Mystery readers come in all shapes and sizes, so it really shouldn't be surprising they come in all variety of preferences, eh? But Cozy Mystery readers are a breed off from most... I believe they are perhaps gentler spirits, if no less inquisitive. They want the thrill of the mystery and the solving of it, but they don't care for the blood and guts of death; they aren't driven by the police procedural matters. They seem to care more about character development, and... strangely, they like their murder with some laughs...
That isn't to say the murder itself is comical—it needs to still be believable—but probably it is best if the reader never came to LIKE the guy... in fact a despicable victim is preferable... one that LOTS of people might like to see dead. But still... the death itself isn't the funny part. So what is?
Characters can be funny because they have a fine sense of humor (or are snarky). I try to always have at least a couple characters that readers would really want to hang out with—the kind of people you SHARE laughter with. Annie, in particular, channels my silliest moments and I have a ball with any interaction between she and my MC, Cam.
Others are a little ridiculous, or annoying in a way that is funny, provided you don't actually have to spend time with these people. Life is full of these folks—nit-picky people, people with ridiculously high expectations, people with personality quirks. I love using folks like this for my background cast—most of the garden society is made up of nice people, but most of them also have a quirk or two that is amusing.
And then there are the obnoxious people: people so brazen that jaws drop. At least one of these folks will end up dead... and one or two more will end up on the suspect list, though some portion of suspects are also decent folks. But it is human nature to include a few obnoxious people when writing out that suspect list.
And then there are the situational opportunities.
I find having somebody ask my MC to do something she'd really rather no is often a fabulous place to infuse a little humor.
Or when characters who are snooping have to cover... either hiding, running, making up a story...
And there is ALWAYS gallows humor.
So how do you like your humor in mysteries, or other typically dark genres?
Begonia Bribe Blurb
Roanoke, Virginia, is home to some of the country’s most exquisite gardens, and it’s Camellia Harris’s job to promote them. But when a pint-sized beauty contest comes to town, someone decides to deliver a final judgment …
A beauty pageant for little girls—the Little Miss Begonia Pageant—has decided to hold their event in a Roanoke park. Camellia is called in to help deal with the botanical details, the cute contestants, and their catty mothers. She soon realizes that the drama onstage is nothing compared to the judges row. There’s jealousy, betrayal, and a love triangle involving local newsman—and known lothario—Telly Stevens. And a mysterious saboteur is trying to stop the pageant from happening at all.
But the drama turns deadly when Stevens is found dead, poisoned by some sort of plant. With a full flowerbed of potential suspects, Cam needs to dig through the evidence to uproot a killer with a deadly green thumb.
Hart Johnson (aka: Alyse Carlson) writes books from her bathtub and can be found at:
Confessions of a Watery Tart: http://waterytart23.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hartjohnson23?ref=tn_tnmn and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alyse-Carlson/109276705850205?fref=ts