Writing the Cozy Mystery by Nancy J Cohen is another short read, although this one took less than 30 minutes. But I thought that was great as I was able to read it through in one sitting, something I’ll do again, but this time trying out what the author suggests.
There is only one actual exercise in the book, but the rest of the content is step-by-step in the order the author recommends. This suits me very well as I’m not really a beginner and I don’t need great reams of advice telling me how to write or create character, etc. I just need some kind of road map of what to do next.
I really liked the author’s friendly, no-nonsense tone and her succinct style. There’s no waffle, it’s to the point, and the only references she makes to her own works are as examples rather than ramming them down the reader’s throat. Therefore, I was actually more than happy to then go and buy the first in her own cozy mystery series, Permed to Death, so I can readalong with the writers’ guide.
I wouldn’t recommend this book for beginners as it really is very specific to the cosy (UK spelling) mystery and it doesn’t go into the great details others do. But for writers wanting to give the genre a go, then it does all it needs to do, in my opinion.