Tag Archives: sleuth

S for Sleuth #A to Z Challenge

Such a funny word sleuth. Makes me think of board games and long ago novels. It conjures up old busybodies and peering through magnifying glasses to find clues in the days before tech took over.

The word itself is very old and found in Old Norse, meaning a track or trail.  In Scotland, from the 14th century, a sleuthhound was a bloodhound. It hunted game or tracked down fugitives from justice.

Then in the nineteenth century, sleuthhound was used for a detective and  shortened to sleuth.  (etymology found through Merriam Webster)

 lady detective and sidekick
photo courtesy of stock images at freedigitalphotos.net

But in the world of cozy mystery. the amateur detective is more often young, running her own business, and reliant on a female confidante.

The only thing she has in common with the detectives in past series is often the lack of ready cash.

And, of course, the threat she faces to her own way of life, if she does not investigate the crime and unmask the criminal.

F for Fair and Square #A to Z Challenge

Dog Juggling (cartoon)
cartoon dog juggling courtesy of Mister GC and freedigitalphotos.net

You’ve chosen your ideal detective–quirky, entertaining and good at the job.

With all the clues to be juggled, the hard-working sleuth has to combine dexterity and flexibility.

A master of disguise and blessed with a brain are other descriptions which come to mind.

But most of all your sleuth has to be fair and solve the puzzle fair and square.

Play the Game

Not only the detective but also the author must play the cozy game to the hilt. There can be no cheating. Both detective and reader must be given the same clues at the same time so that each has an equal chance of solving the mystery. There can be no bringing in a sudden new suspect at the last minute.

“Didn’t I tell you Uncle Bertram’s grandson Tristran was on the train?” is not a valid clue if it only appears on the penultimate page of your novel.

F for Fun

I had originally intended to have an F for Fun because of the fun titles of today’s novels. Even if not funny, many are  punny. The crafty ones in particular love titles like: Dye No More or Sew Much Trouble or how about the titles that list in threes–Cupcakes, Pies, and Hot Guys?

Whatever would dear Miss Marple make of that?