Why I write cozy mysteries
When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I felt like I had to prove I was a dedicated reader by opening the pages of the classics. But regardless of how many times I forced myself, I simply couldn’t connect with them, they weren’t for me. And why bother reading something during your free time if you didn’t enjoy it?
After some trial and error, I finally zoned in on what I liked. I’m a big fan of mysteries and thrillers, historical fiction, true crime and other non-fiction like biographies. They all bring something to the table that resonates with how my brain works. I love the twists and turns of a good thriller, the time travelling in historical fiction, the stark realness of true crime, and the revelations of biographies. My Goodreads TBR list exclusively contains those genres, but there’s one more I recently added.
I think it doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone when I say the past few years have been rough. Other than cuddling my pets and watching reality television (big shout out to RuPaul’s Drag Race!), the only other thing that kept me mentally afloat was my newfound discovery of cozy mysteries. The laid-back, small-town settings, the quirky characters and pets, the element of mystery that still pulled me in even though it was lighthearted. It opened my world to a whole subgenre of mystery I could enjoy without it feeling so harsh and heavy. And who knew there were so many categories! Cafes, bookstores, gardening, vineyards? Cozies basically cover every hobby and profession in existence and it’s perfect (cheers to London Lovett and Vivien Chien!).
When I finally decided to start writing, choosing the genre was a no-brainer. I could include elements I like from all the other genres I’ve been reading for years and wrap them up in a cozy little package. My goal wasn’t to create a new classic but rather write some fun mysteries that people can enjoy. Not only did it relieve the pressure and expectations of the end result, but they were a blast to write!
With The Deadly Exclusives Trilogy, I’ve incorporated a setting and job I’m familiar with, all wrapped up in a historical period I’ve been obsessed with for years. I grew up in the suburbs of Montreal, my first job was as a maid and I studied journalism. And I’ve watched so many 1930s movies on the Turner Classic Movies channel that I can’t keep count. I doubt any genre other than a cozy mystery could quite capture the tone I wanted.
Many cozies have brightened my days and I sure hope my trilogy can do the same for others.
Secret sources have a whole new meaning.
Newbie reporter Rita Larose is tired of getting assigned boring stories at one of Montreal’s most popular newspapers. It’s 1930 after all, women don’t need to only write about household chores anymore! But when a high hat socialite gossips about the New Year’s Eve party at the Bonne Nuit Hotel, a riveting mystery falls right into Rita’s lap. This is her chance to prove to herself and her underestimating colleagues that she has what it takes to write the hard-hitting articles.
While going undercover as a maid to get the scoop, Rita will soon discover unexpected friendships and an unusual gift of her own to contend with. Will she be able to juggle this newfound ability while not blowing her cover and jeopardizing her career-making article?
Dominique Daoust is the author of The Deadly Exclusives Trilogy. She is a journalism graduate from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. When not reading or writing, she likes to do yoga, drink margaritas, incessantly quote Friends and listen to rap while doing mundane household chores.
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