RARA-AVIS: RE: Contemporary cozies

From: Dick Lochte ( dlochte@adelphia.net)
Date: 15 Oct 2004

>Kerry wrote:

>But attempts to update cosies into modern America are laughably nostalgic
at best, and undemocratic at worst.
>The antagonism between cosy and noir fans is class warfare.

"Nostalgic" -- maybe, though the case can be made that some novels that Westlake, Hiaasen and even Leonard are writing wind up on the cozy side of the ledger. "Laughably" -- depends on the skill of the writer.
"Undemocratic" -- only if you subscribe to the theory that class is the key dividing line between cozy and noir. I'm hardly an expert on Lillian Jackson Braun's novels, probably the most popular of today's U.S. cozies, but it seems to me that (psychic Siamese cats notwithstanding) they have less to do with class distinction than with extolling the quality of life in small town America. That same mythic boutique village comfort level (as opposed to the nerve rattling reality of the concrete jungles) is what accounts for dozens of very successful cozy updates. Some readers like upbeat escapist fare, some, like those of us on this list, prefer the darker variety. "Antagonism" and "class warfare" are terms more appropriate to the upcoming election.

Dick Lochte

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