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Fizz of Ideas - Virginia Woolf on Writing

Naming Your Cozy Mystery

Pen inkI was just over author Lorna Barrett's blog (she's the author of the Booktown Cozy Mysteries) and noticed that she was having trouble naming Book #8 in her series. In fact, she's holding a contest for those who email her a winning title.

I just submitted a dozen titles to her that I came up with in about ten minutes. But then, it occurred to me that there are other cozy mystery authors who may be in the same boat, trying to name their first (or, like Lorna, their eighth) book. 

I'm working on my own cozy mystery series (my first!) and I've amassed over 70 crime-related words to help me brainstorm titles. I thought I'd share them with you in case you're having trouble naming your mystery. After I list them, I'll also share the dozen titles I submitted to Lorna...and how I came up with them.

Crime-Related Words for Mystery Titles

Poison 2Death
Trouble
Mortem
Kill
Skull
Funeral
Bury
Death
Scream
Fright
Deceiving
Deceit
GraveShroud
Burial
Knife
Rendezvous
Chill
Yell
Scream
Shot
Wicked
Blood
Lost
Hang
Explosive
Silence
Dark
Twisted
FallingFear
Reaper
Bad
Pushed
Shove
Spill

Fatal
Corpse
Coffin
Hearse
Dead
Crime
Murder
Slay
Grave
Tomb
Killer
Die
Revenge
KnifePoison
Violent
Tainted

Terror
Danger
Body
Cadaver
Evidence
Missing
Gone
Lethal
Bone
Shadow
Witness
Clue
Crypt
Lies
Theft
Stolen
Purloined
Fingerprint 2Chase
Lies
Ruin
Guilt
Guilty
Innocence

Assault
Weapon
Bludgeon
Mischief
Dare
Agony
Tumble
Fall

So, how did I come up with a dozen titles for Lorna's 8th book? It was easy, really. First, I Googled "book related words" and found this link. (She said it had to have a "catchy 'wordy' word that has to do with writing"). I studied the "wordy words". Then, I looked through my list that I've just shared with you to see if I could do a book or word-related mash-up. I came up with:

Definition of Death
Pen ink 2Fatal Ink

Killer Reads

Pushed Over the Page
Capitalized Corpse
Stanza Shot
Lethal Lines
Wicked Writings
Funeral Plot
Column Crime
Silence the Scribe
Catalogue Cadaver

Cool, huh? So if you're writing a series about, say, fish--then find fish-related words to match up with the crime-related words. Minnow Mortem, anyone? What about Tainted Trout? Aquarium Assault? Bury the Betta? Grave Guppy? OK, OK...I'll stop. *wink*

Have I missed any crime-related words? What words do you think are good candidates for a mystery book title?

-- Janet

Comments

Account Deleted

Cool!

Janet Boyer

Thanks, Lorraine! Great to see you. :o)

Craig Conley

Here are some great unused mystery titles from Raymond Chandler's notebooks:

http://www.futilitycloset.com/2013/01/12/a-gumshoes-library/

Janet Boyer

Ohhhh, these are GREAT, Craig. Thank you! I especially like "Stop Screaming--It's Me". LOL!

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