Desert Sleuths Chapter
of Sisters in Crime

An Organization for Writers, Readers, and Fans of Crime Fiction and Mystery 


Our Desert Sleuths chapter is a proud member of Sisters in Crime, an international organization that promotes the ongoing advancement, recognition, and professional development of women crime writers. Sisters in Crime helps women achieve equality in the industry by raising professionalism, serving as the voice for excellence, and achieving diversity in crime writing.

The Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter is located in the Phoenix Metropolitan area and serves members throughout the State of Arizona and beyond! Our members include bestselling, award-winning authors, emerging writers, fans of mysteries and crime stories, and other writers of other genres. We are an inclusive organization. Whatever your gender, level of experience, or genre, you are welcome to join us!


Current Events

August 17th: Set the Stage: Using Setting to Add Intrigue and Suspense

In this workshop, we’ll discuss how convert time and place into atmosphere. Time is more than an era and place is more than a physical location. Time and place reflect the culture, language, habits, standards, values, shared beliefs, customs, food, mores, pace of life, and so on—and most importantly, what your sleuth thinks of the setting. From cozies (typically a small town with a sweet and decent feel) to noir (dark and gritty, with a veneer of danger), each sub-genre of crime fiction comes with a set of reader expectations when it comes to setting. Think of your work here as world-building. We’ll also consider how to let decisions about your settings be driven by your characters’ behavior and personalities and how to use place to add intrigue and suspense.

Jane Cleland
Jane Cleland

Jane K. Cleland writes both fiction and nonfiction, including the multiple award-winning Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries [St. Martin’s & Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine] and the Agatha-award winning bestsellers, Mastering Suspense, Structure & Plot and Mastering Plot Twists [Writer’s Digest Books]. Jane Austen’s Lost Letters, the 14th in her series, was published last December. She is a member of the full-time faculty at Lehman College, part of the City University of New York, a contributing editor for Writer’s Digest Magazine, and the chair of the Wolfe Pack’s Black Orchid Novella Award (BONA) in partnership with Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. She is a frequent workshop leader and guest author at writing conferences, association meetings, and MFA Residencies. Also, Jane offers free monthly virtual workshops on the craft and business of writing, and Mystery Masterminds, a series of small group virtual workshops. More details are available at

Jane’s Social Media/Minotaur Books’ Social Media:
Website: /
Facebook: @JaneClelandBooks/@MinotaurBooks
Twitter: @janekcleland /@MinotaurBooks
Instagram:  @Minotaur_Books


See more Upcoming Events for 2022.


Past Events

Kathleen Sweeney
Kathleen Sweeney Marketing Manager of BookBrush

Thanks to Kathleen Sweeney of Book Brush for showing us tips on book marketing with the Book Brush online tools.
Stop dreading book marketing! as Kathleen Sweeney gives a fun live-walk through showing how to use Book Brush to create your own eye-catching marketing images, design book covers and create all things social media. We’ll explore animation tools, box set images and book trailers, too.
Kathleen will share handy tips & tricks along the way and have time for Q & A, too. Learn why authors say Book Brush saves them both time and money.

Kathleen is the Manager of Marketing and Customer Service at Book Brush. She has over 20 years of marketing experience and has presented Book Brush How-To sessions to over 200 author groups. Kathleen thoroughly enjoys working with authors and helping them create eye-catching images and more with the Book Brush tools. She lives in central Illinois with her husband, three busy boys and two handsome cats. Her hobbies include eating tacos and turning socks right side out.


Covid-19 Guidelines from SinC National and AZ DHS

SinC National has published their meeting guidelines for this stage of the Covid-19 pandemic:

2021 In-Person Meetings Guidelines

The AZ DHS has as well:

Arizona Department of Health Services recommendations