Friday, October 16, 2015


Canadian crime writer, Melodie Campbell, always adds a twist...

That crime can be funny is something she's proven time and again. And  Campbell fans can rejoice-- there's a new book out with her name on it...along with that of an accomplice.

Guesting today on Criminal Minds at Work to introduce that new release is author, Melodie Campbell! 



To the elderly man in the khaki sweater who lifted his reading glasses to
stare open-mouthed…

To the unknown person who gasped and knocked over a chair behind me…

To the woman with the stroller who stared with horror, and then wheeled her toddler frantically away toward the exit…

False Alarm Alert: The two middle-aged women whispering about
murder in the Orangeville library were not fiendishly plotting how to do away
with a tedious husband.

They were writing a murder mystery!

I’m perhaps best known for writing the mob comedy caper series, The Goddaughter. But I also write classic whodunits with my close friend CynthiaSt-Pierre.  Our first book, A Purse to Die For, was great fun towrite.  And happily, it was a Top 100 Mystery on

Our second, A Killer Necklace, is just out.

Thing is, I live in Oakville and Cindy lives two hours away in Newmarket.

Much of what we do is by email and Skype.  But every few months we like
to get together to hash out plot problems in person.  This means meeting
somewhere in between, like Orangeville.  And where better, than at the
place we feel most comfortable, that hallowed home for books, a library?

But my apologies to the patrons we may have alarmed.  I can imagine the
dinner conversation at several houses in Orangeville that night.

Which brings me to the question asked here:  Why write with a partner?

Simply put, it’s FUN!  There is someone sharing your lonely writing job
every step of the way.  Cheering when you surprise her with a twist in a
new chapter…moaning, when you both start the heavy work of editing.

Writing a novel is a lonely pursuit.  You spend months by yourself
before anyone sees the work you have been slaving over.  Having a
co-writer takes the loneliness out of being a writer. 

Yes, you give up a little autonomy over your plot and characters.  But
you also share the delight of incorporating new ideas and plot twists that you
would never have come up with on your own.

Take it from me: planning murder with a partner is much more fun than doing
it yourself.  Even our (very much still alive) husbands agree.

Who is the dead woman at the bottom of the stairs? A killer is determined to
keep her identity secret, even if it means killing again... 

"If Christie wore Armani and Louboutins..." (review of A Purse to
Die For)

A KILLER NECKLACE (Imajin Books) is sold in all the usual places.

on Amazon

on Kobo

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Getting away with murder

The chilling headline almost passed unnoticed, coming as it did late Friday before the long Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.

Oh, my goodness, I gasped. They're going to get away with murder!

That was my fear when I was writing FATAL ERROR, the second novel in my BackTracker series, centred around the murder trial of members of The Traz biker gang. There was a technical issue, a slight slip of protocol, a withholding of some minor evidence. Enough, though, that the bikers launch an appeal of their convictions and the Supreme Court of Canada agrees to hear their complaints.

The BackTracker Series

Could it be that after undercover agents Shrug and Chad risked their lives and their souls infiltrating the gang in order to bring it down that their efforts are going to be for naught?

Could it possibly be that even though young Katrina finally breaks down and agrees to testify against these violent, powerful men, they are going to be set free? Could it be that no one would ever pay for young Lukas' senseless, violent death?
Young Katrina testified in FATAL ERROR

Could it be that the millions of dollars in taxpayers money spent on the Operation, the investigation, the trials would be spent in vain?

Would it be, after all that, the Traz bikers will walk free, take back the streets, sell their drugs, recruit vulnerable children, kill again...and again?

That scenario was scary enough in a novel, but for me to face it in real life...

Yes, I know the power of gangs so when late last Friday, the start of a long weekend, a judge quietly dismissed the murder charges against a group of Hells Angels, I shuddered.

I had looked forward to following what was being billed a 'mega trial'. A dozen or more Hells were being brought up on all kinds of charges, included many murder charges. This after many more charges had been dismissed because a judge ruled justice was taking too long. A special court house was designed...for everyone's safety.  Then some of those charged pleaded guilty, some died, some walked free and the 'mega trial' turned out to be for five Hells Angels only.

I was to be further disappointed when I discovered there was very little media coverage of the trial. None in English. I had to search with several engines and translate from French to find out what was going on in that special Montreal courtroom. That one of the crown's star witnesses was an ex-Hells Angel surprised me. Bikers don't turn on each other, at least in my BackTracker series they didn't.

Then came the grand slam of disappointments...the trial is dismissed because that ex-biker's testimony contradicted evidence the police had gathered but had not been shared with the defence...for reasons we do not know.

The power of gangs.

In my BackTracker series, members of biker gangs use threats, bribes, drugs, money, blackmail, flattery, romance and bullets to silence the media, to bypass justice, to get their way. They use high-powered lawyers, well-placed allies, and political friends. They use computer hackers to corrupt evidence and lies and conniving to avoid paying for their crimes.

So...what did they use in real life? I have a feeling I will never know.

Here's the link to that chilling Friday headline:

Judge orders end of SharQC Hells Angels trial over Crown's handling of evidence

Getting away with murder is brought to you by:


"Courage and insight make for a compelling read" 

“...a worthy sequel to the explosive ‘THE TRAZ’.”

“Wise, haunting, deeply moving…unforgettable!”

 “The very best in today's motorcycle gang stories just got a little better.”

Saturday, October 10, 2015


Free October 10-12 on Amazon -

CFBI agent Jasmine McLellan leads a psychically gifted team in the hunt for a serial arsonist--a murderer who has already taken the lives of three people. 

Jasi and her team members--Psychometric Empath and profiler Ben Roberst and Victim Empath Natassia Prushenko--are joined by Brandon Walsh, the handsome but skeptical Chief of Arson Investigations. In a manhunt that takes them from Vancouver to Kelowna, Penticton and Victoria, they are led down a twisting path of sinister secrets. 

Free October 10-12 on Amazon -

And pick up DIVINE JUSTICE, book 2 in the trilogy for $0.99 during the same dates via and

SALE: Over 50% off DEADLY DOZEN Mystery/Thriller Bundle

Oct 10-16 SALE: Get over 50% OFF the DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle via and

This bundle contains 12 complete mystery/thriller novels by award-winning and international bestselling authors: Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Catherine Astolfo, Alison Bruce, Melodie Campbell/Cynthia St-Pierre, Gloria Ferris, Donna Galanti, Kat Flannery, Jesse Giles Christiansen, Rosemary McCracken, Susan J. McLeod, C. S. Lakin and Linda Merlino. 

1. THE BRIDGEMAN by Catherine Astolfo 
2. DEADLY LEGACY by Alison Bruce 
3. A PURSE TO DIE FOR by Melodie Campbell & Cynthia St-Pierre 
4. CHEAT THE HANGMAN by Gloria Ferris 
5. A HUMAN ELEMENT by Donna Galanti 
6. LAKOTA HONOR by Kat Flannery 
7. PELICAN BAY by Jesse Giles Christiansen 
8. SAFE HARBOR by Rosemary McCracken 
9. SOUL AND SHADOW by Susan J. McLeod 
11. ROOM OF TEARS by Linda Merlino 
12. DIVINE INTERVENTION by Cheryl Kaye Tardif 

With an individual list price total of more than $45.00 and over 640 reviews collectively on, the DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle is a value-packed, rollercoaster thrill ride that takes you from amateur sleuth to detective to paranormal to ancient mysteries set in intriguing worlds and so much more. 

Oct 10-16 SALE: Get over 50% OFF the DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle via and

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Poisonous mushrooms

All artists are aware of the potential for their work to influence others--a power that is sometimes the most significant reward they receive.  This influence usually only makes the headlines when dastardly deeds are done in supposed response to song lyrics or movies or such. At those times, I always give sober second thought to what I'm publishing.
amanita muscaria

I'm especially aware of the power of the pen because my crime novels are addressed to teens and young adults, who may be particularly volunerable to the influence of the written word. I want to inspire my readers to lead better, safer, more meaningful lives--not criminal ones.

My BackTracker novels are action-packed, to be sure, and many teens are thrill seekers. To prevent the drug-dealing gang life from appealing to that quest for excitement, I focus the novels on the exhilarating and dangerous lives of the crime-fighters, rather than the criminals. My hope is that I may influence my young readers to become officers of the law rather than gangsters.

Whereas I do want to educate my readers about the dangers of gang life, I don't want to teach them how to perform illicit  acts. In The Traz, I mention Lukas is making Ecstasy but you won't find any recipes. Katrina hacks into computers, but my readers won't learn how she did that. Shrug seals a massive cocaine deal, but we're not privvy to the details.

But, then there is the amanita muscaria. My first versions of The Traz didn't include the name of the poisonous mushroom young Katrina fed the bikers to disable them as the police moved in on the heavily-armed compound. Several editors and beta readers questioned whether or not such a mushroom even existed. And if so, would it be found in the area where the story took place, at that time of the year.

After soul searching, I decided using the name of the mushroom definitely added credence to the story. I realized information about poisonous mushrooms is readily available to everyone with today's technology. So, yes, The Traz ends with Katrina treating the bikers to nibbles of her amanita muscaria, a toxic psychotropic mushroom, available throughout the world, that is known to be temporarily disabling but seldom fatal.

I've come to believe naming the mushroom was no more irresponsible than mentioning the brand of pistol used in the murder scene. A crime was committed and the weapon identified, vital components in any crime novel.

So far, I've heard of no  amanita muscaria poisonings as a result of The Traz, so hopefully my young readers are all  playing safe!

Poisonous mushrooms has been brought to you by THE TRAZ

 “Raw and emotional..." 

"A book full of action and adventure..."

“I loved this first book in the series...” 
"Exciting, powerful, and tragic..."

“My weekend was gone cuz I couldn't put it down!”

Eileen Schuh, Author

Schrödinger's Cat