Are you writing a cozy mystery novel and need some inspiration? Take a look at the following 27 cozy mystery writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing!
Solo Sleuth Prompts
1. The Dance of Death.
The lead in a local dance company goes missing a week before her big performance. The prime suspect is her understudy, but then the understudy goes missing, too. In an effort to save the show, the stage manager investigates the circumstances around their disappearances, in hopes of discovering them safe and sound in time for the big debut.
2. Real-life pet detectives solve the crime.
A pet shop employee discovers a murdered body inside the pet shop one morning. The animals themselves seem to hold the clues to solving the murder. Working with the animals, the pet shop employee decides to solve the mystery of how the victim ended up in the shop and who murdered them in the first place.
3. Café latte or not-te?
A café owner discovers that a few of her recent customers have died from poisoning. Fearing that people might start connecting her café to the deaths, she sets off on a mission to discover the reasons for the murders, and clear her name before it’s even tarnished.
4. A wedding gone awry.
A wedding planner discovers the groom’s uncle face down on the ballroom floor the morning of the big socialite wedding of the year. Even though the wedding is rescheduled to take place in six weeks, the family receive threats demanding the wedding be cancelled. Determined to get this wedding to take place, the wedding planner launches her own investigation into who is taunting the family and why.
5. Solving crimes for the summer.
After locking up her classroom for the summer, a local elementary school teacher discovers a threatening note in the hall, intended for some unknown person. She launches her own investigation on who the note was intended for and tries to intervene before it’s too late.
6. The lonely, lost Valentine…
A woman decides to hunt down her would-be Valentine after he stood her up for their first date. She discovers he’s been missing for weeks. But if that’s the case, who has she been communicating with online?
7. Cheese wheels don’t stop for mysteries.
A delivery truck holding thousands of dollars’ worth of cheese goes missing on its way to the local cheese shop. Nobody knows where it’s gone and the cheese vendor can’t open without the delivery. To save his business, the cheese vendor launches his own investigation into the truck’s whereabouts and how he can get it back.
8. Did you order the death?
At the launch of a brand-new, high-end restaurant, the head chef is found dead in his office. His sous chef suspects foul play and tries to discover who would want his boss dead and stop them before they come for him.
9. Clothes never lie
While taking her clothes out of the dryer, a woman discovers someone has added their clothes, including a cryptic message begging for help. She follows the clues to find out who needs her help and why.
10. Chocolate can be bitter when it’s mixed with murder.
A local man is found murdered and holding a cryptic note connecting him to the local chocolatier. When the chocolatier clears his name as a suspect, he decides to find out for himself what the man was trying to tell him and whether it needs to be stopped.
11. Therapy for the conflicted.
A therapist’s patient is discovered dead in the town square. When the police write it off as accidental, the therapist begins their own investigation in hopes of bringing the rightful murderer to justice.
12. Murders bring the property prices down.
When real estate agents start showing up murdered on the front lawn of their empty homes, one of the last ones left decides to take action and find out who’s responsible, not only to bring them to justice but to save herself before it’s too late!
13. Writing murders for hire.
A local writer discovers that her mysteries are being turned into real crimes! To stop the copycat, she becomes the sleuth in her real-life mystery to discover who the culprit is and stop them.
14. Crosswords spell death!
While completing her favorite crossword puzzle, a woman discovers a hidden distress message. She goes on a mission to discover the creator of the crossword puzzle and ensure their safety.
15. Photos reveal it all.
While developing pictures one afternoon, an amateur photographer sees a missing boy just off frame. She returns to the scene to follow the clues in order to find him, but the clues grow bigger, revealing more than meets the eye.
16. Family curses?
A genealogist discovers that multiple members of her family died suspiciously at the same age and in the same town, miles from where her family originated. She travels to this fateful place only a few weeks before she becomes that haunted age in order to discover what hunted them down, before it hunts her down first!
17. The fashion industry can be a killer.
When a novice fashion designer finds her boss’ body on the shop floor, everyone looks at her first. But once she is cleared of the crime, she chooses to investigate what happened to her boss to ensure it doesn’t happen to her next!
Group Detective Prompts
18. The mystery novel come to life!
A small-town book club that loves to read mysteries discoveries a mystery of their own: their long-standing leader has been murdered! Using the tropes of their favorite mystery novels, the book club does their own investigations to discover clues, identify suspects, and ultimately, name the murderer.
19. Sing for absolution…from murder!
Members of the local church choir start going missing, one each week for four consecutive weeks. The local police aren’t too concerned, but the choir members themselves worry about why they are missing and who might be next. The members band together to investigate the disappearances and, hopefully, bring home their missing friends.
20. Quilting a pattern of death.
While preparing for the next small-town quilting bee, a cryptic note is delivered to the quilting circle, predicting the death of one from their quilting circle. When that woman dies, another cryptic note about a different quilter is delivered. The circle’s members decide to find out who is sending the notes and prevent the second death from taking place before it’s too late.
21. Gardeners have the best hiding places.
When one of the local gardening club members goes missing without a trace, the rest of the club decide to hunt him down. They eventually find him buried in his garden but, as he lived alone, who could have possibly done it? The club uses their collective skills to uncover the mystery behind their friend’s disappearance and murder.
22. Real-life mystery investigators on the prowl.
After seeing their hometown on their favorite real crime series, a group of friends decide to search for the truth themselves. Using their network and friends, they hunt for clues and find more small-town drama than they had bargained for.
23. Vacations aren’t relaxing when you’re dead!
When a guest is found shot dead in his hotel room, the destination hotel goes on high alert. If the killer isn’t found soon, they will be shut down out of safety for the remaining guests. The hotel staff take it upon themselves to discover the killer, not only to bring them to justice but to save their jobs!
24. Puzzlers love a puzzle.
A national jigsaw puzzle convention is brought to a halt when one of the finished puzzles reveals a cryptic and threatening message. One local puzzle group decides to investigate so they can get back to solving puzzles and winning the big prize!
25. Spicy crimes leave a bad taste.
The celebrity judge of the big chili cookoff shows up dead the night before the competition. To clear their names from the suspect list, a group of the chili creators band together to find out who is responsible and bring them to justice.
26. Would like some tea…or death?
The local afternoon tea society meets once a month to have classic British afternoon tea. But when the ladies arrive and find that month’s host dead in her kitchen, they suspect foul play and turn into small-town detectives to find out who murdered their friend and why.
27. Dog walkers find all sorts of things.
During an afternoon walk in the rural foothills, a local dog walker stumbles across a woman’s body. She and her other dog walker friends band together to discover what happened to the woman and uncover more than they bargained for.