Handling our victim’s demise: As I mentioned in an earlier post, you can handle this a couple of different ways. You can show the reader the likely suspects and why the victim might have been killed during interactions between future suspects and future victim at the start of the book (victim is still alive as the story opens). Or you can open the story with the victim’s body and have the sleuth figure out who the suspects are and the motive (slightly trickier, I think).
Another tricky victim area: likeability. If the victim is too unlikeable, readers may not care if his murder is solved or not. Although it does make it easy in terms of motive. If you’ve got a very unlikeable victim, might be a good idea for the sleuth to remind others that justice is still important (as Hercule Poirot did in Agatha Christie’s mysteries). Or we could consider having someone close to the sleuth or the sleuth herself under suspicion to give the reader extra incentive to find out whodunit. Continue reading Writing the Cozy Mystery—the Victim