Mesdames Salute Sisters in Crime


By Editor: Lynne Murphy


In October of 1992 Bouchercon was held in Toronto for the first time. On the opening evening there was a dinner, hosted by Sisters in Crime International, and Sara Paretsky was the main speaker. Sara had helped found SinC a few years before, after women crime writers realized they were not getting the same amount of recognition as men.

The mandate of Sisters in Crime is to promote the professional development and advancement of women crime writers to achieve equality in the industry.

Sara was so inspiring that a group of women met later during the conference and decided to form a branch of SinC in Toronto.

Sylvia Maultash Warsh

Sylvia Maultash Warsh

I had met  Mme.Sylvia Warsh at a Humber College writing workshop in the summer (Howard Engel was our prof). We met up again at Bouchercon and she and I were at  that first meeting as was Mme. Catherine Dunphy.





Sylvia and I and several other women decided to form a writing group at that meeting.  It is still going strong, 24 years later, with  the members drawn from SinC including  Mme. M. H. Callway,  who is  the  founder of the Mesdames.  M. H. CallwayAll the other members of our  writing group have stories in Thirteen and 13 O’clock.  You could say that the Mesdames of Mayhem have their roots in SinC.

We have contributed to the organization over the  years. Mme.Dunphy and I have both been presidents. Mesdames Joan O’Callaghan, Rosemary McCracken, Cheryl Freedman, and M. Ed Piwowarczyk have all served on the executive.

In turn, Sisters in Crime has contributed to the crime writing community. When Mme. Caro Soles was organizing the first Bloody Words conference, her committee was largely composed of SinC members. Many Toronto writers, both women and men,  benefit from the support they receive from their Sisters,  who buy books, attend launches and provide much appreciated word of mouth publicity.


Lisa de Nikolits

Lisa de Nikolits

This year the Toronto Chapter  is publishing its third Whole She-Bang anthology. Mme. Lisa de Nikolits, M. Ed P. and I all  have stories included. Two book launches will be held, the first on Thursday, November 17th at the SinC regular monthly meeting at 7:00 p.m. in the Northern District Branch TPL, 40 Orchard View Blvd. The second will be at our favourite bookstore, Sleuth of Baker Street, 907 Millwood Rd., Toronto, on Sunday, November 27th, at 2:00 p.m. Please join us for one of these events, or, better still, both.




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