| Sep 27, 2007


Feature Article - September 27, 2007 Feature Article - September 27, 2007

Primed for Crime: Killer Ladies Coming to Sharbot Lakeby Jeff Green

Barbara Fradkin and Mary Jane Maffini seem innocent enough, but looks can be deceiving. The two Ottawa writers are members of the Ladies Killing Circle, six women who devote much of their working life figuring out how to kill people off in entertaining ways.

The Ladies Killing Circle was actually created in 1995. An offshoot of a group called Capital Crime Writers, the six killing ladies began critiquing each other’s work and then published an anthology called “The Ladies Killing Circle.”

Since then they have all gone on to establishe their own careers, and they continue to send manuscripts to each other and work together on anthologies of short fiction. Mary Jane Maffini is a charter member of the group, and she has gone on to become a prolific mystery writer.

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She started her working career as a librarian, but since introducing the sleuth Camilla MacPhee 1999, Mary Jane has published 8 books: five Camilla MacPhee mysteries, 2 in the Fiona Silk series, and she has just published the first in the Charlotte Adams series, Organize Your Corpses. If that’s not enough, she has also published short stories in various magazines and anthologies in that time. Several of her books have been short-listed for major crime writing awards, and she was the recipient of the Derrik Murdoch award last year.

Barbara Fradkin joined the Ladies Killing Circle last year. She still works part-time as a child psychologist, but spends much of her time writing, and since 2000 she has published 6 novels featuring the fictional veteran Ottawa police inspector, Michael Green. The fourth and fifth recent Inspector Green mysteries, Fifth Son, and Honourable Members, received the Arthur Ellis award for best novel, and the just-released Dream Chasers, which brings Inspector Green face to face with rebellious teenaged girls and high performance athletes, has already received a rave review in the Ottawa Citizen.

Barbara Fradkin and Mary Jane Maffini share more than their membership in the Ladies Killing Circle; they both have summer cottages in Central Frontenac, Maffini on Chippego Lake and Fradkin on Sharbot Lake.

They both view their cottages as retreats, where they can get away from Ottawa to rest, and to write.

Next Wednesday October 3, Barbara and Mary Jane will bring their interest in murder and story telling to the Sharbot Lake Public Library for a special event called “Primed for Crime”. They will talk about writing, about mysteries, and will read from their latest novels.

This event is part of “The Word is Out” series of events that will be held throughout the month of October throughout the library system.

It starts at 7:30, and there will be cheese, crackers, fruits and chocolates, coffee and tea available in addition to murder and mayhem. To register in advance, call the Sharbot Lake branch during open hours, at 613-279-2583.

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