Stacy Woodson writes romantic suspense and crime fiction. She is a U.S. Army veteran and memories of her time in the military are often a source of inspiration for her stories. A California native, who now lives in the DC area, she misses good Mexican food.

Stacy made her crime fiction debut with “Duty, Honor, Hammett” in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine’s Department of First Stories and won the 2018 Readers Award. Her story, “Armadillo by Morning,” was a shortlisted finalist for the Bill Crider Prize for Short Fiction in 2019, and “The Hail Mary Play” was featured on the cover of Mystery Weekly Magazine’s July 2019 issue. She is a Derringer and Daphne du Maurier award winner.

Currently, she is a Publishers Weekly contributor and a member of The Authors Guild of America, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, and the Short Mystery Fiction Society. When she’s not writing, she works as background talent for movies and television. Past projects include Showtime’s Homeland, Amazon’s Jack Ryan, AMC’s The Walking Dead: World Beyond, and Wonder Woman 1984. She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild.

She is represented by John Talbot of the Talbot Fortune Agency.

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New Story!

“Two Tamales, One Tokarev and a Lifetime of Broken Promises”

Now Available from Down and Out Books

A minister, a taco truck, and a gun, what could possibly go wrong?

Vivian, an ex-con turned prison minister, discovers her brother, Tommy, is in debt to the Chicago Outfit. And they’re calling the note—20 grand plus the juice. If Tommy doesn’t come up with the money in 72 hours, he will be a permanent resident of Lake Michigan.

As kids, she and her brother grew up on the streets and lived by a set of rules: #1 no drugs, #2 no turning tricks, #3 no tangling with the mob. And they’d have each other’s back—always.

Vivian can’t abandon her brother, despite the risk to her church and the new life she’s built for herself.

So, she comes up with a plan—a way to turn the tables on the Outfit and save her brother. An Eastside bookie, a taco truck, and a Russian-made pistol are key. But even she knows the plan is a long shot. There was a reason why she made rule #3. When it comes to the mob, someone always pays a price.

“Buckle up for a gritty trip through Chicago’s seedy underbelly! Come along as Viv, an ex-con minister, struggles to provide salvation for her brother with the help of the Good Book—and a Tokarev. Stacy Woodson’s snappy voice sparkles in this tense tale of family loyalty. A winner!”
—Alan Orloff, ITW Thriller- & Derringer-award winning writer

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Short Stories

“Last Rites”

Black Cat Mystery Magazine, Issue #9

Confined to his bed at a military hospital, a brigade commander is desperate to figure out if his men are dying from combat related-injuries or if they are victims of a serial killer.

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“The Crust of the Matter”

Mini Mysteries, Bauer Media Group, April 2021

When a bakery owner and fellow Pottsville Puzzler is robbed, Mabel must use her puzzle solving skills to identify the thief and locate a binder filled with stolen recipes in this cozy Solve-it-yourself mystery. First published in Woman’s World in 2020.

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“The Rose”

Jukes and Tonks, Down and Out Books, April 2021

Destroying a honky-tonk should have been just another ordinary job. The place and the patrons, however, are anything but ordinary, and a fixer has a crisis of conscience—a professional liability he can’t afford.

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“Killer Sushi”

Mickey Finn: 21st Century Noir, Down and Out Books, December 2020

Two heartbroken soldiers go to their favorite sushi joint to drown in their sorrows and get more than they bargained for in this twisted, culinary tale.

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“Fleece Navidad”

Mystery Weekly Magazine, December 2020

When a float at Pottsville’s annual Christmas parade is vandalized, it’s up to you and Mabel to identify the culprit and the motives behind this holiday crashing crime.

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Chesapeake Crimes: Invitation to Murder, Wildside Press, 2020

Wiseguy turned rat, Mickey “Two Guns” Baldino, moves into a Florida retirement home and finds himself face-to-face with the hitman he’s spent his life trying to avoid.

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“Butter Late Than Never”

Woman’s World, On Sale: September 17-23, 2020

A high school homecoming prank nearly takes the cake until Mabel comes to the rescue. See if you can follow the clues and figure out what gave it away.

“Mary Poppins Didn’t Have Tattoos”

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Jul/Aug 2020

A simple babysitting gig turns deadly when Marcella and her young niece face off with a killer.

“Metal Without A Cause”

Woman’s World, On Sale: July 16-22, 2020

Has Prospect Pete finally located lost British treasure in Pottsville’s Park? You and Mabel must decide.

“Game of Gnomes”

Woman’s World, On Sale: May 28-June 3, 2020

During Pottsville’s pride of ownership competition, a contestant’s yard is sabotaged. Mabel must use her puzzle solving skills to identify the culprit in this cozy Solve-it-yourself mystery.


The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchell, Untreed Reads, 2020

A disillusioned soldier returns to the States to bury two fallen comrades and must choose between honor and loyalty.

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“The Crust of the Matter”

Woman’s World, On Sale: January 9-15, 2020

When a bakery owner and fellow Pottsville Puzzler is robbed, Mabel must use her puzzle solving skills to identify the thief and locate a binder filled with stolen recipes in this cozy Solve-it-yourself mystery.

“The Retirement Plan”

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Sep/Oct 2019

An army veteran faces off with a widowed winemaker in a heist that turns deadly.

“The Hail Mary Play”

Mystery Weekly Magazine, July 2019

In a last-ditch effort to avoid getting expelled from military school, a cadet comes up with a plan—something that’s guaranteed to impress the school’s superintendent. Unfortunately, it involves kidnapping and a goat.

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“The Secret Blend”

Malice Domestic 14: Mystery Most Edible, Wildside Press, 2019

Jilly’s declining restaurant is being sabotaged by a competitor—their recent move, stealing her Valentine’s Day menu and advertising it as their own. It’s up to Jilly to stop the saboteur and deliver a new, transformative menu by Valentine’s Day in order to save her family’s business and the jobs of the people who work for her.

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“The Final Course”

Flash Bang Mysteries, Spring 2019

Sibling rivalry takes a dark turn in this flash fiction piece about a holiday dinner that goes bad.

“Duty, Honor, Hammett”

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Nov/Dec 2018

A soldier and tomb guard at Arlington National Cemetery must choose between protecting his family’s legacy and protecting the secret buried in Dashiell Hammett’s grave.

Upcoming Short Fiction

“The Final Fall”

Mickey Finn: 21st Century Noir Vol 2, Down and Out Books, 2021

Emotions run high when a soldier is forced to team up with his wife’s lover to win a parachute competition.

“Hometown Headlines”

Mickey Finn: 21st Century Noir Vol 3, Down and Out Books, 2022

An actor will go to any lengths to get the role of a lifetime.

“The Midnight Show”

Chesapeake Crimes: Magic is Murder, Wildside Press, 2022

A soldier returns from Afghanistan to seek forgiveness from his dying father and is prepared to go to any lengths to get it, even stealing priceless movie memorabilia. Will the magic of the movies be enough to repair their broken relationship?

“Desperate Letters”

Mystery Weekly Magazine, TBP

When her friend and fellow Pottsville Puzzler goes missing, Mabel must use her puzzle solving skills to locate Stan and identify a mafia hitman in this cozy You-solve-it mystery.


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News & Events

May 2021

Sisters In Crime: To Make a Long Story Short with the Alexandria Library
Watch here

“River” wins 2021 Derringer award
Read more

The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchell nominated for the Anthony award for best anthology
Read more

April 2021

“Mary Poppins Didn’t Have Tattoos” and “River” named finalists for the 2021 Derringer award
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“Mary Poppins Didn’t Have Tattoos” ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Quarterfinalist
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December 2020

Sisters in Crime Chessie Chapter’s second Mystery Author Extravaganza held virtually at the Reston Regional Library which recaps my stories for 2020.
Read more

November 2020

Washington Independent Review of Books includes Mickey Finn 21st Century Noir in their list of Holiday Crime Fiction Reads.
Read more

October 2020

Malice Domestic 14: Mystery Most Edible wins the Anthony award for best anthology.
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June 2020

Malice Domestic 14: Mystery Most Edible, which includes “The Secret Blend,” is nominated for an Anthony Award.
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May 2020

Noir-At-The-Bar and “The Final Course.”
Watch here

May 2020

BOLO Books Review highlights “The River” from The Beat of Black Wings.
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April 2020

“The Retirement Plan” named Top 10 finalist for the 2019 EQMM Readers Award.
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October 2019

“Armadillo by Morning,” Short-Listed Finalist for the Bill Crider Prize.
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August 2019

BOLO Books Review: Noir-At-The-Bar and “The Final Course.”
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May 2019

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine May podcast features, “Duty, Honor, Hammett.”
Listen here

April 2019

“Duty, Honor, Hammett” wins the 2018 EQMM Readers Award.
Read more

November 2018

Interview with DIY MFA founder and instigator, Gabriela Pereira.
Listen here

September 2017

Honored to be interviewed by the amazing D.A. Bartley at Miss Demeanors. We talked about writing, life, and lessons learned along the way.
Read more

View Previous Events


Being Selective About Short Stories
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We’re fortunate to be going through a time when short stories are in demand. The opportunities for publication online as well as in magazines and anthologies are excellent.
Read the article

Crime Fiction Authors Band Together to Increase Their Marketing Footprint
Collective blogs, short story anthologies, and shared public events are just some ways crime fiction writers are banding together to increase their reach and marketing footprint. In this article I explain why this trend is not only great for writers, but also great for readers.
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Duty, Honor, Hammett—First Two Pages
Art Taylor Writer
I break down the first two pages of “Duty, Honor, Hammett” and the deliberate choices I made in the opening.
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Military Veterans in Crime Fiction
Something is Going to Happen
At Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, I talk about how post 9/11 veteran characters have not been fully explored in crime fiction.
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Cozy Mysteries and the Holidays
Why do I love cozy mysteries, especially during the holidays? Here, I discuss what makes a mystery “cozy” and why I believe they are so popular.
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Stay Connected to the Crime Fiction Community Without Attending a Conference
Crime fiction conferences are expensive and time consuming. But there are other ways to be part of the crime fiction community. Find out how.
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Writing Resources for Military Veterans
Are you a military veteran and an aspiring writer? There are writing resources out there for you. Learn more.
Read the article

The Novel Writing Intensive: Learning from Two Master Storytellers
I had the rare opportunity to attend a Novel Writing Intensive taught by bestselling authors Steven James and Robert Dugoni. Check out some of the insights I learned.
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Seven Lessons I Learned from Lisa Gardner at Crime Bake
Check out the amazing lessons I learned from New York Times best-selling author Lisa Gardner at the New England Crime Bake.
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Seven Reasons to Write a Short Story
Some writers love the short story format, while others hate the creative confines of a restricted word count. Here is my take.
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The Pros and Cons of Joining a Writing Organization
Are writer organizations a distraction or a necessity? Here’s one perspective.
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My Fantastic Experience at Malice Domestic 2017
Have you considered attending a fan convention? Check out Malice Domestic.
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Five Writing Lessons from Thriller Master David Morrell
I had an opportunity to take a master class from thriller icon David Morrell. He’s not only a gifted writer, but a gifted teacher. Here are just a few of the amazing lessons I learned.
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When is a Story a Romantic Suspense?
Do you like romance with your suspense or suspense with your romance? In this article I dissect the popular subgenre.
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Mystery, Thriller, or Suspense: Does the Label Matter?
When you search for books to read, do genre labels drive your choices? Here, I examine three popular categories.
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The Five C’s of the Washington Romance Writers’ Retreat
The Washington Romance Writers Retreat is small, affordable and packs a big punch.
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#5OnFri: Five Takeaways from SleuthFest
My experience at the Mystery Writers of America Florida chapter’s annual conference.
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