WOW WHAT A YEAR – Part One – Kudos and Events!

Happy New Year, Readers!

In 2022, the Mesdames and Messieurs came back into the Real World via several wonderful live events while we kept busy with podcasts, virtual book launches and conferences.

And we enjoyed recognition both as a group and as individual authors!


On October 15th, Carrick Publishing released In the Spirit of 13, our 5th anthology, in celebration of the Mesdames and Messieurs of Mayhem’s 10th anniversary.

This outing, we let our imaginations go wild. We crafted 23 tales, ranging from comedy to noir, that celebrated ghosts, demons, the evil of human nature and even alcohol!

Our collection received a warm review from Jack Batten, in one of the last he wrote for The Toronto Star before he retired. Jack said:

There’s more than enough to light up and surprise readers for many nights of pleasure, some of it in easygoing whimsy.”


The Mesdames of Mayhem were the subject of the full-page article, “Murder, She Wrote”, published in the Saturday Toronto Star on October 29, 2022. Contributing columnist Briony Smith wrote about our joy penning crime fiction – and our warm friendship. Read the full article in the Toronto Star.


Melodie Campbell
Melodie Campbell

Melodie Campbell interviewed two of crime fiction’s superstars: Ian Rankin who was a guest author at the Maple Leaf Mystery Conference, May 24 to 28th. And Linwood Barclay on May 19th at the launch of his latest novel, Take Your Breath Away, in Burlington.

Her mentee, Delee Fromm’s entry, The Strength to Rise, was a finalist for the Crime Writers of Canada Award for Best Unpublished Manuscript.

Melissa Yi had a stellar year. Her short story, “Dead Man’s Hand“, published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, March 2021, was a finalist for the CWC Best Short Story Award.

Her story, “White Snow and Seven Dreams” was a finalist for the Surrey Muse Arts Society’s 2022 Joy Kogawa Award for Fiction, beating out more than 300 entrants!

And her play, The Most Unfeeling Doctor in the World, was chosen by Calgary’s Stage One Festival. She performed the play to rave reviews in July at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival.

Cat Mills
Cat Mills

Cat Mills released two critically acclaimed films this year: Me, Mahmoud and the Mint Plant and The Billboard Squad, a documentary for Al-Jazeera.

Both films were shown at several film festivals, including the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival, Calgary International Film Festival, Lunenberg Documentary Festival, St. Johns International Women’s Film Festival and Planet in Focus Film Festival.

Mme Mad

M. H. Callway‘s story, “Last Island”, was the cover story of the November issue of Mystery Magazine.



On October 30th, we launched In the Spirit of 13 at our favorite bookstore, Sleuth of Baker Street. It was a smashing success! Sleuth’s was packed with friends, fans, family and well-wishers.

Lisa De Nikolits, Cat Mills and Jane Burfield
Donna Carrick (centre) and Alex Carrick (R)
Blair Keetch, Lynne Murphy, Cat Mills, Lisa de Nikolits, Jane Burfield, Sylvia Warsh, Ed Piwowarczyk, Donna Carrick

A great highlight was making Sleuth’s co-owner, Marian Misters, an honorary Mme of Mayhem.

We followed up on November 13th with a successful Zoom launch, with special thanks to backroom tech wizard, Ted Carrick.

Marian Misters
Blair Keetch, Lynne Murphy
Sylvia Warsh (centre), Ed Piwowarczyk, Donna Carrick ,
M. H. Callway


Lisa De Nikolits

On November 17th, Lisa de Nikolits launched her new novel, Everything You Dream is Real, the sequel to her acclaimed thriller, The Rage Room at a fab hybrid event organized by her publisher, Inanna Publications.

And in December, continuing on into January 2023, she embarked on an extensive blog tour.

During 2022, Lisa was featured on several national and international interviews and did a reading of her work at the CanLit Authors Fest on June 18th.

Lynne Murphy
Lynne Murphy

Lynne Murphy had a fabulous Zoom launch on April 23rd for her book, Potluck and Other Stories, with participants as far away as the UK and the Channel Islands.

Potluck contains the hilarious adventures of the eccentric residents of the Golden Elders Condo plus her new novella, A Damaged Heart.

Melissa Yi

Melissa Yi launched the first book in her new Hope Sze series, The Shapes of Wrath, at the Cornwall Library in November 2022.

She successfully crowd-funded the new book as well!


Award-winning author, Mike Martin and his team brought the dream of a new national crime writers conferences to life with the Maple Leaf Mystery Conference, May 24th to 28th. Leading crime writers and guest authors were: Ian Rankin, Maureen Jennings, Vicky Delany, Rick Mofina and Iona Whishaw.

Several Mesdames moderated and/or participated on many panels: Catherine Astolfo, Jane Burfield, M. H. Callway, Melodie Campbell, Donna Carrick, Lisa de Nikolits, Rosemary McCracken, Lynne Murphy, Madona Skaff and Caro Soles.

Cathy Astolfo
Jane Burfield
Jane Burfield
M. H. Callway
Melodie Campbell
Melodie Campbell
Donna Carrick
Lisa de Nikolits
Rosemary McCracken
Rosemary McCracken
Lynne Murphy
Lynne Murphy
Madona Skaff
Caro Soles
Caro Soles
Melissa Yi

On December 3rd, Mike Martin and his team returned to put on the virtual Ottawa Maple Leaf Mini-Conference to showcase Eastern Ontario crime writers, including Brenda Chapman and Mary Jane Maffini. Madona Skaff and Melissa Yi shared their knowledge on the day’s panels.

Earlier in 2022, on March 9th, Mike and Madona Skaff held a workshop for Capital Crime Writers about the pros and cons of self-publishing, entitled Indie Publishing: A Fine Adventure or Evil Torture.


In 2020, Left Coast Crime, San Diego, was forced to close after only half a day because of COVID. Two years later, from April 7 to 10th, LCC went live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. More than 200 authors and fans celebrated its return.

M. H. Callway was honored to be on the short story panel, moderated by Lisa Q. Matthews, and to moderate the panel on noir crime fiction.


For the first time, the Toronto International Festival of Authors celebrated leading international crime writers from June 3 to 5th. Lisa de Nikolits was one of the Canadian authors invited!

Crime Writers of Canada hosted a booth with the help of M. H. Callway, Blair Keetch and Sylvia Warsh.


Toronto’s annual book festival, Word on the Street, returned live on the June 11-12th weekend, moving back to its Queen’s Park venue.

Caro Soles sponsored the booth for The Mesdames of Mayhem together with Blair Keetch and Rosemary McCracken.


The multi-genre conference, When Words Collide, went virtual for 2020, 2021 and 2022. (This year, 2023, WWC will be live!) WWC took place on Zoom from August 12 to 15th with the support and participation of many genre associations, including the Crime Writers of Canada.

Jayne Barnard
Jayne Barnard
M.H. Callway
Therese Greenwood
Therese Greenwood
Kevin Thornton
Kevin Thornton

Jayne Barnard, M. H. Callway, Therese Greenwood and Kevin Thornton participated in and/or moderated the crime writing panels.


Donna Carrick returned to host Season 5 of the podcast, Dead to Writes. In 2022, she interviewed 16 of the authors in our new anthology, In the Spirit of 13, as well as artist, Sarah Carrick, who has designed each of our five anthology covers. Listen here to the full Dead to Writes podcast series 5.

Lisa de Nikolits continued her amazing podcast series, I Read Somewhere That…

Catch up here on all 19 of Lisa’s I Read Somewhere That…podcasts.

The Crime Writers of Canada stepped up podcasting in 2022, with author interviews to promote their 40th anniversary anthology, Cool Canadian Crime, featuring Melodie Campbell, Lisa de Nikolits, Blair Keetch, Rosemary McCracken, Lynne Murphy and Sylvia Warsh.

CWC also did a series of webinars on the craft of crime writing. Donna Carrick was featured in January where she discussed the art of short story writing.



Toronto Sisters in Crime continued to meet virtually except for their annual field trip. This year was a tour of the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection at the Toronto Reference Library – a terrific evening concluding with an in-person dinner afterwards.

Melodie Campbell was the guest presenter at SinC’s March 9th meeting where she discussed humor in crime fiction in Over My Dead Body.


Noir at the Bar Toronto returned to live events in 2022 at a new venue, The Duke of Kent pub, 2315 Yonge St. Its first Queer Noir at the Bar took place on June 8th with a reading by Caro Soles. Lynne Murphy and Lisa de Nikolits read at the September 29th meeting.

A big thank you to Rob Brunet and Hope Thompson for their support of Canadian crime writers – and the Mesdames and Messieurs of Mayhem.


Marilyn Kay and Roz Place for keeping our newsletter running!

Marilyn Kay
Marilyn Kay
Rosalind Place
Rosalind Place
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