Upcoming Meetings

June 8th Meeting

The next RMMWA monthly meeting will be held June 8, 2023 at the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association (290 Speer Boulevard in Denver) and we’ll also broadcast a live, interactive hybrid meeting via Zoom. Please join us in-person or via Zoom for a talk by RMMWA member Matthew Porter on the Basics of Lock Picking for Mystery Writers.

The meeting at CADA will start at 6:15 p.m. (MDT) with drinks and networking, and dinner will be served at 6:30. Zoom attendees may sign on shortly before 7:00 for the start of the program. See the full agenda below.

To register to attend in person, please use the link below. Please sign up before Monday, June 5th to reserve your spot.

Zoom attendance is free and there is no need to register. Members will receive the meeting link via email. Non-members, please send an email to chapterpres@rmmwa.org to request access.

Dinner menu:

  • Sautéed Chicken and Garlic in a rich and creamy Sweet pepper Onion Sauce
  • Basmati Rice
  • Vegetable of the day
  • Seasonal greens salad
  • Baked rolls and butter
  • Selection of bite-sized deserts
  • Beverages
    • Tea, coffee, and water included. Wine and beer are available for a suggested cash donation of $3.00 per drink.

Note: Please contact our Caterer Director directly if you have allergies or specific food issues. We will try to accommodate you if we can. 

Meeting Agenda:

  • 6:15 Networking and drinks
  • 6:30 Dinner
  • 7:00 Introductions and Member News
  • 7:30 Mystery Minute
  • 7:40 Program

June 2023 Meeting

Meeting Program:

How Did You Get In Here?
Basics of Lock Picking for Mystery Writers

Portrait of Matthew Porter. A smiling older white man in a brown Western hat and a leather jacket

For as long as there have been locks, people have devised ways to get past them. And for as long as there has been crime fiction, it has reflected our fascination with picking locks and getting into places we shouldn’t.

Join us as writer, podcaster and locksport hobbyist Matthew Porter talks about the history of locks, the basics of lock picking, and ways to include realistic lock picking in your fiction.

Speaker Bio

Matthew Porter writes detective stories, 20th Century historical mysteries, and is working on a cozy mystery featuring a locksmith with a shady past. He is also a Colorado attorney and a consultant on managing digital evidence.

Online, Matthew talks about retro pop culture as co-host of the Inter-Millennium Media Project podcast (www.IMMProject.com) and reviews movies and movie theaters on YouTube (www.YouTube.com/@ByMatthewPorter). When he’s not trying to improve his lock picking skills, he can be found driving a MINI Cooper on twisty mountain roads. You can keep up with Matthew’s projects at ByMatthewPorter.com.

Video from the latest
RMMWA Meeting

Special Announcements

2022 6-Word Mystery Winners!

The results of the 2022 Six-Word Mystery Contest sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America (RMMWA) have been announced.

Overall winner:


Magician escapes gallows when witness vanishes


This entry, written by Rita Popp of Fort Collins, Colorado, was voted the winner over 25 final entries voted on by RMMWA’s members and announced at the chapter’s Mystery and Mistletoe holiday party held December 8th.


This year’s contest attracted 266 entries from 19 states. Writers submitted entries in five mystery categories including Hard Boiled or Noir; Cozy Mystery; Thriller Mystery; Police Procedural Mystery; and/or a Romance or Lust. Four contestants made the finals in more than one category.


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, heart-breaking and sublime six-word stories have been penned ever since.


RMMWA Chapter President Lori Lacefield said, “This year’s creative entries on the fine art of whodunnit and how ranged from kissing to cat poison, to a folded fitted sheet, and to a prized blueberry pie. The entries made our judges laugh and groan. This year’s contest was great fun all the way around.”


Judges for this year’s contest included Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine Editor Linda Landrigan; New York Times best-selling author Anne Hillerman; award-winning author, lawyer and activist Manuel Ramos; literary agent Terrie Wolf, owner of AKA Literary Management, and John Charles of The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona.


Popp won $100 for her winning entry and all category finalists received $25. All finalists will have their six-word stories featured on the RMMWA website and published in both Deadlines, RMMWA’s newsletter, and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.


Read on for the finalists and winners in all five categories. Category winners are indicated in bold:

read more…

RMMWA Member
News and Notes

Member Profile – Jeffrey Lockwood

Wyoming Representative and Chair of the 6-Word Mystery Contest

Jeffrey Lockwood grew up in New Mexico and spent youthful afternoons enchanted by feeding grasshoppers to black widow spiders 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 many award-winning works including a collection of essays titled Grasshopper Dreaming: Reflections on Killing and Loving (Skinner House, 2002), along with 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 during six-legged home invasions.

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.  He has published a three-book noir mystery series featuring an ex-cop-turned-exterminator (Poisoned Justice, Murder on the Fly, and Lethal Fetish with Pen-L press).  Most recently, he has published several Holmesian pastiches in various magazines.

His strangest venture into the realm of mystery was through writing the libretto for a chamber opera that tells the story of “North America’s greatest ecological mystery”—the disappearance of the Rocky Mountain locust, an insect that blackened the skies of the West, until something or someone caused its sudden demise.  The three scenes of this continental-scale whodunit can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/L_4xzj7gAjA, https://youtu.be/KyK4jQwcfcw, and https://youtu.be/tuq1U815e6Q.

Review from RMMWA VP—this is an awesome production, be sure to watch it!

AND, check out Lockwood’s recently release podcast, “Once Upon a Meadow”–a series of stories for 4 to 9-year-olds (and for grownups with children, grandchildren, or an inner child) that integrate tales of diverse animals figuring out how to live together despite their differences (you can imagine the implicit elements of social and environmental justice, without our being pedantic because we figure that children are plenty smart with being told “the moral of the story”).  I wrote the stories and provided the audio narration: https://www.onceuponameadow.com/

 Why I’m involved in RMMWA

I’m involved in RMMWA for the same reason that mystery readers become drawn into a story.  It’s not the cover art, plot, setting, or dialogue that keeps you going—it’s the characters.  The people of RMMWA are tremendously creative, unwaveringly supportive, and wickedly capable.  I’m not a best-selling mystery writer; I’m a lover of mystery writing (and reading, of course).  And RMMWA warmly welcomes the unpublished, self-published, short story published, small publisher published, and big-time publisher published with equal enthusiasm.  This chapter of the MWA is a genuine community, where characters of all sorts (and there are some “characters”) celebrate writing, whether it’s a six-word mystery (Lockwood chairs the esteemed 6-Word Mystery Contest) or a six-book contract.


The Study of Secrets cover art

Lefty Nomination for Cynthia Kuhn

The Study of Secrets, the fifth installment in Cynthia Kuhn's Lila Maclean Academic Mystery series, has been nominated for a 2021 Lefty Award in the Best Humorous Mystery category. For a full list of this year's Lefty nominees, see the Left Coast Crime website.
Deadly Options cover art


The newest installment of Terry Odell's Mapleton Mystery series, Deadly Options. arrives February 24th. All Mapleton Police Chief Gordon Hepler wants is to enjoy a rare quiet moment and have a peaceful lunch. Before he can finish his sandwich, Angie, his wife, calls...

Lise McClendon’s Birds of a Feather series

Lise McClendon is in the midst of her second trilogy spinoff of the Bennett Sisters Mysteries. Following last year's Dead Flat series featuring wine fraud detective Pascal d’Onscon, this year sees the release of a new series Birds of a Feather. The first installment,...
The Tattoo Artist cover art

THE TATTOO ARTIST by Lori Lacefield

The Tattoo Artist, the 3rd book in Lori Lacefield's Women of Redemption suspense series, has been released. Nine years after her mother’s still unsolved murder, former homeless teen Zoë Cruse has found stability with a husband, child, and a career as a tattoo artist....

Dual Award Nominations for David Heska Wanbli Weiden’s WINTER COUNTS

Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden has been nominated for the 2021 Lefty Award for Best Debut Mystery Novel, and the 2021 Edgar award for Best First Novel!

A PAIRING TO DIE FOR by Kate Lansing

In Kate Lansing's novel A Pairing To Die For, the second installment in her cozy Colorado Wine Mystery series, a young winemaker is over a barrel when her new boyfriend is accused of murder. It's fall in Boulder, Colorado, and the leaves aren't the only things...
Alfred Hitchcock's Jan-Feb issue

Leslie Budewitz’s “Coming Clean” in Alfred Hitchcock’s

Leslie Budewitz’s third “Stagecoach Mary” Fields story, “Coming Clean,” appears in the January-February 2021 issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. In 1885, at St. Peter’s Mission in Montana Territory, Mary Fields untangles a web of secrets that surface when a...

ANGELS IN THE WIND by Manuel Ramos

Manuel Ramos' eleventh novel Angels in the Wind, the fourth in the Gus Corral series, is scheduled for publication in April 2021 by Arte Público Press (University of Houston) This time around, Gus, the Chicano private eye, is on the hunt for his cousin's missing...
Our Song, Memento Mori cover art


PG Lengsfelder’s psychological suspense novel Our Song, Memento Mori is available from (Woodsmoke Publishing. Faith and absolution have escaped him. Will this priest’s probe into a dark mystery bring redemption… or death? Father Jamie “Blu” Bluterre struggles with...
Coast to Coast Noir cover art

Colleen Collins “Look Your Last” anthologized

Colleen Collins's noir short story "Look Your Last" is in the anthology "Coast to Coast: Noir from Sea to Shining Sea" published by Down & Out Books.
Puzzling Ink cover art

PUZZLING INK by Becky Clark

Quinn Carr wishes her life could be more like a crossword puzzle: neat, orderly, and perfectly arranged. At least her passion for puzzles, flair for words—and mild case of OCD—have landed her a gig creating crosswords for the local paper. But if she ever hopes to move...
Lost in Lavender cover art

LOST IN LAVENDER by Lise McClendon

Lise McClendon's Lost in Lavender,  the 13th installment of the Bennett Sisters Mysteries, is now available. In this installment the adventures of the youngest sister, Elise, take center stage. At a career and personal crossroads she decamps for France— as one does—...
The Solace of Bay Leaves cover art


The Solace of Bay Leaves, the fifth Spice Shop mystery by Leslie Budewitz (Seventh St. Books), is available in paperback, ebook and audio. Pepper Reece never expected to find her life’s passion in running the Seattle Spice Shop. But when evidence links a friend’s...
AUTOMAT - cover art

AUTOMAT by Stephanie Kane

Stephanie Kane’s Automat, is the sequel to A Perfect Eye and the second crime novel starring Lily Sparks. Who is the enigmatic woman in Edward Hopper’s famous painting, Automat? When the young actress playing her is brutally murdered at the launch of The Denver Art...


Kate Lansing shared the cover for Book 2 of her Colorado Wine Mystery series, A Pairing To Die For, coming January 26, 2021 from Berkley. It's available for pre-order and to add on Goodreads. More information on her website: http://katelansing.com/.

Margaret Mizushima’s HANGING FALLS

Margaret Mizushima is pleased to announce the September 8th release of Hanging Falls, the sixth Timber Creek K-9 Mystery. In this episode, Deputy Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo investigate the death of a man they found floating in a mountain lake, while Mattie...

99 TRUTHS from Lori Lacefield

99 Truths, the first book in Lori Lacefield's new FBI Local Profiler series, is available now. After a recent mistake, FBI special agent Frankie Johnson is desperate to prove she has what it takes to become a lead profiler with the Bureau’s Charlotte, NC field office....


Fleur Bradley's mystery for kids, Midnight At The Barclay Hotel, is out now from Viking Books for Young Readers. Kirkus called the book "a quirky, kid-friendly introduction to the murder mystery."

The Beethoven Sequence

From the pen of Gerald Elias, author of the critically-acclaimed Daniel Jacobus mystery series, comes his first thriller. The Beethoven Sequence, the story of a mentally imbalanced political outsider who makes an unlikely ascent to the presidency of the United States,...

The Fire Thief by Debra Bokur

The Fire Thief, the first in the Dark Paradise Mystery series by Debra Bokur, launched on May 26, to strong reviews both Publisher's Weekly and Criminal Elements. Set in Hawaii, the series features Detective Kali Māhoe, who uses her knowledge of Hawaiian spiritual...