Yeah, I didn't know what that was either. According to Wikipedia, cozy mysteries "are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed...and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community. The amateur detective is usually a gregarious, well-liked individual who is able to get the community members to talk freely about each other. Cozy mystery series frequently have a prominent thematic element introduced by the detective's job or hobby."
In this series, "Mysteries Unraveled," the main character is a crochet designer in addition to being an amateur detective.
Cover illustrations for cozy mysteries generally don't feature characters or people - mostly scenes of small towns or still lifes. They are also generally realistic, bright and colorful, with a small "sinister element" that suggests mystery or trouble. The client asked for these things to be included in the cover:
- A dressmaker’s form, with a crocheted jacket on it
- A work table
- A basket of colorful balls of yarn
- A big window with sheer, sunlit curtains
- Four crochet hooks, in pairs, of two different lengths
- A second crocheted item, perhaps the beginning of a scarf, with two of the crochet hooks “engaged”
Here are the roughs I sent to the client:
The client liked the arrangement of rough #3 but the jacket of #2. So I combined the two and added some rough color:
The client gave it the thumbs-up, but asked me to stab a stiletto knife into the sketchpad, since the scene was missing a sinister element.
Here's the final version:
Here's the completed cover, designed by Brad Snow:
I've designed several more covers for this series, which I will post later. If you're interested in ordering the Mysteries Unraveled books, you can find them at Annie's Fiction. (I do not receive any royalties from sales of the books.)