The winners of the 2020 RMMWA 6-Word Mystery Contest have been revealed!

Entrants submitted brief tales in five different categories. Finalists were selected by an esteemed panel of judges, and winners by a vote of the RMMWA chapter membership.


Overall winner:


Smooth talking lothario found tongue tied.
by Sue Hinkin


Read on for the finalists and winners in each category:


Police Procedural


“Tattoo Killer” fingered for signature crimes.  (by Rita Popp) 

Dispatch balked: no backup during zombiepocalypse.  (by Benjamin Hiller) 

Exhumed the casket; found it empty. (by Nana Herron)

Genealogist discovered dead in cemetery. (by Charlene Dietz)            

Hipster solution to overpriced hitmen: DIY. (by Jeffrey Lockwood)


Romance & Lust


Smooth talking lothario found tongue tied.  (by Sue Hinkin)

Honeymoon Chasm yawned. The bridegroom didn’t.  (by Jennie MacDonald)

Royal wedding day last known citing. (by Renata Waldrop) 

She–the killer–was my ex-husband.  (by Cabby Cabison)

So gorgeous I almost believed her.  (by Matthew Porter)




“Grandma, you’ve gotta stop killing people!”  (by David Bart)

Dear Judge, I know your address…  (by Jeffrey Lockwood)

House ablaze, husband watched, now single.  (by Vy Kava)

Ritalin helped Chuckie. Until it didn’t.  (by Richelle Elberg)

Scratching sounds inside coffin busted mortician.  (by Theodore Iliff)




Chef killed; charges are wonton cruelty.  (by AJ Hartson)

Cake was baked, faked, stomachache, wake.  (by Richard Boersma)

Embezzling manicurist nailed by digital detectives.  (by Rita Popp)

Gardener has knack for bleeding hearts.  (by K.R. Hindman)

Wore rose-colored glasses, missed red flags.  (by Kristin Horton)




“Are you ok?” Gunshots. “Better now.”  (by Vaibhav Hassija)

Another murder, barkeep…must solve whiskey.  (by Lee O’Brien)

Hunted, she hid. Cheap perfume lingers.  (by Daniel Ginsberg)

Jameson, neat. Rocky affair. Nightcapped nark.  (by Andrea Stout)

Vinnie’s black sedan careened into oblivion.  (by Mary Burgess)


The RMMWA extends its thanks to everyone who took part, and to our volunteer judges: