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Speakers, 2019


Terrance McArthur

Emmett Dalton

From Real Outlaw to Reel Actor    


            You may not know it, but the infamous Dalton Gang once operated in the San Joaquin Valley.                                                                            Librarian storyteller Terrance V. Mc Arthur will talk about the Daltons and their exploits—from their days as lawmen in the Midwest, through their train-robbing days, to their ill-fated attempt to rob two banks—in the same town—at the same time. Learn why there is a Dalton Mountain in Fresno County.                                 

            An extra feature will be a 1916 silent movie, "Man of the Desert," which starred the last surviving member of the Coffeyville Raid Massacre.                                                                          

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a librarian, writer, and storyteller and a member of Sisters in Crime. His stories have appeared in anthologies and online. His plays have been staged from Bakersfield to Fresno, and he has performed as far away as Utah.

            Join Terrance for an illustrated journey through the Wild

West…wilder and closer than you ever knew.






Paul Kaser will be the speaker at our October meeting. Paul is a retired professor from Reedley College where he taught film appreciation classes. Over the years he has presented many interesting programs for the Fresno County Library on literary cinema topics. He currently is active in local veteran groups and also volunteers at Heart of the Horse. 

His presentation for our meeting will be on Father Brown stories. Father Brown is an amateur sleuth who is featured in 53 short stories published between 1918—1936, written by English novelist G. K. Chesterton. 

The Father Brown television series can be seen on PBS most Sunday nights at 7 PM. This series (featuring Mark Williams) is set during the 1950s in the fictional village of Kembleford where Father Brown, priest at St. Mary's Catholic Church, solves murder cases. A bumbling police inspector who often arrests the wrong suspect gets annoyed by Father Brown's success.


Marilyn Meredith

One of the founding members of our chapter and author of forty books, Marilyn Meredith, will tell about her inspiration for her latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, Spirit Wind. The mountain town of Tehachapi is the setting, and many hours, and even days, went into doing research about this unusual place. But when the book was done, catastrophe struck.


Though certainly not the first time in Marilyn’s publishing career a hurdle came her way, this time it didn’t seem like there was an easy way over it. Find out what she did and how it all worked out.


Spirit Wind is #17 in the series.  A call from a ghost hunter changes Deputy Tempe Crabtree’s vacation plans. Instead of going to the coast, she and her husband are headed to Tehachapi to investigate a haunted house and are confronted by voices on the wind, a murder, and someone out to get them.



Fred D. White

An introduction to flash fiction for the mystery writer, with Fred D. White, author of "Writing Flash: How to Craft & Publish Flash Fiction for a Booming Market"

Flash fiction — the art of the ultra-short story of 1,000 words or fewer — is a unique skill-building challenge for any writer. Fred D. White, professor of writing and literature at Santa Clara University, will give an introduction to flash fiction for the mystery writer, showing how even the shortest story can incorporate the elements of the mystery genre, including suspense, intrigue, and atmosphere. Professor White will also illustrate how writing flash fiction will strengthen your writing skills for tackling novels and other long-form writing projects.

Fred D. White received his PhD in English from the University of Iowa, and taught courses in writing and literature in community colleges in Minnesota and, since 1980, at Santa Clara University in Northern California, where he is now professor of English, Emeritus. In 1996 he received the Louis and Dorina Brutocao Award for Teaching Excellence. Professor White has published several books on writing, as well as dozens of stories (many of them flash tales), essays, poems, and plays. He lives with his wife, Therese (an attorney), and their two cats, Emily and Otis, in Rancho
Cordova, California.


Heather Parish

Theater Director

For our first time, we have a speaker that will show us how to translate suspense from page to stage. This should be a very informative and interesting meeting.

Mystery and suspense novels have inspired countless theater, film, and TV adaptations, from the earliest stage productions of Sherlock Holmes to the omnipresent police procedurals of modern TV. How does a 300-page novel get condensed into a 90-minute play? Theater director Heather Parish explains why adapting a book into a dramatic medium sometimes requires a ruthless re-imagining of the text.

Parish will analyze the condensing, simplification, and dramatic heightening necessary to put a novel on the stage, with a sneak preview of her upcoming production of Daphne du Maurier's "My Cousin Rachel" at Good Company Players' 2nd Space Theatre.


Bio: Heather is a theater director and the regional coordinator of the Central California Region of the Jane Austen Society of North Americas. In previous existences she has been a high school English teacher, the Artistic Director of the Woodward Shakespeare Festival, the Executive Director of Fresno's Rogue Festival, and Artistic Director of her own theater company, The New Ensemble. She has directed numerous productions in the Fresno area, including Richard III with the Woodward Shakespeare Festival and The Pillowman, Copenhagen, Hamlet, and Hedda Gabler with The New Ensemble. Parish's next production, "My Cousin Rachel" by Daphne Du Maurier, opens August 16 at The 2nd Space Theatre.


Back to the Past

How to Research History for Fun and Profit

Melissa Scroggins, Senior Library Assistant in the Heritage Center at the Central Library in downtown Fresno is known for her genealogy skills by people valley-wide. She spoke on how to research your genealogy and family history, and also how to research history in general.



Author: Veronica Giolli

Novel: Whispers in the Wind

In April, member Veronica Giolli spoke about her new mystery novel, Whispers in the Wind.  Veronica has created a San Francisco detective heroine that is both smart and spiritual.

Native American investigator Sunny Davis returns to the reservation when she learns that her best friend has committed suicide. After receiving a psychic vision, Sunny is sure Gina’s spirit is trying to contact her to find out what really happened. As emotionally devastated as she is, Sunny determines to find out the truth.

Her investigation leads deep into a complex mystery involving her tribal culture’s spiritual beliefs and the secrets that tore apart Gina’s family. Veronica combines family drama, spirituality and the paranormal.


Veronica was a founding member of Writers of the Purple Sage Publishing Consortium in Reno, Nevada. While living on a reservation, she acquired firsthand knowledge of tribal customs and spiritual practices. This in part provided the inspiration for her first novel, Whispers in the Wind.




Adam Plantinga

Adam Plantinga’s first book, 400 Things Cops Know, received rave reviews from star crime writers such as Lee Child, Edward Conlon and Joseph Wambaugh. It was hailed as "the new bible for crime writers" in The Wall Street Journal.


In Police Craft, Plantinga gives his views on police shootings, racial profiling, community relations, and every other aspect of policing. It’s a thought-provoking and revelatory examination of policing in America, as seen by a 17-year veteran sergeant with the San Francisco Police Department. It gives an inside view of the police officer’s job, from handling evidence and conducting interrogations to coping with danger, violence, and death. Not hesitating to confront controversial issues.

Plantinga has written 13 nonfiction articles on various aspects of police work. He lives in the Bay Area with his wife and daughters.


Crime writers will not want to miss Adam’s talk !!!


Hank Barr


Hank Barr joins us with extensive experience in the television industry. 

  • He’s written promo teasers for NBC’s cop shows like , and

  • He’s also worked on screenplays for westerns.

  • And, chased bad guys around with a camera for episodes of .

Along the way, he worked with Captain & Tennille, John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Jack Lemmon, and members of the Rat Pack. WOW!

After many years around law enforcement TV, he became a Police Chaplain for the Clovis PD in 2012.

Join us Feb. 2 for a peek behind the scenes on what happens when the cameras aren't rolling on the popular TV show COPS. Who are the real 'Bad Boys?'  Which is more dangerous—fleeing criminals or neighborhood dogs? I can’t wait to find out when Hank Barr gives us the inside scoop.


Marcy E. Rosendale

Marcy E. Rosendale, DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine), spoke to us in January and it was a lively, fact filled talk. She worked for one of the few animal poison control hotlines in the world for nine years as a toxicology specialist handling cases involving many species of animals and hundreds of poisons. During her talk she presented some of the more unusual cases of animal poisoning encountered, and explored some of the more common household poisons that may endanger our pets. There are many seemingly innocuous items that can harm or kill.

Ms. Rosendale also spoke about things that can poison animals and birds in the wild. Yard chemicals like D-con can kill dogs, birds, eagles and hawks. Chickens die from eating granular insecticides. Birds that eat rodents can also be affected.

And there aren’t antidotes for everything. Sometimes only the symptoms can be treated to ease the suffering of a poisoned animal.

No poison is totally safe. If it poisons something it can’t be good for humans, our water or our soil in the long range. So we have to look at the bigger picture and act responsibly. A nice lawn free of weeds—or a safe environment? It’s a choice we must individually make. And it affects us all.