An eccentric Italian heiress from the Finger Lakes. An eighteen-year-old pop star from Scranton, Pennsylvania. Allison Campbell’s latest clients seem worlds apart in every respect, except one: Both women disappear on the same day. And Allison’s colleague Vaughn is the last to have seen each.
Allison’s search for a connection uncovers an intricate web of family secrets, corporate transgressions and an age-old rivalry that crosses continents. The closer Allison gets to the truth, the deadlier her quest becomes. All paths lead back to a sinister Finger Lakes estate and the suicide of a woman thirty years earlier. Allison soon realizes the lives of her clients and the safety of those closest to her aren’t the only things at stake.
Guest Post by author
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! would like to thank author Wendy Tyson for sharing her thoughts with us today,
a cozy a cozy?
a recent interview, I was asked whether DEADLY ASSETS is a cozy.
Now, this is not a new question for me. The Allison Campbell series
seems to straddle that line between cozy and traditional mystery (or
suspense novel or psychological thriller). Last November, I
participated in a panel discussion at Bouchercon (a fan convention)
titled “Cute and Sweet, but with a Twist: Cozies with Attitude.”
I love that name because I think “cozy with attitude” captures
the Allison Campbell series (and so many other great mysteries)
what is a cozy?
read many definitions of the cozy mystery, but all have a few
elements in common:
female amateur sleuth. While cozy novels don’t have to
feature a female detective, oftentimes they will. In fact, the
female heroine is usually bright, educated, and has a career,
occupation or lifestyle that allows her to be well networked and “in
the know.” She’s not typically a police detective (although she
could be), but she may know one.
in a small community. This does not necessarily mean the
amateur sleuth lives in a small town (although that’s often the
case), but the setting is generally tightly-woven enough to make it
believable that everyone knows each other. A town or village works,
but the cozy could also be set in a college campus, city
neighborhood or anywhere community can develop.
pool of suspects. The ancillary to the small community is the
defined group of suspects.
and violence occur off screen. One of the prime markers of a
cozy mystery is a lack of graphic blood and sex on the page. As
readers, we know that these things have happened (or are happening),
but the author is not providing a blow-by-blow description.
chase scenes. Okay, there may be a chase scene or two, but in
general a cozy mystery is more about brains and less about brawn.
The cozy typically highlights the puzzle-solving aspects of the
mystery genre over suspense or strong action scenes.
victims. The characters in a cozy tend to be quirky and
likable…the murder victims, not so much. It’s not unusual for
the victim in a cozy to be someone mean, cruel or unethical. There
may even be a sense that he/she got their comeuppance. It’s much
less likely the victim in a cozy will be a young child or someone
viewed as innocent and well-loved.
serial killers. Typically the murderers in cozies are members
of the community. They’re often motivated by things like greed, a
need for revenge, the desire to hide something…not a sociopathic
yearning to kill. You won’t find torture scenes in cozy
Humor. Cozies don’t have to be funny, but there is often a
facet of humor or light-heartedness in a cozy. In addition, a cozy
series may have a thematic element inspired by an occupation
interest or craft that ties the books together.
cozy! Reading a cozy is like enjoying your favorite comfort
food. Cozies tend to be fun reads. You know what you’re getting,
and while there will be enough twists and turns to keep you
entertained, reading a cozy is akin to heading home to spend time
with people you like.
course, for every rule I cited above, there’s an exception that
defines the genre. In fact, the more cozies I read, the more I
understand just how loose these boundaries are. That’s why “cozy
with attitude” is such a great description. Whether it’s a book
with added elements of suspense (like DEADLY ASSETS) or one with a
police detective as the main character, there seems to be room in
this subgenre for many twists on the theme.
About This Author
Wendy Tyson is an author, lawyer and former therapist whose background has inspired her mysteries and thrillers. Her latest novel, DEADLY ASSETS, the second in the Allison Campbell mystery series, was released on July 22. The first Campbell novel, KILLER IMAGE, was named a best mystery for book clubs in 2014 by Examiner.com and the third Campbell installment, DYING BRAND, is due to be released on May 26. Wendy lives on a micro-farm near Philadelphia with her husband, three sons and two muses, dogs Molly and Driggs.