Cozy mysteries set in the past have a double edged appeal for writers and readers. They conjure up a recent past and have all the best qualities of historical fiction plus a mystery.
Several excellent series are based around events of World War 1 or 2. The historical background gives more depth to the genre though readers who prefer the lighter touch may well choose tea shop mysteries instead.
Some of my favorites are…pause while I research exact titles…and have a little think.
X marks the spot instantly brings back memories of favorite childhood books, treasure maps and just knowing there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
There’s something very exciting about the idea that someplace there lies a hidden treasure.
The illustrated Xs created from slices of lemons and limes add a quirky, exotic flavor to the thought.
In the cozy mystery, you can use innumerable locations and so have innumerable Xs to stand for places where events have occurred, or places where clues are hidden, or simply places where characters interact and interpret or misinterpret what is happening.
Many of the most famous cozy mysteries have a place in the book title and the place provides not only the background but a deeper clue to the mystery.
Willpower is the determination to finish what we start, no matter what. For the cozy mystery, the easy option is to write the end first or at least just after the first act.
For this genre, I find itimportant to know where you’re finishing up if you want an easier life.
It makes it faster to plan an effective route, choose the best clues and insert them as you go. It’s almost like drawing a map through your Table of Contents–not sure if that makes sense but I see each chapter following the next like a river. All my characters then embark on suitable boats and sail along with various diversions and dilemmas en route.
But having the end in sight helps me pull them (and me) through the rough water of the middle. And when the end is written, I’m far less likely to give up.
Again, like the first chapter, the final chapter may be written and rewritten. But at least it’s there as my safe harbour after a stormy passage.
It bolsters my willpower and ensures I keep going on to the end.