Book Shelf Writers logo

Spotlighting Another Local Author, Sue McGinty

From the BookShelf Writers

The BookShelf Writers consist of four Estero Bay women who have been writing and critiquing together for over five years. For more samples of their work, please visit www.the

Each issue, this column will feature one of the BookShelf Writers: Debbie Black, Catherine “Kiki” Kornreich, Judy Salamacha and Susan Vasquez.

April 23, 2021

Local mystery author Sue McGinty’s books can be found at Coalesce Book Store in Morro Bay, Volumes of Pleasure Book Shoppe in Los Osos, and Amazon.

Channeling Bella Kowalski comes naturally for mystery author, Sue McGinty. She shows up at book-signings, workshops and writer’s conferences disguised as a nun. Kowalski, the protagonist in her 5-book mystery series is a former nun. When she launched the first book in 2008, McGinty most likely heeded newbie-writer-advice, “Write what you know.” And although she was never a nun, she did time growing up in Catholic schools in the Detroit, Michigan area before serving a lifetime career as a technical writer for McGraw-Hill in Los Angeles. She retired to Los Osos.

“I like to walk in this gorgeous area and think how lucky I am to live on the Central Coast,” the author said.

It is no surprise McGinty titled and developed community specific SLO County settings for four of the Bella Kowalski Mystery series: “Murder in Los Lobos,” “Murder in Mariposa Bay,” “Murder at Cayamaca Beach” and “Murder at Smuggler’s Cove.” “Murder in a Safe Haven” transported Bella back to Detroit where in real time McGinty traveled to settle her mother’s estate. Of course, Bella found another mystery to solve at a familiar nunnery.

Linna Thomas, owner of Coalesce Book Store and Wedding Chapel, has always enjoyed the relationship with McGinty. “We have a locals’ section and encourage local writers to bring in their books for us to help sell,” she said. Regarding McGinty, she added, “Readers will find Sue’s books there with many other local writers, but we thought Sue’s work would sell equally as well in our new fiction section. Her books have a certain lure about them and sell themselves to locals and strangers. On a personal basis, Coalesce has published a few books and when I needed some editing help with an anthology on grief, Sue was instantly helpful. I like her so much and pleased to recommended her and her work for everyone to read.”

McGinty has currently taken a break from her Bella series. Her latest book published in 2019 is “The Sojourner Chronicles,” a coming of age novel that takes place in Detroit in 1943 during World War II. “I worked on this book for over ten years. I’m very interested in the World War II. It is an adult book although the protagonist is a teenager.”

Her WIP (work in progress) is another mystery, but more historically researched. It takes place in Nevada during the Cold War in 1963. Watch for it – “Murder at Area 51.”

McGinty is an active member of the Central Coast Chapter of Sisters in Crime and SLO Nightwriters. For fun, she said, “I read other people’s novels. I love P.D. James and the Michael Connelly books, especially Bosch.”

Sue McGinty’s books are available at Coalesce Book Store in Morro Bay, Volumes of Pleasure Book Shoppe in Los Osos, and Amazon.
Judy Salamacha is a member of The BookShelf Writers. To see more of her work, visit

You May Also Like…

Here I Come!

Here I Come!

By Catherine “Kiki” Kornreich The oft admonished “don’t wait for illness, to value wellness” hits us all at some...

Walking with Vultures

Walking with Vultures

By Susan Vasquez Vulture flies above Morro Strand State Beach When I was teaching elementary school, I would often ask...

Spring is in the Air

Spring is in the Air

A young peregrine falcon surveys her domain above the Pacific. Photo by Staci Thompson.  By Dean Thompson A young...