Sizzling Summer Series – August 2023

As part of our Sizzling Summer Series, the August meeting was held August 6th, hosted by us, the Sisters in Crime Los Angeles chapter, and featured Sara Paretsky as the speaker and Anne Louise Bannon as the reader.

The topic was “Readers and writers, are we an endangered species” and featured a conversation with Sara Paretsky.

This conversation, moderated by Los Angeles Chapter President Paula Bernstein, focused on four points:
– Efforts to ban books
– How the industry is fighting back
– The threat to writers from AI
– What we can do as individuals and as members of writers organizations like SinC.

Sara Paretsky revolutionized the mystery world in 1982 when she introduced V.I. Warshawski in Indemnity Only. By creating a detective with the grit and smarts to take on the mean streets, Paretsky challenged a genre in which women historically were vamps or victims. V.I. struck a chord with readers and critics; Indemnity Only was followed by twenty more V.I. novels. Her voice and her world remain vital to readers; the New York Times calls V.I., “a proper hero for these times,” adding, “to us, V.I. is perfect.”

While Paretsky’s fiction changed the narrative about women, her work also opened doors for other writers. In 1986 she created Sisters in Crime, a worldwide organization to advocate for women crime writers, which earned her Ms. Magazine’s 1987 Woman of the Year award. More accolades followed: the British Crime Writers awarded her the Cartier Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement; Blacklist won the Gold Dagger from the British Crime Writers for best novel of 2004, and she has received the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from a number of universities.

Paretsky’s work is celebrated in Pamela Beere Briggs’s documentary, Women of Mystery. Today Sara Paretsky’s books are published in 30 countries.

Anne Louise Bannon read from her book, Running Away to Boston.

Author Anne Louise Bannon’s husband says that his wife kills people for a living. Bannon does mostly write mysteries, including the Old Los Angeles Series, the Freddie and Kathy series, and the Operation Quickline series. She has worked as a freelance journalist for magazines and newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. She and her husband, Michael Holland, created the OddBallGrape.com wine education blog, and she co-wrote a book on poisons. Her latest novel is book four in the Old Los Angeles series, Death of an Heiress. She and her husband live in Southern California with an assortment of critters. Visit her website at AnneLouiseBannon.com or follow her on Facebook, (https://www.facebook.com/RobinGoodfellowEnt/).

About Running Away to Boston:
There’s always a way in…

Jannie Miller finds people. The only person she can’t find is her mother, who supposedly perished in a tornado, but is deep in hiding from Jannie’s abusive father. When Jannie’s ex-boyfriend, FBI agent Brent Mikkelson, hires Jannie to find Tanya Coleman, a young witness to a vicious murder, he unwittingly drags Jannie into the violence.

Set in Los Angeles, Jannie soon suspects that Tanya might have more to her than anyone would guess. She’s been working for Wheeling Corp., a think tank that only pretends to be benevolent. When Jannie gets too close, her mother comes out of hiding to warn Jannie off, but then accepts her daughter into the ragtag group of ethical computer hackers intent on bringing Wheeling down. It’s not just Wheeling’s unethical behavior. The group has discovered that the think tank is writing a virus that could bring the American economy to its knees.

It’s a race against time and a hired assassin, as Jannie comes to know a mother who never really abandoned her and faces a boyfriend who couldn’t be there for her.

 

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