Monday, August 19, 2013

Douglas Corleone: GOOD AS GONE

Author Douglas Corleone
Sisters in Crime/Hawaii met on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at The Makiki Community Library from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. We welcomed our Special Guest Speaker, legal mystery/thriller author of Kevin Corvelli Mystery trilogy set in Honolulu, Douglas Corleone.

Dawn Casey introduced Shamus Award nominee Douglas Corleone, listing his Kevin Corvelli trilogy of legal thrillers, One Man’s Paradise, Night On Fire, and Last Lawyer Standing, published by St. Martin’s Minotaur. Her question to Doug was, “You published One Man’s Paradise, winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition, in 2010; Night On Fire in 2011; and Last Lawyer Standing in 2012. How did you write them so fast?” Doug said he didn’t think he had written them all that fast, now that he is currently not practicing law and is writing full time.
Douglas Corleone receiving
a Hawaiian lei
at a Sisters in Crime/Hawaii meeting
Doug talks about The Reinvention of the Writer.
In his first three books, his protagonist is a hot-shot New York defense attorney who moved to Hawaii and found that things a little different from New York. Readers and editors loved the series but “the numbers (sales) weren’t there” due to limiting factors such as the local setting. Book stores look at previous sales to determine if they will purchase future books.
Some authors reinvent themselves by changing their pen name to publish. One example is Spencer Quinn who writes mysteries from a canine’s perspective. He was a great writer before this but never gained any traction. Once he began writing as a dog he did very, very well.
After the trilogy was published, it was time to submit a new book. His agent at Writers House in New York said his editor and Minotaur would prefer to see something new from him, his notice that Last Lawyer Standing would be the last book in the Kevin Corvelli series. Doug had enjoyed writing and promoting the series and felt a pang of loss when the series ended. But it was also an opportunity for him to start over, and be able to start over without changing his name.
Douglas Corleone signing
a Kevin Corvelli novel
He is writing The Quake, a book for Kensington, under the pseudonym Jack Douglas. As a full time writer, he needs to publish two books a year. His latest book, Good As Gone, comes out in August under his name, Douglas Corleone.
Doug was excited about writing Good As Gone because it was an opportunity to write a new series with new settings. "Creating new characters gets the adrenaline pumping," he said. He wanted someone very different from Kevin Corvelli. He had worked his last legal case as an attorney in New York, leaving behind his legal career as well as his legal thrillers.
The idea for Good As Gone had planted itself about two years earlier. Doug had read a one-page article about a private investigator in Tampa. What the guy did was retrieve children from overseas when they were abducted by an estranged parent or other custody situation.
First Doug did a one-page synopsis and sent that to his agent. Because it was so different from the other series, the editor requested at least a hundred pages so he sat down and wrote the hundred pages. The editor wasn’t satisfied with the main character. After he rewrote the character and added to the story, the book idea was accepted. Minotaur decided to market the book as a blockbuster thriller with an outstanding cover and visible advertising, including with Barnes and Noble.  He also requested and received terrific blurbs from bestselling New York authors like Jeff Abbott, author of the Sam Capra series; and Andrew Gross, author of 15 Seconds: A Novel and several novels co-authored with James Patterson; Michael Palmer, author of numerous medical suspense novels. 
Q: How did you come up with the title, Good As Gone?
A. That’s a good question. The original title was The Unspeakable. I went through about thirty different titles before selecting Good As Gone. 
Q: Where will the book be marketed?
A. Because the book is set on foreign soil, the publishers have decided to market around the world. So far, the book has been sold to New Zealand, Poland, and Germany, and is being translated into foreign languages.
Q: What is the release date for Good As Gone and how will it be kicked off?
A: The release date is August 20, 2013. The book will hit stores on that date, and preordered books will be received that day or the next day. I will launch this book in New York. 
Q: Will you have a book signing in Hawaii?
A: Yes, at Ala Moana Center’s Barnes and Noble in Honolulu. That date is pending. 
Douglas Corleone’s Good As Gone Book Tour Schedule from New York to LA:
Release of GOOD AS GONE, on August 20 2013
Launch Party for GOOD AS GONE in New York City, The Mysterious Bookshop, located at 58 Warren Street on September 17 2013 06:00 PM
Bouchercon 2013, on September 19 2013
For complete list of events see:

In Stores August 20, 2013
An international thriller introducing former US Marshal Simon Fisk 
 “Delivers a lightning-fast pace, surprising and heartfelt twists, and action aplenty.”
~Jeff Abbott, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Last Minute 
“Good As Gone is as good as it gets. Douglas Corleone has crafted one hell of a thriller.”
~Michael Palmer, New York Times Bestselling Author of Political Suicide 
“Goes from zero to 60 in under six seconds and never lets off the gas!”
~Andrew Gross, New York Times Bestselling Author of 15 Seconds
“A terrific international thriller. I expected to be entertained when I picked up a novel by
Douglas Corleone and was rewarded handsomely. Highly recommended.”
~James Grippando, New York Times Bestselling Author of Blood Money 
“Everything I want in a thriller – an ingenious plot, breathtaking pace,
and one of the coolest new heroes to come along in years.”
~David Ellis, New York Times Bestselling James Patterson Coauthor
“Good As Gone propels Douglas Corleone into Lee Child territory. Yeah, it’s that good.”
~Jason Starr, International Bestselling Author of The Pack
Visit Douglas Corleone at:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

SinC/Hawaii: A Group of Sisters & Misters!

Sisters in Crime/Hawaii, a group of readers and authors, will participate as exhibitors at the Hawaii Book and Music Festival next week-end, May 18-19, 2013, on the grounds of Honolulu Hale. At our booth, local members will offer information about our organization and promote Sisters in Crime, both SinC, Inc. the International Organization and the SinC/Hawaii Chapter Member authors will display their published novels and have books available for purchase.

Honolulu Arts Beat, a popular Hawaii blog site, lists the participating SinC/Hawaii authors and their books. You can visit the site at: 

The Hawaii Book and Music Festival website lists all of the authors who will appear at the Author Pavilions on Saturday May 18 and Sunday May 19. The website for listings, times, and site map is:

Sisters in Crime/Hawaii has been invited to present a panel discussion at the Author Pavilion Mauka on Saturday, May 18 at 1 p.m.  The panel discussion topic is “Why Do Men Join Sisters in Crime?” It will be a lively 55 minutes with time for audience questions.
Please join authors Ray Pace, Laurie Hanan, Gene Parola, and Gail Baugniet at
Hawaii Book and Music Festival and learn why Sisters in Crime/Hawaii is
a group of Sisters and Misters!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Hillary Moses, Guest Speaker for February

Hillary Moses, Lecturer on Forensics at Chaminade University and Crime Scene Investigator, was our special guest speaker for February 20, 2013. She received a hardy Aloha welcome from the members of The Sisters in Crime/Hawaii members!

Rosemary & Hillary

Sandy, Ray, Julia

Members in attendance: Sandy, Ray, Julia, Gene, Doris, Dennis, Rosemary, Dawn, Leslie (and Gail behind the camera!)

Doris, Dennis, Rosemary
far left: Dawn

far right: Leslie

From the meeting minutes taken by SinC/Hawaii Secretary Rosemary Mild:

Our Speaker

Hillary Moses, Lecturer on Forensics at Chaminade University and Crime Scene Investigator, gave a riveting presentation and demonstration on Fingerprinting. Her specialty is fingerprint analysis; she’s writing a textbook on the subject (with a lab workbook), for Taylor & Francis, an international academic publisher. It will be the first student-friendly textbook on the subject.  

Hillary also works with the Medical Examiner’s office in Honolulu. Gunshot victims are the majority of her cases. She has also started a YA novel in the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys genre. She got into Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) at an early age. Her father headed the crime lab of the San Francisco Police Department. She helped process her first crime scene at age five. “I have no problem with dead bodies. I can’t deal with the medical stuff of live bodies,” she said. She was a police identification (ID) specialist in California and a geneticist for ten years in forensic science. She spent 14 months in Iraq processing crime scenes: suicide bombings, sniper attacks, etc.
Highlights on Forensic Science

There’s the Investigative Side, then the Forensics Side. Hillary starts with a crime-scene walk-through to get her bearings and assess the scene. Ninety percent of Forensic Science is documentation, including; a briefing from the detectives; an artist’s sketch; notes; photos. Immediate photos of hair, tire tracks, shoe prints, etc. are necessary because they can change (or disappear) during the investigation.

Types of evidence (she brought us examples):

1. Tire tracks, shoe prints. After photographing them, cast them using a liquid casting material.   
Material for casting footprints
2. Firearms. Bullets that had been fired and also cartridge casings.

3. A “presumptive test,” such as casting tire tracks or testing for blood, should be done first; blood and tracks can break down quickly or be washed away in weather; hair or fibers can be lost. She discussed synthetic blood, engineered to react like real blood.

Dusting the plate for prints
4. Touch DNA. Swabbing isn’t always necessary. If someone touches something, DNA is found on the object (unless it’s been bleached).

Hillary taking fingerprints of
Rachel Funk-Heller
5. Fingerprints. They’re delicate, especially on a nonporous object like a shiny knife. They’re difficult-to-impossible to obtain on porous or rough material. Paper absorbs fingerprints well. The Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) is a database of prints of convicted criminals. In Iraq and Afghanistan, after suicide bombings, our soldiers use AFIS scans on everyone they can who might be connected to the bomber. Also iris scans, a quite new technique.


Hillary did a fingerprint demonstration, using black fingerprint powder (ground carbon) and a fiberglass brush (in Britain they use camel hair). An unknown (latent) print is kept in the computer permanently.                 


Biometrics = the future (unique physical or behavioral characteristics). The FBI is using iris scans in the Customs areas of some airports. The goal is to put them in every major airport. 

Blackberry Fingerprint Scanner: an advancement coming for police work. 

Small police departments outsource DNA. It can take as long as six months to process, especially in rape cases. The fastest technique takes twelve hours to extract it. “We have all the techniques,” Hillary says, “but only the Federal Government—the military, the FBI, etc.—has the equipment.”  

The first Forensics techniques were developed in China in 300 AD.

Q & A:

Q. On suicides.

A. In Hawaii, hanging (if that is the choice) is overwhelmingly preferred by men. Women prefer prescription pills because pills can be accumulated. Some women are now choosing a gun. A 22-caliber bullet kills faster and more efficiently than a bigger bullet because it’s less likely to exit.

Q. How do you beat a murder rap?

A. Hillary gave us a sharp tongue-in-cheek answer:

            “Kill someone you have no connection to.

            Use gloves.

            Don’t sneeze on anything.

            Take your weapon with you.

            And don’t tell anyone about it.”

She left us with a final encouraging thought. “As a tree-hugging liberal from San Francisco, I always look at the Defense side and always give individuals the benefit of the doubt.”

Suggested References

The Journal of Forensic Sciences, very technical, for those who go to the scene of the crime. 

The Journal of Forensic Identification. (the American Academy of Forensic Science). (the biggest, the International Association of Identification).

 Where to buy forensics tools:


Friday, February 15, 2013

SinC/Hawaii Interview with Author Laurie Hanan

In the Sisters in Crime/Hawaii Author Interview spotlight today is Laurie Hanan, author of the Louise Golden Mysteries. Laurie recently published her third novel in the series, Another Day in Paradise. Each novel is set in Hawaii, and more specifically, on the island of O’ahu. By the third novel, many of the questions have already been asked and answered, so I dug deep to ask more obscure but interesting questions of Laurie.

GAIL: Welcome, and thank you for joining us today, Laurie. Each of your novels offers the reader a closer look at your protagonist and an opportunity for you to showcase your evolution as a writer. One of the joys of reading an ongoing series is the anticipation of revisiting familiar characters and sharing another adventure with them. An added bonus with your series is for readers to also experience real-time life in Hawaii. While it may not be the same as that portrayed on Hawaii 5-0, that is mainly because Steve MacGarrett doesn’t pop up in our lives all that often! You do have one supporting character in particular, a polo player, who does offer that special dazzle in Another Day in Paradise. What’s the back story on him?

LAURIE HANAN: I assume you are referring to the blond Brazilian, Felipe. My method is to start with a tight outline, but stay open to allowing scenes and characters to detour from the original outline as I write. Felipe is a good example of how that happens. First, let me say Felipe is an entirely fictional character, created in my imagination. I intended for him to be a minor character. But as I wrote him into the story, he grew into a much more interesting and complicated fellow. I went with the flow and let Felipe develop. In fact, at the end of the story, Felipe caught me by surprise. Now I'm sure he'll have to come back as a regular.

GAIL: One of the top questions asked of authors is, “Where do you get your ideas?” It is also one of the most difficult to answer because of its broad scope, in the vein of “What do you want out of life?” To narrow the focus of the question, let me pick a specific area of your latest Louise Golden mystery. Louise takes the neighbor children to a polo match where she meets a rather sexy man. Why did you choose to set scenes at a polo match in Hawaii?

LAURIE HANAN: My sixteen-year-old daughter has been working as a groom's apprentice at the Mokulēia polo field on the North Shore for about two years now. She also takes polo lessons and plays in off-season skirmishes with the professional polo team members. Naturally, I've spent a good deal of my time at the polo field and have gotten to know many of the regulars there. I absolutely love horses, and Mokulēia is one of the most beautiful parts of O'ahu. It seemed natural to have part of my book take place in that setting. I also wanted to share with my readers who may not be aware that polo is a popular sport in Hawaii and very much a part of the culture and history of the islands. And I will reiterate, the sexy Brazilian polo player is purely a figment of my imagination--so girls, don't go out to the polo field hoping to find someone like Felipe.

GAIL: Your protagonist, Louise Golden, is a mail carrier. Ever since the term “going postal” surfaced, it is not so difficult to suspend disbelief that a mail carrier can become involved in a mystery of murder. You were a postal worker also, and while I don’t believe you have ever been involved in a murder, can you tell us some of the experiences you did have on the job?

LAURIE HANAN: For eighteen years I worked at the Honolulu Airport facility as a distribution clerk. That means I worked inside the building sorting letters, magazines, and parcels. Tempers flared from time to time. Supervisors were occasionally threatened with bodily harm. But as far as I know, nobody ever brought a gun to work. There was one stabbing while I worked there, but that was a lover's quarrel. Just like in my first book, Almost Paradise, there was said to be a ghost or two residing in the building. There were a few eerie occurrences. For the most part, the situations Louise encounters in my books are made up.

GAIL: One of my favorite subjects is food, an eclectic variation of foods such as chicken katsu, deep-fried lake perch, sashimi, and pie. What are some of the Hawaiian favorites that receive mention in Another Day in Paradise and why do they have enough importance in your life to warrant mention in the novel?

LAURIE HANAN: Like myself, Louise is an animal lover and therefore a vegetarian. This means her enjoyment of local foods is somewhat limited, as mine is. There is less focus on food in the third book in the series. She does have a lychee and li hing flavored shave ice at the polo field. This is one of my favorite indulgences. For lunch she stops to pick up sushi one time and vegetable manapua another time.

GAIL: Religious tolerance is a vital foundation of our “One nation under God.” Recently, I read a newspaper article stressing the idea that we do not have to believe the teachings of another’s faith to respect each other’s faith. Ideology is often an evolution of ideas that even President Obama and Governor Romney exhibit in their lives. In your novels, the protagonist reflects this tolerance. Were your personal ideas about religious tolerance formed early, or were they influenced by life experiences such as travel?

LAURIE HANAN: I grew up in Hawaii and the Mariana Islands. Especially here in Hawaii, we are surrounded by a wonderful smorgasbord of cultures and religions. All my life I've been exposed to people from all religious backgrounds. Only as an adult, though, I have opened my mind to the possibility that there is something to be learned from all religions. Maybe some of that understanding has come through my travels, but much of it I've discovered right here at home. While I practice a conservative form of the Jewish faith, I have come to believe that religion is merely man's attempt to explain the unexplainable, to grasp the untouchable. Religion is the proverbial finger pointing to the moon. Too many people, sadly, have mistaken the finger for the moon. I believe Truth resonates with our souls, if we would only pay attention. Truth can come to us from many sources. Each of us would do well to embrace Truth when we come across it, regardless of the source of that Truth. I intentionally created my protagonist, Louise, as someone who grew up with no religious background, and had little use for religion. In the first book, Almost Paradise, religion doesn't enter her thoughts. In the second book, How Far is Heaven?, Louise is forced to confront her Jewish heritage for the first time at her father's funeral. She discovers she was baptized in the Catholic church as an infant. She also gets to know Freddy, who is a Jew-Bu, a follower of both the Jewish and Buddhist faiths. It isn't until the third book,Another Day in Paradise, that Louise begins to explore her own religious path. I hope many readers will relate to Louise's search for Truth, and her quest to understand herself.
Look for Laurie Hanan on the Internet at these sites:


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dr. Gene Parola, Author and Docent

Sisters in Crime/Hawaii spotlight today features Gene Parola. He is a retired Professor of cultural history at Indiana University and University of Michigan-Flint; the Ministry of Defense Saudi Arabia and Koc University in Istanbul, Turkey. Gene lives in Hawaii and is a member of our writers’ group in Honolulu. He is the author of several books, including Lehua, his newest novel which he will discuss today.

Gene is also a docent at Manoa Heritage Center in Manoa. On February 9, 2013, he gave a tour of the Center grounds and the Hawaiian heiau, an historic and sacred site, that has been preserved behind the main house.

Dr. Gene Parola sharing information about
the heiau and history of Manoa Heritage Center

GAIL: Thank you for joining us today, Gene, for this interview. Your novel, Lehua, is a fascinating story set in Hawaii. Can you please share with us the background story and the responsibility your protagonist Lehua assumes in her life?
GENE PAROLA: The Lehua of the title is a young ali’i wahine coming of age just when her Queen destroys the thousand year old Hawaiian religion. This happens six months before the arrival of the first Calvinist missionaries, but is in response to powerful ali’i who have already converted to Christianity.
As in many ancient cultures, its history, mores, and social systems are bound up with its religious values and practices.
The ali’i, knowing that they must stay on the‘right’ side of the emerging new monarchy, conform quite readily. The kahuna class, the most threatened in the new order, immediately find shelter in the retinue of powerful chiefs who have already converted or intend to.
In Lehua’s case, she is conflicted because she sees some of the advantages of the changes to result from this cultural shift. At the same time, she is intelligent enough--and insightful enough, to recognize the agonizing negative effects on the behavior of the ignorant common people.
Lehua takes as her kuleana (responsibility) the guiding of the maka’ainana (commoners) down the narrow path between pono (righteousness) and the preachers. That is, maintaining the values of the old system while incorporating the new. It will be a tough job, as we see in book two, because the ‘long necks’ are bent on destroying every aspect of the ‘old’savagery.
Because Lehua is ali’i, it is her unspoken, unquestioned duty to lead her people. It is especially important now, when large numbers of ali’i are abandoning that responsibility as their own sacred reason-to-be is questioned.
GAIL: The Mystery/Suspense genre is the focus of Sisters in Crime/Hawaii. What unique twist makes your novel stand out?
GENE PAROLA: In a coming of age novel, as in a Mystery/Suspense novel, the compelling question is what will happen to the character, and can and how will she survive. Lehua’s task is a fictious one, but set against the historic failure of the ali’i to successfully resist the onslaught of both Christianity and external commercial forces that would result--80 years later--in the take over of Hawai’i by the U.S.
Historically there were a few attempts to confront the twelve shiploads of missionaries that arrived in successive waves. The first, and most well known, was Chief Kekuaokalani’s failed military attempt a short time after the ‘lifting of the kapu’ in 1819. All the rest were subrosa and were finally submerged in the duality of day-time Christianity and night time nativism. These latter efforts were finally defeated by the death of a generation and the unrelenting, pressure of the invaders. Except in the smallest and remotest enclaves.
In book two we see Lehua lay the ground work for one of those clandestine movements as she builds confidence among the chiefs and kahuna on Molokai. All the while, raising children on an early ranch, assimilating her paniolo husband’s half-Chinese culture, and conflicted as she is drawn inexonerably back into the questionable practices of the old religion that she thought she had turned her back on.
GAIL: How does your main character’s profession draw her into suspenseful situations?
GENE PAROLA: In Lehua’s case it is the constant confrontations with other members of her ohana (particularly her brother, whom she loves dearly), who are often as conflicted as she, but who yield gradually to her much larger world picture and the teaching of many religions, which she is introduced to by her Chinese in-laws.
GAIL: Is this book part of a series, and are you working on a sequel?
GENE PAROLA: Yes. This is the first of a trilogy that will follow Lehua as she confronts all of the outside influences that impact Hawai’i until she dies at the age of 80 as a kokua on the Hansons Disease Settlement on Molokai.
GAIL: You have whet our appetites for the novel, Lehua, and given us good reason to read the full story. This next isn’t so much a question, more an “if/then” scenario: If Paris is not an option, then where would you most like to spend your time writing and why?
GENE PAROLA: I seem to be able to work anywhere where the spirit moves me. Recently on vacation I sketched out a new mystery and wrote the first chapter in longhand while my wife and grand daughtertransposed sheet music into guitar chords.
However, there is one place I’d like to try out. It’s in China near one of the tourist entrances to the Great Wall. A sidewalk sign with an arrow up hill announces accommodations at the End of the Universe inn.
Where readers can follow GENE PAROLA:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Interview with Authors Rosemary & Larry Mild

Please welcome Rosemary and Larry Mild, today's guests and fellow members of the Hawaii Chapter of Sisters in Crime. Rosemary and Larry spend their winter months in Hawaii, writing, visiting, and traveling around the Islands. They continue to write at their home on the mainland, where they teach mystery writing at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Maryland.

Check information below for access to Rosemary and Larry's latest novel, Death Goes Postal (Dan and Rivka Sherman Mysteries).

On Wednesday, January 16, 2013 Rosemary and Larry will give a slide lecture entitled "Creating Characters Readers Love and Hate" for members and guests of SinC/Hawaii.

Gail: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview, Rosemary and Larry. In the synopsis for one of your novels, you describe retired detective Paco LeSoto and his wife Molly as “an endearing pair of sleuths.” As co-authors of these mysteries, do you each write a certain number of chapters, collaborate on the entire manuscript, or balance the writing, editing, and publishing through another method?

Rosemary: First, thank you, Gail, for this blog invitation. Larry says he's more devious than I am, so he conjures up our plots and writes the first draft. I come behind him, chapter by chapter, cutting, tossing, and dressing the narrative salad. I polish the prose, flesh out the characters, sharpen the dialogue. If a romance seems too sappy, I’ll make the girl more feisty to give her scenes more conflict. Of course, that tactic has consequences; it can actually affect the plotline. Then . . . with sleeves rolled up, we negotiate. Here’s our typical scenario.

Larry: You cut that whole paragraph! It’s cruel—operating without anesthesia.

R: Just a little judicious pruning, dear. (That’s an expression I learned as an assistant editor at Harper’s.)

Larry: But it took me hours to create those metaphors.

R: It's too much already. Less is more.

Larry: Talk about overdoing. Your description of the grocery clerk goes on for a whole page.

R: But his backstory really gives him depth.

Larry: He’s a pass-through, not a major character.

R: You’re squashing my creativity.

Larry: You’re trimming my subordinate clauses.

R: You’re acting like a spoiled brat.

Larry: I can’t stand to hear a woman cry.

R: Our jousting is usually short-lived. I sigh and submit. Larry licks his wounds, and we resign ourselves to the compromises required. Maalox helps, too. Larry groans when I even edit a one-paragraph business letter he’s written. Well, you know how it is. Stephen King said, “To write is human. To edit is divine.” Harlan Coben said it in a more earthy way. “If somebody tells me he doesn’t rewrite, I don’t want to party with him.”

Larry: The great advantage to co-authoring is that you’re never working in a vacuum. Reading aloud toeach other slows down the word rate to a point where the minutiae, typos, and errors literally jump out at us. It’s so necessary to hear what we wrote— what it sounds like. We might discover Clara walking into the room in a sequined gown and leaving in cut-off jeans. It’s during the reading process that our individual writing styles blend into a single seamless product.

Gail: While Paco does the heavy lifting involved in sleuthing, Molly often delivers comic relief through a delightful amalgam of misused words. Can you give an example of the malapropisms that Molly sprinkles throughout the novels? What inspired you to develop this characteristic?

R: Molly says: “I have to take my calcium so I don’t get osteoferocious.” Or she accuses a villain of“defecation of character.” She’s based on a real person: my psychoanalyst father’s fabulous housekeeper/gourmet cook. She never went past the tenth grade, but she was smart. He was so fascinated by the way she skewed the English language that he made a secret list of what we call “Mollyprops.” After my father passed away, we found his list in his desk drawer and decided Molly would be a great character for a mystery. She was also nosy and observant, which made her a perfect sidekick for Paco.

Gail: Each of the titles for your Paco and Molly Murder Mysteries offers an interesting play on words, something Molly might say. Do you choose the titles of your novels as a team? Which comes first, the manuscript’s plot line or the title?

R: Larry creates the plots, then makes up the titles. They contain food because Molly is a gourmet cook. But they’re also puns because Larry is an incurable punster! The night we met, on a blind date, he slipped a pun or two into our dinner conversation. I retorted: “Do you pun in your sleep?” "Sure,”he said. “I was born in the Year of the Pun. That’s the thirteenth sign of the Zaniac.” I still laugh. I’m pretty sure our marriage depends on it.

Gail: Your stand-alone novel, Cry Ohana: Adventure and Suspense in Hawaii, is the story of a local family, a Hawaiian ohana, torn apart by the reckless act of one of its members. The danger described in this novel is darker and highly personal. Was your research for this story more extensive than for the Paco and Molly novels? Did you conduct your research on each of the Islands mentioned?

R: We’ve spent our winters in Hawaii for eighteen years, so we’ve been soaking up the “research”all that time. Also, I have pounds of newspaper clippings and other documentation from every island and locale, so the book is rich with authentic local color and cultures. Last year we attended Left Coast Crime in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a convention for mystery writers and fans. We were on a panel discussion and I talked about our killer in Cry Ohana. He uses his skills as a lover to get women to help him in his illegal business deals. A man in the audience asked Larry: “Who does the research for your sex scenes?” And Larry said: “I do not farm that out!” The author sitting next to Larry, Penny Warner, leaned over to him and said in a sultry voice, “What’s your room number?” She brought down the house!

Gail: “They” say that all good writers are voracious readers. What keeps you entertained or active when you are taking a break from reading and writing?

Rosemary: We walk at Magic Island several days a week. We attend the Hawaii Opera Theatre season with friends, plus the Metropolitan Opera simulcasts at Dole movie theater. We’re involved in our synagogues both here and at home in Maryland. We’re Washington Redskins fans (always hoping for a better season), and watch most NFL games, which begin at 8 a.m. on Sundays here. In Boston Scream Pie,Paco's two macaws squawk "Touchdown" and "Ten-yard penalty." But what is most precious to us in Honolulu is our family here: our daughter, Chinese-American son-in-law; and two granddaughters. They’re the reason we chose Honolulu as our second home.

I also write nonfiction. I just published my second memoir, Miriam's World—and Mine, about our daughter Miriam Wolfe, whom we lost on Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. It deals with love, loss, and political betrayal, and I think of it as moving from grief to grace: one mother’s guide to getting there.

All our books are available on, Kindle and Nook.
You can email us at if you’d like a personally autographed, discount copy.
Our website is