Brush with DeathDru kindly asked me to write a blog post entitled “A Day in the Life.”

Well, I was thinking about my life, and what I was going to write about my life, and I found myself coming up on the empty side. You see, although it is pleasant, my life is fairly uninspiring from a storytelling perspective, as it largely involves sitting at a computer and making things up, followed by driving and nagging children and making dinner. (This sequence is punctuated occasionally by gardening and karate class.) So, lest I spend 900 words detailing the quirks of my keyboard and the state of my living room, I decided to write about something I know you, Dru Ann, and I all love. And something I was thinking about the other day, anyway. So, in lieu of my grocery list for this week (which, while we’re on the subject, includes lemons, sugar, butter and flour, which will soon surprise none of you), I bring you…

Ten things I love about cozy mysteries!

    1. Instant vacation between the covers! (Of a book, that is.) I’m completely sucked in by beautiful settings, and there’s nothing better than being able to pick up a book and travel to a gorgeous locale where the characters are like old friends. If there are recipes to drool over, a potential romantic interest, and terrific scenery, all the better. (This also applies to writing cozy mysteries. I get to go to Maine all the time, even if it’s only in my head. And I have an excuse to bake pound cakes in several flavors! Unfortunately, the latter often leads to elastic waistbands, but one must make sacrifices for one’s art.)


  • The bad guys get caught. Unlike in real life, where criminals too often fade into the sunset, things are usually all tidied up by the end. I love that sense of justice. It’s satisfying, like a slice of lemon pound cake with a big cup of tea. Speaking of pound cake, excuse me while I visit the kitchen for a moment…



  • Useful, or at least interesting tidbits. You get to learn about poisons. And maritime history. And rum running. And quilting, or fishing, or baking, or any number of fascinating hobbies and activities. All from the comfort of your favorite armchair! With lemon pound cake on your plate and tea in your cup! (Excuse me again, please…)



  • No gore. Really, this is a big one for me. The less blood, the better. Which is why I think I’ll poison someone in my next book, now that I think of it.



  • No terrible things happen to children. Ever since I had my first child, I can’t abide when bad things happen to little people. No child will ever be murdered on Cranberry Island – at least not under my watch. Irritating developers, on the other hand…



  • The characters are like old friends. It is lovely to be able to visit with reliable friends, again and again. Catch up with their love lives, admire their new hairstyles, sample their baked goods… like lemon pound cake, for example. Which will hopefully be gone soon, so that I don’t have to keep eating it.



  • They’re terrific for book clubs. Because everyone can bring a recipe. And there’s nothing more fun than talking about relationships, clues, murders, interesting tidbits and recipes while eating baked goods and drinking tea. Or Irish coffee. Or eating lemon pound cake. Hmm. I’m sensing a theme here…



  • Cozies are a real pick-me-up when life gets tough. I don’t know about you, but I have a stash of favorite books I return to when things get challenging. Sometimes life can be unpredictable, troubling, and downright upsetting. When I’ve had a bad week, I like nothing better than to take one of my favorite cozy mysteries, run a bath, make a cup of tea, and spend a few hours visiting old friends in a comforting place I know and love. (Lemon pound cake is optional, but recommended.)



  • You can give them to family members and friends as gifts. No worries about offending Great-aunt Tilly with inappropriate orgy descriptions or Jack-the-Ripper-type crime scenes. And, last but not least…



  • They’re just plain fun! Both to read and to write. Let’s hear it for cozy mysteries! And lemon pound cake!


blueberry blues
I’m giving away one (1) digital copy of BLUEBERRY BLUES, a “Gray Whale Inn” short story, for Kindle only. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Contest ends June 26.

BRUSH WITH DEATH is the fifth book in the “Gray Whale Inn” mystery series; the first book in the series is Murder on the Rocks.

Meet the author
Karen is the author of the bestselling “Gray Whale Inn” mystery series, set on Cranberry Island, Maine. When she’s not writing or chauffeuring children, she loves to read, drink coffee, attempt unusual recipes, and hit the local hike-and-bike trail. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, two children, and a rabbit named Bunny, and escapes to Maine as often as possible.

Visit Karen at

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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