Monday, October 14, 2013

Writing A Cozy Mystery Series Set in My Hometown

Greenport harbor

One of the reasons that I enjoy any cozy is because of where it takes place. My favorite settings are charming, small towns, like the British villages featured on Midsomer Murders, Cabot Cove in Murder, She Wrote, and Aspen Meadow, Colorado in Diane Mott Davidson’s delicious culinary mysteries, all populated by interesting, quirky and mysterious characters.  

Among my favorites as far as settings go is the one in my natural remedies mysteries, Death Drops, and my latest book, Scent to Kill, which is my hometown of Greenport. After living in Boston, New York and Los Angeles, I returned and began my freelance writing career here. Greenport is located on Long Island’s North Fork, 100 miles East of New York City. The town is a quaint seaport that features a picturesque waterfront and boardwalk, a village green with a carousel, fine seafood dining, quirky boutiques, galleries, antique, ice cream and coffee shops and even, a microbrewery. 

As you can see, there is plenty to draw on for inspiration when it comes to the setting in my mysteries! You may even want to visit the North Fork and Greenport and see for yourself!  

If you read (or would like to!) my natural remedies mysteries and want to learn more about Greenport you can take a virtual visit by going here: and watching this video:

Forbes magazine named Greenport one of America’s Prettiest Towns in 2011. Here’s what they had to say:   
Mention Long Island to most people and shoreline McMansions and celebrity-studded soirees in the Hamptons may come to mind, or acres of suburban tract housing dotted by strip malls.
But hidden away at the tip of the North Fork, far from the famous and the fatuous, is a town that perfectly mixes unpretentious Americana with the trappings of the modern food and wine scene. Landing a spot on our list of prettiest places, Greenport is perhaps Long Island’s most attractive locale–quaint summer cottages push up against old-school seafood shacks and fancy restaurants (the inventive seafood options at The Frisky Oyster never disappoint), with beach and boating options never more than ten minutes away.

“Things are much more low-key along the Peconic Bay on the North Fork,” says Jason Clampet, online editor at Frommer’ “Although Manhattanites have brought art galleries and coffee shops with them, Greenport’s small inns, pebbly beaches, and fishing heritage still cater to visitors who’d rather relax than star-gaze.”
Working with travel experts from Frommer’s, Rough Guides and Midwestern Living magazine, Forbes created a list of some of America’s prettiest, most enchanting towns. Depending on where you live, you might want to visit one of them! Read the rest of the article here:
Here's a new article from Travel + Leisure about the North Fork where Greenport is located: 
What kind of settings to you like best when it comes to cozy mysteries? Do you like small town settings or big city life? Desert living, by the sea or on a mountaintop?
If you write cozies what do you like best about your setting?
Leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway for a copy of my latest mystery Scent to Kill: A Natural Remedies Mystery!
Here’s the scoop:

“Scent to Kill is a well-crafted mystery…Devotees of natural medicine and aromatherapy will enjoy the tips that appear at the beginning of each chapter and scattered throughout the text.” Publisher’s Weekly   

Willow McQuade, naturopathic doctor, along with her hunky ex-cop boyfriend Jackson Spade, attend a party for a psychic TV show that is filming on Long Island’s idyllic East End. However, Willow is much more interested in visiting the estate’s lavender farm, seeking inspiration for the new aromatherapy workshops she'll be holding at her store, Nature’s Way Market & CafĂ©.   

Before the party is over, Roger Bixby one of the producers is dead and the police suspect murder. Roger was working on the show, MJ’s Mind, with Carly Bixby, his ex-wife and the new girlfriend of Willow's ex from L.A., TV writer/producer Simon Lewis.   

After Willow leaves the party, she gets a frantic text from Simon asking for her help. Since Simon had a fight with Roger earlier in the evening, and because of his death is now the primary shareholder in Galaxy films, Willow's ex becomes the prime suspect. Simon begs her to crack the case and clear him of the murder. MJ McClellan, the psychic and star of the show also asks Willow for help. She hires Willow to provide natural remedies, including aromatherapy, massage, acupuncture and yoga to soothe the agitated crew of her show. 

To find the killer, Willow has to deal with ghosts in a haunted mansion, a truly dysfunctional family, death threats and “accidents,” while trying to untangle a homicide identical to one committed during prohibition. Thankfully, Jackson has been hired to provide security and is there to watch her back and help Willow solve this spooky mystery.

As a bonus, you’ll find dozens of natural aromatherapy cures throughout the book that can improve your health. I think you’ll be surprised as how much they can help you feel better in mind, body and spirit!

Chrystle Fiedler is the author of SCENT TO KILL, (Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster) the second in the NATURAL REMEDIES MYSTERY series, DEATH DROPS: A Natural Remedies Mystery, the non-fiction title THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO NATURAL REMEDIES (Alpha, 2009), co-author of BEAT SUGAR ADDICTION NOW! (Fairwinds Press, 2010), currently in its fourth printing, the BEAT SUGAR ADDICTION NOW!COOKBOOK (Fairwinds Press, 2012) and THE COUNTRY ALMANAC OF HOME REMEDIES (Fairwinds, 2011). Chrystle’s magazine articles featuring natural remedies have appeared in many national publications including Natural Health, Vegetarian Times, Better Homes & Gardens and Remedy. Visit


traveler said...

This post is most interesting and the book sounds captivating and unique. Thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

I enjoyed reading this very informative post. A cozy that appeals to me very much.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I agree that it's fun setting a story in one's hometown, Chrystle. I set a time travel romance in my hometown of Pittsburgh some time ago. But it's also fun setting stories in other places I've lived, like State College, PA, and now in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley!

Betty Hechtman said...

I had a good time using the Chicago neighborhood I grew up in as the setting for my kids' mystery. One of my series takes place in Tarzana, California, though I've doctored it up a bit. Taken out all the naughty lingerie shops and added a bookstore. The other takes place on the Monterey Peninsula. The setting up there is almost a character.

Monica Ferris said...

I love small-town cozy mysteries. I wish Excelsior, where I'm setting my current series, was my hometown. But I love big-city cozies, too, though they've become rare. My favorite series for a long time was Mr. and Mrs. North - they lived in New York with their Siamese cats. Jerry North was a book publisher.