A few weeks ago, we explained the definition of cozy mystery as we explored 6 elements of a cozy mystery. If you missed that post, you can read it here. This week, let’s take it a little further and discuss the meaning of Christian cozy mysteries. What is the difference? What makes them Christian? Can books be Christian? Do they have souls? Just kidding. 🙂
For definition’s sake, we’ll be looking at what would make a cozy mystery fall into the Christian book market. If all cozies are clean, don’t they all fit the category? Well, yes, and no. It’s not as easy as that.
Christian Cozy Mysteries are More than Just Clean
A Christian cozy mystery definitely has all of the factors of a regular cozy mystery, but it almost takes it to another level. I’ve read cozy mysteries before, where the content wasn’t something I appreciated – usually something that didn’t sit right with my faith. Sometimes, the sleuth has a promiscuous lifestyle that is glorified (even though no sex happens in the book).
More commonly, especially today, is the witchcraft theme. There is a whole slew of paranormal mysteries that incorporate witchcraft. Usually the main character is a witch, and her powers add a supernatural element to the stories. Some of the paranormal mysteries are cute and quirky, while others are very explicitly focused on the actual acts of witchcraft.
Even though cozy mysteries are generally safe reading for most discerning Christian eyes, there are those that still push the boundaries as far as our faith is concerned. Some books, like most of the Guideposts series, don’t even have murder as part of the mystery. The story lines are still intriguing, but without the use of violent crime.
But on that note:
Not All Christian Cozies Have Christianity in Them…
Some of them are clean, fun, mystery stories where faith is respected, and moral people are the norm (except for the murderer, of course). Sometimes they’re simply a good book, written by a Christian author, who doesn’t cross many moral lines in the story, but doesn’t also doesn’t include faith in the story line.
…But Most Do
Most Christian cozy mysteries are labelled as such because there is an element of faith in the book. Either the main character, or a supporting one, is a Christian and attends church. Their faith comes out in their thought process, and plays a big part of their lives. For those of us who are Christians, we thoroughly understand this. Our faith is part of who we are and affects our daily actions. Something would be amiss if it was not included.
And that’s also what’s appreciated by inspirational cozy mystery readers. A commonality with a character and sometimes, a challenge to our own faith as we follow the character’s journey.
Personally, my books fall into this category, although the category can be quite broad in itself. Some books might only mention faith occasionally, while others are saturated with it. Mine fall somewhere in between.
I hoped this helped clarify the difference between cozy mysteries and Christian cozy mysteries. Here’s a free list of 5 Christian Cozy Mysteries you can read. You’ll also find out about any inspirational cozy mysteries I have coming out, and become part of the Tea With Wendy club. See you there!