Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cozy Guy in a Cozy Chick World

By Guest Blogger Miranda James (aka Dean James)

“What do you mean, you’re writing a cozy series with a guy as the main character? Don’t you know that a cozy series has a female amateur sleuth as the protagonist?”

Well, yeah, most cozy series these days do feature female leads, but that’s no reason to discriminate against a guy who isn’t a hard-boiled private eye. I don’t walk the mean streets, and I don’t see any reason why my hero, just because of the chromosomal difference, has to walk them either.

There have been other cozy male characters in mysteries. Anybody remember Lord Peter Wimsy? And he of the “little grey cells,” M. Hercule Poirot? For all that he was a professional detective, one can’t get much cozier than the Grande Dame, Agatha Christie herself. There’s also Margery Allingham’s Albert Campion(my personal favorite) and Ngaio Marsh’s Roderick Alleyn (who, even though a Scotland Yard ‘tec, is pretty dang cozy, too).

So I didn’t see any reason why the main character in my “Cat in the Stacks” series shouldn’t be a guy. After all, the cat in the series, a Maine Coon named Diesel, is also male. Plus, after having written a couple of series (as Jimmie Ruth Evans and Honor Hartman) from the female point of view, I wanted a change. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the female characters in those other series, but I thought it would be an interesting challenge, to write a male amateur detective in a genre that’s currently dominated by “cozy chicks.”

Reader response so far has been gratifying, although I must admit that the character that everyone likes best is Diesel, but Charlie gets a lot of favorable comments for being a nice, caring, family-oriented guy. One of the reasons I write cozy mysteries is that I like writing about decent people who sometimes find themselves mixed up in murder and mayhem. People who aren’t paid to deal with crime, like professional crime solvers. I’ve loved amateur detectives ever since I first discovered Nancy Drew longer ago than I care to admit these days.

Why shouldn’t an ordinary guy have fun solving crimes? And if his cat is along for the adventure, so much the better.

12 comments:

Tempewytch said...

Hear, hear! Let's hear it for Charlie (and Diesel!)

Tempe wanders off to put her pre-order in.

Sue said...

Love the series. Charlie is a great character. He and Diesel make a great team. Keep up the great series. I've preordered the next book in the series already.

Sara Rosett said...

You hit the nail on the head about writing about decent people mixed up in murder and mayhem--my sentiments exactly! Good luck with the books!

Ellery Adams said...

I love male leads in my cozies and they are few and far between. True, Diesel often steals the show, but Charlie is charming and endearing - I adore him. Thanks for stopping by today, and to the Chicks, you are The Leading Man of Cozies!

Brittney said...

I grew up reading the Hardy Boys so I'm all for reading a new series with a male lead!

Rhonda Gibson said...

A new series with a male lead is just what I need. Think I'll hurry out and find this series. Thanks for sharing :)

dollycas aka Lori said...

I love Diesel but love Charlie too. I know the name on the cover says Miranda but with the male lead and because I know Miranda is Dean I feel the writing comes through as written by a male. Does that make sense? I know these alter egos taken on my authors are usually because of some idea publishers have that cozies need to be written by females.Both Dean, and Tim Myers for example show this not to be the case. I will read anything you guys or all the cozy chicks write no matter what name appears on the cover.

Miranda James said...

Thanks, everyone! Charlie, Diesel and I are really feeling the love right now!

Aurian said...

I have read The Cat Who mysteries for years, and Qwilleran and his two Siamese cats are great! So, yeah for a male cozy!

Dru said...

I like that there is a male lead in my cozy mystery...gives a different point of view.

Looking forward to reading the next story.

Vickie said...

I highly enjoyed the first adventure with Charlie and Diesel and definitely looking forward to the rest of the series.

misskallie2000 said...

I don't think there is anything wrong with a man writing cozy mysteries. I have not read any of your books but am adding to my wish list. I have 4 cats so I love books with cats as sleuths.