13 O'Clock Launch Website1

HAPPY NEW YEAR from the Mesdames of Mayhem!  We had an amazing year in 2015, culminating in the publication of our second anthology, 13 O’clock!,  an eclectic collection of 15 twisted tales of time and crime.


The 14 authors of 13 O’clock are showing off their criminal spirits in the above photo taken at the October launch at our favorite bookstore, Sleuth of Baker Street. From L to R, back row, Cathy Dunphy, Donna Carrick, Joan O’Callaghan, Rosemary McCracken, Ed Piwowarczyk, Cheryl Freedman, Lisa De Nikolits, Cathy Astolfo, M. H. Callway. From L to R front row, Sylvia Warsh, Rosemary Aubert, Jane Peterson Burfield, Melodie Campbell and Lynne Murphy.


Several Mesdames had new books and short stories published this year.  Catherine Astolfo launched her new comedy series with her novella, Up Chit Creek, where retirees get up to no good. (Imajin Books)

Melodie Campbell and Cynthia St. Pierre co-wrote the second book in their highly enjoyable “fashionista”  series, A Killer Necklace. (Also with Imajin Books.)

Inanna Publications brought out Lisa De Nikolits fifth novel, Between the Cracks She Fell, a crime story that explores homelessness and conflicting religious values. Her book  received great reviews in Quill and Quire, Canadian Living and many other publications. She also had literary stories published in the anthology,  Postscripts to Darkness and in the debut issue of Maud. Lin House.

Rosemary McCracken’s wryly comic story, “Plastic Paddies”, appeared in the gripping travel anthology, Destination Mystery (Darkhouse Books).

Penguin released D. J. McIntosh’s third book in her critically acclaimed Mesopotamian thriller trilogy, The Angel of Eden. Margaret Cannon of the Globe and Mail has praised Dorothy’s  for her “stellar research and superb writing”.

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The Mesdames were also busy as editors. Through Carrick Publishing, Mme Joan O’Callaghan  brought out, Maverick Publisher, the memoirs of her late husband, J. Patrick O’Callaghan, one of Canada’s leading publishers and journalists. The book was co-edited by Ed Piwowarczyk and Rosemary McCracken.

Caro Soles and fellow author, Nancy Kilpatrick, created the Poe tribute anthology, Nevermore, featuring macabre tales by many acclaimed authors, including Margaret Atwood, Barbara Fradkin and David Morell.  We were delighted that Jane Petersen Burfield’s gothic tale was singled out for critical praise.


maverick publisher



This year M. H. Callway and Melodie Campbell both received Arthur Ellis nominations. The photo below shows them at the Arthur Ellis shortlist event with fellow nominee and friend, Rick Blechta and host, Alison Dore (far right).


M. H. Callway’s critically acclaimed thriller, Windigo Fire, (Seraphim Editions) was a finalist for Best First Novel and Melodie Campbell’s story “Hook, Line and Sinker” (Northword Literary Journal) was nominated for Best Short Story.

2015 was also a great year for Carrick Publishing. Their anthology, World Enough and Crime, received nominations for two stories: M. H. Callway’s story, “The Ultimate Mystery”, was a finalist for the Derringer Award for Best Long Story and  Kevin P. Thornton’s story, “Writer’s Block”, was a runner-up for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story.

Donna Carrick has mentored many aspiring crime writers through the CWC Mentoring Program.  This year, she was especially delighted that her mentee, Elle Wild, won the Unhanged Arthur Award for Best Unpublished Manuscript for Strange Things Done – and signed a contract with Dundern Press.


The Mesdames gave several readings at public libraries and book clubs this year and supported each other and fellow crime writers at many book launches. (Check out our events pages for full details.) Big bouquets of roses and warm hugs go to Joan O’Callaghan, Catherine Astolfo and Melodie Campbell for arranging the lion’s share of these events.

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