Sidekicks

Favorite Sidekicks by Christina Romeril

Christina Romeril

Christina and I have become friends through agency Zoom meetings. I’m excited she agreed to spend time talking sidekicks with us.

There is a truth universally acknowledged, that sidekicks, especially interesting and quirky ones, are a necessary staple of cozy mysteries. A cozy without its sidekicks would be like a hot fudge sundae without the hot fudge. The sidekick(s) give a cozy the pizzazz.  

When I was young, in my Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew phase, I was determined to be either a sleuth or a sidekick. On one occasion, I actually set out on my bicycle to solve a mystery, but I got tired halfway to my destination and went to Dairy Queen instead. If only I’d had Trixie by my side to keep me focused. 

Let’s review the purpose of a sidekick in a cozy:    

  • They give the MC (main character) someone she can bounce ideas off. 
  • Some of these quirky characters help solve the mystery.  
  • The sidekick provides the MC someone to involve in their hijinks. 
  • Sidekicks can help add some humor to the story.  
  • They can provide information or clues. 
  • A good sidekick can help the MC get into or out of trouble. 
  • They also provide the opportunity for interesting subplots. 

There are several sidekicks I particularly enjoy in the many cozy mystery series I read. But one of my absolute favorites is Lance from Ellie Alexander’s Bakeshop Mystery series. He is the artistic director for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and has such a fun and quirky personality. I adore his sarcastic sense of humor. I can see us going for many a yummy beverage at a local coffee shop while he tells me the inside scoop on the town’s inhabitants. I would definitely want him to be my BFF if I lived in Ashland. 

Sidekicks come in all shapes and sizes. Some sleuths don’t have one particular individual that helps them solve the crimes, but instead have a small group of characters that collectively help, or hinder, as the case may be. I love Libby Klein’s Poppy McAllister’s senior sidekicks’ shenanigans. J.C. Eaton also have a fabulous set of senior sidekicks in their Sophie Kimball Mystery series. And finally, Jackie Layton’s got a plethora of fun and interesting side characters in her Low Country Dog Walker Mystery series, including a darn cute German shepherd named Sunny. 

If I were to advertise for a sidekick it would sound something like this: Seeking sarcastic, funny, adventure loving sidekick over thirty (better make that forty, I’m no spring chicken.) Will even consider furry, four-legged canine over two. Quirky, eccentric, and unconventional traits would be considered an asset.  

My upcoming debut novel, A Christmas Candy Killing, also happens to have a cast of quirky sidekicks. My favorite of the bunch is a retired pharmacist and hypochondriac named Drew Fletcher. My sleuth even has a twin sister, Hanna, to help her explore her inner Miss Marple 2.0.  

A Christmas Candy Killing

Now that I’ve told you about my favorite sidekicks, tell me about yours! You can find me on Facebook and Instagram @ChristinaRomerilWriter as well as at www.christinaromeril.com.  

Christina, thanks so much for visiting today. It’s been fun!

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Malice Domestic and Sidekicks

Malice Domestic began in 1989, and it became an annual fan convention for mystery lovers.

I attended my first Malice Domestic in 2019. Since then I became published, but the pandemic put a stop to Malice the last two years. This was the first time I’ve attended a conference as an author, and I was both excited and scared.

I participated in my first live panel, and we discussed secondary characters and sidekicks.

Toni LP Kelner was the moderator of our panel. Arlene Kay, Libby Klein, Lisa Q, Mathews, and Charlaine Harris were also on my panel, and they were all amazing. They were also very kind to this newbie.

This is my BRLA family led by Dawn Dowdle. It was great bonding with my agency mates after two years of Zoom meetings.

Because the topic of my panel was sidekicks, I plan to invite others to share their favorite sidekicks with us this year.

Do you have a favorite sidekick?