When I decided to write a murder mystery, I gravitated toward the cozies. A longtime fan of Miss Marple, Nancy Drew and Jessica Fletcher, I felt comfortable with introducing an amateur sleuth instead of a private detective or other law enforcement officer.
My protagonist, Gilda Greco, is a career development practitioner. After winning a nineteen million dollar lottery, Gilda leaves her longtime teaching career and opens a career counselling office aimed primarily at helping boomers launch their second acts. While I haven’t won a lottery (yet), I am a retired high school teacher with a post-graduate diploma in career counselling. It made sense to create a sleuth who has my background and skill set. Whenever Gilda discovers a body or encounters an obstacle, I ask myself what I would in that situation. Writing in the first person also helps me get into Gilda’s head.
While researching my book, I discovered the need for getting the facts straight, especially with regard to official law enforcement. Detectives and private investigators do not readily share information, so it is necessary for the sleuth to use her intelligence and curiosity to uncover clues and motives. Traditionally, the amateur sleuth does save the day, but I was careful not to portray the local police force as too misguided or incompetent.
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