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March 29, 2011


debbie haupt

really, thrizzie, why not call it a coziller :)
I don't know if I like the term but hey I'm not know for my crystal ball into the future either.

Karen in Ohio

What a stupid name.

Romancing the Stone is a chick-flick version of an action movie. "Chick action" maybe?

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Debbie, coziller. Hmmm...not quite sure about that one! Lovely to see you here!

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Chick action? Well, interesting. But would a man read that? Should there be a name for this genre, at all?

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Karen, you're so funny. "Stupid." Why didn't I think of that??

Nancy Naigle

I'm not feeling the love for the term Thrillzie.

Thrillzie sounds like something a bit XXX rated, and as for Coziller. Isn't he that big lizard that went crazy on Japan??

I think I write them (cozy thrillers), and I love the books you've mentioned...but let's not tell anyone that's what it's called.

Our little secret shhhhh.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Nancy, exactly! I knew "Coziller" reminded me of something. Perfect.

And yes, our secret. I feel the same way. We just have to think of a cooler name. I don't mind the idea of letting people know there's a past-paced mystery-thriller that's "tougher" than a cozy, but not gory and violent.

But why does the name they give it have to be cute?


Count me among those who love the term Thrillzy. Side note: I've been spelling it with a y at the end whenever I've written the word. I think it's perfect. A thrilling cozy. Absolutely!
But I would definitely pluralize by changing the y to i and adding es. My grammar school English teachers would be proud! Wouldn't they?


Everything is about names -- preferably acronyms depending on the vocation. In the Library field there is ALA, YALSA, and NELA just to name a few. "Traditional Mystery" is 7 syllables and a lot of typing and potential for red lines in spell check. Cozy is 2 syllables and fewer spelling fiasco potentials. Thrillzie is also only 2 syllables ... but I am not thrilled. Maybe "TMWP" -- Traditional Mystery with Pizzazz?

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Julie Hyzy's Thrillzy. Is just about as terrific as it gets! Love it!

Lynn, TMWP? Timwip? I'm goin' with thrillzy. And if Julie says it has a y, she's the boss!

Hank Phillippi Ryan

The very cool Raymond Benson has just written a book exactly along these lines--a charming and adorable mystery/thriller/adventure called The Black Stiletto.

Ray? You out there? Would you call TBS a thrillzy?


I don't like the term. Too cutesy.

The genre concept sound appealing, though, so I hope the tag doesn't stick.

Gigi Pandian

One of my critique readers said my latest manuscript is like Romancing the Stone in India. At first I didn't like that description, but now it's growing on me -- kinda like Thrillzie ;)

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Ramona, I agree..the genre type is terrific. We've just got to think of a better name.

ANd Gigi--that's a fantastic description. WOnderful!

Raymond Benson

Hi Hank and everyone-- The Black Stiletto, I would say, is definitely a thriller, but I like to think it's a woman's thriller-- it's got a strong female protagonist and there's lots of action and suspense, but there's also romance, relationships, family, and cozy-ish stuff. Not sure I'm gonna adopt the word "thrillzie" but it might very well be a good description. My agent and I had a lot of trouble with describing it when we were submitting the novel to publishers-- we hope it's something different and not in a pigeonhole. :) :) (And if anyone is curious, check out the video at http://www.theblackstiletto.net).

Lisa Holdren

Hilarious. All of it. Thrillzie, hopefully, will go the way of so many other absurd words that people come up with. How many more ways are there to minimize and trivialize writers???

Sandra Parshall

I'm not sure I could ever get used to the word thrillzie, but the rest of the world has a way of ignoring my preferences. When we see a book advertised as a knitting thriller, we'll know the merger is complete.

Sandy (who writes mystery/suspense but is sometimes described as a thriller writer)

Hank Phillippi Ryan

It's funny--I do like the idea of a cozy thriller...and I do think my books may be in that realm.

Raymond, what other ideas did you and your agent consider? (And I am loving TBS--it's an absolute original.)

Hey, Sandy! Lovely to see you here!

But we talked about how people prefer "traditional" mystery to "cozy" mystery. So that means.."cozy thriller" would really mean: traditional thrlller. Hmmm.

Nikki B

I like reading them but I'm not sure I can bond with the work "thrillzie" or "Thrillzy" ..... maybe Cozer?
Hmmm...I'll have to sleep on it...

Raymond Benson

Hank, apparently the term "chick lit" is now frowned upon in the biz, so we didn't use that at all. We went out with "women's action/adventure". It was a tough sell, but Oceanview are great and they *got it* on the get-go.


Cozer sounds like the thing in the refrigerator in GHOSTBUSTERS! LOL!


The term Cozy thriller always made me think of Norman Bates in a comfy robe and slippers. But the term works when trying to describe the type of book I like to read. But thrillzie does have a slightly erotic sound to it. But I could get used to it if I have to.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Raymond, LOVE Oceanview. What a classy and wonderful group of people.

And yes, chick lit is, I guess, out of fashion. But for some reason, I always thought that was okay--straightforward, no pretensions. And somehow not derogatory.

Leslie, erotic, huh? Now there's a thought.

And look out! The COZER! (You all are so funny...)

Donna Andrews

As someone who isn't fond of the word "cozy," I confess that thrillzie--or thrillzy--also makes me cringe.

I've been leaning toward calling mine funny mysteries. But that wouldn't work for someone writing a non-funny traditional mystery.

Maybe we should take a leaf from noir mysteries. Pick a less lugubrious color and define our books that way. I'm in favor of grise (gray). Although green (verte) and yellow (jaune) are also nice.

Francophiles will notice I'm using the feminine form of these adjectives. Why not?

Kath Russell

Great thread! I think the thrillzie sub genre reflects the vast changes in the status of women. Women want protagonists who take on the BIG bad guys, like international terrorists or corporate titans who have gone over to the dark side. No sleepy small town life for these gals! Yet,no matter how adventurous, these women just don't feel the need to grind up or pulverize their adversaries. Men just don't understand that blood red is for nail polish. Oh, and did I mention they like to shop, and they aren't going to apologize to anybody about it. Power shopping takes real stamina, guys!

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Kath, that's right on the money. I really like the sub-genre, too. (And agree with you about the shopping. Trying on jeans? Bathing suits? Yikes.)

Rochelle Staab

Thrillzie? (just got the redline from MSWord)
Sounds like a Disneyland ride for eight-year olds: the Haunted House ride, Pirates of the Caribbean. A roller coaster with soft dips.

How about skipping labels and give mysteries ratings like movies: G=cozy or (ugh) thrillsie. PG13=no explicit sex, yes violence, may contain vampires. R=Brace yourself, you're gonna get blood and sex. X=not for the faint of heart.

Just sayin'...

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Rochelle...what a great idea. Maybe. Hmmm.

What think, you all?

Or maybe the covers provide their own labels?

Regina Krah

How long will it take the publishing industry to shorten Traditional Mystery to Tramy? Though historical Tramies may end up as Past-Tramies ...
Regarding the color scheme: in Italy mystery novels are called Gialli - Yellows.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Tramy? Yikes. But that means, Regina, that a thriller/mystery might be a Thrillmy. Thrill-me. Which does make some sense!

And so it seems that Donna's idea--is a reality? Amazing.

Why are they called Gialli? (What a lovely name for a character, huh? Dibs.)

Regina Krah

A Suspenzy would make sense too - suspense with the pants held up.
As far as I know the term Gialli derives from an early series of mysteries with a distinvtive yellow cover.


I just can't get behind "thrillzie," Hank. You're right--too diminutive. I like Donna's idea and Gialli's point about taking a phrase from a Romance language. Roman rouge? (sounds like it could be saucier than we want, though.)

"Femme Fatale" has already been co-opted, happily.

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