Hey writers, raise your hand if you pen mysteries. Great! This month, please welcome mystery writer (and teacher) Cynthia Hickey as she shares a three-part series on your favorite genre!
Writing Mysteries: Part I
by Cynthia Hickey
Every mystery needs a good puzzle to solve. I find cozies to be especially challenging and fun. A cozy mystery doesn’t necessarily have to be a murder, although that’s my preference, and the more unusual the method and the motivation, the better. A cozy also has an ordinary, everyday-type character solving the mystery. Coming up with your “crime” is the ultimate game of “what-if.”
As in my first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, my heroine, Summer Meadows owns her own candy store and is looking forward to opening day. She’s also growing prize roses to enter into the county fair. When she arrives home from a vacation to discover her rose bush dead, she confronts the man responsible and finds out that someone buried diamonds beneath the bush, clogging the drip line. Who would do that? Thus, she’s on the hunt.
Now, curiosity is a good motivatior, but let us go deeper. Summer is spoiled. Everyone thinks she’ll fail at her endeavor of running a candy store. When she says she wants to solve the mystery, they laugh. It isn’t her fault she’s spoiled. After all, her aunt and uncle indulged her after the death of her parents. So, in order to show them that she can actually finish something she starts, she gets involved in a mystery that could be the death of her.
We also need a hunky hero. Summer has had a crush on Ethan Banning since childhood. She’s the best friend of Ethan’s younger sister. See where I’m going with this? He sees her as his sister’s friend and also thinks she’s nuts for getting involved in something better left to the police.
Add in a cute best friend for Summer, a quirky aunt and uncle, a strange whistling man who walks the streets at night, and you have the beginnings of a mystery.
Multi-published author Cynthia Hickey has three cozy mysteries published through Barbour Publishing, with a novella scheduled to be released in March 2013. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. She lives in Arizona with her husband, two of their seven children, two dogs, two cats, a snake named Flash and a fish named Floyd. She has five grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”. Visit her website at www.cynthiahickey.com