Ladies of Intrigue 2018 Wrap-Up 

Orange County Sisters in Crime 5th Annual Ladies of Intrigue 
On Sunday, October 7th, we held Ladies of Intrigue.

Two multi-award-winning authors, Hallie Ephron from Boston, MA and Carola Dunn from Eugene, OR, headlined Orange County, California’s annual premier female mystery writer event, Ladies of Intrigue,  on October 7, continuing its resounding success into a fifth year. Hosted by the OC chapter of Sisters in Crime and its president, bestselling author Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, it was held at the Mesa Verde Country Club. Event coordinator was Debbie Mitsch, owner of Mystery Ink bookstore in Huntington Beach, CA. The Hallowe’en theme brought forth trick-or-treat candies and orange candles as centerpieces for the tables and several gift baskets containing thrillers, mysteries, cozies, and gift cards were auctioned off to the 80 or so attendees. 

Nine authors and three author-moderators presented panels focusing on Writing Across Borders: Merging Character with Setting; Curious Minds: Plots, Clues, and Characters, and Me and My Shadow: Series, Stand-Alones and Collaborations. Of particular interest was Rachel Howzell Hall’s description of her collaboration with James Patterson on his book, Family Lawyer. The other authors were Janelle Brown, Ivy Pochoda, Amy Stewart, Ellen Byron, Hannah Dennison, Wendall Thomas, Lisa Brackmann, Naomi Hirahara, Maddie Margarita, Jill Amadio, and Daryl Wood Gerber. There were author-signing sessions before and after the panels.

The enthusiastic audience at the day-long gathering of murder-minded fans listened, lunched, and besieged the book table, snapping up their favorite thrillers, cozies, and non-fiction how-to manuals. Ephron’s book, Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel, sold out, as did DeMarco-Barrett’s award-winning Pen on Fire: A Guide to Igniting the Writer Within. 

“We had a great group of women and a few men at the best venue yet, with good food and good parking. I always love listening to authors because I inevitably learn something,” said DeMarco-Barrett. “We did surveys this year and received so many great responses. Karen Y. said, “Very enjoyable. Loved the location.” Cynthia R. said, “A special day that I look forward to each year.” Carolyn M. said, “Wonderful. Love hearing from the authors. Helps us connect more with the stories. Love the book signings and the chance to tell the authors we love their work. And fun to find ‘new’ authors, too.” 

A great way to spend a Sunday!

Written by Jill Amadio


Debbie Mitsch © 2014 | All Rights Reserved

Chris Erskine is a nationally known humor columnist and editor for the Los Angeles Times.  He is best known to readers for his weekly columns on life in suburban Los Angeles.  His latest book "Daditude", released in 2018, is a collection of his Times columns on fatherhood.  He has written two other books, "Man of the House" and "Surviving Suburbia".

Saturday, January 26, 2 p.m. - Joint Signing!

Howard Michael Gould - LAST LOOKS 

Patricia Smiley - THE SECOND GOODBYE

​Howard Michael Gould & Patricia Smiley will be discussing and signing their latest books on Saturday, January 26th at the Mystery Ink Bookstore, 8907 Warner Avenue,#135, Huntington Beach, CA 92647, 714 960-4000.

In Gould’s debut novel, LAST LOOKS, the brilliant, eco-maniacal detective Charlie Waldo is introduced and thrust into a spectacular Hollywood murder mystery. 
Charlie Waldo, paying self-imposed penance for an old case gone horribly wrong, lives deep in the woods as a minimalist, pathologically committed to owning no more than one hundred things.  But after the girlfriend he left behind tracks him down and disrupts his solitude, he finds himself forced back into action, dragged into a sensational Hollywood murder investigation.
“The plot is good and the protagonist is even better. It’s fast, funny, and well worth a sequel.”  —Kirkus (starred review)

“A wild, madcap homage to and satire of the Hollywood noir thriller. Gould, an accomplished screenwriter and showrunner, knows how to keep it fast, smart, and funny.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Patricia Smiley is the Los Angeles Times bestselling author of four novels featuring amateur sleuth Tucker Sinclair. The three books in her latest series are hard-boiled police procedurals about LAPD homicide detective Davie Richards (PACIFIC HOMICIDE, OUTSIDE THE WIRE, THE SECOND GOODBYE). The novels are based on her fifteen years as a volunteer and a Specialist Reserve Officer for the Los Angeles Police Department. Patty’s short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and Two of the Deadliest, an anthology edited by Elizabeth George. For more information, please visit
“THE SECOND GOODBYE is a straight ahead jolt of police procedural adrenaline! Like Michael Connelly, Patricia Smiley grabs a hold of you and pulls you into the story without tricks or gimmicks…” Matt Coyle -Anthony Award -winning author

Sunday, January 27, 2 p.m. - Orange County Sisters in Crime Meeting


Kris is currently a Unit Chief in the Counterintelligence Division.   Prior to joining the FBI, she graduated from the United States Military Academy and was commissioned in the U.S. Army as a military intelligence officer.   In January of 2002, Kris entered the FBI Academy and following graduation was assigned to the Los Angeles Field Office to a Counterintelligence  squad. In 2007, she was promoted as a Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) in the WMD Directorate at FBI Headquarters, where she managed the Biological Countermeasures program for three years.  As a result of her work in the WMD Directorate, the White House selected her to serve as the Countering Biological Threats Director in the WMD Coordinator’s Office of the National Security Council.  After a two and a half year assignment at the White House, Kris returned to the WMD Directorate and was promoted to Unit Chief of the Executive Strategy Unit, where she managed strategy and communications.  From there, she was assigned to Chicago as a field SSA over a CI Squad for three years.  She recently reported to the Counterintelligence Division as a Unit Chief.  

Kris likes staying active and playing sports, enjoys Buddhist meditations, and hanging with her two cats and fish, Jasper, Tarzan, and Buddha.  She is also working on ghost writing a memoir for a famous fitness celebrity.

T. Jefferson Parker started his writing career in 1978 as a cub reporter on the weekly newspaper, the Newport Ensign. Parker's first novel "Laguna Heat" was published to rave reviews and made into an HBO movie.  Parker's following novels - all deal with crime, life and death in sunny Southern California - appeared on many bestseller lists.  Parker's "Silent Joe" won the Edgar Award for best mystery in 2001, as well as the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mysteries.  "California Girl" and "Skinhead Central" also won Parker the Edgar for best mysteries.  Parker launched his new series, based on private investigator Roland Ford, in 2017 with "The Room of White Fire".  The next Roland Ford novel, "Swift Vengeance" was released in 2018.


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                     Sunday, November 10th, 2019

           w/LAURIE KING - One of our Main Speakers

                      UPDATES TO BE ANNOUNCED


February 23, 2019, 11:30 a.m. - San Clemente Friends of the Library

Annual Authors Luncheon w/authors: Chris Erskine and T. Jefferson Parker


An Independent Mystery

Bookstore opened in 1991

8907 Warner Ave. #135
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
(714) 960-4000