I just read a fantastic book that bends some rules of its genre in a fun way. I found it by accident.
I was wandering aimlessly in the library last month when I spotted Olivia Blacke’s Killer Content on the new arrivals display. Its fun cover promised an interesting mystery in Brooklyn, complete with craft beer, a bookstore, and plenty of social media.
The heroine is twenty-three-year-old Odessa. Originally from Louisiana, she finds herself in trendy Brooklyn for the summer, cat-sitting for her aunt and waiting tables to make ends meet. When a fellow waitress mysteriously dies one day, Odessa takes it upon herself to uncover the truth behind what happened, using clues both on and off the internet.
This book was such a fun surprise to me because it bent a few rules of its genre, the cozy mystery. Cozy mysteries are considered “cozy” because the crime, usually a murder, occurs off the page. Absent, also, are gore, violence, and steamy scenes. Cozy mysteries–or cozies–however, usually star an older heroine. One interesting twist in this book is that the main character is in her twenties.
Another rule of cozies is that they usually occur in small towns. Killer Content is instead set in a Brooklyn neighborhood, creating a small community out of a large one. I found the urban setting in this cozy really fun. I loved tagging along with Odessa down the Brooklyn sidewalks, past great restaurants, huge buildings, and tiny dog parks.
I also really appreciated the social media theme, as I also do digital content writing. The characters post at the beginning of each chapter, which adds another layer to their personalities.
I’m really happy I found this book! Not only was it a great summer read, but the way in which it bent some conventional cozy mystery rules inspired me to try some new things with my own fiction writing.
This month I’ve been working on the beginnings of my own cozy. I’ve been learning the rules and conventions of the genre, but maybe I’ll end up bending a few of those as well! In any case, it should feature plenty of ice cream.
Speaking of, you need to try this recipe for homemade key lime pie ice cream. The best!