For the first meeting of the new Rotary year, we welcome local author Margaret Mizushima.  After her introduction by Betty Brown, RCFC will hear about the Timber Creek K-9 Mystery series launched in December, 2015, and published internationally.  The first episode, KILLING TRAIL, has been followed, to date, by another four novels, all featuring Deputy Mattie Cobb, her K-9 partner Robo, and veterinarian Cole Walker.

Mizushima reports that there are three more novels under contract and on the way in this award winning series.  New York based Crooked Lane Books will have published all eight of the books by 2023.

The setting is Timber Creek, a fictional town in the Colorado Rockies but inspired by the author’s small hometown in the San Luis Valley.  When Timber Creek is threatened by drug trafficking, the local merchants and ranchers raise funds to purchase a narcotics detection dog for the county sheriff’s office.  Mattie, who’d been with the force for seven years and was once a high school track champion, earns the opportunity to be the dog’s handler by beating her colleagues in a cross-country footrace, thus gaining her German shepherd partner.  A survivor of childhood abuse, her new partner shows her a way to trust and opens up a new world of friendship among her peers, including the newly divorced veterinarian and the two daughters he’s learning to raise on his own.

Our speaker, Margaret Mizushima, is active within the writing community, and now serves as president for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America.  She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education: Speech Pathology, from UNC, and a Master’s Degree from CSU.  She practiced as a speech pathologist at Poudre Valley Hospital and then in Community Rehabilitation Services and, her own Medicare/Medicaid certified rehab program before retiring to study fiction writing.  Margaret lives in northern Colorado on a small ranch with her veterinarian husband where they raised two daughters and a multitude of animals.