Meet Lisa

Founding Member

As a kid, Lisa Q. Mathews was determined to outsmart Nancy Drew, the perfect girl detective. She failed, of course, but the universe gave her another chance. After graduating from college with an English/Psych major and a typing speed of…12 wpm, she headed to NYC to work for 4 busy editors. A few jobs later, she became an editor herself—of brand new Nancy Drew books.

Lisa went on to write for other kids’ book series, including Mary-Kate and Ashley and The Lizzie McGuire Mysteries, and held positions as Creative Director and Executive Editor at Random House (now PRH).

But Lisa had always dreamed of writing mysteries for grown-ups. Following extended visits to her parents’ retirement community in Southwest Florida—and a chance elevator meeting with a memorable senior—The Ladies Smythe & Westin series was born.

Lisa is represented by Stephany Evans of Ayesha Pande Literary. Mom to three grown children, she currently runs Kill Your Darlings Editing Services and lives in New England with her husband, a lucky black cat, and a crazy Golden Retriever named Farley. She is happy to report that she and Nancy Drew are now Facebook friends, and her typing speed is much improved. In Spring 2023, Lisa’s first short story “Fly Me to the Morgue” (published in the Malice Domestic anthology Mystery Most Diabolical by Wildside Press) was nominated for an Agatha Award. To learn more about Lisa and her work, please drop by her website at

The Ladies Smythe & Westin Mysteries

Cardiac Arrest (Book 1)
Carina Press/Harlequin

Cardiac.Arrest.MathewsWhen a man falls at your feet, you’d better hope he’s not dead.

20-something party girl Summer Smythe is starting over in the unlikeliest of places: Hibiscus Pointe, a kitschy retirement community in upscale Milano, Florida. Her new gig? Working for Dr. A, Milano’s much-loved cardiologist. But being in over her head is the least of Summer’s worries when her new boss drops dead…right in front of her.

Longtime resident Dorothy Westin prefers to mind her own business. But when the young blonde already causing ripples throughout Hibiscus Pointe becomes a person of interest in Dr. A’s murder, Dorothy springs into action. Not only because the real killer is still on the loose, but because there’s simply no way her clueless-but-kind new friend could have poisoned someone.

Dorothy and Summer soon discover that despite his chosen specialty, Dr. A had quite a reputation for breaking hearts. And if the Ladies Smythe & Westin don’t identify the guilty party fast, Summer will end up in handcuffs…and Dorothy in a body bag.

Permanently Booked  (Book 2)
Carina Press/Harlequin


The first rule of the Hibiscus Pointe Book Club is don’t talk about the murder…

Semi-reformed party girl Summer Smythe is finally feeling at home at the Hibiscus Pointe Senior Living Community. All that’s left to do is replace her late grandma’s massive book collection with a giant-screen TV. Donating them to the community library is the perfect solution—until she finds the librarian buried in books. Literally.

Summer and her sleuthing partner, longtime resident Dorothy Westin, can’t imagine who would want to kill poor, dedicated Lorella. Soon, they’re on the case…and the Hibiscus Pointe Book Club is the perfect cover for their investigation.

A murdered librarian is headline news in South Florida, and even outsiders, including an oddball professor and a pair of dueling authors, are eager to join the once-dull group. But one menacing member has Dorothy and Summer bookmarked for the morgue. If the Ladies don’t nab the killer fast, the Hibiscus Pointe Book Club may be reading their obituaries next.

Fashionably Late (Book 3)
Carina Press/Harlequin


It’s murder, she wore…

Sporting a chic Florida outfit and designer baubles, seasoned model Angelica Downs belonged on the runway…not in the morgue. Summer Smythe and Dorothy Westin are determined to retrace her final moments–right up to her desperate plea for help.

The Ladies pin their suspects down to just a few questionable characters. But why would anyone target such a seemingly sweet, lovely woman? To lure the murderer–and perhaps some accessories of the criminal kind–the Ladies hit Milano Fashion Week, even organizing their own charity event at Hibiscus Pointe.

Killer fashion may be this season’s drop-dead look, but Summer and Dorothy will be wearing little black funeral dresses if they don’t flatiron the culprit soon.

…Sweet, sassy, and smart. Senior sleuth Dorothy Westin and impetuous young Summer Smythe make an endearing team…Lisa Q. Mathews is a terrific new voice in cozy mysteries.” – Cleo Coyle, New York Times bestselling author of The Coffeehouse Mysteries

The Ladies Smythe & Westiis an absolutely delightful series that readers will be thrilled to discover…a thoroughly entertaining series that should not be missed.” – Kings River Life

“If you’re a fan of a fun cozy this is a must-read.” – Night Owl Reviews

“With dynamic and entertaining characters like Summer and Dorothy, I can’t wait to see where the author takes them next!” –   A Cozy Experience

“You can’t help but laugh and be amused.” – Dru’s Book Musings

Available in bookstores and online:

Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Books A Million