Upcoming Meetings

June 9th Meeting

The next RMMWA monthly meeting will be held June 9, 2022 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 presentation by former Grand Rapids, Wisconsin police chief Dave Lewandowski.

The meeting at CADA will start at 6:15 p.m. (MT) 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.

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 breast in apricot-ginger sauce
  • Fragrant basmati rice
  • Vegetable of the day
  • Dinner rolls
  • 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.

Meeting Agenda:

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

June 2022 Meeting

Meeting Program:

Behind the Badge—The Challenges of a Police Chief  

by Dave Lewandowski

Dave Lewandowski photo

What is a typical day like for a chief of police? Often, the average citizen doesn’t know about or understand what obstacles a chief of police faces running a department. From patrol on up the ranks, the chief deals with many challenges including working with other agencies in the state, county, and city and then of course, there’s the politicians.

Chiefs must also be aware of “code blue” and how that code could be affecting their department. Code blue can range from a young officer wanting acceptance by other officers in the department to a seasoned officer knowing if they don’t play by the rules and stick together, then they will be shunned.

Dave will discuss how he dealt with code blue in his department as the chief as well as other parts of the job. He’ll also talk about being a police chief in the town where he grew up. Dave quickly discovered everyone expected something, especially the politicians. Dave found his personal life being affected and that even a simple night out at a restaurant with his wife could turn into a question-and-answer interview.

Dave worked hard to make a difference in how people viewed his department. He often felt like it was three steps forward and two steps back. Through his work, Dave discovered the key to keeping everything in balance. It’s something most people wouldn’t think of…or would they? Join us to find out more about the life behind the badge.

Presenter Bio

Dave Lewandowski grew up in Wisconsin. After high school he entered the U.S. Army, where he was an Airborne Ranger and an MP. Upon leaving the military, he started a career in law enforcement that spanned 28 years. Dave worked as a patrol officer, shift commander, investigator, active shooter instructor, department liaison for the community and media, undercover drug investigator, major crime investigator, burglary investigator, suicide investigator, firearms instructor, and fatality crash investigator. He was involved with many community programs including Mother’s Against Drunk Driving. Eventually, Dave had the opportunity to become the chief of police in the hometown where he grew up. He took on the job and faced many challenges. Despite the challenges, he rebuilt the department and worked to reconnect the department with the community including an open-door policy. Dave also started a K-9 program, police officer bike patrol, police auxiliary and a neighborhood watch. After 35 years in law enforcement, Dave decided to retire. Dave and his wife love the mountains and spending time with family.


Video from the latest
RMMWA Meeting

Special Announcements

Special Event – An Afternoon with James Lee Burke

JAMES LEE BURKE author photo

Join us online, July 16, from 2 to 4 PM Mountain time, for an interview with James Lee Burke, one of America’s most iconic novelists! In this FREE two-hour event Mr. Burke will discuss his new release, EVERY CLOAK ROLLED IN BLOOD (The Holland Family #4), in conversation with David Heska Wanbli Weiden, award-winning Colorado author of WINTER COUNTS.

Three lucky winners will receive a copy of EVERY CLOAK ROLLED IN BLOOD along with some cool swag, and Denver’s own Tattered Cover bookstore will be on hand to fulfill all your reading needs.

Registration is required for this event. To register, please click here.

We look forward to you joining us on July 16th!

RMMWA Member
News and Notes

What Rocky Mountain MWA Means to Me

by Stephanie Kane

Stephanie Kane author photo

A place to be myself. Where I don’t have to explain why I write crime books or took a break only to pick back up again. Where grey hair and fresh faces are welcome and respected. Where tales of the publishing wars are freely shared, victories are applauded and tips about everything from crafting villains to querying agents are generously exchanged. Where decent folks talk about indecent things and I can connect with old and new friends. read more…

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,...
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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...

April 2022 Mystery Minute

by ZJ Czupor

She created the first Black female amateur sleuth

The first published African American mystery is credited to Pauline Hopkins (1859-1930). She was an African American journalist, playwright, historian, and novelist. Born in Portland, Maine, she wrote four novels and numerous short stories.

She made history when she penned a short story called “Talma Gordon,” which appeared in the October 1900 edition of The Colored American Magazine, which was also America’s first monthly periodical covering African American arts and culture. Hopkins also edited the magazine and addressed Black history, racial discrimination, economic justice, and women’s role in society.

Her short story concerns the murder of Puritan descendant Jonathan Gordon. At trial, his blonde and blue-eyed daughter, Talma, is implicated. Despite being declared innocent, the townsfolk believe Talma killed her father after he discovered her mixed racial heritage.

However, it would be another 92 years, 1992, before the first Black amateur female sleuth would appear in an American novel.

The author is Barbara Neely (1941-2020). read more…