Pandemic Projects

For the last few years, I’ve worked from home. Many’s the project I could have tackled during those halcyon days of Before Times, but I avoided tasks like cleaning out junk drawers (yes, plural) like they could give me, well, coronavirus. But put me under pandemic house arrest and suddenly I’m a whirlwind of productive activity. I’ve documented my triumph over mismatched plastic containers on … Continue reading Pandemic Projects

Introducing… The Catering Hall Mysteries!!

My new series – written under the name Maria DiRico, my Nonna’s maiden name – officially launches tomorrow and I am beyond thrilled. It was inspired by my real life. Cousins by marriage ran two catering halls in Queens, the Astoria Manor and the Grand Bay Marina. (Which ended up as headline news story in New York when it abruptly closed, leaving hysterical brides stranded. … Continue reading Introducing… The Catering Hall Mysteries!!

Who Are the Lefty Award Nominees’ Most Humorous Characters?

Today, we welcome the five finalists for this year’s Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery (three of whom just happen to be Chicks on the Case). Congrats to all! The winner won’t be announced until the Left Coast Crime banquet on March 14th, but in the meantime we thought it would be “humorous” to find out from the nominees which of their characters from their … Continue reading Who Are the Lefty Award Nominees’ Most Humorous Characters?

The (Pen) Name Game

Which author’s real name is Kate? Whose is Mary, Marilyn, or Mariella? Pen names are a literary tradition. (Hello, Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell.*). The reasons for them are manifold. A publisher may request an author assume a new identity for business or financial reasons. An author might use a pseudonym to write in a totally different genre. (I’m talking to you, J.K. Rowling and … Continue reading The (Pen) Name Game

Heroes of the sky… and land and sea.

We hear the roar of engines. Not jets. Propeller planes. Jer and I run to our bedroom window just in time to see an inspiring sight… WWII trainer planes flying in formation over the San Fernando Valley. Jer and I clap and cheer like kids. Photo from the Condor Squadron website This scenario has been enacted every Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veteran’s Day, … Continue reading Heroes of the sky… and land and sea.

Good Neighbors

Robert Frost once wrote, “Good fences make good neighbors.” To paraphrase him in the clunkiest way possible, good neighbors also make good neighbors. And for years growing up, my family was blessed with great neighbors: the Kimbriels. We moved to Scarsdale, a New York City suburb, when I was ten. Not long after that, the Kimbriels moved next door: Dad Harry, Mom Betsy, and their … Continue reading Good Neighbors

Chicks in the Big Apple

We invite you to meet two Chicks on the Case for the price of one! (Actually, the event is FREE!) Fab author Ellen Byron will be at Book Culture on Columbus Avenue tonight (Sept. 17) for the New York launch of her latest Cajun Country Mystery, Fatal Cajun Festival. Interviewing her at the event will be equally fab author Kellye Garrett! If you’re in the … Continue reading Chicks in the Big Apple

“Cozy” is not a four-letter word.

Not long ago, mystery author and Sisters in Crime president Sherry Harris wrote a wonderful post decrying a disdainful attitude on the part of some in the mystery community toward the cozy genre. The post hit home for a lot of cozy authors, including yours truly. https://wickedauthors.com/2019/05/09/can-we-just-stop/ Since embarking on a career writing mysteries, I’ve noticed there are organizations and conferences that don’t seem to … Continue reading “Cozy” is not a four-letter word.