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Who is your favorite lady detective from movies, books, or TV?

Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone would probably bristle at the term “lady detective.” She rarely wears dresses, never wears makeup, and cuts her own hair with her nail scissors. She’s also fiercely independent and stubbornly solitary – at times to her own detriment. In addition to her quirks and foibles, I appreciate how she has remained her own self as the series progresses, while at the same time plausibly adjusting to changes in her life. I’m very much looking forward to December to find out what happens in her next adventure.


Also in the running are Margaret Maron’s Deborah Knott, Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon, and Linda Barnes’s Carlotta Carlyle. I’ve just started getting to know Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan, and I’m always looking for new friends too.

Who is your favorite lady detective from movies, books, or TV?
Amelia Peabody from Elizabeth Peters' books. Though it's hard to keep in mind the difference between favourite series and favourite 'lady detective'. For instance, I like Donna Andrews' Meg Langslow series as a whole, but Meg's only a part of that, where Amelia Peabody is a much more important part of why I like that series of books.
20th-Jul-2009 11:06 am - writer's block
Today's writer's block is a good one for this group!
4th-Jun-2009 09:45 am - HOW TO AVOID EXERCISE--OR NOT
It is a fact of life! If you don't exercise, unfortunately the sands shift south, and as the years keep clicking by I'd like to keep my "sands" as much in tact as possible, thank you very much. So, I commit myself to exercising at least three times a week.

However, being a writer, my time is my own to schedule, so sometimes that self-imposed exercise date at 9:00am turns into noon or even later. I mean, first I have to scan all of my e-mails, don't I? What if the publisher wants something? Gotta be right on top of that. And, I'm writing a new Silver Sisters mystery with my sister Phyllice. What if she desperately needs feedback or comment on the last chapter I sent her of VANISHING ACT IN VEGAS? Oh, yeah, the final edits for the print edition of SEVEN DEADLY SAMOVARS are almost finished, too. What if the editor needs another change?

Of course, after checking all of my messages, I have to answer all of my friends out there, don't I? And it wouldn't hurt to read through those chapters or edits I worked on until three in the morning.

Nest, a headline on AOL or Yahoo catches my eye. Gotta read that one and find out what's going on in the world, be it world-class earth-shattering news or juicy gossip. Whoops, before I know it, it might be almost time for lunch. Fuel for the furnace, you know.

Okay, I've run through all the excuses. Here's the reality. Actually it's only 9:40am here in L.A. Not bad. Almost the time I would have finished exercising if I'd been true to myself.

The edits on SEVEN DEADLY SAMOVARS await,but they're not going to change at all in the next half hour. I have chapters to go through for my novel THE DEVIL'S DUE, currently being finalized. They beckon to me, too, but...I know...I know...they'll still be there to be worked on after I wipe the sweat from my brow! Getting a little desperate now. My friend's manuscript--I promised to read it, got to work on the Sisters in Crime newsletter, and how about all of the other projects just waiting to be noticed?

Rats! I've run out of excuses. Time to turn on the DVD and do those exercises. Then, with my mind as sharp as a keenly-honed blade, my writing life resumes.


Available in every format you can think of
SEVEN DEADLY SAMOVARS - Now in Audio-Coming soon in paperback,
Kindle and e-book
Visit me on the web

3rd-Jun-2009 06:13 pm - A WRITER'S LIFE
Today was totally dedicated to writing. This morning I had breakfast with two of my friends from the world of writing, and we discussed various presentations we are going to polish for talks to several types of groups including libraries, seniors groups, organizations and writers' conferences. We've appeared on panels together during the past few years, and really have a good time bantering back and forth for the benefit of the audience.

Fortified with a nice blueberry scone and (gulp) too much coffee, this now wired writer was ready to attack our editor's marked up galley for the paperback of the latest Silver Sisters comical crime caper, SEVEN DEADLY SAMOVARS. Whooee. The audio book was released in March, and now the time is drawing near for it to be in print. Several hours later, now crosseyed, my whites a blazing shade of red, I wrapped up the last of the requested changes for the first fourteen chapters. That gives me time to work on other projects before the next batch of chapters arrive, including the newest Silver Sisters adventure, VANISHING ACT IN VEGAS.

I worked on another of my manuscripts last night until around 2:30 am. But you know what? I love it. My books and stories are either in print or close to going into print and that's what I care about. As an "accidental writer"--you see, I never started out to be one--I love sharing how that came about with people who ask, "When did you know you wanted to be a writer?" Well, for starters, I was an interior designer at the time. When I saw my first magazine article in print in a prestigious magazine, the bug grabbed me.

A CORPSE IN THE SOUP-Best Mystery Audio Book 2007-USA Book News
Paperback, Kindle, e-book, CD, MP3
SEVEN DEADLY SAMOVARS - Now in audio book, coming soon in
paperback, Kindle and e-book

Here are a few pictures from last month's trip to Holland:

Burbank Library, Morgan St. James, A Corpse in the Soup, reading
10th-Feb-2008 03:45 pm - Julie Hyzy
Julie Hyzy
starts out her White House Chef mystery series with a bang and a complete Presidential menu of recipes in the back of the book. I can't wait for the next one!

White House Chef
1. State of the Onion

She also has two books about Chicago news researcher Alex St. James that I haven't read yet.

1. Deadly Blessings
2. Deadly Interest
30th-Nov-2007 08:46 am - Dolores Johnson
Dolores Johnson also finishes off her series this year. Mandy Dyer owns a dry cleaning service in Denver, Colorado. They're a light cozy mystery with lots of humor.

1. Taken To The Cleaners
2. Hung Up To Die
3. A Dress To Die For
4. Wash, Fold, & Die
5. Homicide & Old Lace
6. Buttons & Foes
7. Taking the Wrap
8. Pressed to Kill
28th-Nov-2007 09:20 pm - Gillian Roberts
I'm don't know how I missed the hardcover release of what is the last book in Gillian Robert's Amanda Pepper series but the paperback release is scheduled for the end of March 2008. Amanda is a high school teacher in Philadelphia.

Amanda Pepper
1. Caught Dead In Philadelphia
2. Philly Stakes
3. I'd Rather Be In Philadelphia
4. With Friends Like These
5. How I Spent MY Summer Vacation
6. In The Dead Of Summer
7. The Mummers' Curse
8. The Bluest Blood
9. Adam and Evil
10. Helen Hath No Fury
11. Claire and Present Danger
12. Till the End of Tom
13. A Hole in Juan
14. All's Well that Ends
31st-Oct-2007 02:06 pm - Rock & Roll Murder Mysteries

Here's a fun new twist of a book: Patricia Morrison, a long time success sci fi fantasy author, and the woman who married Jim Morrison in a pagan ceremony, has gone into a different genre--mysteries. Specifically, rock n' roll murder mysteries, set in the 1960's. She has a livejournal: pkmorrison. Here is the information on her book and how to order it...



The Rock & Roll Murders: The Rennie Stride Mysteries...by Patricia Morrison

Sex, drugs, rock&roll—and murder. A slightly different side of the Sixties.

She's a newspaper reporter whose beat is rock, not a detective, and her best-friend sidekick is a blond bisexual superstar chick singer, not a cop, but murder rocks their world, following them through the heart of the Sixties, from Haight-Ashbury to the Hollywood Hills, from the East Village to Abbey Road....

Seamlessly blending the fictional with the real: the stars, the bands, the music, all the excitement of the most incredible decade of the last century...

Full of rockworld dish and attitude, created by someone who was not only there for it but who made some of it happen herself, and who actually remembers it...

And with murder to sit in and jam.

It is a time when things are happening that have never happened before...when artists like Jerry Garcia and Janis Joplin and Mick Jagger are doing stuff onstage that people never dreamed of when listening to Perry Como...when rock is the hottest thing on the planet and the people who make it their life and love and work are the coolest people you could ever hope to meet.

The time when it was all NEW: the music, the hair, the clothes, the drugs, the sex, the politics, the revolution in society that stopped a war and changed the world.
A time often imitated, always envied by those not lucky enough to have been there for it, certainly never surpassed...and now with a body count!

Over the course of the series, which will run from 1964 to around 1972, smart, tough, pretty rock writer/social commentator/amateur crime-solver RENNIE STRIDE will move back and forth between
San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and London.

Everywhere she goes, it's the heart of rock and roll: classic scenes like Woodstock, Monterey Pop, the Fillmores East and West, the San Francisco ballrooms, the Greenwich Village rock and folk clubs, LA's Whisky A Go-Go and Troubadour, England's tiny blues dens and huge pop festivals.

As notorious for her affinity for and proximity to foul play—the "rock albatross", as she only half-jokingly calls herself, a murder magnet always around for, or connected to, a string of music-biz murders and counterculture crimes—as she is famous for her journalistic talent and style and personal dash, Rennie is not only a hip rockworld Miss Marple but the friend of dozens of other Sixties movers and shakers, real and fictional: musicians, painters, photographers, clothes designers, record company execs, other writers.
(And the lover of some of the rock deities who are making musical history.)

First up:

Ungrateful Dead: Murder at the Fillmore...

It's March 1966 in
San Francisco. Not quite yet the Summer of Love.
Instead, it's the Springtime of Murder. When up-and-coming rock singer Prax McKenna is busted for being at two murder scenes, one of which takes place at that temple of rock, the newly opened Fillmore Auditorium, her best friend, newspaper reporter Rennie Stride, resolves to find the real killer and spring Prax from the slammer. What nobody expects, least of all Rennie, is what happens next...

Patricia Morrison is a retired rock critic and editor, the author of The Keltiad science-fantasy series and "Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison", and was married to rock star Jim Morrison.



22nd-Sep-2007 09:04 pm - Livia J. Washburn
Livia J. Washburn
is the author of The Fresh-Baked mystery series featuring a widowed, retired schoolteacher. I thought this was an enjoyable and humorous cozy mystery.

1. A Peach of a Murder
2. Murder by the Slice (Oct 2007)

Her first mystery series featured a 1920's stuntman, Lucas Hallam.
Lucas Hallam
1. Wild Night
2. Dead Stick
3. Dog Heavies
29th-Aug-2007 05:10 pm - Joanne Pence
Joanne Pence
writes a culinary mystery series featuring food columnist Angelina Amalfi.

1. Something's Cooking
2. Too Many Cooks
3. Cooking Up Trouble
4. Cooking Most Deadly
5. Cook's Night Out
6. Cooks Overboard
7. A Cook in Time
8. To Catch A Cook
9. Bell, Cook, and Candle
10. If Cooks Could Kill
11. Two Cooks A-Killing
12. Courting Disaster
13. Red Hot Murder
14. The Da Vinci Cook
31st-Jul-2007 07:52 pm - J. A. Jance
J. A. Jance
is the author of 4 mystery series.

J. P. Beaumont starts out as a homicide detective with the Seattle Police Dept.
1. Until Proven Guilty
2. Injustice For All
3. Trial By Fury
4. Taking The Fifth
5. Improbable Cause
6. A More Perfect Union
7. Dismissed With Prejudice
8. Minor In Possession
9. Payment In Kind
10. Without Due Process
11. Failure To Appear
12. Lying In Wait
13. Name Withheld
14. A Breach Of Duty
15. Birds Of Prey
16. Partner In Crime (with Joanna Brady)
17. Long Time Gone
18. Justice Denied

Joanna Brady is the sheriff in Cochise County, Arizona.
1. Desert Heat
2. Tombstone Courage
3. Shoot/Don't Shoot
4. Dead To Rights
5. Skeleton Canyon
6. Rattlesnake Crossing
7. Outlaw Mountain
8. Devil's Claw
9. Paradise Lost
10. Partners in Crime (with J. P. Beaumont)
11. Exit Wounds
12. Dead Wrong

Dianna Ladd is an author, Brandon Walker is an ex-sheriff living in Tucson, Arizona.
1. Hour Of The Hunter
2. Kiss The Bees
3. Day Of The Dead

Alison Reynolds is an ex-newscaster, now running a blog in Sedona, Arizona.
1. Edge Of Evil
2. Web of Evil
3. Hand of Evil (Dec. 18, 2007)
Who can you trust when you're BAIT
29th-Jul-2007 06:40 pm - Elizabeth Bright
Elizabeth Bright is the pseudonym of Tim Myers.
He writes The Card-Making mystery series featuring Jennifer Shane and her Custom Card Creations shop.
1. Invitation to Murder
2. Deadly Greetings
3. Murder and Salutations

As Tim Myers, he has 3 mystery series, all of which I'd like to read:
The Soapmaking mystery series, which I've been told is hilarious, features Benjamin Perkins in his family's Where There's Soap shop.
1. Dead Men Don't Lye
2. A Pour Way to Dye
3. A Mold for Murder

The Candlemaking mystery series features Harrison Black, who inherited his great-aunt's candle shop, Wick's End.
1. At Wick's End
2. Snuffed Out
3. Death Waxed Over
4. A Flicker of Doubt

The Lighthouse Inn mystery series is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
1. Innkeeping with Murder
2. Reservations for Murder
3. Murder Checks Inn
4. Room for Murder
5. Booked for Murder
16th-Jul-2007 07:37 am - Mary Kittredge
Mary Kittredge has written 3 mystery series.

Her first series features Charlotte Kent is an author in Mendocino County
The second series is Edwina Crusoe, who is a nurse at Chelsea Memorial Hospital before opening her own business, Confidential Consulting. Medical/Health Matters Only, to investigate medical fraud.
Under the pseudonym Sarah Graves, she writes the Home Repair is Homicide series.

Charlotte Kent
1. Murder In Mendocino
2. Dead & Gone
3. Poison Pen

Edwina Crusoe
1. Fatal Diagnosis
2. Rigor Mortis
3. Cadaver
4. Walking Dead Man
5. Desperate Remedy
6. Kill Or Cure

as Sarah Graves
Home Repair is Homicide
1. The Dead Cat Bounce
2. Triple Witch
3. Wicked Fix
4. Repair To Her Grave
5. Wreck The Halls
6. Unhinged
7. Mallets Aforethought
8. Tool & Die
9. Nail Biter
10. Trap Door
Who can you trust when you're BAIT
6th-Jul-2007 06:29 pm - New Novel
Hi all,

I'm new to the livejournal scene, but I'm hoping to meet some cool writers/readers and also stir up interest in my new novel.  I recently signed a 2-book deal with Ace/Roc for an urban fantasy/crime procedural series with a forensic twist.  The first book is called NIGHT CHILD, and the protagonist is a witch, working in Vancouver, who uses a mixture of current forensic technology and old-fashioned magic to solve crimes within the supernatural community.  Her official title is OSI, or Occult Special Investigator.

Now, I'm probably walking a fine line here between introducing myself and selling my work, but I'm more interested in getting feedback about the series than anything else.  I'd really love to start developing a good readership early on so that I have people to help me bounce around ideas before the books go to print.  Currently, NIGHT CHILD is slated to be out in the Spring of 2008, and the second novel, HEXTACY, will follow in 2009.

I've just started a new website and livejournal to provide more info about my work, and I'd love any and all feedback.  You can link to the website HERE, and the livejournal HERE.

I'd love to chat about the series as it develops, answer any questions--both about the books and about writing in general--and meet new readers and writers.  I've already connected with the folks at Fags, Fur, and Fey and Urban Fantasy Fangs communities, and they've been awesome. 

Email me at:  jbattis@sfu.ca


5th-Jul-2007 09:24 pm - Laurie R. King
Laurie R. King
is the author of 4 mystery series.
Mary Russell is the student and wife of Sherlock Holmes.
Kate Martinelli is a homicide detective in San Francisco, Ca.
Folly Island has different main characters in each book.
Anne Waverly is a university professor.

Mary Russell
1. The Beekeeper's Apprentice
2. A Monstrous Regiment Of Women
3. A Letter Of Mary
4. The Moor
5. O Jerusalem
6. Justice Hall
7. The Game
8. Locked Rooms

Kate Martinelli
1. A Grave Talent
2. To Play The Fool
3. With Child
4. Night Work
5. The Art of Detection

Folly Island
1. Folly
2. Keeping Watch

Anne Waverly
1. A Darker Place (UK title: The Birth of a New Moon)

She has also written Califia's Daughters, a post-apocalyptic fantasy, under the name Leigh Richards.
14th-Jun-2007 08:57 am - Ann Purser
Ann Purser
is the author of 2 mystery series both of which are set in villages in England.
Round Ringford is complete with 6 books though the main character changes for each book.
Lois Meade is a house cleaner who gets involved in a murder case when the suspects are all people whose houses she cleans.

Round Ringford
1. Patures New
2. Spinster of the Parish
3. Orphan Lamb
4. New Every Morning
5. Thy Neighbor's Wife
6. Mixed Doubles

Lois Meade
1. Murder on Monday
2. Terror on Tuesday
3. Weeping on Wednesday
4. Theft on Thursday
5. Fear on Friday
6. Secrets on Saturday
7. Sorrow on Sunday (July 1, 2007)
8. Warning at One (Working title)
31st-May-2007 07:17 pm - Shirley Damsgaard
Shirley Damsgaard
is the author of the Ophelia and Abby series. Ophelia is a librarian in a small town in Iowa and is psychic. Her grandmother, Abby, is a witch & is teaching her granddaughter how to use her paranormal powers.

Ophelia and Abby series
1. Witch Way to Murder
2. Charmed to Death
3. The Trouble with Witches
4. Witch Hunt (June 1, 2007)
5. The Witch is Dead (Sept. 1, 2007)
18th-Apr-2007 05:18 pm - On What Grounds book discussion [cleo coyle]
The following comments within our discussion may contain spoilers, so if you haven't read the book you may not want to read the comments until you have.

If you have a suggestion for next month's book discussion, please add it to the end of your comments here. I'll post a poll this weekend of the first 5 books listed.

Cleo Coyle and Alice Kimberly are pseudonyms of Marc Cerasini and Alice Alfonsi, a husband & wife writing team.

As Cleo Coyle, they write
The Coffeehouse series
1. On What Grounds
2. Through the Grinder
3. Latte Trouble
4. Murder Most Frosty
5. Decaffeinated Corpse (July 2007)

As Alice Kimberly, they write
The Haunted Bookshop series
1. The Ghost and Mrs. McClure
2. The Ghost and the Dead Deb
3. The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library
As easy as Pi
9th-Apr-2007 04:38 pm - Jerrilyn Farmer
Jerrilyn Farmer
is the author of the Madeline Bean culinary series. Madeline Bean and her business partner, Wesley Westcott, operate a catering company in Hollywood.
When their client is poisoned at his own Halloween Party and Wesley is arrested, Madeline sets out to prove he's innocent the only way she knows how - by finding the real culprit
This is a delightful, humorous series and I'm looking forward to the next book.

Madeline Bean Culinary series
1. Sympathy for the Devil
2. Immaculate Reception
3. Killer Wedding
4. Dim Sum Dead
5. Mumbo Gumbo
6. Perfect Sax
7. The Flaming Luau of Death
8. Desperately Seeking Sushi
Spock Strange
8th-Apr-2007 07:50 pm - Mild Mysteries

Does anyone have any suggestions as to some current authors who write along the lines of,"Oh,by the by,there's a body in the library"?
So many  mainstream book clubs offer mysteries which are saturated in violence.As marginally weird as this is  for me,the murder of a character is an aside and the search for the "bad guy" is the cream.

6th-Apr-2007 04:18 pm - Ann Granger update
Ann Granger has a new series featuring Lizzie Martin, companion to a wealthy widow & slumlord and Inspector Benjamin Ross, her former childhood friend in London, England 1864. The first book, A Rare Interest in Corpses, will be available in the USA after June 12, 2007 as The Companion.
You can see a list for her other two series here.
Spock Strange
2nd-Apr-2007 07:35 pm - Camille Minichino
Camille Minichino
is the author of The Periodic Table mystery series featuring Dr. Gloria Lamerino. When she retires from her Berkeley lab in California and moves into an apartment over her friend's funeral home in her hometown of Revere, Massachusetts she hadn't planned on getting involved in murder. Now she's a consultant to the Police Department for science related cases.
Periodic Table
1. The Hydrogen Murder
2. The Helium Murder
3. The Lithium Murder
4. The Beryllium Murder
5. The Boric Acid Murder
6. The Carbon Murder
7. The Nitrogen Murder
8. The Oxygen Murder
Only 110 books to go!

She's also starting a new series under the name of Margaret Grace featuring dollhouses.
1. Murder in Miniature (2008)
28th-Mar-2007 04:55 pm - next book discussion
We'll be reading On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle for our discussion on April 18. This is the first book in her Coffeehouse mystery series.
Brief descriptionCollapse )
Live long & prosper
Death on a Family Tree is the first book in a new series by Patricia Sprinkle.

The following comments within our discussion may contain spoilers, so if you haven't read the book you may not want to read the comments until you have.

She's written 2 other mystery series and several other books.

Sheila Travis series
Sheila Travis is a diplomat's widow and assistant to the president of Markham, a training school for diplomats.
1. Murder At Markham
2. Murder In The Charlston
3. Murder On Peachtree Street
4. Somebody's Dead In Snellville
5. Death Of A Dunwoody Matron
6. A Mystery Bred In Buckhead
7. Deadly Secrets On The St. Johns

MacLaren Yarbrough series
Maclaren Yarbrough is the owner of a feed store and the local magistrate in Hopemore, Georgia.
1. When Did We Lose Harriet?
2. But Why Shoot The Magistrate?
3. Who Invited The Dead Man?
4. Who Left That Body In The Rain?
5. Who Let That Killer In The House?
6. When Will The Dead Lady Sing?
7. Who Killed The Queen Of Clubs
8. Did You Declare A Corpse?
9. Guess Who's Coming to Die?
Spirit Ball
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