A plethora of Ps flock to mind that would be helpful when thinking about the cozy mystery.
We have already touched briefly on writing practice as either a plotter or a pantser.
The plotter may sound disturbingly like a plodder but is anything but. Plotting is simply a way to accelerate the writing process by creating a plan to follow.
Points of View
Then there is the business of point of view–through whose eyes is the reader seeing the story? Recent cozies often adopt a first person point of view where the main character tells the story–“Little did I realize what was lying behind the library door…”
Earlier cozies more often used third person and even had a more relaxed attitude to point of view. “Head hopping,” jumping from character to character, all with their own points of view, is fine provided it is skilfully done and the readers always know whose point of view they’re seeing.
The author, too, may have a point of view and we do see this in earlier examples of the genre. Nowadays publishers and editors have strict rules. No more than two points of view in a chapter. No head hopping. No omniscient author…
But, as we all know, a skillful author can break the rules judiciously and this can be very effective. Agatha Christie is not renowned for a strict adherence to the unwritten rules of point of view.
And then there’s P for
Hercule Poirot, the funny little Belgian detective, stars in so many Agatha Christie novels. His character traits, both likable and unlikable, endear him to his fans.
Interestingly he is an immigrant and a refugee–as topical in today’s political world as he was in the aftermath of the Second World War.