The host of Marketplace Money on NPR uses a similar device in a different context, asking his CEO guests to distill what their companies do in five words or less, and apparently very few of them can do it. While I was listening to today's guest stumble around, it dawned on me that I wasn't sure I'd do much better if I were trying to describe my stories in just five words.
The one that's in beta right now is: Quilt appraiser solves [antiques]dealer's murder. (Okay, six words, but if I leave out "antiques," the victim sounds like a drug dealer, which doesn't fit well with a cozy mystery.)
My primary WIP right now is: Cranky amateur sleuth grows garlic. I think that description needs work, though, to make it clear that the sleuth is investigating the death of the person who left her the garlic farm. Maybe: Cranky garlic farmer solves aunt's murder. Except that's six words too. I suppose it could be just Cranky farmer solves aunt's murder, but the garlic gives it more flavor!