? I am referring to A Pocket Full of Rye. I love Miss Marple and I would be excited to read another book with her :)"

Yes. Rye is a grain from which food and drink are made. In fact "Rye and Seven" is one of my favorite high balls.


message 42: by Almeta (new)

Almeta (menfrommarrs) | 10068 comments Thing Two wrote: "Okay, for now, I'm going with an Alexander McCall Smith book, but since I'm so very, very CDO (that's OCD for the rest of you) I'll have to read through the series to get to a food related one. T.."

If you find one in the
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, you'll find the "Tea Cozy" very handy. They are forever drinking tea. Cute stories, absolutely cozy.


message 43: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 47817 comments Thing Two wrote: "Janice wrote: "Oh! Oh! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but none of your books qualify because they are not in the proper genre...."

Oh, crud! I thought Florida Roadkill would qu..."


On further research, I will give you Florida Roadkill. When I was looking at your books last night, I didn't look far enough down the list. Because only 5 readers classified it as "Cozy", I looked up the author on the Cozy Mystery website and he is indeed listed.

I personally wouldn't eat roadkill, but there are some who might. Actually, wait! I have eaten roadkill! One of our calves got out and was hit on the highway. We had two calves destined for the deep freeze. We named one Ham; the other Burger. We ended up with lots of hamburger from that one. It wasn't like we found a dead calf in the ditch. My ex processed that calf right after it happened - just clarifying.


message 44: by Esther (new)

Esther (nyctale) | 4214 comments Thing Two wrote: "Esther wrote: It mighht be a cozy, but unless Janice accepts Roadkill as food ..." Anna wrote: I've heard that people eat that."

Absolutely people eat it! That's what's so hilarious about the titl..."


This vegetarian is removing herself from this discussion. :)


message 45: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 47817 comments Esther wrote: "This vegetarian is removing herself from this discussion. :)"

ROFL! Ooops.


message 46: by Thing Two (new)

Thing Two (thingtwo) Janice wrote: "Thing Two wrote: "Janice wrote: "Oh! Oh! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but none of your books qualify because they are not in the proper genre...."

Oh, crud! I thought [book:Florida Roadkil..."


Yay! Roadkill it is!


message 47: by Esther (new)

Esther (nyctale) | 4214 comments Janice wrote: "Esther wrote: "This vegetarian is removing herself from this discussion. :)"

ROFL! Ooops."


Yup. I started it thinking of a Roadkill cafe i once drove by. Now, unless we discuss flatten veggies I'm sitting this one out.


message 48: by Marnie (new)

Marnie (marnie19) | 1994 comments These threads are always good for a laugh!!!


message 49: by Thing Two (new)

Thing Two (thingtwo) Esther wrote: "This vegetarian is removing herself from this discussion. :)"

LOL! I'll drive over your veggies if you'd like.


message 50: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 47817 comments We could write our own cozy mystery and call it the Potato Pancake Plot.


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