The Mesdames participate in Mystery Month at the Belleville Public Library!

On May 16, the Mesdames of Mayhem were out in force at the Belleville Public Library, in support of “May is Mystery Month”!
(Don’t miss Tim-Miller’s excellent coverage in The Intelligencer, Sunday, May 17: The Mesdames of Mayhem Make Mystery Month)

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Join the Mesdames at the Belleville Public Library, Saturday, May 16, 2:30 pm!

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New book by Catherine Astolfo: Up Chit Creek

Announcing the launch of Catherine Astolfo’s novella ebook, Up Chit Creek, on Saturday, May 2! If you can come in person, there will be a panel presentation followed by the celebration. Starts at 2 p.m. at the Brantford Public Library, 173 Colborne St., Brantford. Or you can pre-order through the links below.



Google Play

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Mesdames on the Arthur Ellis Shortlist!

Crime writers across Canada were out in force on Thursday, April 23rd for the annual Arthur Ellis short list event held across three time zones in Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto.
CWC’s hard-working Nate Hendley hosted the Toronto event at the Chapters/Indigo bookstore, Manulife Centre before a crowd of readers, fellow writers, friends and fans. Cheering on the event were Mmes Cheryl Freedman, Rosemary McCracken, Lynne Murphy, Joan O’Callaghan and Sylvia Warsh.

Three Mesdames of Mayhem are honoured to be finalists for Arthur Ellis Awards!

Mme M. H. Callway’s debut novel, Windigo Fire, (Seraphim Editions), is on the short-list for Best First Novel. Under different titles, it was a runner-up for the Unhanged Arthur and the CWA’s Debut Dagger awards.

Mme Vicki Delany’s gripping novella, Juba Good (Orca Book Publishers), is nominated for Best Novella. It was also short-listed for this year’s Derringer Award for Best Novelette.

Mme Melodie Campbell’s hilarious short story, “Hook, Line and Sinker”, published in Your McMurray Magazine, is short-listed for Best Short Story.

In addition, Kevin Thornton’s imaginative story, “Writer’s Block”, is a finalist for Best Short Story. More kudos for Mme Donna Carrick, who together with Alex Carrick, are the editors and publishers of the crime fiction anthology, World Enough and Crime (Carrick Publishing).

Earlier this year, Mme M. H. Callway’s story, “The Ultimate Mystery”, also featured in World Enough and Crime (Carrick Publishing), was short-listed for a Derringer award.

Finally, Mme Joan O’Callaghan also earned a badge of honour when her story, “Torch Song for Two Voices”, won first prize and was featured in That Golden Summer (Polar Expressions Publishing).

In lead-up to the announcements, 16 crime writers read from their latest works. Mme Rosemary Aubert read the poignant opening passage from her newly released Ellis Portal novel, Don’t Forget You Love Me (Carrick Publishing).

Mme M. H. Callway voiced a humorous turn from Windigo Fire where the villain, Santa, grapples with a Prius.

MESDAMES BLOG AE4And Mme Melodie Campbell had the audience in stitches describing a speed-dating event for unreformed, geriatric criminals in The Artful Goddaughter.

Not forgetting the noir side of crime, Mme Lisa de Nikolits, shared a gripping scene from her upcoming novel, Between the Cracks She Fell.

For a complete listing of finalists for the Arthur Ellis Awards, visit the website of Crime Writers of Canada.

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Murder Is Nothing to Have Fun With…Or Is It?

Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award Announces Finalists(Toronto, ON)

April 15, 2015 – The Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award, an annual Canadian award that celebrates traditional, feel-good mysteries is pleased to announce this year’s finalists.

The award is for a “mystery book that makes us smile” and includes everything from laugh-out-loud to gentle humour to good old-fashioned stories with little violence or gore.

Congratulations to the five finalists for the 2015 Bony Blithe Award:

Cathy Ace, The Corpse with the Platinum Hair (Touchwood Editions)

Judith Alguire, Many Unpleasant Returns (Signature Editions)

E.C. Bell, Seeing the Light (Tyche Books)

Janet Bolin, Night of the Living Thread (Berkley Prime Crime)

Allan Stratton, The Resurrection of Mary Mabel McTavish (Dundurn Press)

The award will be presented at the Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award Bash on Friday, May 29, at The Hot House Restaurant & Bar, 35 Church St., Toronto (Church at Front).

The festivities start at 6:30 p.m. in the Library Room.

For more information, contact us at

The winner will receive a cheque for $1,000 plus a colourful plaque.

Thank you to all the publishers and authors who submitted their books for this year’s contest. May there be many smiles in your future.

Facebook: Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award
Twitter: @bonyblithe

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Mesdames on the Move: Events for April, 2015

M.H. CallwayThe merry Mesdames of Mayhem have a busy schedule ahead this month – while they still wait for spring!

On April 1st, Mme Melodie Campbell launched her new novella, Code Name: Gypsy Moth, a light-hearted – and sexy – adventure in space. Check out Mme Mel’s hilarious blog on horrible typos a writer can never live down for details on where to get your copy.

On Thursday, April 16th, Mmes M. H. Callway, Donna Carrick and Joan O’Callaghan will entertain their fellow Sisters and Brothers in Crime at SinC Toronto Chapter’s monthly meeting. The theme is how to market an anthology. Several of the Mesdames will be in attendance and will read. Meeting will be held at the Northern District Library, 40 Orchardview Blvd., Toronto.

On Tuesday, April 21st, several Mesdames, including Cathy Astolfo, Rosemary Aubert, M. H. Callway, Melodie Campbell and Joan O’Callaghan, will visit St. Hilary’s Anglican Church book club for an evening of mystery and fun. (Note: This is a private event.)

On Thursday, April 23rd, the Arthurs Shortlist Event will be held in Toronto at the Chapters/Indigo, Manulife Centre, 55 Bloor St. W., Toronto from 7-9 p.m. Mmes Rosemary Aubert, M. H. Callway, Melodie Campbell and Lisa De Nikolits will be reading with fellow CWC members. Fingers crossed everyone!

On Thursday, April 30th, Mmes Cathy Astolfo, Rosemary Aubert, M. H. Callway, Rosemary McCracken and Lynne Murphy, will entertain readers at the Bradford Public Library. Mystery Night will be held 7:30 to 9:00 pm at 425 Holland St W, Bradford West Gwillimbury.

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Worst Typos EVER – Take 2! ~ by Melodie Campbell

Special Launch sale!
Buy Code Name: Gypsy Moth today and get Rowena and the Dark Lord or The Artful Goddaughter free! (I love to introduce readers to my other series. Email me at with proof of purchase and I will gift you your choice.)

It happened again, and this time it was my fault.

You know how it happens. Spellcheck has an evil twin that changes your word by one letter, and you don’t notice it until it goes to print. Public becomes Pubic. Corporate Assets becomes Corporate Asses. The Provincial Health Minister becomes Provincial Health Monster. We’ve all been there.

Readers may recall that last year, I wasn’t too happy when the virtual blog tour company paid by my publisher changed the title Rowena and the Dark Lord to Rowena and the Dark Lard. Sales were NOT stellar. However, the hilarity that ensued was probably worth the typo. Seems there were all sorts of people willing to suggest alternative plot lines for a book about Dark Lard. Many were a mite more entertaining than the original concept (she said ruefully.)

Here’s a small sample:

Protagonist moves back to Land’s End and opens up a bakery.

Protagonist and love interest return to Land’s End and become pig farmers.

Protagonist messes up another spell that causes all who look at her to turn into donuts.

It’s enough to make a grown writer cry.

Well, this time I did it to myself.

REALLY not cool to request a formal industry review for a book and misspell the title.

No matter how it reads, “Cod Name: Gypsy Moth” is not a tale about an undercover fish running a bar off the coast of Newfoundland…

That wasn’t enough. People were quick to respond with suggested plot lines on Facebook. Other authors (22 in fact) had to wade in .

he’d have to scale back his expectations – a bar like that would be underwater in no time.

and here’s me waiting with ‘baited’ breath

Readers will dive right into that

That’s a whale of a tale

that book will really “hook” a reader

Smells pretty fishy to me

definitely the wrong plaice at the wrong time.

We’re really floundering here; no trout about it.

Okay! In the interest of sane people everywhere, I’ll stop on that last one.

The real name of the book?


“Comedy and Space Opera – a blast to read” (former editor Distant Suns magazine)

“a worthy tribute to Douglas Adams” (prepub review)

It isn’t easy being a female barkeep in the final frontier…especially when you’re also a spy!

Nell Romana loves two things: the Blue Angel Bar, and Dalamar, a notorious modern-day knight for hire.  Too bad he doesn’t know she is actually an undercover agent.

The bar is a magnet for all sorts of thirsty frontier types, and some of them don’t have civilized manners. That’s no problem for Dalamar, who is built like a warlord and keeps everyone in line.

But when Dal is called away on a routine job, Nell uncovers a rebel plot to overthrow the Federation.  She has to act fast and alone.

Then the worst happens.  Her cover is blown …

Buy link AMAZON
Buy link KOBO

Bio: Melodie Campbell
The Toronto Sun called her Canada’s “Queen of Comedy.” Library Journal compared her to Janet Evanovich. Melodie Campbell got her start writing standup. She has over 200 publications and nine awards for fiction. Code Name: Gypsy Moth (Imajin Books) is her eighth book.

Buy Code Name: Gypsy Moth today and get Rowena and the Dark Lord or The Artful Goddaughter free! (I love to introduce readers to my other series. Email me at with proof of purchase and I will gift you your choice.)

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Jonesing for Mayhem, by Duncan Armstrong, reprinted with kind permission of the author

The following post has been reprinted with the kind permission of its author, Duncan Armstrong. Originally posted on March 21, 2015 by topoet, in Let’s talk, Photographs, reviews, writing. ·

There was Mayhem at the Jones Ave. Library thanks to Mesdames Rosemary Aubert, M. H. Callway, Rosemary McCracken and D. J. McIntosh. It was an opportunity for me to see these familiar faces as working authors, not as lunch dates, fellow work-shoppers or teachers. Besides discussing the challenges for women authors in today’s publishing world they each read from their recent work. Some were already familiar with the writers & asked questions that went beyond ‘where do you get your ideas from.’

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the moon was obscured by clouds

Each of the Mesdames brought a very different aspect of ‘mystery’ writing to the event. During q&a the difference between a thriller & a mystery was discussed, also what a ‘cozy’ is – was almost defined. Lost Girl was mentioned several times & it appears to have brought many new readers to the mystery fold.

Rosemary Aubert, representing the mystery in mystery genre, read from her new book, Don’t Forget You Love Me, the long-awaited follow-up to her award-winning Ellis Portal mystery series. Set in Toronto, and spanning many decades, this series makes use of Toronto, its history and many neighbourhoods more effectively than many I’ve read.

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he was egged on to do it

Rosemary McCracken was next with a sample of her popular Pat Tierney mysteries, which represent the domestic mystery with elements of thriller tossed in. If you thought investment counselling was all profit and loss, Pat Tierney will show you otherwise.

D. J. McIntosh gave us a taste of her upcoming novel, The Angel of Eden, to be published by Penguin in May. She specializes in antiquity mysteries – similar to Dan Brown (but better written). A complex weaving of the past and present make her books an educating and, at the same time, fun read.

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the body in the wardrobe

Finally, facilitator M. H. Callway read from her newly published debut novel, Windigo Fire. Her novel is of the wild out-doors adventure mystery genre. Each of the readers were confident, practiced, and picked the right moments to represent their work – moments that had enough cliff-hanger to make you want to read their books, in M.H.’s case it was literally a cliffhanger.

It’s been sometime since I’ve been to a reading event of this type and was happy to see it attracted a full house of clearly interested & invested mystery readers. Proof, to me, that the physical book is not becoming an antiquity.
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The Mesdames visit SIGNS Restaurant, March 25, 6:30 pm


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Coming soon: the Mesdames visit St. Hilary’s Book Club!

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