I’ve had a few people emailing me asking questions about starting a cozy mystery (or, really, any type of mystery involving an amateur sleuth). I promised to write a post on the topic… and then I didn’t deliver! So here, belatedly, is the first post in a crash course on cozy mystery writing.
I thought it might be easier for someone starting out to think about potential questions to answer. This helps us flesh out our sleuth and story. It’s also, in my view, a heck of a lot easier than just launching into a brand new mystery.
Who is my sleuth and why is she getting involved in this case? Readers tend to be able to suspend disbelief a bit in cozies, but it can be nice in the first book of the series to make the sleuth’s involvement more of a result of a direct action. Is our sleuth a suspect? Is the sleuth’s friend a suspect? Was the victim a friend of the sleuth’s? Did the crime occur at a place the sleuth works? Did the sleuth discover the body? There are many different directions to go with this. Continue reading Writing the Cozy Mystery—the Sleuth