The Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America holiday showcase featured a tribute to the long, successful and ongoing career of mystery writer Margaret Coel.
Margaret Coel is the New York Times best-selling author of the acclaimed Wind River mystery series set among the Arapahos on Wyoming’s Wind River Reservation and featuring Jesuit priest Father John O’Malley and Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden. Margaret published the 20th novel in that series, Winter’s Child, earlier this year and announced at the time the Wind River series was complete.
Five of Coel’s novels have received the Colorado Book Award. The Spirit Woman received the Willa Cather Award for Best Novel of the West and was a finalist for the Western Writers of America’s Spur Award for Best Novel.
Margaret Coel is also the author of five non-fiction books including the award-winning Chief Left Hand, published by the University of Oklahoma Press. This biography of an Arapaho chief and history of the Arapahos in Colorado has never gone out of print. The Colorado Historical Society has included both Chief Left Hand and Margaret’s memoir-history of railroading in Colorado, Goin’ Railroading (which she wrote with her father, Samuel F. Speas) among the best 100 books on Colorado history.
The guest emcee for the evening was Francine Mathews, author of 10 mysteries and spy thrillers, including the recent Too Bad to Die. Writing as Stephanie Barron, she is also the author of 13 novels in the Jane Austen Mystery Series and two additional works of historical fiction.
The showcase also included readings by Jane Bock, Chris Goff, Karen Graffenberger (writing as Karalee Long), Christine Jorgensen, Jennifer Kincheloe, Jeffrey Lockwood, Bruce Most, Barbara Nickless, Manuel Ramos, Carter Wilson, and Kevin Wolf.