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 the fourth Sunday of every month to learn about and discuss all things about crime fiction.


Sunday, October 28, 2 p.m.

Our speaker will be Craig Owens

Craig Owens will be discussing Volume I of HAUNTED BY HISTORY: Separating the Facts and Legends of Eight Historic Hotel and Inns in Southern California.

HAUNTED BY HISTORY, Vol. 1 “is a stimulating, heavily illustrated account of the supposed hauntings of eight historic Southern California hotels. Pulling together historical photographs and original documents as well as firsthand accounts, the author attempts to verify the ghost stories associated with each inn, dissecting their origins (often in the late 19th and early 20th centuries) and recreating the ghostly encounters in glamorously staged vignette photos

Craig Owens is a Los Angeles-based fine arts photographer, historical researcher, and blogger of the Facebook page, Bizarre Los Angeles. In recent years, he turned his creative lens and critical eye on historic and haunted hotels in Southern California. Not only has Owens emerged as a leading authority on the paranormal, but his haunted hotel photos have developed a worldwide following.

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.

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!


For additional information, please contact Debbie (Mystery Ink) at 714 743-6127 or