Cozy Mystery Review Rubric

I decided that since I read and review quite a few cozy mysteries, I would start reviewing them all in the same format. For those who are interested, all of my reviews are on Goodreads.

Anyway, here is how I'll be reviewing cozy mysteries from here on out:

Concept: The "gimmick" behind the story. Antiquing, quilting, and cooking are a few examples.

Integration of Concept: How much does the theme/concept factor in to the story?

Setting and Characters: Are they good and do I like them?

Writing: I'll be the first to admit that the concept of "good writing" is rather nebulous, but Hunter summed it up pretty well I think. He said that if there's something that distracts you from the reading, that isn't good writing (or is at least less good).

When did I figure out "whodunnit?": Some people want to be able to figure it out right away, some want to be left guessing. So YMMV on this one.

Can the mystery be solved by the reader?: Some stories don't actually give the reader enough information to figure it out. You still might have a correct guess of who it is, but the piece of evidence that clinches it is not available to you. Again, YMMV. I prefer for the pieces to be there for me to put together.

Coziness Level: A totally subjective ranking of how cozy, or tame, the book is. Any book that isn't at all cozy, for example has gratuitous sex or violence, doesn't belong on this scale. A score of 1 probably just means minor cursing, more sexual references, etc. A 5 would mean appropriate for a kindergartner.

Here are the books I have reviewed using this rubric:

A Slice of Murder

The Quick and the Thread


A Killer in the Rye

The Long Quiche Goodbye

Aunty Lee's Deadly Specials

Left Turn at Paradise

The Widow's Son

Inherit the Word

Here is a link to the other cozy mysteries I reviewed before implementing this scale:


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