Until next meeting








March 8 RMMWA Meeting

Location: Colorado Auto Dealers Association, 290 E. Speer Blvd., Denver, 80203
Cocktail hour: 6:30, dinner 7 p.m. Program follows.

Speaker: Kathleen Donnelly
Program: The Crime Fighting Nose

Pay online

Presentation description: We see them on television, read about them in books and see them in action at airports or traffic stops—the amazing K-9s. These dogs work in many different capacities from police and military work to finding cadavers to search and rescue and much more. Ever wonder about their training? What is it like living with a K-9 as a roommate? What does it look like when a dog alerts? This is your chance to see a narcotics K-9 in action and get your questions answered.

Kathleen will present with Willow, one of her Sherlock Hounds partners. During the presentation Kathleen will explain and demonstrate how she and her dogs go into schools and private businesses to help keep them safe. She’ll explain how the dogs are trained to detect illegal drugs in schools which include: marijuana, meth, heroin, cocaine and ecstasy, gunpowder and alcohol. Kathleen will discuss the differences and similarities between her dogs and police K-9s, the ongoing Colorado state level rulings regarding dogs continuing to alert on marijuana and will answer any burning questions you have about K-9s. Willow will give a demonstration and show how well her crime fighting nose works.

Click for more information on Sherlock Hounds.

Kathleen Donnelly Bio: Passionate about animals and the outdoors, all of Kathleen’s interests end up in written form, one way or another. Her experiences being a part-owner and K-9 handler for Sherlock Hounds Detection Canines over the past 12 years play a major role in much of her writing. She is currently working on a mystery featuring a female protagonist who’s a K-9 handler for the National Forest Service, a manuscript that was named a finalist for a 2017 Claymore Award. Kathleen lives in Berthoud, Colorado with her husband and all their four-legged friends.

Willow Bio: Willow has been a K-9 for Sherlock Hounds Detection Canines the past two years. A rescue from Oklahoma, she loves keeping schools safe by sniffing out drugs, alcohol and gunpowder. Willow’s other passion is sitting by Kathleen’s desk and consulting on anything K-9 related Kathleen is writing. She lives in Berthoud, Colorado with her fellow drug dogs DJ, Gracie and retiree Sparky.

6-Word Mystery Contest Winners Announced

One hundred nineteen people entered 312 total entries to our first 6-Word Mystery Contest. The finalists were chosen by our esteemed panel of judges. The ultimate winners were determined by attendees who voted at the Mystery & Mistletoe Holiday Party.The overall winner (highlighted in yellow below) won $100 cash and the category winners (in bold below) won $20 gift certificates to Tattered Cover Bookstore.


Missing: Diamond necklace. Contact Buckingham Palace
Marne Kellogg

Croquet tournament murder with mallets aforethought.
Linda Boatright

Nanny missing. Spoons, sugar, umbrella found.
Vicki Kashon

Matron missing. Cellar locked. Kitties plump.
Jeffrey Lockwood

Diving goggles found in pirate ship.
A.R. Ashling


Unlocked phone. Undeleted messages. Unresponsive husband.
Scott Kirkwood

Returned diamond, broke heart, used spade.
Laurel Manuel

Widow was deposed while lovers decomposed.
Ted Iliff

Came to investigate, stayed for breakfast.
Connie O’Murray

Killed for her – then by her.
Bailey Phelps


Dumpster discovery: striped sweater. Where’s Waldo?
Linda Boatright

Another smart phone bombing…evil emoji smiles.
Daniel Martinez

Eyes so lovely I kept them.
Cindy Marsh

Detective’s wife murdered. No evidence found.
Vaibhav Hassija

House for sale. Bring own exorcist.
Jenny Young


Fatal stab. Icicle melts. Perfect crime.
Kathleen O’Brien

But officer, the DNA was yours.
Cindy Marsh

Window jimmied. Intruder shot. Keys noticed.
Twist Phelan

Hung jury. Police suspect group suicide.
Karen Morrissey

Explain week-old maggots in yesterday’s corpse.
Jeffrey Lockwood


Max decided falling was strangely peaceful.
Steve Volstad

Everything was crooked, especially the fedora.
Cynthia Kuhn

The night masked her dark intentions.
Paul Halenda

Cigarettes on nightstand. I don’t smoke.
Susan Sener

Strangled cop. Empty backseat. Missing handcuffs.
Scott Kirkwood

Writing Commercial Fiction by Jeffery Deaver

Saturday, April 7, 2018,  Renaissance Denver, 3801 Quebec Street
Co-hosted by



Sign-in from 9:00-9:30 a.m. Program starts 9:30. Lunch included. Ends approximately 3:00 p.m. Bring your laptop, tablet, or pen and paper – writing exercises included.

Cost:  $50 for RMFW and RMMWA members with early registration through February 28
$60 for non-members through February 28

$60 for RMFW and RMMWA members late registration beginning March 1
$70 for non-members beginning March 1

Space is limited


Writing Commercial Fiction by Jeffery Deaver

International number-one bestselling author Jeffery Deaver presents a four-hour class on developing the tools you need to craft compelling commercial fiction.

Deaver, the current president of Mystery Writers of America will give you invaluable insight into the general rules of writing fiction, the elements of a successful novel, and the publication process.

No matter what your level of experience, you won’t want to miss out on this fantastic opportunity to hone your skills and advance your career.

A former journalist, folksinger and attorney, Jeffery Deaver has written more than 35 novels, 3 collections of short stories, a non-fiction law book, and country-western album lyrics. He’s an international number-one bestselling author selling in 150 countries and translated into more than 25 languages. More than 50 million of his books have sold worldwide, with novels appearing on bestseller lists around the world, including the New York Times, Times of London, Corriere della Sera, Sydney Morning Herald, and Los Angeles Times, as well as receiving or being shortlisted for dozens of awards around the world. Deaver has received the Lifetime Achievement Award (Bouchercon World Mystery Convention), the Raymond Chandler Lifetime Achievement Award, and The Strand Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award.

Awards: The Bodies Left Behind/Novel of the Year by the International Thriller Writers Association (The Broken Window and Edge also nominated); British Crime Writer’s Association Steel Dagger & Short Story Dagger; the Nero Wolfe Award; three Ellery Queen Readers Award/Best Short Story of the Year; the British Thumping Good Read Award; the Mystery Writers Association of Japan Book of the Year; the Japanese Adventure Fiction Association Grand Prix award; and Killer Nashville’s Political Thriller of the Year.

Visions of Ted Bundy

Murder Under the Oaks

Identity Crisis

New Releases

Check out the full New Releases Archive.

Renowned panel of judges announced for Six-Word Mystery Contest

Z.J. Czupor
Secretary of the Board
Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America
303-503-6677 (mobile)

Renowned panel of judges announced for Six-Word Mystery Contest

DENVER, October 25, 2017 – The Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America (RMMWA) today announced an award-winning and renowned panel of judges for RMMWA inaugural six-word mystery contest.

Judging entries in the contest will be The Denver Post’s Features Editor Jenn Fields; New York Times best-selling author Anne Hillerman; award-winning author, lawyer and activist Manuel Ramos; Tattered Cover Book Store owner and author Len Vlahos; and literary agent Terrie Wolf, owner of the AKA Literary Management agency.

The contest opened October 1 and final deadline to enter is midnight, November 26. Six-word novels can be entered in one or all five of the following categories: Hard Boiled or Noir; Cozy Mystery; Thriller Mystery; Police Procedural Mystery; and/or Romance and Lust.

Cost to enter the contest is $6 per entry (just $1 per word); or $10 to enter six-word mysteries in all five categories. The grand prize winner will receive $100 in cash. Finalists in other categories will receive valuable gift cards to Tattered Cover and will be featured on the RMMWA website. The Six-Word Mystery Contest is open to all adults 18 and over. No residency requirements.

Finalists will be invited to read their entries at the chapter’s annual Mystery & Mistletoe Holiday Party, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., December 13, 2017, at the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association, 290 E. Speer Blvd., Denver, CO 80203. The winners will be voted on by those attending and announced that evening.

According to legend, the first six-word novel was born in the 1920s when Ernest Hemingway at New York’s Algonquin Hotel or Luchow’s restaurant (depending on whom you ask) won a $10 bet by writing a six-word story. His dark and dramatic submission was: “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” Urban legend or no, memorable, heartbreaking and sublime six-word stories have been penned ever since.

For more information about the contest and how to enter, please visit www.rmmwa.org.

# # #

Mystery Writers of America is a nonprofit professional organization of mystery and crime writers, editors, publishers, and other professionals in the mystery field.

MWA watches developments in legislation and tax law, sponsors symposia and mystery conferences, presents the Edgar® Awards, and provides information for mystery writers. Membership in MWA is open to published authors, editors, screenwriters, and other professionals in the field.

The Rocky Mountain Chapter represents member writers in Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico and Montana. The Rocky Mountain Chapter meets monthly and provides educational presentations by subject matter experts on topics related to crime, law enforcement, investigative, forensic, medical and legal issues among others; and often sponsors special events of interest to mystery writers in the region.

Member News

See all member news.

Signings and Sightings


Member News

Ausma Zehanat Khan’s fourth Khattak/Getty mystery, A DANGEROUS CROSSING (St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books), is out February 13, 2018. She’ll be at the Tattered Cover-Colfax for the launch on February 15 at 7 p.m, and on the panel “Women Write Truth to Power,” at the Colorado Book Festival on March 3 at 1 p.m, at the Denver Public Library.

The 2018 Lefty Award nominees have been announced: THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK by Jennifer Kincheloe (Seventh Street Books) has been nominated for Best Historical Mystery and THE ART OF VANISHING by Cynthia Kuhn (Henery Press) has been nominated for Best Humorous Mystery.

RT Reviews has named HUNTING HOUR (Crooked Lane Books) by Margaret Mizushima a 2017 RT Reviewers’ Choice Award nominee in the Mystery/Thriller/Suspense category.

See photos of Mystery and Mistletoe here.

Christine Carbo’s second novel in her Glacier Mystery Series, Mortal Fall, won the 2017 High Plains Book Award in the category of Best Woman Writer. The High Plains Book Award considers all types of literature from authors who examine and reflect on life in the High Plains: Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta.

The Flapper, the Impostor, and the Stalker, by Charlene Bell Dietz, will appear on bookstore shelves this December. In 1923 when college-bound Kathleen McPherson, of Minneapolis, pushes her family’s traditional boundaries, she discovers a stalker intent on killing her. Kathleen runs away to Chicago to escape the knife-wielding stalker and to find happiness as a flapper. Instead of an entertainer’s life full of fun and frolic, Kathleen encounters deception, death, heartbreak, and revenge. Not only does the stalker continue to pursue Kathleen, but she now must escape being murdered by the mob.

In November, The Flapper, the Scientist, and the Stalker received a Kirkus starred review. “Readers will initially settle in for a standard mystery….But when the appealing Kathleen and Harold take over things, this story becomes more than a simple whodunit—it delightfully turns into serious literature. Readers should hope for more captivating novels from this promising author.” Click to read the complete review.

Praise for Dietz’s previous book, The Flapper, the Scientist, and the Saboteur: “Dietz is a talented writer…Readers should hope for more captivating novels from this promising author.” —Kirkus Reviewers (starred review)

Jennifer Kincheloe’s new novel, The Woman in the Camphor Trunk: An Anna Blanc Mystery, is coming to audio this month featuring Audie, Earphone, and Audible Book-of-the-Year award-winning narrator, Moira Quirk.

In early-1900s Los Angeles—an era of courting, ragtime, suffragettes, and widespread corruption—a socialite turned police matron tracks down the murderer of a white woman in Chinatown, while trying to prevent the outbreak of a bloody tong war.

On November 17, Patricia Smith Wood won the NM/ AZ Book Award for Best Cozy Mystery for 2017, for the third book in the Harrie McKinsey Mystery Series—Murder on Frequency. Congratulations to Pat!

Robert D. Hughes’s new novel Bone Mountain was published in October by C J Keenan Publishing. “Bone Mountain is a hella fast-paced high plains thriller.” —Elwood Reid, Executive Producer of the hit FX series, The Bridge. Bone Mountain is available on Amazon as a trade paperback and e-book. For details, visit https://www. robertdhughesauthor.com.



Carter Wilson’s upcoming novel Mister Tender’s Girl (Sourcebooks Landmark, Feb 2018) was optioned for a television series by Legendary Television, a division of Legendary Entertainment (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises, Inception).

His current release, Revelation, just co-won the 2017 Rone Award in the Thriller & Suspense category.

Pat Stoltey announces the release of her historical mystery, Wishing Caswell Dead, in hardcover and ebook from Five Star/Cengage. Publishers Weekly called the novel “…a worthy historical” and described the characters as “surprisingly complicated and wonderfully individual.” The novel is set in the early 1800s in the fictitious Village of Sangamon on the Illinois frontier.

WELCOME to new members Ausma Zehanet Khan and Susan Waller Lehmann.

RMMWA board election in December

Congratulations to our elected RMMWA board officers, including our new Vice President, Z.J. Czupor!


Mark Stevens

Vice President

ZJ Czupor




Bruce Most

Membership Chair

Laurie Sanderson-Walcott

Newsletter Editor

Suzanne Proulx

Catering Director

Susan Paturzo

Social Media Director

Margaret Mizushima

Program Director

Emily Littlejohn

Montana Representative

Leslie Budewitz

New Mexico Representative

Ann Zeigler

Wyoming Representative

Jeff Lockwood

Photos of the bone workshop here.

Carter Wilson’s latest book Revelation won both the Colorado Book Awards (Thrillers) and the International Book Award (Mystery & Suspense).


Manuel Ramos is a finalist for the Shamus Award from the Private Eye Writers of America. Ramos, two-time winner of the Colorado Book Award for his crime fiction, is listed for the Shamus in the Original Private Eye Paperback category for his most recent novel, My Bad: A Mile High Noir (Arte Público Press). The winners in the various categories will be announced in September. The Shamus has been awarded annually since 1982. Click for the complete list of finalists.

Meanwhile, Manuel will be the featured reader at the July 18th FBomb (Flash-Bomb) Reading Series at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California St., Denver, 7:30 p.m. FBomb is a monthly flash fiction reading series with rotating guest hosts and featured performers, as well as (limited) open mic slots. Flash Fiction = complete stories under 1000 words.

Margaret Mizushima is thrilled to announce the August 8 release of her third Timber Creek K-9 mystery, Hunting Hour, in which Deputy Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo investigate the death of a teen; but before they catch the killer, another child goes missing—this time it’s one of Cole Walker’s daughters—and they must lead the hunt to capture a kidnapper before they’re too late.

Book launch party to take place August 12, from 1–3, at the Rolland Moore Park, Shelter #2, 2201 S. Shields, Fort Collins. RSVP by email the number of guests attending to margmizu@q.com.

The Friends of the University of Colorado (Boulder)’s “Just Desserts” event, scheduled for August 3 beginning at 5 p.m. with a dessert reception at Broadway and Baseline in Boulder, will feature Shannon Baker discussing her book, Stripped Bare.

WELCOME to new members Steven Burt and William Frank.
Welcome back to member Arthur Eisenson.

Danielle Girard’s new release EXCISE comes out August 22 from Thomas & Mercer.




Gerald Elias’s sixth book in the Daniel Jacobus mystery series, SPRING BREAK, published by Severn House, will be released in the US on August 1. Booklist recently wrote: “Elias, a professional violinist and composer, does a fine job of establishing the story’s musical frame, and he’s a darned good storyteller, too: the mystery here is tightly constructed and very clever (readers should be wary of thinking they know where it’s going, because it sometimes takes sharp, unexpected turns). In Jacobus we have an imaginative, ornery, reclusive, witty protagonist—a guy who has bits of other mystery leads in him but who feels at the same time wholly original. A very good entry in a reliable series.”


Check out the full Articles Archive.

Bone Stories Recap

Bone Stories: Forensic Anthropology for Mystery Writers Ann Allsopp The table is littered with bones. A yellowed femur rests near a skullcap, sawed off with surgical precision. A jawbone, ripped from the rest of its skull, hangs open in an eternal scream. Toward the...

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New MWA Anthology

NEW MWA ANTHOLOGY TO FEATURE UNLIKELY PAIRS SOLVING A MYSTERY BY BARRY T. ZEMAN AND LAURIE L. KING, CO-CHAIRS, MWA PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE On behalf of MWA’s Publication Committee, it is our pleasure to announce that a new original anthology, Odd Partners, edited by...

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April Mystery Minute

Stop! You're Killing Me! I believe we are the only organization which lionizes murder, death and whodunits. On April 27, Mystery Writers of America will host its 71st annual gala banquet at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City to present the Edgar Awards. The...

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Upcoming Events

  1. First Annual Fireside Mary Contest

    February 16 @ 8:00 pm - February 17 @ 8:00 pm

RMMWA Programs Online

On the Members Only page, you can listen to the full version of some of our programs. Click the highlighted portion of the program below to hear a short sample. If you need help with the link, or the password to the Members Only page, contact the webmaster.

January 2017 Dale Lovin