Our Members


Mary Sutton, President

Twitter: @mary_sutton73
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMarySutton

Mary Sutton has been making up stories, and creating her own endings for other people’s stories, for as long as she can remember. After ten years, she decided that making things up was far more satisfying than writing software manuals, and took the jump into fiction.

She writes the Hero’s Sword middle-grade fantasy series as M.E. Sutton and finds a lot of inspiration in the lives of her own kids. A lifelong mystery fan, she also writes crime fiction, including The Laurel Highlands Mysteries, under the pen name Liz Milliron. Her short fiction has been published at Uppagus.com (September 2012), Mystericale.com (Fall/Winter 2012/2013, Fall 2013, January 2014), and in Lucky Charms: 12 Crime Tales (December 2013).

Annette Dashofy, Vice President


Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best selling author of the Zoe Chambers Mysteries including Circle of Influence, Lost Legacy, and Bridges Burned. In addition, her short stories, including a 2007 Derringer Award finalist, have been published in Spinetingler Magazine, Mysterical-E, Fish Tales: The Guppy Anthology, and most recently Lucky Charms: 12 Crime Tales. Annette is a past president of MMR Sisters in Crime and currently also serves as vice president of Pennwriters. She lives in Washington County with her husband and two very spoiled cats. Check out her website at www.annettedashofy.com, like her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/annette.dashofy, or follow her on Twitter @Annette_Dashofy.

Paula A. Smith, Secretary

Paula Smith

Paula A. Smith is a former newspaper reporter and staff writer and currently freelances. Her writing has appeared in books, magazines and online publications locally and abroad. Her short story, Sweet Murder, appears in Lucky Charms: 12 Crime Tales (December, 2013). Besides painting and antique-hunting, Paula enjoys reading a good mystery story in a big, old, stuffed chair on a rainy day with the family dogs, Oliver, a Kentucky beagle, and Seumas, a Scottish terrier. She is a member of Pennwriters, Religion Newswriters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Paula resides in Pittsburgh with her husband, Dave.

Susan Thibadeau, Treasurer

Susan ThibadeauSusan Thibadeau is enjoying the writing life. She’s earned various degrees, but her most treasured is the MFA in creative writing she received from Chatham University. She is a member of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, Sisters in Crime and Pennwriters  Her short story “Lucky on the Charm” appears in Lucky Charms: 12 Crime Tales. Her novella, “The Discarded Spouse,” appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and was awarded the Black Orchid Novella Award, given in conjunction with the Nero Wolfe Society.


Jeff Boarts

Tory Butterworth

Tory works in mental health during the week and uses writing to maintain her mental health on weekends. Her nonfiction work-in-progress explores the origins of compulsive eating. She is also working on a psychological suspense novel that takes place in a corrupt mental hospital.

Babs Carryer

carryerBabs is finishing up her first novel – a Pittsburgh startup murder mystery. She hopes to create a series based on this first book. Babs is all about startups: serial entrepreneur, writer and educator. She taught and supported entrepreneurship at CMU for over 15 years.Currently, Babs is Director of Education and Outreach for the Innovation Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. At Pitt, Babs is busy igniting entrepreneurship across campus – to all faculty and to students, from freshmen to post-docs. Babs is founder of Carryer Consulting and co-founder of LaunchCyte. She blogs about entrepreneurship on NewVenturist, http://newventurist.com. She can be reached at babs@carryer.com.

Kristine Coblitz

CoblitzKristine Coblitz graduated from Point Park College in 1996 with a degree in Journalism and Communications specializing in print media, and has worked as a technical magazine editor since 1998. She has experience as a writing workshop instructor for high school students and a moderator of an online fiction-writing forum. Her writing has appeared in Scavenger’s Newsletter, Detective Mystery Stories, and Kidz ‘n Communities Magazine. Kristine is a past president and member of the Mary Roberts Rinehart Chapter of Sisters in Crime and also a member of Pennwriters.
She devotes her time to fiction writing, freelance editing, and taking care of
her two children.

Cathy Moffat Corn

After busy careers as an RN in critical care units and as a massage therapist in downtown Pittsburgh, Cathy’s ready to sit down and write. The summer of 2011, she e-published her paranormal mystery/suspense novel, Crystal Clear (links to its Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords pages are on her website). The story: a psychotherapist, Suzanne Westin, crystal ball gazes and connects with a past life as a Big Band Singer. Further sessions reveal the singer lying dead in the woods, and Suzanne learns she must solve that mystery or history will repeat itself.

Fiction being Cathy’s first love (especially the mystery novels of Mary Stewart), she is seeking representation for Blue Moon over Madagascar, a paranormal adventure novel set in Madagascar (the perfect blend of mystery, adventure, romance, and fairydust). Second in the series is Smell the Plumerias, set on the big island of Hawaii and showcasing the dolphins that swim in its waters. She’s published nonfiction in Bluegrass Unlimited, Pennsylvania Magazine, The PittsburghPress Sunday Magazine, and UK women’s magazine Annabel. She’d get a lot more done without the dog, two cats, and husband Alan, but doesn’t think that would be any fun at all.

LeeAnn Dawson

Lee Ann Dawson strives to make murder funny, one body at a time. In fiction. Her grandparents’ tavern in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State served as the inspiration for her story.  Lee Ann also writes children’s stories. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. “Family Values,” included in Lucky Charms: 12 Crime Tales,  is her first published work.

Rebecca Drake

RebeccaDrake-1078x1430Rebecca Drake’s latest psychological thriller, Only Ever You, will be released by St. Martin’s Press in 2016. Her debut thriller, Don’t Be Afraid, was Kensington’s lead title in September 2006. The Next Killing followed in September 2007 and was selected by four national book clubs including The Literary Guild. The Dead Place came out in September 2008 and was an Independent Mystery Booksellers Association (IMBA) bestseller. Droemer Knaur published all three novels in German. In 2011 “Loaded” appeared in Pittsburgh Noir, one of Akashic Books’ award-winning collection of noir anthologies. A former journalist and native New Yorker, Rebecca has also lived in Indiana, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Qatar. She currently lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

More about Rebecca can be found at RebeccaDrake.com or find her on Facebook at facebook.com/rebecca.drake.writer And Twitter @AuthorRDrake

Colette Garmer


Finding The Squirrel Hill Writers Group in 1996 and staying put with them
for three years was instrumental in starting Colette Garmer down the path
to publication. A job reared its ugly head and took her away from the group,limiting her time. Writing took a back burner. But in the end, she had written a few manuscripts. Granted they weren’t books she’d want anyone to see. But she did accomplish writing a few manuscripts from beginning to end. Articles were published in Good Housekeeping, Enable Pennsylvanians and True Story Magazine. In 2005 she entered a Silhouette Desire contest where she was one of the five finalists. She attended Pennwriters2008 conference Martha Reed, then president of Sisters in Crime in Pittsburgh encouraged her to enter her first draft in the First Page Contest. She ended up taking Third Place which finalized her belief in her writing that it was time to get serious.
Currently she is a member in Pennwriters and Sisters-in-Crime where she meets with many published and non-published authors that gladly assist her in her lifelong dream of getting a novel published. She was recently elected Vice President for the 2011 term for the Pittsburgh Chapter of Sisters in Crime. Her writing is now on the front burner instead of languishing on the back burner of life.

Janet George

sqrlnutThough Janet George has worked for a large medical company in the Pittsburgh area for the past 25 years, her heart belongs to writing. Excelling in English and Art during her school years she has always had a writing or art project in the works as a hobby. Her love of squirrels began when she started feeding them in her backyard in the late 80s and made her the perfect candidate for President of The Squirrel Lover’s Club when it was handed down two years ago. The club is worldwide and has members as far as Scotland, England and France as well as other countries. Janet is also the author of Shirl’s Nutty World, which is published in the bimonthly newsletter, In A Nutshell, by the club. Janet has written many articles and stories for the club newsletter since she joined nearly 20 years ago. Shirl’s Nutty World is an ongoing saga about an amusing group of wild squirrels that live in the town mayor’s backyard. Janet’s long term goal is to turn her animated animal stories into a variety of children’s books. She is also working on a novel that includes murder, mystery, romance and, most likely, a squirrel. To read and view her favorite writings and photos check out her website at www.thesquirrelloversclub.com.

Kathleen George


Kathleen teaches theatre at the University of Pittsburgh where she has directed many plays for the mainstage and the Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival. She is the author of a short story collection, The Man in the Buick, and five novels, Taken, Fallen, Afterimage, The Odds, which was been nominated for the 2010 Edgar Award for best novel, and Hideout. She is married to writer Hilary Masters.

Tamara Girardi

Tamara Anthology photoTamara is a freelance writer for the Pittsburgh Tribune Review and the Valley News Dispatch, and a part-time writing instructor at Westmoreland County Community College and Harrisburg Area Community College Virtual Campus 2.0. Her short stories have been published in New Writing Dundee and Scores, two Scottish anthologies and Love Stories from the Heart, published in the U.S. Recently, she has spent much of her writing time finalizing her doctoral dissertation It Can Be Learned: Building a Writer-Centered Creative Writing Pedagogy in which she is studying innovating ways creative writing is taught in undergraduate classrooms across the country. Her fiction writing time is spent on young adult projects she hopes will be ready to share with agents in early 2014. An Allegheny County resident, Tamara is also a member of PennWriters and Backspace. Follow Tamara on Twitter @TamaraGirardi.

Mary Alice Gorman

Mary Alice with her husband Richard Goldman owned the Mystery Lovers Bookshop for many years until they retired in 2012. Mary Alice’s skills as a teacher, organizer, fundraiser, career counselor, and advocate have made for a perfect foundation for an award winning 21 year career in bookselling.

Kathryn Miller Haines


When she’s not working in the library system at the University of Pittsburgh, Kathryn performs with and co-manages Mystery’s Most Wanted and is an award-winning playwright. She’s the author of the Rosie Winter Mystery Series (HarperCollins), set in the theatre community of World War II New York. She is also the author of a new series for young adults, also set in World War II. The first book, The Girl is Murder, was released by Roaring Book Press (a division of Macmillan) in July 2011.The second book will be out in summer 2012.

JJ Hensley

author photohttps://hensleybooks.wordpress.com (blog page)
Twitter: @JJHensleyauthor

J.J. Hensley is a former police officer and Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service who has drawn upon his experiences in law enforcement to write stories full of suspense and insight. Hensley, who is originally from Huntington, WV, graduated from Penn State University with a B.S. in Administration of Justice and has a M.S. degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Columbia Southern University. The author is currently a training supervisor with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and lives with his beautiful wife, daughter, and two dogs near Pittsburgh, PA.

Hensley is the author of Resolve, Measure Twice, and other works of fiction. Resolve was named one of the BEST BOOKS OF 2013 by Suspense Magazine and was a finalist for Best First Novel by the International Thriller Writers organization.

He is a member of the International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime.

Kristen Humphreys

My name is Kristin Humphreys. I write murder mysteries, short stories and books, under the name K.M. Humphreys.  I am also working on Middle Grade fiction under the name Eleanor Benjamin. I currently have short stories published on Smashwords.com. I am working on two murder mystery books and a MG fiction book. Hopefully I’ll have at least one of them published within the next five years.  I have been writing on and off for over twenty years but just recently got more serious about it. I live in Pittsburgh with my husband and our dog, Rosie.

Laurie Kassim


Jennifer Little-Fleck

FleckEmail: Jenniferlittlefleck@gmail.com
Twitter: @JLittleFleck

Jennifer is a highly successful Renaissance Woman.  Translation: Still deciding what she wants to be when she grows up.  Jennifer’s first book was published in 1983, although you’ll never see it print because it is part of St. Peter’s elementary School Library.  It was co-authored by her two best friends Anna Knicker and Connie Raulston, and depicted a chance meeting of Rainbow Brite and Michael Jackson.  It was very well received by her 3rd grade class.  Since then, she started reading everything and anything that was laying around (mostly sci-fi, fantasy, and Judy Blume), and finally got a taste of writing herself a few years ago.  She was hooked again.  Not knowing where to start, Jennifer found the Pittsburgh Chapter of Sisters in Crime, and met a few kindred spirits who also feel compelled to learn the craft of writing as a second and third career. She also discovered PennWriters, another fantastic organization for writers of all levels.  Jennifer is looking forward to her first official publication with Pgh SinC’s anthology coming in December of 2013.  She knows it won’t have the same impact as her Rainbow Brite story,  but she’s hoping a few more people might get to read this one.

Jennifer resides in a little town called Rennerdale near the Pittsburgh Airport with her husband, two children, and cat Ginny.

Rose Marie Keating

Nancy Martin


Nancy is the author of the bestselling Blackbird Sisters Mystery Series and a brand new series set in Pittsburgh,featuring the misadventures of Roxy Abruzzo, a tough girl from the Rust Belt “with a heart of black and gold.” In her 26-year career, she has published 45 novels in four genres–romance, historical, suspense, and mystery. Nancy was the winner of the 2009 Lifetime Achievement award for mystery writing from Romantic Times magazine. She is also one of the Book Tarts on www.TheLipstickChronicles.typepad.com.

Gail Oare

OareGail writes short fiction and poetry. Her story “Celtic Knot” appeared in Lucky Charms: 12 Crime Tales (2013) and several of her poems have been published in print and online collections.  She is retired from a 35-year career in scientific publishing and communications. As a Director with the Materials Research Society for 27 years, she was responsible for the start-up of a new international journal, magazine, book, and electronic publishing program. She directed editorial, marketing, production, advertising and exhibit sales, corporate donations, public relations, website and e-commerce, and oversaw the establishment of the organization’s partnership with Cambridge University Press.  For a number of years, she also led membership, conferences,  information systems and technology, and government relations. In her early career, she wrote and produced training films, technical manuals, and edited and wrote for scientific and cultural publications. She currently consults in publishing and electronic media, and is a past vice president of the Mary Roberts Rinehart Pittsburgh Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

Andrea Peagler

Andrea is an aspiring author with a science background who has worked in the clinical medical research and health education fields over the past fifteen years. She has co-authored and is published in peer-reviewed medical journals, as well as helped in data collection for other scientific articles during her tenure with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the University of Alabama at Birmingham medical centers. A recent article on health improvement outcomes from a service-directed research project on which she served, was published in an issue of Diabetes Care.

Returning to her love of creative writing, Andrea ventured into writing mystery after hearing stories from those who served in the military and watching high profile crime cases. A fan of Edgar Allan Poe since her senior book report and days as a staff writer for the high school student newspaper, she continues her journey exploring this thrilling genre. She joined Pennwriters, Inc. in 2010 and quickly became a member of the Pittsburgh Chapter of SinC the same year. Andrea is currently working on a historical crime fiction novel with elements of whodunit, passion, genetics and adventure. In her treasured time, she enjoys reading, travel and gardening. Her quest is to grow and learn more about the craft of writing well.

Judith Rau

Martha Reed


Martha Reed is a Pittsburgh-based crime fiction author who is developing her John and Sarah Jarad Nantucket Mystery series. Her novel The Nature of the Grave won a 2006 Independent Publisher (IPPY) award for Mid-Atlantic Best Regional fiction. A new Nantucket Mystery, The Choking Game was released in December. Martha’s short fiction has appeared in Pearl 26, Spinetingler magazine’s Special Canadian Issue, and Mysterical-e. Her short story “Strangler Fig” was included in Lucky Charms: 12 Crime Tales, an anthology produced by the The Mary Roberts Rinehart Pittsburgh chapter of Sisters in Crime, Inc. Four of a Kind, an e-collection of more short fiction is available from online digital retailers. Martha also serves as Chapter Liaison for the National SinC Board.

Judy Schneider


Judy is the co-author of THE FRANTIC WOMAN’S GUIDE TO LIFE, a practical guide packed with hints, tips, and tricks to help busy women survive in today’s hectic world. It’s published by Warner Books.

Linda Schmitmeyer

Gina Sestak

Gina Sestak is a semi-retired attorney whose published works include books and articles on legal topics, and a short story in the Lucky Charms anthology.  She is presently seeking representation for five unpublished novels.  Gina also co-wrote an award-winning short screenplay, The Tenth Door, and has co-authored three feature-length screenplays that are available for production.

Carol Silvis


Carol Silvis is a teacher and the author of several college textbooks and business books. Her publications include an article in the 2012 Writers Market, a dozen creative non-fiction stories and inspirational pieces published in national magazines, and over 40 articles published in various newsletters. Her children’s story won a 2007 St. David’s Conference Award. She is also a member of Pennwriters and lives outside Pittsburghwith her husband and two children. She currently serves as president of Pennwriters. Follow her on Twitter at @carolsilvis

Audra Spicer

Diana Stavroulakis

StavroulakisEmail: Diana.Stavroulakis@gmail.com
Twitter: @DStavro
Law Firm:  www.Stavroulakis.com

During Diana’s 24-year professional legal career, she has simultaneously pursued her passion for writing.  Many of her ideas have been inspired by her life experiences within the criminal justice system as a Judicial Law Clerk, an Assistant District Attorney, and a Criminal Defense Attorney.  She is a legal consultant to mystery and crime fiction writers; was a staff writer for The Penguins Report; a contributing writer for the Pittsburgh Penguins Goal magazine; and a Front Line Editor for Juris magazine published by Duquesne University School of Law.  Diana is the immediate past president of Pittsburgh Sisters in Crime.

Sandy Stephen

Sandy is a member of Pennwriters, Sisters in Crime and Mysterywrights, a writer’s critique group. She has worked as a technical writer/editor and with a Master’s Degree in Art History taught at local colleges and universities. She completed several novels, including the first in a culinary series about a personal chef and also a suspense thriller (which took third place in the Pennwriters’ great beginnings contest). She is currently working on a new suspense novel. Several of her short fiction pieces have been published online. Sandy lives in the North Hills with her husband and their two kitties.

Judith Evans Thomas


Judith is a journalist and author. Her celebrity interview column “Overheard” and lifestyle column “JET Set” have appeared monthly in Pittsburgh Magazine since 2003. She is also the co-author of 30 books in the Born To Shop travel series published by Bantam Books. She is currently at work on a mystery series.

Joyce Tremel

Joyce Tremel 1www.joycetremel.com

Joyce Tremel was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. She lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband and a spoiled cat. Her debut mystery, To Brew or Not to Brew, will be released by Berkeley Prime Crime December 1, 2015.