Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Let's Talk Titles (Cozy, Comfy Titles of Murder)

Look in the bookstore. Check out the mystery department. You'll see them: the cozies. Murder encased in pastel colors and punny titles.

Since I don't know much about cozies and didn't want to spend money on something that I wasn't sure I'd like to keep, I hit the library and picked out three cozy mysteries that caught my eye, and my punny bone:

1. Scrub-a-Dub Dead: A Charlotte La Rue Mystery by Barbara Colley--part of a series of cozy mystery novels about a woman who runs a maid service in New Orleans. So, cleaning = scrub-a-dub. (Other titles in this series: Maid for Murder, Death Tidies Up, Polished Off, etc.)

2. Murder Most Frothy: A Coffeehouse Mystery by Cleo Coyle--this series is about a barista from New York, the books include coffee recipes and tips. (Other titles included in this series: On What Grounds, Through the Grinder, Latte Trouble, etc.)

3. Santa Clawed: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown--probably the ulitmate example of coziness, this series is from the POV of the cat. You know Rita Mae Brown and her cat, so I don't feel the need to list all of those titles here. This one caught my fancy because it's also timely. Hello Christmas!

The success of a cozy mystery series, I would presume from the marketing evident in this sampling, is that a writer must have an original take on some kind of job (maid, barista, pet-owner), and that the title should play off of that occupation. Of course, the writer probably shouldn't spend a whole lot of time worrying over the title. This genre, almost more than any other to me, seems to hinge on marketing--and we all know the publisher's marketing department will have a lot more to say about the title in this case anyway.

But it also struck me that this would be a fun game too!

So feel free to come up with your own punny titles for the following occupations that could be in a cozy mystery:

1. a musician
2. a miner
3. a zoologist
4. a history teacher/professor


  1. a) In The Key of Dead
    b) Digging For The Truth
    c) Kangaroo Court, Crossing The Lion
    d) Renaissance Man, Black Death

  2. I LOVE Crossing the Lion! That's hilarious.


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