Upcoming Meetings

November 12th Online Meeting

Please join us at the Rocky Mountain MWA monthly meeting, which will be held via Zoom on November 12, starting at 6:30 p.m.


Forensic Documentation Examination and Case Study

Mark Songer will present on the various techniques forensic examiners use to authenticate or debunk signatures and documents in civil and criminal matters, and lead us through a fascinating case study based on a now notorious case you won’t want to miss!

Speaker Bio:

Portrait of Mark SongerMark Songer

Mark Songer is a court qualified expert in Forensic Document Examinations. He provides investigations, reports, and testimony towards the resolution of matters involving disputed documents or signatures, including: wills, checks, contracts, deeds, account ledgers, medical records, and autograph authentication. His other areas of expertise include employment background screening, casino and hotel surveillance systems and operation, proper procedure and protocol in the handling and destruction of classified materials, and the collection, storage and retention of biometric information.

Mark is a former FBI Special Agent and FBI Document Analyst, and was the designated handwriting expert for the Evidence Response Team-Los Angeles. During his tenure in the FBI, Mr. Songer instructed numerous law enforcement officers and examiners in handwriting identification, crime scene investigations and the proper collection of writing samples. He has also developed and implemented Criminal Justice and Forensic Science programs at several institutions of higher learning, including the University of California and La Sierra University. In addition, Mark is a former Adjunct Professor of Forensic Science at National University, San Diego, California and is currently an Adjunct Professor with Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach, Florida. Mark is also a life-time member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).

Meeting Agenda:
6:30-7:00 Announcements, Introductions, and News
7:00-7:15 Mystery Minute by ZJ Czupor
7:15-8:15 or so: Program featuring our guest speaker
After Party: Stay after the program to mingle and visit.

Special Announcements

RMMWA 2020 6-Word Mystery Contest is closed!

The 2020 RMMWA 6-Word Mystery Contest is now closed to entries. Sincere thanks to everyone who participated with carefully crafted micro-stories in six different categories.

Finalists will be invited to the chapter’s annual Mystery & Mistletoe Holiday Party in December, to be held on Zoom this year. Winning and finalist entries will be featured here on the RMMWA website, in the chapter newsletter Deadlines, and in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.

A Statement from Mystery Writers of America

“Mystery Writers of America does not support or tolerate discrimination of any kind. We stand proudly with our Black members, and implore our entire membership to start listening, speaking out, and amplifying the voices that have been silenced for far too long. Listening leads to understanding, and action leads to change. We cannot move forward as a society or culture without recognizing the disparities that permeate both.”

The complete text of this statement, and suggestions on how to get involved, can be found on the MWA national site.

RMMWA Member
News and Notes

What Rocky Mountain MWA Means to Me

by Christine Carbo

Living in a rural state like Montana, it’s difficult to feel connected to the book business, let alone other writers of crime fiction. When I joined RMMWA, I was dubious at first. I assumed most of the good networking and action took place in Denver, where the vast majority of RMMWA events seemed to be held. However, after six years of membership, RMMWA proved me wrong. I have found the organization to be extremely supportive across the region. read more…


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...

WINTER COUNTS by David Heska Wanbli Weiden

David Heska Wanbli Weiden's debut novel, Winter Counts, has been released by Ecco/HarperCollins.  The book received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was noted as one of the best books of the summer by USA Today, Buzzfeed, and CrimeReads.

Gone to Darkness by Barbara Nickless

In Gone to Darkness, the fourth Sydney Rose Parnell book from Barbara Nickless, newly minted homicide detective Sydney Parnell faces a savage killer whose endgame is to capture her. And keep her. Iraqi war vet and former railway cop Sydney Parnell is now the youngest...

The Study of Secrets

The Study of Secrets, Cynthia Kuhn's fifth Lila Maclean Academic Mystery, has been released by Henery Press. There could be nowhere more fitting for English professor Lila Maclean to spend her sabbatical than in a proper Victorian mansion. The whimsical Callahan House...

New Installment of Scott Graham’s National Park Mystery Series

Mesa Verde Victim, the sixth installment in Scott Graham's National Park Mystery Series has been released by Torrey House Press. Kirkus Reviews calls Mesa Verde Victim, "An expert look at the great outdoors seamlessly incorporated with a focus on the hero’s family,"...

Eight Weeks to a Complete Novel

Becky Clark's Eight Weeks to a Complete Novel: Write Faster, Write Better, Be More Organized debuted in March as a #1 Release in the Fiction Writing Reference category on Amazon. If you've ever wanted to speed up your writing and devise your own reliable system to get...

The Burn Patient by Sue Hinkin

The Burn Patient by Sue Hinkin, the 3rd book in the Middleton and Vega thriller series, debuted on April 1st. Now available wherever books are sold online. See more at www.suehinkin.com.  

Catherine O’Connell’s First Tracks

Ski patroller Greta Westerlind wakes up in the hospital after surviving and avalanche that took her friend's life. With no memory of the incident, she sets out to learn why they were skiing such dangerous terrain in the first place and finds a darker side of Aspen...

Catch Me In Lisbon by Douglas Grant Johnson

In the golden age of the movies, Ben and Lina are two talented people who stand ready to achieve their life's dreams. But there's a bully whose own ambition stands in the way. And he'll try to stop them . . . one way or another.

5th installment in Pauline Baird Jones’ Big Uneasy Series

The fifth installment in the Big Uneasy Series, Fais Do Do Die, was released January 21, 2020. He kicks down doors, and she serves hors d’oeuvres. And the Big Uneasy delivers them both a huge helping of high stakes danger—plus a chance at romance.

9th book in Terry Odell’s Mapleton Mystery series

 Deadly Fun pits Gordon Hepler against a cat-and-mouse killer. Someone is playing a game with Mapleton’s Chief of Police … and it’s deadly. For Mapleton Police Chief Gordon Hepler, life has become predictably boring—despite being a newlywed. Being a husband is great....
Book Cover

Kate Lansing’s Latest Releases in May

COVER REVEAL : Coming May 26, 2020 from Berkley A young winery owner won’t let one sour grape ruin the bunch in the first installment of this exciting cozy mystery series. Parker Valentine has always dreamed of opening her own winery in her hometown of Boulder,...

Pat Wood’s Latest Releases in December

Murder at the Petroglyphs (set in Albuquerque, NM) will be released sometime in December. At that time it will be available on Amazon and through order from bookstores. The book is published by Aakenbaaken & Kent.    The Ancient Ones walk among the sacred rocks at...
Book Cover

Amanda Bradley’s First Release

Writing as Eliza Casey, the first novel in her new Edwardian mystery series, Lady Takes the Case, releases November 26, 2019. When a dinner party turns deadly, the feisty Lady Cecilia Bates and intuitive cat Jack are on the case, in this first entry to an exciting new...

New Release: Lethal Fetish

Lethal Fetish, the third in Jeff Lockwood’s mystery series is now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Pen-L Books. In this twisted tale, Riley the exterminator is thrust in the kinky corners of 1980s San Francisco. This ex-cop’sjourney begins at a...

New Release: Burning Candles

Burning Candles, by Sue Star and Bill Beatty  An American woman hides from her past by running to Brazil, only to find that the Brazilian cop she’s married has secrets far darker than hers.  She struggles with her new identity and a culture of cults and illegal...

New Release: Black Pearl

Donnell Bell is pleased to announce that Black Pearl, is available for preorder and will be released on November 8, 2019. Black Pearl takes place in all of her favorite places, Denver, Colorado Springs and Montrose, and is the first in a series. A cold case heats up...

New Release: Tracking Game

Margaret Mizushima is thrilled to announce the November 12th release of Tracking Game, her fifth Timber Creek K-9 mystery. Library Reads named Tracking Game a Top Pick for November 2019, and Booklist said this about it: "Whether one likes stories about conflict or...

New Release: The Blue Pearl

The Blue Pearl by L.J. Martin will be released on 10/23/19.   There’s nothing like a relaxing cruise to reinvigorate tired bones…soak up the sun, lots of drinks with those little umbrellas, a little body-guarding. What could go wrong? That is, until Al Shabaab decides...

New Release: Crossing the Chicken

The fifth and latest mystery in the Jake Diamond series by J.L. Abramo, Crossing the Chicken, has hit the shelves.

October 2020 Mystery Minute

by ZJ Czupor

The Tumultuous Life of an American Literary Icon: Shirley Jackson

With the approach of Halloween, I thought we should explore the tumultuous life of mystery and horror author Shirley Jackson and two of her most notable and terrifying works—”The Lottery” and The Haunting of Hill House (Viking, 1959).

The Haunting of Hill House is about four adults who investigate a reportedly haunted mansion. The protagonist, Eleanor Vance, a lonely, imaginative young woman, believes spirits have targeted her in the big isolated house she co-owns with her sister.

This chilling novel was Jackson’s fifth in which she uses terror to grab the reader. While the house doesn’t overtly have a ghost, Jackson said, “The house is the haunting…the house brings out the disturbance in Eleanor.”

The novel was a finalist for the National Book Award and is considered not only one of the best ghost stories of all time but the Number One book that revolutionized the modern ghost story. (50 Best Horror Books of All Time, Paste Magazine, Aug. 30, 2018).

Stephen King listed it as one of the most important horror novels of the 20th century. The New York Times called it “caviar for connoisseurs of the cryptic.” read more…