Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cozy Homework

This month, I have CWC homework. D.B. brought some books in so we could get a feel for cozies. The one she picked out for me is Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter by Blaize Clement.

"Let me know what you think," D.B. said. "Think about what you see as conventions of the genre, what you like, what you don't. Tell me if something makes you just chuck the book across the room."

I think those are pretty fair guidelines. I'm not usually much of a mystery reader, but I cracked that sucker open and got to it. First thing that hit me? Loads, and loads of cat information. Yeah, I know, it's a cat book. But still. It's a little silly when it gets to the point of, "Hey look, a dead body! By the way, let me tell you this thing about cats." I mean, honestly, it's irritating.

Then I asked myself, "Why is she doing it?" and "Why is it bugging me?"

My best guess on the first one is that her intention was to prolong scenes. If the same scenes had less cat stuff, they'd all be super short. When you're doing the big reveal of the dead body, a super short scene doesn't work so well. Then it'd read more like, "She walked into the kitchen and saw the dead body." End chapter. That'd be lame. So, we get encyclopedic info on cats.

It bugs me because it's a total tension breaker. The timing of the "cozy" part tends to wreck the flow of the scene. Just as she gets building up to something interesting, she breaks away for pet related information. It's bad rhythm.

There are some redeeming qualities, like some snark and some fair character development. Overall, I've got some definite concerns, but I haven't tossed it across the room yet. I'm thinking I'm perhaps not the ideal reader for cozies.

1 comment:

D.B. deClerq said...

I'm thinking if you haven't picked one up before now, you probably aren't the target market.

But you get major points for trying one.