Writers Write

As part of our mission to promote the ongoing advancement, recognition and professional development of women crime writers, we are providing on this page some very brief bios and links to our Toronto Chapter members of Sisters in Crime who have self-identified as authors. They are listed alphabetically by their pen names.

We have also periodically published featured interviews in the Criminal Intent column of our bi-monthly member newsletter, Crime Scene.

Not a Sisters in Crime Member? Take a moment to join the parent organization and pay your Chapter fee online and we will add your name and links to the website.



David Albertyn headshot of David Albertyn

David Albertyn studied at Queen's University and the Humber School for Writers, and coached tennis until the publication of his first novel, Undercard (2019), which was a finalist for the Forest of Reading Evergreen Award, made 49th Shelf's Top Fiction List of 2019, and CrimeReads' list of "8 Debut Novels You Should Read This June."
@DavidAlbertyn     @DavidAlbertynWriter · Author


Carolyn Arnold headshot of Carolyn Arnold

Carolyn Arnold is an international best-selling and award-winning author of several mystery series. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures. 
 
@Carolyn_Arnold     Author Carolyn Arnold


Catherine Astolfo headshot of Catherine Astolfo

Catherine Astolfo retired in 2002 after a very successful 34 years in education. Her short stories and poems have been published in a number of Canadian literary presses and anthologies, including The Whole She-Bang 2. She is the author of the Emily Taylor Mystery series. 
 
@CathyAstolfo     Catherine Astolfo
- 2018 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story, "The Outlier", in 13 Claws compiled by Mesdames of Mayhem.


Janet Bolin/Ginger Bolton headshot of Janet Bolin

Author of the Threadville cozy mystery series. Her books have been nominated for both Agatha and Bony Blithe awards. Under the pseudonym, Ginger Bolton, she has written the Deputy Donut series of light mysteries, featuring a very precocious cat.

@ginger_bolton     Ginger Bolton


Linda Cahill headshot of Linda Cahill

A former journalist and TV news assignment editor, her short stories display the fast-paced gritty writing style developed while covering political speeches and murder trials. Her short stories have appeared an a variety of anthologies, including The Whole She-Bang 2.



@lindamarycahill     LindaCahill.author


Madeleine Harris Callway headshot of M. H. Callway

When her job working for Disease Control put her in the middle of a murder case, it changed her life: she became a crime writer. Madeleine’s debut novel, Windigo Fire, was a finalist for the Debut Dagger, Unhanged Arthur, and CWC Best First Novel Award. Her short crime fiction has won and been short-listed for several awards, including the CWC Best Novella Award. In 2013, she co-founded the Mesdames of Mayhem who have released four anthologies: Thirteen; 13 O'Clock; 13 Claws; and In the Key of 13. Madeleine's most recent publication is her story, “The Moon God of Broadmoor,” in the anthology Moonlight and Misadventure by Superior Shores Press (June 2021).

@mcallway    Madeleine Harris-Callway

- 2005 Golden Horseshoe Award (Crime Writers of Canada) for Best Short Story: “Kill the Boss”
- 2012 Bony Pete Award for best short story: “The Lizard”


Melodie Campbell headshot of Melodie Campbell

Billed as Canada's "Queen of Comedy" by the Toronto Sun, she is the author of the award-winning Goddaughter mystery series. She has over 200 publications including 100 comedy credits, and 40 short stories. She writes a humour column for The Sage, Canada's magazine of satire and opinion, and for Sleuthsayers, the Criminal Blog.
@MelodieCampbell     MelodieCampbellAuthor
- 2014 Arthur Ellis Award Winner for Best Crime Novella: The Goddaughter’s Revenge
- 2014 Derringer Award Winner for Best Novelette: The Goddaughter’s Revenge
- 2015 Hamilton Reads Award for significant contribution to literacy in Hamilton


Donna Carrick (also Carrick Publishing) headshot of Donna Carrick

An Air Force Brat, Donna Carrick grew up in locations all over Canada. The author of three mystery novels: The First Excellence - Fa-ling’s Map, Gold And Fishes and The Noon God. Her Toboggan Mystery Series, which includes Sept-Iles and other places and Knowing Penelope, offers short-story lovers a broad collection of her work for Kindle.
@Donna_Carrick     Donna Carrick
- 2011 Indie Book Event Award for Excellence in Fiction: The First Excellence


Sharon A. Crawford headshot of Sharon A. Crawford

Writer, editor, gardener, teacher, Crawford has been running a writing group in Toronto for over 15 years. Beyond Blood was her first mystery novel, featuring a female private investigator. It was followed by her short story collection, Beyond the Tipping Point
 
 
Sharon A. Crawford


Susan Daly headshot of Susan Daly

Susan has found her niche in the world of short crime fiction, where she successfully rids the world of deserving victims. Her stories keep popping up in a surprising number of anthologies: The Whole She-Bang 2, The Whole She-Bang 3, the SinC Guppies' Fish Out of Water and the Malice Domestic anthologies for 2017 and 2018. Her short story, "A Death at the Parsonage", won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story and can be found in our mystery anthology, The Whole She-Bang 3.

- 2016 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story: "Death at the Parsonage", The Whole She-Bang 3 mystery anthology


Mary Lou Dickinson headshot of Mary Lou Dickinson

Despite a life working in fields from consulting to counselling, Dickinson has been actively writing since she was a young child. After taking retirement, Dickinson published three books, two novels and a collection of short stories. Dickinson's next book, The White Ribbon Man, is a mystery and is due out later this year.



@mldcos     Mary Lou Dickinson


Vicky Earle headshot of Vicky Earle

Earle lives on a small farm where the horses come first. You can see that reflected in her Meg Sheppard mystery series, where they are an integrated part of the farm on which Meg lives.

@vickyearle1



Alice Fitzpatrick headshot of Alice Fitzpatrick

Born in northern England, Alice Fitzpatrick was raised in Oakville, Ontario, where she began to write as soon as she could pick up a pen. Now living in Toronto, Fitzpatrick writes the Kate Galway mysteries (set on an island off the coast of Wales). Toward the Pebbled Shore was a finalist for the 2013 Malice Domestic Unpublished Novel Award, and This Thing of Darkness was a Top 10 Finalist for the 2015 Killer Nashville Claymore Award. Her short story, "Summer of the Black Madonna", appears in The Whole She-Bang 3.


Kate Freiman headshot of Kate Freiman

A national best-selling, award-winning, critically acclaimed author of romantic fiction, Kate started telling stories with happy endings when she was a small child. Freiman has written 8 novels and several short stories, one of which can be found in the mystery anthology Villanous Vacations.
 
@KateFreiman     KateFreimanAuthor


Gina X. Grant headshot of Gina Grant

Gina Grant writes as Gina Grant, Storm Grant, Gina X. Grant, and Gina Storm Grant. And yes, she is very sorry she ever started with the pen names. She writes on the funny spectrum—whether wryly witty or pun-filled nonsense, she’s always entertaining. Check out her many books and short stories books on her website.



@ginaXgrantAuthor · Author


Sue Jaskula headshot of Sue Jaskula

My career has spanned many years in a mix of legal and medical administrative work. I hold a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and a Creative Writing Certificate, both from McMaster University. I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to take early retirement and pursue a career in writing. Through The Wild Rose Press, I published two romantic suspense novels in 2021, my debut, All Fired Up, and a second novel, Unexpected Connection. I have a third release in spring this year, Death at Dawn.
@jaskulasue    Sue Jaskula


Marilyn Kay headshot of Marilyn Kay

Marilyn began as a medieval historian, before moving into the commercial world as a business journalist, then communicator within and outside government. She debuted as a crime fiction writer with two short stories published in the following: Passport to Murder, the anthology for Bouchercon 2017; and, 13 Claws, the latest anthology by the Mesdames of Mayhem. She is presently at work on a police procedural set in Toronto.

@triskeleweb     Marilyn Kay Author


Lesley Mang headshot of Lesley Mang

Lesley Mang is a former English teacher and editor, actively involved in the Sisters in Crime/mystery community. Published works include book-length non-fiction and mystery short stories, the latter of which have appeared in both The Whole She-Bang and The Whole She-Bang 2
 
 
  Lesley Mang


Rosemary McCracken headshot of Rosemary McCracken

As a journalist, Rosemary McCracken has worked as a reporter, editor and editorial writer on newspapers across Canada for over 25 years. Author of the Pat Tierney mystery series, McCracken's short stories have appeared in mystery anthologies such as The Whole She-Bang, Nefarious North, Thirteen, and World Enough and Crime. Her short story, "The Sweetheart Scamster", was short-listed for the 2014 Derringer Award. 
 
@RCMcCracken     Rosemary McCracken


Hannah Mary McKinnon headshot of Hannah Mary McKinnon

Hannah Mary McKinnon was born in the UK to British and Swiss parents and grew up in Switzerland. After working as a Purchasing Manager, and getting a Bachelor of Science degree, McKinnon joined an IT recruitment firm and rose to become their CEO. After moving to Canada in 2010, she decided to follow her oldest passion, writing, and never looked back. Her first book was a rom-com, but then she switched to the dark side of suspense with The Neighbours. Her thrillers have become both Canadian and US bestsellers, with her most recent book, Never Coming Home, due out in 2022. She lives in Oakville with her husband and three sons.

@hannahmmckinnon     Hannah Mary McKinnon    @hannahmmckinnon


Lynn McPherson headshot of Lynn McPherson

Lynn McPherson grew up in various parts of Canada, from the Canadian Rockies to the big city of Toronto. She is a debut author who has channelled her lifelong love of adventure and history into her writing, where she is free to go anywhere, any time. Having a particular love of New England, possibly stemming from a snowy winter’s night spent at a cozy inn, Lynn knew this is where her mystery series must take place. She is a member of Crime Writers Of Canada, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters In Crime. Her cozy mystery, The Girls’ Weekend Murder, is the first book in The Izzy Walsh Mystery Series.

@CozyMysteryLynn     Lynn McPherson


J. A. Menzies headshot of J. A. Menzies

A prolific author of both non-fiction and fiction, including the Paul Manziuk and Jacquie Ryan mystery series - classic whodunits set in contemporary Toronto. J. A. Menzies is the mystery pseudonym of writer and speaker N. J. Lindquist
 
 

@JAMenziesAuthor     J. A. Menzies Mystery Author


Lynne Murphy headshot of Lynne Murphy

Murphy studied journalism at Carleton University and worked as a reporter on the now defunct Ottawa Journal and then as an editor for CBC Radio News. (It was in the sixties and Lynne was the first woman editor they ever hired.) It was there she learned to "write tight". Her first published short story, "The Troublemaker", was in our first mystery anthology, The Whole She-Bang. Since then Murphy has published stories in several mystery anthologies including all three from Mesdames of Mayhem.
Lynne Murphy


Helen Nelson headshot of Helen Nelson

Helen Nelson has been actively involved in the Sisters in Crime chapter for over a dozen years, and the larger mystery community even longer including co-chairing Bouchercon 2017. Her short stories have appeared in several mystery anthologies, including all three of ours: The Whole She-Bang , The Whole She-Bang 2, and The Whole She-Bang 3 
 
 
  @HelenLN115     Helen Nelson


Ken Ogilvie headshot of Ken Ogilvie

Ken Ogilvie is a debut mystery author with Her Dark Path. Prior to taking up writing, Ken worked in a variety of roles in the environmental policy domain, including positions with three governments in Canada (Federal, Manitoba and Ontario) and as the Executive Director of Pollution Probe and has received two honourary doctorates from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, and Thompson Rivers University, British Columbia.



Nanci Pattenden headshot of Nanci Pattenden

A genealogist and fiction writer, with non-fiction articles in Indyfest, The Attic, Ancestors, and Site Lines, Pattenden is currently working on a collection of detective stories set in Victorian Toronto, as well as a novel based on an 1891 murder involving a young relative.


@npattenden     Nanci Pattenden


Judy Penz Sheluk headshot of Judy Penz Sheluk

An Amazon International bestselling author, Judy writes two mystery series: The Glass Dolphin Mysteries (The Hanged Man's Noose and the just-released A Hole in One); and The Marketville Mysteries (Skeletons in the Attic). Her short crime fiction also appears in several collections, including The Whole She-Bang 2 and The Whole She-Bang 3. On her website Judy regularly interviews and showcases the works of other authors, and blogs about the writing life.

@JudyPenzSheluk     Judy Penz Sheluk


Ed Piwowarczyk headshot of Ed Piwowarczyk

Ed Piwowarczyk is a veteran journalist who has worked for the National Post, Toronto Sun and Sault Star. As well, he has edited Harlequin novels on a freelance basis, and is currently a freelance editor. His short stories have been published in several anthologies, including World Enough and Crime, 13 O’Clock, and The Whole She-Bang 3
 
 
 
Ed Piwowarczyk


Lorna Poplak headshot of Lorna Poplak

Poplak is a Toronto-based writer, editor, and researcher drawn to the dark side of Canadian history. With a background in law, literature, information technology, and technical communications, she has written medical and scientific articles, travel and historical pieces, children’s literature, blog posts, and a radio play. Her two nonfiction books, published by Dundurn Press, are Drop Dead: A Horrible History of Hanging in Canada (2017) and The Don: The Story of Toronto’s Infamous Jail (2021).
Lorna Poplak Author


Bill Prentice headshot of Bill Prentice

A freelance writer for more than 30 years, Prentice specialized in international trade and investment marketing, economic development and public policy development. In 2015, he was a finalist for the Crime Writers of Canada’s Unhanged Arthur award for best unpublished novel. His debut thriller, Why Was Rachel Murdered?, was released in 2018.

@PrenticeWriter



June Lorraine Roberts Carolyn Arnold

June is a graduate of the London School of Journalism and pays the bills as a freelance consultant in corporate communications. She works continuously at flash-fiction contributions in the hope that someday her dark, frightening mind will be appreciated and her stories published.
@JuneLorraineR     June Lorraine Roberts


Dianne Scott headshot of Dianne Scott

A Toronto-based writer and teacher, Scott's Toronto Island mystery Devastation won the Crime Writers' of Canada Unhanged Arthur Award and was longlisted for Mslexia’s First Novel Award. Some of her non-fiction writing has appeared in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and on CBC radio. Her literary writing have been published in numerous Canadian literary magazines such as The New Quarterly, the Windsor Review, Other Voices, and the Prairie Journal.

- 2018 Arthur Ellis Award (Unhanged Arthur) for Best Unpublished First Novel: Devastation


Ann Shortell headshot of Ann Shortell

Born in Kingston, Ontario, Shortell was raised on legends of John A. Macdonald, and of her Celtic ancestors. In a previous century she was a business journalist and author. Her debut mystery, Celtic Knot, was written in homage to the Irish storytelling tradition McGee embodied.

@CelticKnotMcGee     Ann Shortell Celtic Knot

- 2019 Winner, Whistler Independent Book Award, Fiction
- 2020 Winner, Ontario Indie Author Project, Adult Fiction
- 2020 Winner (Tie) Neo-Noir Novel, Screenplay and Film Festival Books
- 2020 Winner, Best Murder Mystery Manuscript, The Wild Bunch Film Festival
- 2020 Winner, Crime List Award - Books, Ink and Cinema


Madona Skaff headshot of Madona Skaff

Madona Skaff-Koren is the author of the Naya Investigates series (Renaissance Press), about a young woman disabled by multiple sclerosis who turns sleuth to solve crimes. The debut book was Journey of a Thousand Steps; the second, Death by Association, was published in 2020. She’s currently working on book three. Her recent stand-alone novel Shifting Trust is a near-future science fiction thriller released by Renaissance Press in September 2021.
@MadonaSkaff     Madona Skaff


Carolyne Topdjian headshot of Carolyne Topdjian

Carolyne Topdjian is the author of The Hitman's Daughter (2022, Agora/Polis Books), a gothic mystery described by Library Journal as a "fast-paced, haunting novel of survival" (starred review, Dec. 2021). In addition to writing suspense novels, Topdjian has published short fiction in PRISM International, Dreamers Magazine, and Firewords Quarterly. She is a professor in the Faculty of Media and Creative Arts at Humber College and a three-time Pitch Wars mentor. She currently lives in a 114-year-old haunted house.

@TopdjianC     @TopdjianC · Author


Lori Twining headshot of Lori Twining

Twining is an author, writer, blogger and social media guru. She works as a Civil Engineering Designer during the day and slams her thoughts into her laptop during the early hours before the birds get up and late at night, writing fiction full of emotion and magic, and sometimes murder. Her stories have won awards in literary competition and appeared in several anthologies, magazines and newspapers. Two of her unpublished novels have received Judge’s Honorable Mention in the Muskoka Novel Marathon.

@Lori_Twining     Lori Twining


Sylvia Warsh headshot of Sylvia Warsh

With a a BA from the University of Toronto and a Masters degree in Linguistics, she learned elementary Chinese, dissected the Zulu language, and discovered that she was not cut out to be a scholar. After writing poetry and short stories, the award-winning writer began the Dr. Rebecca Temple historical mystery series.
@StanleyKMS     Sylvia Warsh
- 2004 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original: Find Me Again


Maaja Wentz headshot of Maaja Wentz

As a teen, Wentz devoured shelves of mysteries. She admires sleuths with noir style and Sherlock Holmesian brilliance. In her fiction, Wentz plays with elements of thriller, horror, and urban fantasy. She was delighted to sell her short story, "Inside of a Dog," to Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Wentz's supernatural thriller, Feeding Frenzy, received over 141,000 reads on Wattpad, and went on to win a Watty award. Since then, it has been professionally edited and indie published.
@MaajaWentz    Maaja Wentz


Christine J. Whitlock headshot of Christine Whitlock

A former police reporter for CKOC Radio Hamilton and police stringer for the Toronto Star, she has written "Relative Contact", a feature film script based on her experiences. The Cat Holmes and Bunny Mysteries is a children's TV pilot script being adapted to a children's book series. Her two crime short stories have been published: “Winter Cover” and “Police Calls”.


Writers' Resources


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Writer Beware a blog sponsored by MWA and SFWA keeps an eye on news and views but especially ripoffs and other perils of the publishing industry. Required reading for writers, fascinating reading for industry watchers.