Upcoming Meetings

January 14th Online Meeting

Please join us at the Rocky Mountain MWA monthly meeting, which will be held via Zoom on January 14, starting at 6:30 p.m. Members will receive the link and password by email, groups.io, and our newsletter. Non-members may send an email to chapterpres@rmmwa.org to request access.


Watching the (Legal) Detectives

Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman, a married private eye team, have been “legal investigators” (working exclusively with law firms) for over two decades. Their presentation will cover criminal cases from misdemeanor to murder, as well as civil cases such as personal injury, auto accidents, and premise liability. They’ll discuss the inner-workings of high-stakes homicide cases, finding people who don’t want to be found, interviewing difficult witnesses, premise liability cases, and more. They have taught courses on private investigations to regional and national writers organizations, as well as co-authored several nonfiction books on legal investigations.

Speaker Bios:

Colleen Collins sold her first novel in 1996, and has since had 30 more books published in the romance, mystery, and nonfiction genres. Her noir short story “Look Your Last” is in the September 2020 anthology Coast to Coast Noir published by Down & Out Books.

Shaun Kaufman is a retired trial attorney with nearly four decades experience in criminal justice. He’s the co-author of How to Write a Dick and A Lawyer’s Primer for Writers: from Crimes to Courtrooms. He’s learned that one’s case is only as good as the evidence a PI gathers.


Meeting Agenda:
6:30-7:00 Announcements, Introductions, and News
7:00-7:15 Mystery Minute by ZJ Czupor
7:15-8:15 or so: Program featuring our guest speaker
After Party: Stay after the program to mingle and visit.

Special Announcements

Announcing the RMMWA 2020 6-Word Mystery Winners!

The winners of the 2020 RMMWA 6-Word Mystery Contest have been revealed!

Entrants submitted brief tales in five different categories. Finalists were selected by an esteemed panel of judges, and winners by a vote of the RMMWA chapter membership.


Overall winner:


Smooth talking lothario found tongue tied.
by Sue Hinkin


Read on for the finalists and winners in each category:

read more…

RMMWA to Host Fourth Annual Six-Word Mystery Contest

Enter here starting September 15th

Writers who can boil down a mystery into a half-dozen words are encouraged to enter the fourth annual Six-Word Mystery Contest sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America (RMMWA).

The contest opens September 15, 2020, when instructions and entry forms will be posted here at RMMWA.org. Entries must be received by midnight, Oct. 31, 2020. Six-word “whodunits” can be entered in one or all five of the following categories: Hard Boiled or Noir; Cozy Mystery; Thriller Mystery; Police Procedural Mystery; and/or a mystery with Romance or Lust. The Six-Word Mystery Contest is open to all adults 18 and over. No residency requirements.

Award-winning author and RMMWA Chapter President Margaret Mizushima said, “This is a fun way to boil down your intriguing mystery in six words and be judged by professional writers and agents. Writers from across the nation and Australia have entered our previous contests. We’re excited to see what creative entries we receive this year.”

read more…

RMMWA Member
News and Notes

What Rocky Mountain MWA Means to Me

by Sue Hinkin

In a solitary endeavor such as fiction writing, the importance of involving oneself with fellow travelers in a writer’s community like RMMWA helps keep you motivated, provides inspiration, affords the opportunity to improve your knowledge base though informative presentations and networking with experts in the field, helps the writer understand trends in the publishing industry and demystifies the dynamic world of author marketing. And the most important aspect of membership in RMMWA is that I’ve become a better writer, a published author, who’s even won a few awards. None of this would have happened without the encouragement and support from this amazing group of storytellers and truly stellar people whom I now count as friends. read more…


Kate Lansing shared the cover for Book 2 of her Colorado Wine Mystery series, A Pairing To Die For, coming January 26, 2021 from Berkley. It's available for pre-order and to add on Goodreads. More information on her website: http://katelansing.com/.

Margaret Mizushima’s HANGING FALLS

Margaret Mizushima is pleased to announce the September 8th release of Hanging Falls, the sixth Timber Creek K-9 Mystery. In this episode, Deputy Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo investigate the death of a man they found floating in a mountain lake, while Mattie...

99 TRUTHS from Lori Lacefield

99 Truths, the first book in Lori Lacefield's new FBI Local Profiler series, is available now. After a recent mistake, FBI special agent Frankie Johnson is desperate to prove she has what it takes to become a lead profiler with the Bureau’s Charlotte, NC field office....


Fleur Bradley's mystery for kids, Midnight At The Barclay Hotel, is out now from Viking Books for Young Readers. Kirkus called the book "a quirky, kid-friendly introduction to the murder mystery."

The Beethoven Sequence

From the pen of Gerald Elias, author of the critically-acclaimed Daniel Jacobus mystery series, comes his first thriller. The Beethoven Sequence, the story of a mentally imbalanced political outsider who makes an unlikely ascent to the presidency of the United States,...

The Fire Thief by Debra Bokur

The Fire Thief, the first in the Dark Paradise Mystery series by Debra Bokur, launched on May 26, to strong reviews both Publisher's Weekly and Criminal Elements. Set in Hawaii, the series features Detective Kali Māhoe, who uses her knowledge of Hawaiian spiritual...

WINTER COUNTS by David Heska Wanbli Weiden

David Heska Wanbli Weiden's debut novel, Winter Counts, has been released by Ecco/HarperCollins.  The book received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was noted as one of the best books of the summer by USA Today, Buzzfeed, and CrimeReads.

Gone to Darkness by Barbara Nickless

In Gone to Darkness, the fourth Sydney Rose Parnell book from Barbara Nickless, newly minted homicide detective Sydney Parnell faces a savage killer whose endgame is to capture her. And keep her. Iraqi war vet and former railway cop Sydney Parnell is now the youngest...

The Study of Secrets

The Study of Secrets, Cynthia Kuhn's fifth Lila Maclean Academic Mystery, has been released by Henery Press. There could be nowhere more fitting for English professor Lila Maclean to spend her sabbatical than in a proper Victorian mansion. The whimsical Callahan House...

New Installment of Scott Graham’s National Park Mystery Series

Mesa Verde Victim, the sixth installment in Scott Graham's National Park Mystery Series has been released by Torrey House Press. Kirkus Reviews calls Mesa Verde Victim, "An expert look at the great outdoors seamlessly incorporated with a focus on the hero’s family,"...

Eight Weeks to a Complete Novel

Becky Clark's Eight Weeks to a Complete Novel: Write Faster, Write Better, Be More Organized debuted in March as a #1 Release in the Fiction Writing Reference category on Amazon. If you've ever wanted to speed up your writing and devise your own reliable system to get...

The Burn Patient by Sue Hinkin

The Burn Patient by Sue Hinkin, the 3rd book in the Middleton and Vega thriller series, debuted on April 1st. Now available wherever books are sold online. See more at www.suehinkin.com.  

Catherine O’Connell’s First Tracks

Ski patroller Greta Westerlind wakes up in the hospital after surviving and avalanche that took her friend's life. With no memory of the incident, she sets out to learn why they were skiing such dangerous terrain in the first place and finds a darker side of Aspen...

Catch Me In Lisbon by Douglas Grant Johnson

In the golden age of the movies, Ben and Lina are two talented people who stand ready to achieve their life's dreams. But there's a bully whose own ambition stands in the way. And he'll try to stop them . . . one way or another.

5th installment in Pauline Baird Jones’ Big Uneasy Series

The fifth installment in the Big Uneasy Series, Fais Do Do Die, was released January 21, 2020. He kicks down doors, and she serves hors d’oeuvres. And the Big Uneasy delivers them both a huge helping of high stakes danger—plus a chance at romance.

9th book in Terry Odell’s Mapleton Mystery series

 Deadly Fun pits Gordon Hepler against a cat-and-mouse killer. Someone is playing a game with Mapleton’s Chief of Police … and it’s deadly. For Mapleton Police Chief Gordon Hepler, life has become predictably boring—despite being a newlywed. Being a husband is great....
Book Cover

Kate Lansing’s Latest Releases in May

COVER REVEAL : Coming May 26, 2020 from Berkley A young winery owner won’t let one sour grape ruin the bunch in the first installment of this exciting cozy mystery series. Parker Valentine has always dreamed of opening her own winery in her hometown of Boulder,...

Pat Wood’s Latest Releases in December

Murder at the Petroglyphs (set in Albuquerque, NM) will be released sometime in December. At that time it will be available on Amazon and through order from bookstores. The book is published by Aakenbaaken & Kent.    The Ancient Ones walk among the sacred rocks at...
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Amanda Bradley’s First Release

Writing as Eliza Casey, the first novel in her new Edwardian mystery series, Lady Takes the Case, releases November 26, 2019. When a dinner party turns deadly, the feisty Lady Cecilia Bates and intuitive cat Jack are on the case, in this first entry to an exciting new...

New Release: Lethal Fetish

Lethal Fetish, the third in Jeff Lockwood’s mystery series is now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Pen-L Books. In this twisted tale, Riley the exterminator is thrust in the kinky corners of 1980s San Francisco. This ex-cop’sjourney begins at a...

New Release: Burning Candles

Burning Candles, by Sue Star and Bill Beatty  An American woman hides from her past by running to Brazil, only to find that the Brazilian cop she’s married has secrets far darker than hers.  She struggles with her new identity and a culture of cults and illegal...

New Release: Black Pearl

Donnell Bell is pleased to announce that Black Pearl, is available for preorder and will be released on November 8, 2019. Black Pearl takes place in all of her favorite places, Denver, Colorado Springs and Montrose, and is the first in a series. A cold case heats up...

New Release: Tracking Game

Margaret Mizushima is thrilled to announce the November 12th release of Tracking Game, her fifth Timber Creek K-9 mystery. Library Reads named Tracking Game a Top Pick for November 2019, and Booklist said this about it: "Whether one likes stories about conflict or...

New Release: The Blue Pearl

The Blue Pearl by L.J. Martin will be released on 10/23/19.   There’s nothing like a relaxing cruise to reinvigorate tired bones…soak up the sun, lots of drinks with those little umbrellas, a little body-guarding. What could go wrong? That is, until Al Shabaab decides...

New Release: Crossing the Chicken

The fifth and latest mystery in the Jake Diamond series by J.L. Abramo, Crossing the Chicken, has hit the shelves.

December 2020 Mystery Minute

by ZJ Czupor

Don’t Gobblefunk Around With Words

Children who grew up on this author’s books continue to visit his grave in England and in a show of respect leave toys and flowers. When he died, he was mourned the world over. He was a British novelist, short-story writer, poet, screenwriter, medical inventor, and ace fighter pilot. His writing blended fantasy, humor, horror, heroism, and folklore into books that enchanted his readers.

He was a master of inventing new words, which sounded like gibberish but made perfect sense. In the children’s novel, BFG (1982), short for “big friendly giant,” he wrote, “Don’t gobblefunk around with words.”

Perhaps his most popular invented word is “Scrumdiddlyumptious,” which is still delicious to hear.

A personal tragedy in 1960 prompted him to invent a catheter which treats hydrocephalus in young children. The idea came to him after his 4-month-old son was struck by a taxicab in New York City. The accident left his son brain damaged. But the invention, named the Wade-Dahl-Till valve, helped save the sight of 3,000 children around the world.

I think this a good time to ask, why am I reading about a children’s author when this space is for mystery writers? Fair question. Because Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was also a British spy which set in motion his career as a writer, and furthermore, his mysteries earned him three awards from Mystery Writers of America. read more…