Have you got what it takes to be a cozy mystery heroine?
1. You are single. Now that doesn't mean you are some old spinster (though that might happen too occasionally), but our cozy mystery gals usually start out single, because their marriage failed or their husbands died (not at the hands of the heroine, mind you). The good news is that over time and at least by book five in the series, she will have shacked up with her new love interest and put an end to the single life after all.
2. Your love interest is that buff handsome detective. Apparently there is something about those law enforcement officers who are not just easy on the eye, but even more so, extremely helpful in times of crime-solving distress. Then again, maybe it's just that cozy mystery heroines have a not so secret uniform fetish.
3. You are short. Admit it, that one surprised you. It's true, as much as out fictional snoops can come in all shapes and sizes, a surprising high number seems to be of the short kind. Maybe I'm the only one who even noticed this, but every time I read that the heroine barely measures 5' I wonder if this is because the author thinks it's somehow easier to nose around when you're tiny.
4. You're no spring chicken. I'm not saying you need to be some old granny to apply for the job as cozy mystery heroine, but usually the age group is in the 30+ range. My guess is that the whole been there 'nd done that which comes with real life experience, gives our girls just the right amount of verve for putting two and two together.
5. You have a pet. This one is pretty much mandatory. And you won't just have any pet, but one with a wacky name and an even wackier attitude.
6. You have an attitude. Just like your pet. But seriously, most cozy mystery ladies are, shall I say, a little rough around the edges? Or let me rephrase that by claiming they have this propensity to not just be unduly curious and obsessed about finding a murderer, they usually have trouble actually listening to common sense and are often prone to lying too.
7. You have your own shop/business. Contrary to what sleuths like Miss Marple might suggest, only few cozy mystery women are retired. In fact, they usually work hard for their money and most of them have their own little shops or cooked up some one-woman business venture. I guess, the average typist or cashier isn't cut out to solve crimes.
8. You are addicted to tea/coffee/chocolate/etc. Of course you might argue who isn't hooked on any (or all) of these things in real life. Good point, yet the average person usually does not enjoy a, say, glass of red whine as reverently as our fictional heroine. In a cozy mystery world tea/coffee/chocolate/etc. is treated with a borderline-religious worship and adoration.
Would you make a great cozy mystery heroine? Any character traits or personal circumstances you'd like to add to my list?