Saturday, November 22, 2014

Bloody Murder: Voices from the Margins

Bloody Murder: voices from the margins took place on Saturday morning at Bouchercon 2014. During the hour, the forty-eight (mostly) mystery writers present--listed on the left hand side below--talked about (mostly) mystery authors they love, but you might not have heard of yet. The list includes everything from debut authors to authors who should have become household names during their lives, but who are under-read, under-valued or forgotten.

Here are the recommendations from what we hope was the first Bloody Murder panel. Some of them have websites or publisher’s websites, but some you will have to track down with the help of your favorite bookstore. We guarantee it’s worth your while.

Kristi Belcamino recommends Sara Gran.

Mark Billingham recommends Steve Mosby.

Terri Bischoff recommends Barbara Neely.

Allison Brennan recommends Deborah Coonts.

Carla Buckley recommends Dennis Tafoya.

Dana Cameron recommends Margaret Lawrence.

Joelle Charbonneau recommends Tracy Kiely.

Jessie Chandler recommends Amanda Kyle Williams.

Reed Farrel Coleman recommends Wallace Stroby and Peter Spiegelman.

Hilary Davidson recommends Todd Robinson.

Jamie Freveletti recommends Charlotte Carter.

Jim Fusilli recommends Penelope Fitzgerald.

Alison Gaylin recommends Lauren Sanders.

Joel Goldman recommends Barbara Neely.

Heather Graham recommends Harley Jane Kozak.

Andrew Grant recommends Charles McCarry.

Daniel Hale recommends Harry Hunsicker.

Rachel Howzell Hall recommends Paula L. Woods.

Charlaine Harris recommends Toni L. P. Kelner, Don Harstad, and Shirley Jackson.

Sara J. Henry recommends Charlotte Armstrong and Carol O'Connell.

Greg Herren recommends Sandra Scoppettone.

Ted Hertel recommends Terence Faherty.

Naomi Hirahara recommends Hisaye Yamamoto.

Linda Joffe Hull recommends John Galligan, Shannon Baker.

Toni L. P. Kelner recommends Barbara Paul and Troy Soos.

Harley Jane Kozak recommends Georgette Heyer.

Katia Lief recommends Sarah Weinman.

Elizabeth Little recommends Steph Cha.

Jess Lourey recommends Margaret Millar and Daniel Woodrell.

Alex Marwood recommends Sarah Hilary.

Catriona McPherson recommends Carolyn Wall and Eleanor Taylor Bland

Erin Mitchell recommends Carolyn Keene, Martyn Waites, and Reba White Williams

Clare O'Donohue recommends Wendy Lyn Watson aka Annie Knox

Karen E Olson recommends Mary-Ann Tirone Smith

Sara Paretsky recommends Dorothy Salisbury Davis, Eleanor Taylor Bland, Valerie Wilson Wesley, and Alison Gordon.

Ralph Pezzullo recommends Eduardo Manchado and Joe Trigoboff.

Lori Rader-Day recommends Inger Ash Wolfe aka Michael Redhill.

Lynne Raimondo recommends Joseph Hansen.

Hank Phillippi Ryan recommends Shannon Kirk.

Alex Segura recommends Steve Weddle and Kelly Braffett.

Johnny Shaw recommends Anonymous 9, Matthew McBride, and Chester Himes.

Daniel Stashower recommends Jan Marete Weiss.

Wendy Corsi Staub recommends Tom Savage.

Elaine Viets recommends Craig Rice, Jeffery Marks.

Martyn Waites recommends Bill Loehfelm.

Sarah Weinman recommends Jen Sacks.

Jeri Westerson recommends Dorothy B Hughes.

James Ziskin recommends Lynne Raimondo.

Bloody Murder: voices from the margin was an event put together for Bouchercon 2014 in response to the Men of Mystery controversy.

What overlooked and/or underappreciated authors would you suggest for others to read? Please feel free to leave your suggestion in the comments below.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New Officers and Board Members for Sisters in Crime

Sisters in Crime—an international organization create to promote the ongoing advancement, recognition and professional development of women crime writers—elected a new slate of officers and directors at its annual meeting in Long Beach, California this past weekend.

President: Catriona McPherson
Catriona McPherson was born in Scotland, but moved to California in 2010. Catriona is the multi-award-winning author of the Dandy Gilver detective stories and acclaimed stand-alones. She served as SinC vice-president.

Vice President: Leslie Budewitz
Leslie Budewitz is a practicing trial attorney, the first Agatha winner for both fiction and non-fiction, and a regular inSinC columnist. She lives and writes in Montana.

Secretary: Susan Shea
Susan Shea spent more than two decades as a non-profit executive before beginning her best-selling mystery series featuring a professional fundraiser. Susan is currently the president of SinC-Northern California.

Treasurer/AC Representative (NonVoting): Lori Roy
Lori Roy won the Edgar Award for her first novel, Bent Road, and was nominated for Until She Comes Home. The former tax accountant is a native of Kansas who now lives in west central Florida with her family.

Chapter Liaison: Martha Reed
Martha Reed won a 2006 IPPY for Best Regional Fiction and The Choking Game is just out. She coordinates SinC's 50 chapters. She loves coffee, big jewelry, and the never-ending antics of her extended family.

Publicity: Simon Wood
Simon Wood is a California transplant from England. His former professions are often highlighted in his Anthony Award-winning thrillers. The One That Got Away is due out in April. He also writes horror as Simon Janus.

Library Liaison: Cari Dubiel
Cari Dubiel is the computer services manager at Twinsburg Public Library in Ohio. She coordinates the SinC presence at both the American Library Association's and the Public Library Association's national meetings. She is also writing a mystery.

Monitoring Coordinator, AC Survey Representative: Barbara Fister
Barbara Fister is an academic librarian, a regular columnist for Library Journal and Inside Higher Ed, and is the author of the Anni Koskinen PI series set in Chicago.

Bookstore Liaison: Clare O'Donohue
Clare O’Donohue is the author of seven novels in two series—The Someday Quilts Mysteries, the Kate Conway Mysteries—and two e-novellas. She is also a TV producer on the A&E show, “After The First 48.”

Member-at-Large: Frankie Bailey
Frankie Bailey is the author of the Hannah McCabe police procedurals and the Lizzie Stuart amateur sleuth series. She is a criminal justice professor at SUNY-Albany and a past president of SinC.

Member-at-Large: Julie Hennrikus
Julie Hennrikus is president of SinC-NE and serves on its Crime Bake committee. the executive director of StageSource, a service organization for theater artists and companies in the greater Boston area, has published several short mysteries.

Member-at-Large: G.M. Malliet
G. M. Malliet is the Agatha Award-winning author of the DCI St. Just and Father Max Tudor mysteries. She has been nominated for numerous other awards. A Fatal Summer arrives in October. She lives with her husband in the Washington DC area.

Member-at-Large: Hank Phillippi Ryan
Hank Phillippi Ryan is a Boston NBC affliate on-air investigative reporter. The former SinC president has won three Agatha, the Anthony, the Macavity, and the Mary Higgins Clark awards. Truth Be Told was out in October.

Immediate Past President: Laura DiSilverio
Laura DiSilverio turned from being an Air Force intelligence officer to writing mysteries with a good sprinkling of humor—under her own name and as Ella Barrick. After living around the world, she settled with her family to write in Colorado.

We also have five non-voting advisors and goal champions. The goal champions work with other members of the board towards specific core goals that were laid out in our strategic plan.

Non-Voting Library Advisor: Mary Boone
Mary Boone served as library liaison for many years. An Ohio librarian, she is happy to be paid to turn readers on to books—especially those by SinC members.

Non-Voting Membership Goal Champion: Kate Flora
Kate Flora has written numerous crime novels, is a founding member of New England Crime Bake, and is a former SinC president. She teaches writing and does manuscript critiques for Grub Street in Boston.

Non-Voting Education Goal Champion: Cathy Pickens
Cathy Pickens teaches: SinC-sponsored writing workshops and business at UNC-Charlotte. Another former SinC president, she won the St. Martin’s Press Malice Domestic Award for Best Traditional Mystery.

Non-Voting Education Goal Champion: Marcia Talley
Marcia Talley used her experiences with breast cancer as background for her award-winning Hannah Ives mystery series. The daughter of a career Marine, the former SinC president travelled the world with her military family and continues to do so as a SinC ambassador at mystery conferences and events.

Non-Voting Membership Goal Champion: Molly Weston
Molly Weston is our inSinC Quarterly editor. She reads about 200 mysteries a year and has been reviewing and lecturing about mysteries for nearly 25 years. She also is a media escort in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area and enjoys moderating crime fiction panels at panels across the country.

Photos of all our new board members and officers can be seen on the Sisters in Crime Board of Directors page. Please join us in welcoming our new officers!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Official SinC Response regarding Men of Mystery Inclusion in Bouchercon

Monday, November 3rd, the Sisters in Crime board of directors spent many hours discussing the inclusion of a two-hour, 65-men, breakfast event at Bouchercon called Men of Mystery. We feel that the event represents a huge step backward in the fight for gender equity in the crime fiction community. Below you will find the response we have sent to the Bouchercon organizers.

I recognize that some of you will think stronger measures were called for, and others will think we were too harsh. Some of the factors that went into our response include the closeness of the event and the contractual obligations Bouchercon has incurred with the hotel, the hardship forced on the men participating in the event if it were to be cancelled suddenly, and the frustration to fans (and their possible backlash against the entire mystery community) if Bouchercon pulled a "bait and switch" by convincing some of them to register for Bouchercon with the promise that the Men of Mystery function would be part of it, and then withdrew it. 

If nothing else, this situation shows us the ongoing need for Sisters in Crime. I thank you all for being part of this organization, and for your continuing support of the crime fiction community, readers and writers, men and women. I hope to chat with many of you at Bouchercon, about this issue or anything else that's on your mind.


Laura DiSilverio
President of Sisters in Crime

Dear Ingrid and Bouchercon steering committee members:

Sisters in Crime's board of directors and many of our members are gravely concerned about Bouchercon sponsoring the Men of Mystery event during the convention. While we understand your reasons for folding the event into Bouchercon (thank you for sharing them), the message that many writers are getting from its inclusion is that women are still marginalized in the crime fiction community. You may have enticed a few new fans to Bouchercon, and avoided the possibility of dueling events, but at what cost? We know that Joan Hansen has been a stalwart, Raven award winning, supporter of the mystery community for many years, and she is certainly entitled to organize any event she wants to, but when the largest mystery fan convention gives that event its sponsorship and imprimatur - without a corresponding and comparable platform for women - the situation changes.

Our last monitoring project report noted that "taking the [crime fiction] genre as a whole, things are improving for women, but inequality remains and is particularly noticeable when prestige within the genre is factored into the analysis." We would have hoped that Bouchercon would present a level playing field for men and women writers, but that is not the case this year. If this correspondence were taking place a few months ago, we would strongly call for the event's cancellation. Given the lateness, however, and the harm caused to individual writers by cancelling now, we ask instead that an explanation of the process which led to Bouchercon's association with Men of Mystery, an acknowledgement of the unfortunate result, and a statement of future intent be delivered at the beginning of the session. In upcoming years, we urge you to dissociate the convention from Men of Mystery, and support in word and deed the value of diversity and gender equity.

Laura DiSilverio
President, Sisters in Crime

Sunday, October 12, 2014

by Hank Phillippi Ryan

You have to picture us at Malice—you might have seen us! Not this year, but last. Beth Wasson, and Elaine Will Sparber and I, sitting at one of those little tables under the escalator, talking about what kind of a book I might want to edit for Sisters in Crime. 

Roberta Isleib did such a wonderful job with Shameless Promotion for Brazen Hussies, and LC Hayden with Breaking and Entering. So what could I give Sisters in Crime that would be new and helpful and valuable and—well, even inspiring?

At some point, I said—let’s make it about—the journey. The writer’s journey. And we can divide it into sections, like beginning, hoping, working, thinking...and I saw Beth nodding and Elaine taking notes. (She’s very organized.)

Fast-forwarding, we asked some Sisters authors to con-tribute—from the newest of newbies to the very most experienced and successful. As editor, I said—here are the categories. What strikes you? What can you share?

Tell me a personal story, I said. Not a speech or a class, but something that happened to you. Something you learned from. A path you took, or didn’t, or a decision that’s haunted you. Tell me something wonderful or tragic, a success or a failure, a landmark in your journey. 

And the essays came in. Look at the lineup of authors! Amazing. Gorgeous, generous and revealing. I can tell you—I was in tears much of the time.

What to call it? What to put on the cover? I remember driving somewhere, saying words out loud to myself. Journey, passage, adventure. Pathway, highway, travel. Travel together. In it together. What we share, what we have in common. The things we all go through the rites of—ah. Writes of Passage.

And when I chose the quotes for the chapter divisions, little did I imagine that a brilliant cover artist—who had NOT read the book!—would come up by chance with such a brilliant articulation of “hope is the thing with feathers,” the poem that headlines the “hoping” section.

Sometimes the universe just works.

I am so proud of this, grateful to all the authors and to Elaine Will Sparber for doing all the complicated administrative stuff, and to Beth Wasson for allowing it to flourish. Please let me know if you like it!

Hank Phillippi Ryan is the multi-award-winning author of seven mystery novels. Her newest thriller, TRUTH BE TOLD, received starred reviews form Booklist and LIbrary Journal. Hank is a past president of Sisters in Crime.

Writes of Passage: Adventures on the Writer’s Journey
is newly published by Sisters in Crime, edited by Hank Phillippi Ryan (with Elaine Will Sparber). The book is a collection of essays by Sisters in Crime members, written to inspire other writers.

To read more about the book, visit

Follow us at @SinCnational on twitter. We are tweeting with the hashtag -- #60secrets.

Friday, August 29, 2014

September Sisters in Crime SinC-Up for Bloggers!

We are having a September Sisters in Crime SinC-Up for bloggers. To participate, write a blog post responding to one or more of these questions and, at the end of your post, link to another author who blogs and who you think your readers will want to get to know. (Letting that blogger know would be a good idea, too! They do not need to be members of Sisters in Crime to participate.)

Here are suggested questions to get you started:
  • Which authors have inspired you?
  • Which male authors write great women characters? Which female authors write great male characters?
  • If someone said "Nothing against women writers, but all of my favorite crime fiction authors happen to be men," how would you respond?
  • What's the best part of the writing process for you? What's the most challenging?
  • Do you listen to music while writing? What's on your playlist?
  • What books are on your nightstand right now?
  • If you were to mentor a new writer, what would you tell her about the writing business?

For more details, instructions and contact information, visit

We all hope to learn something new about writers who are our current favorites and get leads for our next new favorite! As the blog hop grows, we will add links to the blogs of participating bloggers here, and you can follow it on twitter at #SinCBlogHop.

  • Kicking it off, our own VP Catriona McPherson, on
  • And now, we hear from our own Monitoring Coordinator, Barbara Fister, on
  • Cari Dubiel, our library liaison, addresses the most challenging part of the writing process for her as well as gives us a pretty long "nightstand" list,
  • Lisa Brackmann also discusses her writing process, and then challenges her companion bloggers at Murder Is Everywhere,
  • Linda Townsdin weighs in here and we love her advice to new writers,
  • Keep on Writing! words from author Robin Murphy, 
  • Susan Oleksiw tells #writers in our #SinCBlogHop to continue to seek advice and support when stuck,
  • Insights and #writing truths in @rhebrewster #SinCBlogHop: "Losing yourself in your writing is exhilarating!" 
  • What's on her playlist when writing? @LaurieStevens1 answers the #SinCBlogHop,
  • Penny Clover Peterson (@DandRMysteries) reveals who got her #writing career started in the #SinCBlogHop,
  • Laurie Bain Wilson (@laurieheather) writes of the challenges of the writing process in the #SinCBlogHop,
  • Rona Gindin (@RonaRecommends) joins #SinCBlogHop on writing process, "It hurts. Except when it’s a total trip."
  • Connie Johnson Hambley joins #SinCBlogHop: "Network. Listen. Write. Tweet. Speak. Like. Pin..." @ConnieHambley
  • Nancy J. Cohen takes on 3 questions of the #SinCBlogHop,
  • #SinCBlogHop from @MeredithCole: What's my favorite part of #writing? Whatever part I'm not doing!
  • Heather Weidner (@CrazyForWords13) joins #SincBlogHop with My Two Cents about Writing for #new #writers,
  • Maggie King (@MaggieKingAuthr) tells us what books are on her nightstand,
  • MaryAnn Miller (@maryannwrites) joins our #SincBlogHop, answers 4 of the questions noting "the creative highway is such a blast",
  • Sharon Linnea (@SharonLinnea) joins #SincBlogHop: DON'T KILL THE DOG and 14 Other Unwritten Rules of Fiction Writing, 
  • Dale Phillips (@DalePhillips2) in the #SinCBlogHop, thoughtful answers about authors that write great male and female characters,  
  • Karen Rigley captures the best part of writing for her,
  • Connie Archer overcomes her hesitation to spill "the underwear drawer out on the web" and tells us what on her nightstand,
  • Edith Maxwell at the other bloggers at the Wicked Cozy Authors blog chime in on the topic of men writing women and women writing men,
  • Tina Whittle writes of books and backbeats at her blog, The Fiction Files,
  • Type M for Murder blogger @FrankieYBailey joins the #SinCBlogHop with what's on her nightstand?
  • #SinCBlogHop from Sandra de Helen @dehelen answers what's on your nightstand?
  • Judy Hogan tackled 7 of the questions! Really like her great response to misguided readers who claim to only read male authors. "You don't know what you're missing."
  • Carolyn Mulford's #SinCBlogHop: The Fun Starts Before the Writing Begins,
  • Maya Corrigan @mayacorrigan joins #SinCBlogHop with Writing While I Sleep,
  • Librarian Thea Green takes over for Molly MacRae in the #SinCBlogHop Who Knows What Books Lurk on an Author's Nightstand,
  • Susan Spann @SusanSpann: Here's my entry in the #SinCBlogHop: seahorses, series, and Sisters in Crime!
  • B.V. Lawson @BVLawson: Today on IRTM, I join the #SinCBlogHop and wonder: can authors write opposite-gender POV well?
  • Art Taylor @ArtTaylorWriter: Taking part in the #SinCBlogHop with the music question--plus my best research story!
  • S.K. Nicholls @sknicholls1 answers three of the #SinCBlogHop questions and highlights some Florida authors,
  • Sue Coletta @SueColetta1 joins #SinCBlogHop, and EXTRA points, she answered ALL the questions!
  • Mary Sutton @mary_sutton73: For #SinCBlogHop, I share my favorite part of the writing process,
  • Terry Odell (@authorterryo) for the #SinCBlogHop tackles what music she listens to when #writing,
  • Kalisha Buckhanon @KalishaOnline is in the #SinCBlogHop! Tackles the question -- What books are on my nightstand?
  • E.M. Powell (@empowellauthor) for the #SinCBlogHop on why women's #crime #fiction is the best!
  • K.A. Laity (@katelaity) for the #SinCBlogHop on Writing to Music and a call to join the hop!
  • MT for the #SinCBlogHop @HASomerled says: Find out my musical inspiration and meet new authors
  • Edith Maxwell at Wicked Cozies (@WickedCozys) bring us thoughts from Julie, Barb, Sherry, Jessie (and Edith herself!) for a new #SincBlogHop: Our writing loves & challenges.
  • Carol Preflatish (@CarolPreflatish) for the #SinCBlogHop has joined the fun! See how she writes and who her favorite author is.
  • Bob Byrd has hippity-hopped over to our #SinCBlogHop to answer ALL the questions,
  • Susanna Caulkins for the #SinCBlogHop, "I don't read books about women", well, you're missing out on THESE authors!,
  • Shari Randall for the #SinCBlogHop on what's on her nightstand,
  • John Howell (@HowellWave) hits all the questions in the #SinCBlopHop,
  • Marianne Bailey (@marieannbailey) replies "You haven't been reading enough,"
  • "Don’t ever give up." advises author @BarbCaffrey part of her #SinCBlogHop,
  • For the #SinCBlogHop. @kathymcwrite: What to say when someone tells you their favorite crime writers are men?
  • Can women write crime? Jessie Powell (@jesterqueen) gives a robust YES as part of the  #SinCBlogHop!
  • Kimberly G. Giarratano (@KGGiarratano) offers her advice for a new writer #SinCBlogHop
  • Elizabeth Buhmann (@ElizabetBuhmann) for the #SinCBlogHop: What authors influenced you? Getting close to murder.
  • Kathy Waller blogs about her inspiration - Lynna Williams - for the #SinCBlogHop,
  • Author Maris Soule (@marisSouthHaven) gives good advice to new writers,
  • Lora Lee @Author_Lora_Lee has a fab list of inspiring authors for the #SinCBlogHop, 
  • Paul D. Marks (@PaulDMarks) reveals what he's reading for the #SinCBlogHop,, thx again to @7CriminalMinds! 
  • Judith Starkston (@JudithStarkston) on the authors who inspired her and advice for writers,
  • Donna Gough says the best part of the writing process, "I am still learning," #SinCBlogHop,
  • Dora Machado (@DoraMachado) in the #SinCBlogHop writes about inspiration, the writing process and advice for new writers,  
  • D.R. Ransdell (@dr_ransdell) tackles the readers preference for male over female writers question for the #SinCBlogHop,
  • Nancy Adams (@Nancy_Adams_) gives us and the Guppies chapter a big shout-out for the #SinCBlogHop,