SISTERS IN CRIME MISSION: We promote the professional development and advancement of women crime writers for equality in the industry.

If you love mystery fiction as much as we do, join us. Readers and writers make up our Orange County, California, chapter.  We meet on the fourth Sunday of every month (except for December) to learn about, and discuss, all things crime fiction. 

On Sunday, October 24, 3 p.m. PT

3:00 p.m. Pat Broeske leads the Readers’ Forum: “Conjuring Up a Mystery: Paranormal Elements in Fiction”Pat H. Broeske

A native Southern Californian, Pat H. Broeske is an Orange County-based journalist-author-TV producer who has written extensively about Hollywood, crime and popular culture. A lifelong mystery buff, she is on the board of Orange County Sisters in Crime, and is a member of Mystery Writers of America. A reviewer of new crime fiction for Mystery Scene magazine, her own short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

4:00 p.m. Chris Offutt and Willy Vlautin join us for a lively conversation about writing mystery fiction and fiction with crime.

Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, Willy Vlautin is the author of six novels and is the founder of the bands Richmond Fontaine and The Delines. Vlautin started writing stories and songs at the age of eleven after receiving his first guitar. Inspired by songwriters and novelists like Paul Kelly, Willie Nelson, Tom Waits, William Kennedy, Barry Gifford, and John Steinbeck, Vlautin works diligently to tell working class stories in his novels and songs. Vlautin has been the recipient of three Oregon Book Awards, The Nevada Silver Pen Award, and was inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame and the Oregon Music Hall of Fame. He was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and was shortlisted for the Impac Award (International Dublin Literary Award). Two of his novels, The Motel Life and Lean on Pete, have been adapted as films. His novels have been translated into eleven languages. Vlautin teaches at Pacific University’s MFA in Writing program. Vlautin lives near Portland, Oregon with his wife, dog, cats, and horses.

Chris Offutt is the author of the short-story collections Kentucky Straight and Out of the Woods, the novel The Good Brother, and three memoirs: The Same River Twice, No Heroes, and My Father, the Pornographer. His work has appeared in Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays, among many other places. He has written screenplays for Weeds, True Blood, and Treme, and has received fellowships from the Lannan and Guggenheim foundations.

Photo: Travis Barrett

Moderator Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, president of the Orange County chapter of Sisters in Crime, is the editor of Palm Springs Noir, just out from Akashic Books, which she also contributed a story to. Her stories and essays are in Orange County Noir (Akashic), USA Noir: Best of the Akashic Noir Series), Rock and a Hard Place, Dark City Crime Mystery Magazine, and  Inlandia. Her articles appear in the Authors Guild Bulletin, Los Angeles Times, Poets and Writers, and The Writer magazine. She taught at the UC-Irvine Extension, where she received a Distinguished Instructors award, and is professor of creative writing at Saddleback College’s Emeritus Institute. Her first book, Pen on Fire (Harcourt, re-released by Mars Street Press), was a Los Angeles Timesbestseller. She hosts Writers on Writing. More at

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Our Sunday meetings are always free to the public, but donations are always welcome. Any amount helps.

If you have questions that are not answered on this website, please contact us at

We welcome sisters and misters with an interest in the mystery genre, including authors pursuing a career in crime and mystery writing, booksellers, publishers, librarians, editors, agents, and fans.

Membership Dues and Forms 

You must join the National organization to be eligible for membership in the Orange County chapter.

National dues are $40 per year, ACTIVE* and $50 per year, PROFESSIONAL**

To join national Sisters in Crime, please visit the national Sisters in Crime Website:

Orange County dues are $25 per year.

To join Sisters in Crime Orange County, please print send the completed Orange County Sisters in Crime form on our membership page and a check for $25 payable to Sisters in Crime, O.C. or join online by filling out the following form and pay using PayPal.


Meeting place (when we can again meet in person):

Irvine Ranch Water District*
15500 Sand Canyon Ave.
Irvine, CA 92618-3102

The usual meeting location is in the Community Room, on the far left side of the parking lot when you enter the complex from Sand Canyon Avenue.

Map for Irvine Ranch Water District

*Disclaimer: Irvine Ranch Water District neither supports nor endorses the cause nor activities of organizations which use the District’s meeting rooms that are made available as a public service

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