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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro on Cozy Horror

Count Dalek-ula says
False Dawn is nothing like A Flame in Byzantium.
Uh, hold on. Is that a werewolf?

One aspect of Agatha Christie's mysteries is how her victims are murdered, sometimes horribly. But from my limited reading experience of her work, she rarely portrays the act of violence itself. Instead, Poirot or another detective discovers the body, and then goes off to talk with his friends or the suspects in a calming, civilized fashion. In the case of Miss Marple, this may be over tea and scones. Some people have labeled her work Cozy Mysteries. Perhaps that's the secret behind her fiction's astounding longevity. I'm sure lots of other authors of her time wrote more gritty, disturbing mysteries. But readers of all ages and sensibilities can enjoy her stories, because the underlying mysteries are so compelling. 

Count Dalek-ula says, "I like Cozy novels,
but Jammie Dodgers are cozier than other sandwich cookies."

So please, Master, buy me some Jammie Dodgers.
(Or you could find your life become decidedly
less cozy!)

If A Flame in Byzantium is in any way representative of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Horror fiction, perhaps this is the secret behind that community's affection for her stories. The novel certainly stands out, with Olivia unlike any other vampire I've ever encountered in fiction. I enjoyed learning what was happening in sixth century Rome and Constantinople, two bustling centers of civilization when barbarian hordes were sweeping the globe. 

But then, I enjoy reading the occasional historical novel. Even if it's a Cozy Horror novel featuring vampires.

Dragon Dave

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