Meet the Chicks

Ellen Byron (Founding Member)
The Cajun Country Mysteries
The Catering Hall Mysteries
Vintage Cookbook Mysteries

Ellen Byron is a native New Yorker who lives in Los Angeles and spends lots of time writing about Louisiana. She attributes this obsession to her college years at New Orleans’ Tulane University. Ellen’s TV credits include Wings and Just Shoot Me; she’s written over 200 magazine articles; her published plays include the award-winning, Graceland. Having set her first mystery series in a fabulous location that she “must visit to research,” she looks forward to pulling this off with future series.

Jennifer J. Chow
The Sassy Cat Mysteries
The Winston Wong Mysteries
The Night Market Mysteries

Jennifer J. Chow grew up on a steady diet of Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew, with a liberal sprinkling of Miss Marple. She traveled across the country for college but soon returned to sunny California. She resides in Los Angeles, where she nurtures her inner sass for channeling into books.

Becky Clark
The Mystery Writer’s Mysteries
The Crossword Mysteries
Sugar Mill Marketplace Mysteries

The mystery-writing bug bit Becky Clark late in life. Growing up in Colorado all she wanted to do was read, roller skate, and gut fish, but never at the same time because that’s dangerous. She remains a cautious person. So cautious, in fact, that when she got her degree in Criminal Justice, she sabotaged her chance at a job where she knew she’d have to carry a gun.

Marla Cooper (Founding Member & Chick Emerita)
The Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mysteries

Marla Cooper is the author of the Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mysteries. As a freelance writer, Marla has written all sorts of things, from advertising copy to travel guidebooks to the occasional haiku, and it was while ghostwriting a guide to destination weddings that she found inspiration for her series. Originally hailing from Texas, Marla lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and her polydactyl tuxedo cat.

Vickie Fee
The Liv and Di in Dixie Mysteries
The Café Cinema Mysteries

Vickie Fee blesses hearts and makes Jack Daniels whiskey balls that’ll scorch your tonsils. The second book in her Liv and Di in Dixie cozy mystery series, It’s Your Party, Die If you Want To, just came out and is set at Halloween. It includes a plethora of parties, a passel of scandal, a prima donna celebrity ghost hunter – and of course, a dead body.

Kellye Garrett (Founding Member & Chick Emerita)
The Detective by Day Mysteries

Kellye Garrett spent 8 years working in Hollywood, including a stint writing for the CBS drama Cold Case. People were always surprised to learn what she did for a living—probably because she seemed way too happy to be brainstorming ways to murder people. A former magazine editor, Kellye holds a B.S. in magazine writing from Florida A&M and an MFA in screenwriting from USC’s famed film school. Having moved back to her native New Jersey, she spends her mornings commuting to Manhattan for her job at a leading media company—while still happily brainstorming ways to commit murder.  

Leslie Karst
The Sally Solari Culinary Mysteries

Growing up an “academic brat,” Leslie Karst was fortunate to live in a variety of locales as a child, from Ohio, to Latin America, to England, to Southern California. As a result, she acquired the taste for pretty much any kind of food, be it barbecue, burritos, or bubble and squeak. Leslie now writes the Sally Solari Mysteries, a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California. An ex-lawyer like her sleuth, she also has degrees in English literature and the culinary arts. She and her wife and their Jack Russell mix, Ziggy, split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.

Cynthia Kuhn
The Lila Maclean Academic Mysteries
The Starlit Bookshop Mysteries

Cynthia Kuhn was always secretly delighted when teachers assigned reading and writing projects, which eventually led to her work as an English professor and mystery author. Originally from upstate New York, she lives with her family and a goodly number of bookshelves in Colorado.

Lisa Q. Mathews (Founding Member)
The Ladies Smythe & Westin Mysteries

Lisa Q. Mathews has worked in the publishing world for longer than she’ll admit. She began her career at New American Library, where she edited mystery, romance, young adult, and male action adventure (!) books—and got to meet Stephen King. At her next job she edited multiple Nancy Drew lines and also became a writer on other kids’ series, including Mary-Kate and Ashley and The Lizzie McGuire Mysteries. Eventually she became Creative Director at Random House Children’s Books. Lisa now writes full-time from New Hampshire, and often imagines she’s poolside in sunny Florida, the setting for her first adult mystery series.

Kathleen Valenti
The Maggie O’Malley Mysteries

While many of her author brethren grew up with The Secret of the Old Clock, Kathleen Valenti cut her reading and writerly teeth on Carrie. She embraced her weird-kid status and love for writing and began to write for her supper, first penning for magazines and newspapers, then becoming a copywriter for ad agencies in Oregon and North Carolina.