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?