Until next meeting








December: Mystery & Mistletoe

$10 for both members and non-members

The event begins at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 13 at the Colorado Automobile Dealers Assn. headquarters at 290 East Speer Blvd. in downtown Denver. Tickets are $10. The Tattered Cover will be on hand to help those shopping for holiday gifts. The public is welcome. Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.rmmwa.org.

Mystery Writers of America members scheduled to read excerpts of their works include Carter Wilson, Catherine Dilts, Shannon Baker, co-authors Carl and Jane Bock, Christine Goff, Jennifer Kincheloe, Kevin Wolf. Francine Mathews, Margaret Mizushima, Sue Hinkin, Jeffrey Alan Lockwood, Barbara Nickless, Charlotte Hinger,

Twist Phelan, J.L. Abramo and Cynthia Kuhn.

In addition, the winners of the Six-Word Mystery Contest will be announced. The contest opened October 1 with final deadline to enter at 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.

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.

Judges will select finalists in each category and winners will be chosen by those attending “Mystery & Mistletoe.”

Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America’s First Annual Six-Word Mystery Contest is now closed to entries. Winners will be announced after Mystery & Mistletoe.

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


December 9

2 p.m.

Chris Goff

Margaret Mizushima

Signing with Shannon Baker and Carrie Smith

Poisoned Pen Bookstore

4014 N. Goldwater Blve. #101

Scottsdale, Arizona

Member News

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

RMMWA elects board officers yearly, and it’s that time of year. This year, the ballots will be sent via email, and ballots should be marked by December 16.

At press time, announced candidates were:


Mark Stevens

Mark Stevens writes the Allison Coil Mystery Series—Antler Dust, Buried by the Roan, Trapline, and Lake of Fire. Trapline won the 2015 Colorado Book Award for best mystery. Stevens was the 2016 Writer of The Year for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and also hosts a regular podcast for RMFW. He has served as president of Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America for the last two years.

Vice President

ZJ Czupor

Z.J. Czupor serves currently as Secretary of the Board, RMMWA. In addition to keeping board minutes, each month he researches and presents “The Mystery Minute” at monthly chapter meetings. He’s also an active committee member for the Six-Word Mystery Contest. ZJ is an award-winning writer. His short screenplay, “The Man in the Corner” adapted from his short story was a finalist in the Bogart Noir Short Film Competition, Miami, Florida in 2017. “The Man in the Corner” is featured in Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer’s (RMFW) anthology, Crossing Colfax (2014-2015); and his short story, “Down in Disappointment Valley,” was a finalist in Writer’s Digest annual short story competition (2014).

His mainstream novel, “The Hot Tub Club” won RMFW’s Colorado Gold (2012); and his mystery/thriller novel “The Rose and the Spider” was a finalist in 2013; that novel also placed second in the Southeastern Writer’s annual workshop, St. Simon’s Island, Georgia (2014).“ His short story, “The Christmas Eve Shutout,” won first place at Southeast Writer’s annual workshop, St. Simon’s Island, Georgia (2017). Currently, he’s writing a recurring series on Facebook, titled “Noir in My Car,” a private eye spoof.

Due to his interest and research on the subject of “noir” he presented a one-hour workshop “All About Noir” for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Gold Conference (September 13, 2015, Denver); a one-hour presentation on noir to the Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America chapter (March 10, 2016); and presented a month-long online course for Kiss of Death, Romance Writers of America (May 2017).

He is the co-founder and principal of The InterPro Group, one of Denver’s leading public relations and marketing firms since 1990. He and his wife, Marta, live in Denver and are on-call 24/7 for Skye, their Collie/Australian Shepherd mix, who by the way, knows more words than Z.J.


Open-No candidates


Bruce Most

Bruce W. Most grew up on a diet of Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, Raymond Chandler, and his grandfather’s collection of Perry Mason books. Bruce’s last mystery, Murder on the Tracks, won the Colorado Authors’ League 2016 award for best genre novel. His mystery Rope  Burn, about an ex big-city detective in over his head in cattle rustling and murder in contemporary Wyoming ranch country, won the same award in 2014. He’s also the author of two earlier mysteries featuring a feisty Denver bail bondswoman, Ruby Dark. He was a freelance writer for decades, and he’s served in various positions for the Colorado Authors’ League, including president.

Now that I’ve figured out the various forms and duties after serving a year as your treasurer, I might as well spare someone else having to learn the ropes. Actually, it’s been a pleasure sitting on the board and participating in a chapter and a national organization that benefits all of us.

Membership Chair

Laurie Sanderson-Walcott

No bio submitted

Newsletter Editor

Suzanne Proulx

Suzanne Proulx has written four novels in the Vicky Lucci series. She has served as editor of DEADLINES since 2014. She has also served as the newsletter editor for The 3rd Degree, MWA’s national monthly newsletter, as well as the newsletter editor for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer, and as RMMWA’s webmaster.

Caterer Director

Susan Paturzo

Social Media Director

Margaret Mizushima

Margaret Mizushima is the author of the Timber Creek K-9 mystery series, which includes Killing Trail (2015), an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award nominee; Stalking Ground (2016), a Colorado Book Award and International Book Award finalist, and a Reader’s Favorite gold medal winner; and Hunting Hour (2017), an RT Book Reviews Top Pick. She lives in Colorado where she assists her husband with their veterinary practice and Angus cattle herd. She can be found on Facebook/AuthorMargaretMizushima, on Twitter @margmizu, and on her website at www.margaretmizushima.com.

Program Director

Emily Littlejohn

Emily Littlejohn writes the award-nominated Detective Gemma Monroe mystery novels. Called “a series to watch” by Booklist, the books are set in the fictional ski resort town of Cedar Valley, Colorado. Littlejohn was born and raised in California, though she has called Colorado home since 2003. When she’s not writing, she’s serving in the community and spending time with her growing family. Her goal as Program Director for RMMWA is to ensure smooth coordination of quality experiences for presenters, RMMWA members, and the public.

Montana Representative (2 candidates)

Leslie Budewitz

Leslie Budewitz has been practicing law for more than 30 years, but she finds killing people on the page to be much more fun. The first author to win Agatha Awards for fiction and nonfiction, she is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, set in NW Montana, and the Spice Shop Mysteries, set in Seattle. A past president of Sisters in Crime and the current MT rep to RMMWA, she lives in NW Montana.

Danielle Girard

Danielle Girard is the author of eleven previous novels, most recently Excise, book 2 in the Dr. Schwartzman Series, as well as The Rookie Club series. Her books have won the Barry Award and the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, and two of her titles have been optioned for movies.

A graduate of Cornell University, Danielle received her MFA at Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina. She, her husband, and their two children split their time between San Francisco and Montana. She served as treasurer for three years on the board of the NorCal chapter of MWA when she lived in San Francisco.

New Mexico Representative

Ann Zeigler

ANN ZEIGLER’s book, Preserving Electronic Evidence for Trial, was named New Mexico / Arizona Book Awards Best Business Book of 2016. Zeigler also has three fiction books in progress, featuring a female archaeologist and a male international business consultant. The first in her Inadvertent Detectives mystery series, Hobby of Corpses, was a finalist for the 2017 David Morrell Prize in Fiction. Zeigler is a long-time member of MWA, and was program chair for MWA Southwest (Houston) from 2008 to 2013. She is 2017 President of SinC’s Croak & Dagger (NM) chapter, a co-perpetrator of the 2015 RMMWA Mystery Roundup, chief perpetrator of the ongoing Great Library Adventure, and a co- perpetrator of the 2018 Jan Burke event in Albuquerque. She is a graduate of the Houston PD and FBI (Houston) Citizens’ Academies. She was a citizen volunteer at HPD’s juvenile sex crimes unit for five years.

“I am excited to represent New Mexico on the expanded Board, and to introduce more mystery writers to the (almost tropical) mountain desert. My main goal is to lure MWA members to mystery writers events in the Land of Enchantment.”

Wyoming Representative

Jeff Lockwood

Jeffrey Lockwood is an unusual fellow. He grew up in New Mexico and spent youthful afternoons enchanted by feeding grasshoppers to black widows in his backyard. This might account for both his scientific and literary affinities. He earned a doctorate in entomology from Louisiana State University and worked for 15 years as an insect ecologist at the University of Wyoming. He became a world-renowned assassin, developing a method for efficiently killing billions

of insects (mostly pests but there’s always the innocent bystander during a hit). This contact with death drew him into questions of justice, violence, and evil. He metamorphosed into an appointment in the department of philosophy and the program in creative writing. Unable to escape his childhood, he’s written several award-winning, non-fiction books about the devastation of the West by locust swarms, the use of insects to wage biological warfare, and the terror humans experience when six-legged creatures invade their lives. Pondering the dark side of humanity

led him to the realm of the murder mystery. These days, he explores how the anti-hero of crime noir sheds existentialist light on the human condition: In the end, there are no excuses—we are ultimately responsible for our actions. The first of his three-book noir mystery series featuring an ex-cop-turned-exterminator is titled: Poisoned Justice (Pen-L, 2016) and the second will be released this December (Murder on the Fly).

Identity Crisis, Terry Odell’s 7th book in her Blackthorne, Inc. covert ops romantic suspense series is available. Click for details. A portion of all October royalties will be donated to the National MS Society in honor of her daughter.

More photos of 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. Mystery and Mistletoe

    December 13 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
  2. January 11 Meeting

    January 11, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 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