Of Rats and Newborn Koalas

Yesterday was release day for RAT RACE (yay!) But I’ll tell you, I never thought it would get here. Not because I was wiggly with excitement like I usually am for a new release, but because I honestly wasn’t sure I could make it happen. I’m sure you heard—because I whined about it incessantly and melodramatically—that I was sick for almost 8 weeks. And not … Continue reading Of Rats and Newborn Koalas

Gone to Left Coast Crime!

The Chicks have flown the coop! Some of us are winging our way through Left Coast Crime in Tucson, where our very own Ellen Byron is Toastmaster! (!!!) If you’re attending, please come say hello. We’ll be at a variety of panels, including Lefty Humorous Novel Nominees (with Chick nominees Ellen and Jennifer); Mysteries Featuring Food & Drink moderated by Leslie; You’re Killing Me: Fun … Continue reading Gone to Left Coast Crime!

Guest Chick: Gigi Pandian

Leslie, here, and it’s my pleasure to welcome the marvelous Gigi Pandian, author of the multiple award-winning Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt, Accidental Alchemist, and, most recently, Secret Staircase mysteries. Having read the first in this new series, Under Lock and Skeleton Key, I can tell you I’m champing at the bit to get to her newest one, The Raven Thief! Today, Gigi gives us a … Continue reading Guest Chick: Gigi Pandian

Conflicted About Conflict

One of the notes I got from my editor after turning in the manuscript for my very first Sally Solari mystery, Dying for a Taste, was this (paraphrased): “I want to know what Sally feels about the conflicts she’s facing. You need to show us more of the emotions she’s experiencing, especially with regard to her father and her ex-boyfriend, Eric.” Right. More emotions; bring … Continue reading Conflicted About Conflict

Behind the Book: “Maria DiRico’s” Fourth Catering Hall Mystery

Welcome to “Behind the Book,” our fun new Chicks on the Case feature! Join us as we Chicks share the real stories behind our stories. Inspiration, motivation, frustration, jubilation–you’ll find them all right here…  Hi, Ellen and “Maria” here! You’ll notice I didn’t include the title of Catering Hall Mystery #4 in the header. And the cover image is on the bottom of this post … Continue reading Behind the Book: “Maria DiRico’s” Fourth Catering Hall Mystery

Guest Chick: Kate Lansing

The Chicks are delighted to welcome back the talented and wonderful Kate Lansing. The award-winning novelist and author of the Colorado Wine Mystery series uncorks one of our favorite topics: titles. Pour it on, Kate! The Im-port-ance of Titles You know the feeling, you’re in the middle of a book when suddenly, the clouds clear and the meaning behind the title is revealed. There’s that … Continue reading Guest Chick: Kate Lansing

288 Hours to Paddy’s Day!

This year some of us Chicks will spend St. Patrick’s Day together—at Left Coast Crime in Tucson. We have a few Irish-themed treats up our sleeves, together with our friends from the Cozy Mystery Crew—but in the meantime, here’s a helpful guide to prepping for the day that’s ever-green (even in the desert). You don’t have to drink, and you don’t need to be remotely Irish to have fun! Continue reading 288 Hours to Paddy’s Day!


I have a love/hate relationship with surprises. I love to hate them. Yes, yes. I know that surprises are part and parcel to the mystery writing/reading world. I mean, what’s a mystery without, well, some mystery? Even if it’s not a whodunnit, it should at least be a whydunnit or howdunnit. But, overall, I’m just not a fan of the unexpected. If I’m going to … Continue reading Surprise!

Guest Chick: Lyn Liao Butler

Jennifer here, and I’m excited to have Lyn on the blog today. We met in the 2020 Debuts group, and it’s been fascinating how her publishing journey has unfolded, including writing an accidental thriller! My Accidental Thriller My first two books, which came out during the pandemic, are categorized as upmarket fiction, or book club fiction. My option for the third book was supposed to … Continue reading Guest Chick: Lyn Liao Butler