Tag Archives | how to write a cozy mystery

How to write a cozy mystery! (part 3)

Welcome to part 3 of this somewhat humorous take on writing cozy mysteries. You can read part 1 and part 2 in case you missed them.

I have a special offer today. The first Holly Hart Cozy Mystery has been published! If anyone would like to read Footprints in the Frosting and be part of a review team, you can sign up here. I’ll send you the ebook file, and if you could post the review on Amazon that would be fantastic! Or you can purchase it now!

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So along with a fun-loving sleuth, yummy food (usually a dessert) a cute pet, a murder (of course), a handsome cop, and a trouble-making antagonist, here are the next three.

7. Must have a sidekick, usually quirky.    CHECK

Holly meets her quirky sidekick, an older woman named Charlene, early on in Footprints in the Frosting. Charlene is a tough nut and will always tell Holly the truth whether she wants to hear it or not. Most detectives, including amateurs, have sidekicks. Honestly, I truly think it’s so the sleuth has someone to get into trouble with. 🙂

8. Must have humor.    CHECK

Okay, I’m not sure humor is a hard and fast rule, but cozies are cozies for a reason. When we’re talking death and motive and suspects, sometimes the reader needs a little breather, a little comic relief. For Holly Hart, this comes in the form of her antagonist. Holly also runs into her early on in the first mystery. These scenes have been so much fun to write.

9. Must have a wide cast of characters.    CHECK

Holly lives in a small town. She’s not an island unto herself. By the end of the first mystery, Holly has formed her tribe, her gang of sleuths. Together, they solve the mysteries. For Holly, this includes the handsome cop, Trent Trinket, who doesn’t want her getting involved in police business. And to that we say, “Of course.” Just another source of romantic tension. You’ll meet all of them in Footprints in the Frosting.

So, if you’re interested in joining the review team–then sign up here!  Or download now!

Thank you! What other must haves have you seen in cozy mysteries? Please share in the comments.

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How to write a cozy mystery! (Part 2)

Welcome to part 2 of this mini series of tongue-in-cheek posts on how to write a cozy mystery. Click here to read part 1.

Again, this is a blog series to introduce the Holly Hart Cozy Mystery Series releasing in early May. Thanks for stopping by!









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4. Must have a murder!   CHECK

This should be obvious, right? Cozy mysteries involve an amateur sleuth solving a murder. But in a cozy, it’s not your typical murder. Get fun. Get creative. I’ve seen bodies in snowmen. Bodies in ice cream freezers. Poison is a popular choice. Do you see a pattern? Readers who love cozies like that there isn’t a gruesome, gory murder scene–at least not described in graphic detail!

5. Must have cute cop!    CHECK

Of course if there is a murder, there will be a detective. Usually, this detective is single, good-looking, and is annoyed that the amateur sleuth is nosing around! Since a cozy doesn’t have to follow romance tropes, I like that the cop is attractive based on looks and personality. A normal guy. In a normal town. I mean, without the cop, how will our amateur sleuth get inside information? Often the detective and amateur sleuth date, but not always.

6. Must have an antagonist!   CHECK

You might think I mean the murderer when I say antagonist. I don’t. I mean a character who gives our amateur sleuth lots of trouble. Lots of room for humor here. Someone who is competing in other ways, either for the attention of the cop or in business. I mean our sleuth doesn’t sit around solving mysteries and that’s it. No, she usually works. Something with food or pets is highly popular…and for good reason.

And that concludes Part 2! Part 3 coming next week!

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Murder with a Slice of Cheesecake.

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How to write a cozy mystery. (Part 1)

Okay, let’s have a little fun!

This is part tongue-in-cheek, part serious to introduce my new cozy mystery series. Glad you stopped by!










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1. Must have fun-loving amateur sleuth.    CHECK

Meet Holly Hart. She has a passion for cheesecake. She’s open to a little bit of romance. And she has a strong sense of justice and wants to see criminals receive their just reward–especially when she’s one of the suspects and her business is on the line!

I’ve read many cozy mysteries and they all seem to have this ingredient. Not many sleuths are brooding and unhappy.


2. Must have food! Something sweet. Something sexy.   CHECK

Holly used to escape down to the kitchen and bake cheesecake when she was a teen. Slowly, over time, she mastered the art of cheese and cake when combined. Don’t ask for the secret ingredient though because she’s taking that to the grave. (Hopefully not literally!)

Cheesecake is sexy. And Holly loves to get creative with her creations. Chocolate chip cream cheese cookies. Cheesecake smoothies. Of course, her creations aren’t all successful, but she keeps those disasters a secret.


3. Must have some kind of furry, little, cute animal.   CHECK

Holly loves her dog, Muffins. He’s small, but he’s a firecracker. He’s occassionally been known to run away, causing all sorts of havoc. The history of how he became her dog will be found in the free cozy mystery, Murder with a Slice of Cheesecake. Exclusive to newsletter followers. So go sign up to the right.

The animal doesn’t have to be a dog. I’ve seen cats too, in particular black cats. Not sure why. I suggest a cute animal, though the challenge of having a pet snake could make interesting fodder for a plot line. Goldfish not so much. I don’t see goldfish accompanying the amateur sleuth on undercover investigations or sniffing out clues. But don’t let that hold you back.

This concludes part one!

If you didn’t catch the previous clues in this post. Sign up for my newsletter to receive Murder with a Slice of Cheesecake. Look for HOW TO WRITE A COZY MYSTERY – PART TWO next week! (Capitals are for emphasis. I promise I’m calm, cool, and collected right now. Not yelling.)

See you next week!


** No animals were injured in the writing of this post.
** This list is in no way exclusive or a set of hard and fast rules that absolutely have to be followed. In other words, the cozy mystery police will not be knocking on your door if you create a brooding and unhappy sleuth. Or if they have a fettish for asparagus.

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