The finalists have been selected and the jury is out.

But while the membership of the Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America mulls the best selections from its 6-word mystery contest, Colorado Sun readers can help select the “Readers’ Choice” winners. We’ll announce all the winners on Dec. 11: the official RMMWA contest, the Sun readers’ choices and the Sun’s own just-for-fun 6-word mystery submissions.

So, Sun readers, pick a winner and runner up from each category and send them to

Then write your own 6-word mysteries — no limit, and we’ll lump them all into a single category — and send it to the same address. Entries must be submitted by Dec. 1. There’s no cash prize (unlike the RMMWA contest), but there could be some cool Sun swag.

Here are the finalists for the RMWWA 2020 6-Word Mystery Contest:

Police Procedural

Dispatch balked: no backup during zombiepocalypse.  

Exhumed the casket; found it empty.  

Genealogist discovered dead in cemetery. 

Hipster solution to overpriced hitmen: DIY.  

“Tattoo Killer” fingered for signature crimes.  

Romance & Lust

Honeymoon Chasm yawned. The bridegroom didn’t.  

Royal wedding day last known citing.   

She — the killer — was my ex-husband.

Smooth talking lothatrio found tongue tied.  

So gorgeous I almost believed her.   


“Grandma, you’ve gotta stop killing people!”

Dear Judge, I know your address…

House ablaze, husband watched, now single.

Ritalin helped Chuckie. Until it didn’t.

Scratching sounds inside coffin busted mortician.


Cake was baked, faked, stomachache, wake.

Chef killed; charges are wonton cruelty.

Embezzling manicurist nailed by digital detectives.

Gardener has knack for bleeding hearts.

Wore rose-colored glasses, missed red flags.


Another murder, barkeep…must solve whiskey. 

“Are you OK?” Gunshots. “Better now.”

Hunted, she hid. Cheap perfume lingers.

Jameson, neat. Rocky affair. Nightcapped nark.

Vinnie’s black sedan careened into oblivion.

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