Get cozy with Paula Bernstein’s MURDER IS A NIGHTMARE

Psychiatrist Dr. Andrea Marcus is Dr. Hannah Kline’s closest friend, and she has disappeared.
Before then, Marcus had taken on a new and unlikable patient: narcissistic, arrogant and controlling Blake Harris. He’s in therapy under protest, because his recurrent nightmares are interfering with his sleep and his job as the CEO of a pharmaceutical start-up company. Blake also becomes sexually obsessed with his new therapist.
Marcus was becoming convinced the nightmares hid a horrific truth, one that frightened her. Now Hannah Kline and her new husband, LAPD detective Daniel Ross, must find her before the unthinkable happens.
Headshot of Paula Bernstein
Dr. Paula Bernstein will be moderating the panel Some Like it Hot: Adding Romance and Sex to Your Mysteries with guest authors Victoria Thompson, Deborah Crombie, Toby Neal and Pamela Samuels Taylor.

Bernstein migrated to California from her native New York to attend graduate school at Caltech. After several years of post doctoral work in chemistry, she escaped her laboratory and went to medical school. Like her series heroine, Hannah Kline, Paula spent her professional life practicing Obstetrics and Gynecology in Los Angeles. When she retired, she reinvented herself as a writer of medical mysteries.

Don’t toss and turn: Find MURDER IS A NIGHTMARE today through Bookshop, which supports independent bookstores. 

Into the breach with Ausma Khan’s A DEADLY DIVIDE

With less than a month to go, we’re speeding through our giveaways. Leaving behind Rachel Howzell Hall’s tropical island in THEY ALL FALL DOWN, we now go to Quebec and the site of a terrible tragedy in Ausma Khan’s A DEADLY DIVIDE

Detectives Esa Khattak and Rachel Gettyries liaise with the Muslim community grieving after a mass shooting at a Quebec mosque.  Despite an arrest, the detectives suspect there’s more to the story, but panic and suspicion fueled by a right-wing radio host get into the way of a solution.
Khan took her Ph.D. in International Human Rights Law to become an adjunct law professor. She eventually moved from the legal field into journalism, serving as editor-in-chief of Muslim Girl magazine, the first magazine targeted to young Muslim women. The British-born Canadian joins Rachel Howzell Hall, Faye Snowden, Isabella Maldonado and moderator Jessica Kaye in the panel Police Procedurals 2021: Social Justice and the Pandemic.

Register to be entered in this random giveaway— there are only a few left!

Improve your odds: Find A DEADLY DIVIDE today through Bookshop, which supports independent bookstores. 

Congrats to our DEATH OF CHINESE FIELD HANDS book giveaway winner, Erynn Crowley!

Book coverErynn Crowley of Phoenix gets special thanks just for registering for the California Crime Writers’ Conference.

Crowley is a winner of our weekly random giveaway DEATH OF CHINESE FIELD HANDS, part of the Old Los Angeles series by Anne Louise Bannon.

See author  Bannon moderate the conversation THE EXQUISITE JOY OF FINDING OUT: HOW TO RESEARCH YOUR NOVEL with an unbeatable gathering of Anne Perry, Jeffrey Deaver, Naomi Hirahara, and S.A. Cosby.

#CCWC21 is less than a month out. “See” you all soon.

Back up is Rachel Howzell Hall with THEY ALL FALL DOWN

Our giveaway shifts from Pamela Samuels Young’s riveting legal thriller FAILURE TO PROTECT to an island of sin — but not the kind you think — in Rachel Howzell Hall’s THEY ALL FALL DOWN.

Miriam Macy isn’t going to say no to a surprise invitation to a reality TV show, not when the party’s at a luxurious private island off the Mexico coast. The other guests include an ex-cop, a chef, a financial advisor, a nurse, a lawyer, a young widow — all strangers. But it turns out the game isn’t a game and everyone present — Miriam included — harbor terrible secrets.

A contemporary take on an Agatha Christie classic, the standalone is a break from her Los Angeles homicide detective Elouise “Lou” Norton. Hall generously offered up another book,
AND NOW SHE’S GONE (a finalist in the LA Times’ Book Prize and an Best Books of the Year) earlier this year.

The LA native will be on the panel  Police Procedurals 2021: Social Justice and the Pandemic with Faye Snowden, Ausma Kahn, Isabella Maldonado and moderator Jessica Kaye.

Don’t miss out on our giveaways: Register today. And see you June 12!

Hey, how about starting your own virtual book club? Gather your reading pals and order a copy of THEY ALL FALL DOWN today.

#CCWC21 Countdown: A month away from a virtual mystery lovers reunion

California Crime Writers Conference authors

The California Crime Writers Conference is exactly one month away — and we are both delighted and grateful to be able to host this event with our most faithful friends and newest fans.

#CCWC21 may be downsized in scope, but our author panelists are still outsized in their influence, talent and quality — and their collective awards aren’t too shabby either. So many of them have been up to so much, including:

  • Naomi Hirahara‘s new book (with her new publisher Soho Crime) CLARK AND DIVISION coming this August.
  • Jeffery Deaver’s return of Colter Shaw in THE FINAL TWIST, fresh out this month in print and audio
  • S.A. Cosby continues to tear up the mystery world, with BLACKTOP WASTELAND taking the top mystery prize at the 2020 L.A. Times’ Book Prize. The 2020 book by the way is on its way to the big screen with MUDBOUND co-screenwriter Virgil Williams tapped to adapt the instant classic. Paramount Players already claimed bidding rights for RAZORBLADE TEARS, due for a July release.

Plus so many more, including our special presentations by author Cara Black, publishing industry expert Jane Friedman and forensics anthropologist Dr. Elizabeth Murray.

How can we pack so much goodness in a single day? Register and find out — and show up! We know that virtual events make things easy but can also get lost in the shuffle of a demanding day. Treat yourself and join a biennial community brought together by southern California chapters of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. (And of course, you can be a part of these communities year round — check out the links and join!)

Can’t fail with Pamela Samuel Young’s FAILURE TO PROTECT

We move from Anne Louise Bannon’s DEATH OF THE CHINESE FIELD HANDS that looked at the brutal harassment of the Chinese in 19th century Los Angeles to the modern-day relentless cyber-bullying of a young African-American girl in FAILURE TO PROTECT.

The real-life suicides of two 9year-old Alabama girls propelled former attorney Pamela Samuels Young to research the circumstances of child suicides. Young found that African-American children had a suicide rate twice that of white children. This led the award-winning writer to focus her latest legal thriller on and Book 4 of her Dre Thomas and Angela Evans series. 
The former journalist and retired lawyer also pens “erotically sassy” romantic suspense under the pen name Sassy Sinclair. Her alter ego will be dishing along with Victoria Thompson, Deborah Crombie, Toby Neal and moderator Paula Bernstein in the panel Some Like it Hot: Adding Romance and Sex to Your Mysteries.

The random winner in our giveaways are registered. Shouldn’t you be? 

Find some legal thrills at Young’s Amazon page.

Get riveted with Anne Louise Bannon’s DEATH OF THE CHINESE FIELD HANDS

The wine for the angelica fermented. We racked the cabernet and merlot wines together and made a lovely claret, as I recall. I went on another crusade to teach housewives the importance of sanitation in the home, which was ill-received. We tried to pretend that everything was normal. So, I didn’t think anything of asking Wei Li to take our goats and pasture them in the far end of the vineyard that day, the first week of November. None of us did. Until Wei Li didn’t come back.

In 1871, physician and winemaker Maddie Wilcox is horrified by a riot that ends in eighteen Chinese men lynched. Still, she is grateful that the three Chinese field hands who work on safe on her rancho survived. Until one of them is found strangled in her vineyard.

DEATH OF THE CHINESE FIELD HANDS is Anne Louise Bannon’s third book in the Old Los Angeles series. Little wonder that the Sisters in Crime Los Angeles president is moderating the panel The Exquisite Joy of Finding Out: How to Research Your Novel featuring an unbeatable hot quartet Cara Black, Jeffrey Deaver, Naomi Hirahira and S.A. Cosby.

The prolific author is also behind the Freddie and Kathy series set in the roaring Twenties, Operation Quickline on duo who belong to an ultra-secret organization and other novels.

Don’t miss out on our giveaways: Register today. And see you June 12!

Immediate gratification isn’t always a bad thing: Get some pals and dive into Bannon’s books at

Head to paradise with Toby Neal’s BLOOD ORCHIDS

We travel from Japan in Naomi Hirahara’s HIROSHIMA BOY to Hawaii with Toby Neal’s first book in her Paradise Crime series.

Lei Texeira is a cop in the sleepy town of Hilo on the Big Island. But even paradise holds tragedy and danger: A routine patrol turns up two murdered teens. Texeira is determined to uncover the truth and finds herself the next target.

Born on the island of Kauai, Neal is a mental health therapist, an occupation that has helped inform her story’s complex characters. The prolific author of crime and romance novels also penned a memoir, FRECKLED: A MEMOIR OF GROWING UP WILD IN HAWAII.

The USA Today bestseller will be on the panel  Some Like it Hot: Adding Romance and Sex to Your Mysteries with Victoria Thompson, Deborah Crombie, Pamela Samuels Young and moderator Paula Bernstein.

Don’t miss out on our giveaways: Register today. And see you June 12!

Hey, how about starting your own virtual book club? Gather your reading pals and download free books by joining her newsletter at

Limited slots left: Reserve a manuscript critique today

Writers both seasoned and aspiring may debate what’s the hardest part: putting down that first word, agonizing over the ending, or pretty much everything in between.

When it comes to querying and pitching, however, often everything comes down to those first few pages. And if you’ve ever participated in those conference critique exercises when you read your first page aloud and a panel of agents raise their hands at the moment they would stop reading — well, let’s just say it can be mildly brutal.

That’s why this year’s California Crime Writers Conference has gathered industry pros to give people an opportunity to have experts critique their manuscript’s first impression. There are just a few slots left for a one-on-one virtual session on June 13.

Check out more details here or head straight to Eventbrite to score your seat and give your story the tough love it deserves.

Congrats to our AND NOW SHE’S GONE book giveaway winner, Chi Hoang!

And Now She's GoneAll the way from the East Coast, Chi Hoang decided to register for the California Crime Writers’ Conference — but #CCWC21 is virtual and free. What’s to lose?

In fact, Hoang is a winner who gets to take home (actually, be mailed a copy of) AND NOW SHE’S GONE.

But everyone can be a winner by joining mystery lovers for this biennial conference. Author Rachel Howzell Hall will be “alongside” Faye Snowden, Ausma Kahn, Isabella Maldonado and moderator Jessica Kaye in a timely conversation, Police Procedurals 2021: Social Justice and the Pandemic. See you at #CCWC21!