Cozy Mysteries: The Usual Suspects

It’s time for another post about cozies! This is one of my favorite genres. They’re light, suspenseful, and fun. You have a cute small town, quirky characters, and all sorts of crimes to solve. But before you can write that cozy, you’ve got to figure out whodunnit first!

If you’re plotting out some villains, here are a few ideas:

  • a spouse
  • a sibling (sibling rivalry at its worst!)
  • a boss or an employee
  • a coworker
  • an ex-lover
  • a former business partner
  • a competitor in business
  • someone who’s been blackmailed and wants revenged
  • a mentor who’s jealous of how well their pupil has done
  • a simple thief
  • someone who will inherit a lot of money after the crime
  • an individual the victim refused to help, even though they had the means
  • a person who was tired of the victim’s poor decisions and how they treated people
  • someone who wanted to teach others a lesson
  • a celebrity who will gain in sales/followers
  • a stalker
  • a former roommate
  • a teacher
  • a hairdress
  • a corporate buyer
  • someone who wanted control over a situation
  • an accountant

As you can see, some of these have more to do with motive than with who they are. I think the two parts of a mystery go hand-in-hand. What would you add to this list? I’m sure I’ll be adding more in the future, so be sure to check back!

This is just a brief list, but hopefully it’s enough to inspire you. If you’re looking for more inspiration, be sure to take a peek at my Writers’ Resources page. Looking for some clues for your mystery? Try this post. Thanks!

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.


1 Comment

Filed under cozy mystery, Fiction, worldbuilding, writers resources

One response to “Cozy Mysteries: The Usual Suspects

  1. Nice list 👍When I was a teenie there was TV crime series for weeks and “of course, it is the gardener” became a much used expression for a short while.
    We find a murder just happen randomly quite interesting. The murdered person was on the wrong place at the wrong time. First it’s hard for the police to solve it (a lot to describe how the police is working) and secondly the reader always looks for a motiv and can’t find one.
    All the best
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

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