Meet mystery writer Yvonne Saxon

Yvonne SaxonJoin mystery writer Yvonne Saxon at the Mystery by the Sea chapter meeting on July 10, 2017 at the Greenbrier Library from 6-8pm. Yvonne will present a workshop on Conflict. Bring your ideas, work in progress, notebook, pen, or computer for ways to put conflict into your story.

Yvonne lives in Chesapeake, Virginia, with her family and the cat.  A former English and history teacher, her love of books led her into a high school librarian’s position, then into writing. When not homeschooling her son, she’s writing mysteries and drinking lots of coffee at her local coffee shop. Yvonne has published short stories in Virginia is for Mysteries and Virginia is for Mysteries Volume II.


Prolific Mystery Author to Speak at July Meeting

Amanda Flower

Amanda Flower, an award-winning mystery author, will be joining us via Skype at our monthly meeting on July 11 at the Greenbrier Library in Chesapeake from 6-8 p.m. Amanda is the author of several mystery series for adults and children, and she will be sharing lessons learned from her journey as a writer.

Amanda started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had her classmates in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as USA Today bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is a librarian in Northeast Ohio.

Check out some of Amanda’s latest titles:









final tap








Crime and Poetry



Ask a Cop at June Meeting

Retired police officer Tim Jones answered audience members' questions about the particulars of homicide investigation.

Retired police officer Tim Jones will answer questions about the particulars of police work and homicide investigations.

If you want to write about cops and killers, you need to get your facts straight. Join us on Monday, June 13, from 6-8 p.m., when we welcome Mystery by the Sea member and retired police officer Tim Jones as a guest speaker. Tim will answer all of your most urgent questions about police work and homicide investigations.

(Please note: Our June meeting will NOT be held at the Greenbrier Library in Chesapeake. Instead, we will be meeting at 805 Live Oak Drive, Suite 104, Chesapeake, VA 23320.)

Tim, a recently retired Virginia Beach Police Department homicide detective, has 27 years of law enforcement experience, 25 of which were in Virginia. While serving with the Chesapeake Police Department, he spent one year in Uniform Patrol, three in the Warrant/Fugitive Unit, three in Crimes Against Persons, three in Vice and Narcotics, and one year undercover. He served three years as a special agent (primarily undercover) for the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. During his last 12 years he was a Virginia Beach Police Department Investigator and worked at the Training Academy, Robbery Squad, and Homicide Unit.

During Tim’s career he was recognized by several Virginia Circuit Courts as an expert in narcotics investigations, crime scene investigations, gangs, human trafficking, murder for hire, and medico-legal death investigations. His extensive investigative and undercover experience has enabled him to be a consultant for various crime shows including The New Detectives, The ProsecutorsThe FBI Files, and The Wire. Tim has also taught at numerous police academies across the state of Virginia. He holds a B.S. in sociology. Currently he is working on some ideas for screenplays.

Virginia Beach Publisher to Speak at May Meeting

John Koehler (Courtesy photo)

John Koehler (Courtesy photo)

We are pleased to announce that John Koehler, president and publisher of Koehler Books in Virginia Beach, will speak at our May meeting, to be held Monday, May 9, from 6 – 9 p.m. at the Greenbrier Library in Chesapeake. John will answer questions and offer insight about publishing trends and author duties after publication.

In John’s own words: “I plan on coming to tell the amazing writers of Sisters in Crime the SECRET UNTOLD REASON FOR BOOK SUCCESS:

Write a great book!

Boom. That’s all folks. All done….

Oh, and then all the other stuff they want to know about marketing and promotion, distribution, when it is okay to self-publish, why are publicists so !@#@!! expensive, what exactly a publisher DOES, why you only see one shoe on the side of the road, and many more compelling subjects.”

John is the founder of Koehler Books and runs the company’s day-to-day operations. He earned a BFA in Communications Arts and Design from Virginia Commonwealth University and attended graduate studies at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

John’s professional career includes being senior art director of a major advertising agency and running a design studio. He is an award-winning graphics designer and the author of five books.

John lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is active in his church. He has helped run a ministry dedicated to helping children with disabilities, a cause to which he is still very much dedicated. John made an international splash in 1991 by winning the Boomerang World Championship in Perth, Australia, and was a member of the Foster’s Boomerang 2000 Team, a touring troop that taught professional athletes and others the gospel of boomerangs.

Berkley Prime Crime Author to Speak at April Meeting

Cozy mystery writer Kathy Aarons, author of the Chocolate Covered Mystery series (Photo courtesy of author's website)

Cozy mystery writer Kathy Aarons, author of the Chocolate Covered Mystery series (Photo courtesy of author’s website)

We are excited to announce our April meeting will feature a Skype call with cozy mystery writer Kathy Aarons. Kathy lives in Southern California and will talk about her writing journey and what it takes to land a contract with a major publisher.

Join us on April 11 from 6-8 p.m. at the Greenbrier Library in Chesapeake in the upstairs conference room. Meetings are free and open to the public.

Kathy’s latest book, Truffled to Death, the second installment in her Chocolate Covered Mystery series, is available now for purchase on Amazon and through traditional retailers like Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million. The third book in her series, Behind Chocolate Bars, is due out in October and is available for preorder on Amazon.

To keep up to date on Kathy’s latest releases, follow her on Facebook or on Twitter.

Dressing Miss Jane at our February Meeting

Fifteen members and guests took part in our February meeting at the Greenbrier Library in Chesapeake on the 8th. Speaker, author, and Mystery by the Sea member Jayne Ormerod presented “For Gawd’s Sake, Put Some Clothes On!”, offering informative (and hilarious) information on the do’s and don’ts of writing a mystery.

Jayne’s skeletal sidekick, Jane Bones, was on hand for the event. During the presentation Jayne “dressed” Miss Bones. She explained how the items of clothing represented the parts of a mystery novel and how they can be used to tell the story. For instance, affixing a scarf to the skeleton’s neck helps authors remember to give their sleuths a strong link to the mystery.

Here is just a sampling of the words of advice Jayne gave to authors and aspiring authors alike:

  • Know your characters inside and out, including the villain
  • Good plots come from good conflict – always look for ways to create conflict to ratchet up the tension (and reader interest!)
  • Use a storyboard and chapter checklists to keep yourself on track
  • Treat the setting of your mystery like another character and spend time developing it

By the end of the evening, presenter Jayne Ormerod had decked out her skeletal sidekick, Jane Bones, with a set of fancy new duds and inspired her audience to go forth and write!

Jane Bones dances with joy in her new outfit (left) while author Jayne Ormerod imparts words of wisdom to her audience.

Jane Bones dances with joy in her new outfit (left) while author Jayne Ormerod imparts words of wisdom to her audience.



Announcement: New Meeting Room!

CartoonInspectorMystery by the Sea is growing and we are moving to more spacious meeting quarters. Our group will continue to hold monthly meetings at the Greenbrier Library in Chesapeake, located at 1214 Volvo Parkway; however, we are now meeting in the DOWNSTAIRS CONFERENCE ROOM. When you enter through the front doors, hook a left and there we’ll be!

Our next meeting will be held Monday, February 8th, from 6-8 p.m. The topic will be “For Gawd’s Sake, Put Some Clothes On! (How to Build a Better Mystery) and will be led by author and group member Jayne Ormerod. The group is open to the public.