Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Location, Location

Last weekend we (okay, really it was my alter ego, Hannah Reed, and her friends) had a lively discussion on Facebook about settings in cozy mysteries. We all agreed that the most important element regarding location is the feeling we get about the place. It should come to life, become a unique character in the story. That's what we want.

Small towns won almost all the votes over big cities. We wanted water - sea, lake, or river. East coast ruled over west (not sure why. Maybe more facebook friends from that area?).



Another interesting observation - We like to read about places we've always wanted to visit, vacation destinations.

How about you? Chime in. What do you prefer? And where would you like your next cozy mystery to take you?

23 comments:

Dru said...

I like that most cozies are in small town USA.

tonya Kappes said...

Cozy and small go together! I love the small.

Andrea said...

I prefer cozy mystery in places I've visited. That's east coast for me.
But a cozy works in a big city for me as well. I love the Coffeeshop Mysteries of Cleo Coyle and they're set in New York City.

Andrea C. said...

I too love the small town cozies..especialy on the East coast or in the midwest. Although I think it would be kind of cool to have one in the Seattle area. Maybe not right in the city, but in that area of the country...

Alicia said...

I'm ok with big or small towns, as long as the descriptions make the location seem real. And it can't be too perfect!

Lisa D said...

I like cozies in small midwest towns. I think there is something comforting about a small town.

Heather Webber said...

I'm really interested in these answers--am working on a new proposal. :)

Janet said...

For me, you can't beat the south as setting for a small town cozy (or for a city mystery.) If it is set in the south, I'll almost always give it a try.

Watery Tart said...

I think small towns lead to a cleaner story in most cases--it isn't a closed room, but it's certainly more plausible to not have a lot of intereactions with strangers, so it lends itself to the cozy.

As for the east/west coast thing... I think west coast small towns lend themselves more to... maybe capers... they aren't as orderly, and so less conducive to a relatively orderly plot (says the oregon girl). I'm writing a cozy set in Roanoke, but that was editor request... I would LOVE to do something set in the Pacific Northwest--probably wouldn't seem quite so cozy though.

Lover of Books said...

I love small towns. But big cities work for me as well. It just depends on the situation and what is going on.

Babs said...

For me I like the small town settings you can't beat the south, but I am partial. I agree with Andrea though, I love Cleo Coyle's Coffee house mysteries and as most of you know it based in New York City.

I have always wondered how some characters would do on like a vacation so to speak to Ireland or England etc.

Rural View said...

I love England and Scotland, and I love cozies set in a village there.

Heather said...

Small towns are nice, but there are some small to mid-size cities that have a small-town feel as well. I'm in a city surrounded by green space and water (WAY too much water at the moment). I'd also like to see more books that are set somewhere other than one of the coasts or the south. You all realize there's a vast interior to this country...right? And that it extends north above the Mason-Dixon Line all the way to Canada...right? Just checking. ;)

vtcjan at yahoo dot com said...

I'm a Maggie Sefton fan, so I like the Colorado setting of the Kelly Flynn knitting series. Of course, there is that river ....

Valerie Consoer said...

I have noticed lately that I do prefer the cozies that take place on the east coast. Even my own stories take place on the east coast. It just seems more "cozy" friendly to have them set on the east coast. There's probably more history on the east coast that people are interested in than the west coast. Seriously, who likes to read about surfer dudes? Not me. I've never been to either coast, but the east coast is definitely on my bucket list.

Laineshots said...

I love the small towns too, and being an Oregonian, I'm partial to the very few stories set in the tranquil majesty of the Pacific Northwest. There's more character involvement, and greater complications of plot, in a small town.

On the other hand, I absolutely LOVE Cleo Coyle's Coffeehouse Mysteries, set in New York City. Come to think of it, they are set in a village.....Greenwich Village. :)

Ellery Adams said...

I'm going on a cruise with Nancy Drew for a buddy read! In general, I like "village" settings for my cozies and cities for my thrillers.

Debra said...

My son teases me saying my favorite mystery would be set on an island off the coast of Scotland where the protagonist runs a knitting shop. Not entirely true, I also love mysteries set in Maine or Vermont where the main character owns a knitting shop.

Deb Baker said...

I'm loving this discussion.So fascinating!

Carol said...

I prefer small towns, but I think that's because they are just a bit "cozier" to begin with! And since people know about each other there, that leads to more opportunity for hidden jealousies, motives, etc.! For some reason, I seem to like New England as a location, but also the Carolinas--probably because that's home to me! I really like Tennessee, too, but don't remember ever reading any cozies set there. Nashville would probably make a great setting, mixed with country music, etc.

Anonymous said...

I like the small town mysteries. I really want to move to Lorna Barrett's Booktown! lol

Because I've always wanted to go to Canada, I'd love to see a mystery set in Montreal. You know where the main character goes to a hockey game, buys fries with gravy on the street corner... just things I'd like to do. :) If anyone knows of one, let me know.

Linda said...

I like settings in small coastal towns whether it be east coast or west coast. Also small mountain towns are cool too....especially if there is some form of water (rivers, lakes).

Pooch said...

Beach town settings are appealing to me because I'd love to live in one! Maybe somewhere along the northern CA coast like Eureka (great name, BTW) near the Redwoods. It was a great vacation spot for us a few years ago. I'm kinda tired of the Southern and Eastern coastal stories. For now, at least. :)