Good Jobs for Amateur Sleuths

When I pitched a new cozy series to my agent, I had to make some decisions about my main character’s occupation.

In BANANA BAMBOOZLE and MARSHMALLOW MAYHEM, Cassidy Dunne and Dan Diehl owned a newspaper. (I call these the Dunne Diehl Mysteries and it never fails to make me laugh. I am truly my best audience.)

In my Mystery Writer’s Mysteries, Charlemagne Russo is a mid-list mystery author with all the hilarity and angst that entails. FICTION CAN BE MURDER finds her agent murdered, and in FOUL PLAY ON WORDS Charlee goes to speak at a conference and learns a friend’s daughter is missing.

And in the one I was pitching, I decided that Quinn Carr created crossword puzzles and works in a diner. In PUZZLING INK, one of her customers is found face down in a plate of biscuits and gravy when she’s ready to close up for the night.

I thought you might be interested in some of my discarded ideas for my character’s job.

  • Air conditioner repair — people would be so agonizingly hot and uncomfortable they’d confess to anything
  • Flooring installer — they’ve always got those kneepads handy for searching for clues in awkward places
  • Acupuncturist — needles, so many terrifying needles
  • Parking lot attendant — plenty of time for cogitation and analysis
  • CEO of a Fortune 500 company — interns could do all the investigative work, freeing up the sleuth for several romantic subplots
  • Cartographer — ability to locate anything in the world
  • Reality TV camera operator — apparently, at some point they become invisible and people really let their hair (and guard) down
  • Gastroenterologist — who better to determine if someone is full of crap?
  • Hydrologist — could probably always get out of hot water
  • Make-up artist — an expert in all things made up
  • Radiologist — could see right through people

Feel free to use any—or all—of them in your next book. You’re welcome!

Any other good jobs for amateur sleuths?

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