I find myself having to explain what a cozy mystery is almost every time someone asks me what type of books I write. As popular as cozy mysteries are, the term "cozy" seems to throw people off. Cozies are a sub-genre of mysteries that have some very particular attributes. Most cozies will fall into most of these parameters however there are some authors pushing the boundaries and finding great success.
Cozy mysteries are fun mysteries full of twists and turns. They usually have an amateur sleuth that reluctantly gets involved in the case which often leads to a bit of danger. Cozies are probably the one genre where the author needs to be aware of and stay within the boundaries in order to claim them as cozies.