Today on the blog, I welcome author Joanne Guidocci, author of the Gilda Greco series. She’s here to talk about cozy mysteries and to offer an excerpt from her new novel, Too Many Women in the Room, and a giveaway, too!Thanks so much for stopping by on your blog tour, Joanne.
Whenever I introduce the Gilda Greco Mystery Series, I often encounter frowns and puzzled looks. Not too many people have heard of cozy mysteries. To them, the word “cozy” conjures up images of steaming cups of herbal teas, overstuffed chairs, and purring cats.
While those images can exist in cozy mysteries, the sub-genre contains many more intriguing elements. Written in the Agatha Christie tradition, these mysteries appeal to readers who wish to be engaged but not horrified.
I’m joined today by prolific author F.M. Meredith, whose new book Unresolved (Rocky Bluff P.D. Series #13) is available now. She’s here to share some tips on how to write compelling dialogue. Take it away, Ms. Meredith:
Though you want dialogue to be realistic sounding, don’t copy how we really talk such as: “Hello, how are you.” “I’m fine, and you?” Leave all this greeting stuff and comments about the weather out unless it is important to the plot.
Dialogue should do one of two things: Move the plot along or reveal character.
Said and asked are better than the multitude of other dialogue tags such as responded, agreed, etc.
Better still, use the character’s action as a dialogue tag instead: “No way.” Dan pulled out his gun.
I love heist stories, especially ones about art theft. The double-crossings, the high stakes, the larger-than-life personalities. There’s something elegant about the archetypal art thief, someone who isn’t just stealing whatever they can get their hands on but who loves and appreciates art, has a strong aesthetic sense, and possesses a keen mind able to map out elaborate plans and evade security systems and the dogged law enforcers on their tail.
Sometimes the valiant detective is the protagonist of the tale, but more often we’re on the side of the clever, plucky, or downright ballsy criminal. While in most detective fiction we’re following along with the detective, hoping for justice to win the day, with heists, we get a peek at the other side of the curtain. We want the band of rogues to get away with the crime, often cheering as our Robin Hood relieves the rich of that pesky Picasso they probably don’t appreciate anyway.
Think you’re good at solving puzzles? Always figure out who the murderer is in the book you’re reading before the sleuth does? Then this game is for you.
In the board game Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, you and your fellow players are part of the Baker Street Irregulars. At the beginning of each case, Holmes briefs you about the situation: the crime, the location, any other information he might know. Then he goes off to solve the case and leaves you to try to do the same. The goal is to see if you can solve it as fast or even faster than Holmes does.
The game is cooperative, which means you’re working with your fellow players to figure out the culprit, their motive, and answers to other case-related questions (the murder weapon, say, or where the stolen object was stashed). The game comes with ten cases, a detailed map of Victorian London, a newspaper for the day the case occurs full of news stories, personal and social notices, and advertisements, and a directory, where you can look up pretty much any person, place, or service you might need to visit to solve the case.
Mystery books are often divided between contemporary or historical, hard-boiled or cozy. Is it a police procedural, a PI, or an amateur sleuth tale?
But murder and mayhem aren’t confined to a single genre. Even classic sci-fi writers like Isaac Asimov have written whodunnits. Here are three excellent books or series in sci-fi settings that give their protagonists a seriously twisty and thrilling mystery to solve.
For many readers, the detective makes or breaks the mystery. As important as the case is, if we’re not invested in the sleuth, it doesn’t matter how innovative the clues or how gruesome the murder. I watched Castle because I loved watching Nathan Fillion’s facial expressions and the awesome chemistry between him and Stana Katic, not because I was particularly worried about the murder of the week.
Great mysteries happen when you have great characters figuring out the inventive solutions to puzzling crimes. Our classic usual suspects, Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, Sam Spade, and their ilk, deserve the homage paid to them. But here are some modern sleuths (written about in the past decade, though appearing in various historical settings) who make me race to bookstore for their latest outings.