This site is dedicated to promoting our local mystery writers in Orange County, and adjacent California regions.

Do you love reading a good mystery novel? Do you write mysteries? We meet on the fourth Sunday of every month to learn about and discuss all things about crime fiction.


Sunday, October 27, 2 p.m at the Irvine Ranch Water District*
15500 Sand Canyon Ave.
Irvine, CA 92618-3102
2:00 pm Discussion Time. Let’s gather together and discuss what we are all thankful for: murder and mayhem! In our mysteries, at least. Come prepared to share why and what you love about mysteries, thrillers, cozies, whatever.
3:00 pm  Speakers We are pleased to welcome two wonderful authors this month, Matt Coyle and Carl Vonderau. These two Misters from Sisters in Crime San Diego will be talking about their roads to publications as well as discussing their exciting novels. Come learn and be entertained.

Matt Coyle is the author of the best-selling Rick Cahill novels. He knew he wanted to be a crime writer when he was fourteen and his father gave him the simple art of murder by Raymond Chandler. He graduated with a degree in English from University of California at Santa Barbara. His foray into crime fiction was delayed for thirty years as he spent time managing a restaurant, selling golf clubs for various golf companies, and in national sales for a sports licensing company.

Writing at night for over a decade his debut novel, Yesterday’s Echo, was finally published in 2013. The wait was almost worth it as it won the Anthony Award for Best First Novel, the San Diego Book Award for Best Mystery, the Ben Franklin Award for Best New Voice in Fiction.

Matt’s second book in the Rick Cahill series, Night Tremors, was a Reviewers’ Favorite Book of 2015 and was an Anthony, Shamus, and Lefty Award finalist.

Carl Vonderau is the author of MURDERABILIA, a thriller that takes place in the upper crust world of private banking.  Like the protagonist, William McNary, he has been a private banker and was raised in a Christian Science family. On the other hand, his father was never a serial killer whose photos launched the “murderabilia” market. Nor did Carl’s family use Christian Science to heal his childhood illnesses—well, not most of them, anyway.  Actually Carl grew up boringly normal with two caring parents and his sister in a suburb of Cleveland. Then he went off to college in California and things started to get more interesting. He ended up studying economics at Stanford and music at San Jose State University before he embarked on a career in banking. That career enabled him to live and work in Latin America, Canada, and North Africa and to do business in Spanish, French and Portuguese.

Orange County Sisters in Crime 6th Annual

Ladies of Intrigue

Headliners: J.A. Jance & Laurie King  

Moderators: Jill Amadio, Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, and Ellen Byron

Panelists:  Greta Boris, Steph Cha, Mary Anna Evans, Lydia Fitzpatrick, Rachel Howzell Hall, Kaira Rouda, Laurie Stevens, Wendall Thomas and Betty Webb

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Mesa Verde Country Club

 3000 Clubhouse Rd, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Registration begins at 8:00 a.m.

Program 8:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Registration $65.00   

         LADIES OF INTRIGUE Tickets via Eventbrite   

Registration Form:       

LOI Registration Form 2019

Raffle Donations:

Raffle Donation Letter 2019

Bios LOI 2019



 J.A. Jance is the bestselling author of the Ali Reynolds series, the J.P. Beaumont series, and the Joanna Brady series, as well as five interrelated Southwestern thrillers featuring the Walker family. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Washington, and Tucson, Arizona. Visit her online at 


Laurie R. King is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-seven novels and other works, including the Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes stories (from The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, named one of the 20th century’s best crime novels by the IMBA, to 2018’s Island of the Mad). She is probably the only writer to have both an Edgar and an honorary doctorate in theology.

NANETTE HEISER is the current president of Sisters in Crime Orange County and has a long history in the literary world: BA in English/Writing from UCI, previous owner of Upchurch-Brown Booksellers in Laguna Beach, past Community Relations Manager for Barnes & Noble, Aliso Viejo. She has lead/participated in a writing group in Southern Orange County for more than twenty years.  She is finishing her first novel.



MADDIE MARGARITA. When not working on a sequel to her humorous suspense novel and writing a not-so-urban fantasy, Maddie Margarita serves on the Board of Directors for Sisters in Crime and Southern California Writers Association, and produces and hosts Lit Up!  Orange County.


JILL AMADIO is an author, ghostwriter, and journalist. Her mystery series, which includes Digging Too Deep and Digging Up the Dead, is set in Orange County. She has    written twelve memoirs, a true crime, and business books. Originally from Cornwall, UK, Jill worked for the London Sunday Dispatch, the Bangkok Post, and wrote for the LA Daily News, LA Times Sunday Magazine, Conde Nast, and the UK’s Mystery People magazine. She lives in Laguna Woods, CA  


GRETA BORIS Greta Boris is the author of the 7 Deadly Sins. Ordinary Women. Unexpected evil. A series of taut, psychological thrillers that expose the dark side of sunny Southern California. Enter the world of the 7 Deadly Sins with any of these standalone novels. She likes to describe her work (and her life) as ‘an O.C. housewife meets Dante’s Inferno.’ She’s also the Director of O.C. Writers, a community of over 1,000 published and aspiring authors in Orange County, California.


ELLEN BYRON authors the Cajun Country Mystery series. A Cajun Christmas Killing and Body on the Bayou won Lefty Awards and Agatha award nominations. Plantation Shudders was nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. Mardi Gras Murder was deemed “a winner” by Publishers Weekly. TV credits include Wings, Just Shoot Me, and Fairly OddParents.  Fun fact: she worked as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart.

STEPH CHA is the author of Your House Will Pay and the Juniper Song crime trilogy. She’s an editor and critic whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. A native of the San Fernando Valley, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two basset hounds. 

BARBARA DeMARCO-BARRETT’s book, Pen on Fire: A Busy Woman’s Guide to Igniting the Writer Within, made the Los Angeles Times best-seller list and received an American Society of Journalists and Authors Outstanding Book Award. She has a story in Orange County Noir and USA Noir, published by Akashic. She is the host of Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM, every Wednesday morning at 9:00 and is the 2018 president of Orange County Sisters in Crime.

MARY ANNA EVANS is the author of the Faye Longchamp archaeological mysteries, which have received several awards. She is an assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma, where she teaches fiction and nonfiction writing, including mystery and suspense. Her current release, Catacombs, is based on the true story of a community that lived underneath downtown Oklahoma City in the early twentieth century. 


LYDIA FITZPATRICK’s work has appeared in many journals. Her debut novel Lights All Night Long received great reviews, the L.A. Times referred to her debut as “luminous”. She was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, a fiction fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a recipient of an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant. She graduated from Princeton University and received an MFA from the University of Michigan. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two daughters.  


RACHEL HOWZELL HALL author of the recently published They All Fall Down (Forge), writes the acclaimed Lou Norton series, including Land of Shadows, Skies of Ash, Trail of Echoes, and City of Saviors. She is also the co-author of The Good Sister with James Patterson, which was included in the New York Times bestseller The Family Lawyer. She is on the board of directors for Mystery Writers of America, and lives in Los Angeles.


KAIRA ROUDA is a USA Today bestselling, multiple award-winning author of contemporary fiction that explores what goes on beneath the surface of seemingly perfect lives. Her domestic suspense novel Best Day Ever is a USA Today bestseller translated into more than eight languages. Her recent novel, The Favorite Daughter, came out May 21, 2019. She lives in Southern California with her family and is at work on her next novel. 


LAURIE STEVENS is the author of the best-selling Gabriel McRay psychological suspense series. The books have won multiple awards, and Kirkus Reviews calls her newly released The Mask of Midnight “A taut thriller with complex characters and an unforgettable villain.” Laurie lives in the hills near Los Angeles with her husband, three snakes, and a cat.


WENDALL THOMAS teaches in the Graduate Film School at UCLA, lectures internationally on screenwriting.  Her first Cyd Redondo novel, Lost Luggage, was nominated for the Lefty and Macavity Awards for Best Debut Mystery of 2017. Her second, Drowned Under, is now available and her short fiction appears in the crime anthologies Ladies Night (2015), Last Resort (2017), and Murder-A-Go-Go’s (2019).   


BETTY WEBB is the author of 10 Lena Jones mysteries and 5 Gunn Zoo mysteries.  A journalist for 20 years and a nationally-syndicated literary critic she currently reviews for Mystery Scene Magazine. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the National Federation of Press Women, Mystery Writers of America, and the Authors Guild. She is a creative writing instructor and has taught creative writing at Phoenix College and held Masters’ Classes in Creative Writing at ASU. 

Membership is open to all who have an interest in mysteries.
This includes, but is not limited to, authors pursuing a career in crime and mystery writing, booksellers, publishers, librarians, editors, fans and readers.

Membership Dues and Forms

You must join the National organization to be eligible for membership in the Orange County chapter.

National dues are $40 per year, ACTIVE* and $50 per year, PROFESSIONAL**

To join national Sisters in Crime, please visit the national Sisters in Crime Website:

Orange County dues are $25 per year.

To join Sisters in Crime Orange County, please print send the completed Orange County Sisters in Crime form on our membership page and a check for $25 payable to Sisters in Crime, O.C. or join online by filling out the following form and pay using PayPal.

Meeting place:

Irvine Ranch Water District*
15500 Sand Canyon Ave.
Irvine, CA 92618-3102

Map for Irvine Ranch Water District

*Disclaimer: Irvine Ranch Water District neither supports nor endorses the cause nor activities of organizations which use the District’s meeting rooms that are made available as a public service

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Sisters in Crime Orange County

SISTERS IN CRIME MISSION STATEMENT: To promote the professional development and advancement of women crime writers to achieve equality in the industry.

The usual meeting location is at the Irvine Ranch Water District*, in the Community Room, on the far left side of the parking lot when you enter the complex from Sand Canyon Avenue.