What's in a genre?

The speaker at our local writers' group writes historical fiction, but his characters have traveled in time so it's science fiction, and there's lots of action, maybe even war, so military fiction perhaps, aimed at adults, but some of the characters are teens so adult and young adult, but...

But what's in a genre?

I'm so behind with posting book reviews I'm wondering if I'll ever succeed in collecting them together by genre. Perhaps I should just post and click and post and click again. But let's see how it goes. I'll try for mystery. What's in the mystery genre? And what coffee will you drink with it?

Murder at the Manor by C. T. Mitchell is a pretty short mystery. It's got a murder and the suspects are a very limited group. I think that makes it a cozy mystery. It makes for a fun novella though, and a nice introduction to characters who continue through an Australian detective series. Lady Maggie might be an Australian Miss Marple--I'd have to read more to find out. Enjoy this easy read with some lively 2-star easy-drinking coffee.

Then there's murder & mayhem in goose pimple junction by amy metz, set in a place as alien as Australia to me--the southern US. I don't speak Southern, but the author renders accents and phrases eminently readable, even making the reader believe they've heard those voices in their heads. Plus there's threat to life and limb, maybe some romance, recent history impinging on the present... Perhaps this one's more than one genre too, but cozy mystery is probably top of the list. Enjoy with some more lively 2-star coffee. Cozies are enjoyable easy-reading for vacation (which is why I've spent lots of time reading and very little time posting reviews recently).

Mother’s Day by Frankie Bow combines gritty realism in the misery of university fundraising with cozy mystery and a pregnant protagonist whose mother rules the roost from far away. The protagonist has problems with smells, and the story's full of olfactory pitfalls, providing pleasing humor in a Machiavellian world. It's another short enjoyable read to enjoy with some lively 2-star coffee.

And finally, The Best of CafĂ© Stories by Jerry Guarino is a short story collection thar certainly includes some elements of mystery, from twisted police procedural to twisted humor and romance. Heavily dialog driven, weighted down with detail, they're a much slower read than those first two books, and this volume's more aimed at readers who might pick it up and down, in a cafe for example as the title suggests. Enjoy in small doses with intense 5-star coffee served in small cups.


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