A Tribute to Linda Palmer and Melinda Wells

An actress, a playwright, a wildlife photographer, a screenwriter, a producer, former vice president of production at Tristar Pictures, a professor at UCLA, and novelist, her cat is named ‘Magic.’

This is how the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) described the extraordinary Linda Palmer. I know her as the author of two cozy mystery series. One features Morgan Tyler, a soap opera writer living and working in New York City. She pens the second series, set in Santa Monica, California, under the pseudonym Melinda Wells; her sleuth, Della Carmichael, showcases her love of cooking both as star of a cable TV cooking show and as owner of a cooking school.

The Della Carmichael series includes lots of intriguing recipes. I haven’t tried them yet—but I will! First up will be Della’s “Gangster Chicken” Cacciatore.

I first read the Della Carmichael series and looked for more books by Melinda Wells. That’s when I found that she and Linda Palmer were one and the same and that she had passed away in 2013. And so I started on the Morgan Tyler series and have one to go.

Both series are cozy, but with a definite bite. The sleuths enjoy warm relationships with their many friends, but can be as snarky and feisty as anyone. Cat and dog owners will love the descriptions of the pets. There’s lots of derring-do and hair-raising situations. At times, Ms. Palmer makes the sleuths TSTL (Too Stupid to Live), but that’s a minor point.

If you haven’t read these short and finite series, do yourself a favor and seek them out.

For bibliographies, visit Stop! You’re Killing Me.

Read UCLA Extension’s tribute to Linda Palmer.

Read a tribute from one of Linda Palmer’s students.




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Maggie King is the author of the Hazel Rose Book Group mysteries. Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Deadly Southern Charm, Death by Cupcake, and Murder by the Glass. Maggie is a member of James River Writers, International Thriller Writers, Short Mystery Fiction Society, and is a founding member of Sisters in Crime Central Virginia, where she manages the chapter’s Instagram account. In addition, she serves Sisters in Crime on the national level as a member of the Social Media team. Maggie graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a B.S. degree in Business Administration, and has worked as a software developer, customer service supervisor, and retail sales manager. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, Glen, and cats, Morris and Olive.


A Tribute to Linda Palmer and Melinda Wells — 6 Comments

  1. Hi Maggie, I was so surprised to see this blog by you. My daughter and I were fortunate to study screenwriting With Linda at UCLA. She also has a book on screenwriting titled How to Write It, How to Sell It: Everything a Screenwriter Needs to Know About Hollywood. When she started writing cozies, we used to have girls lunch out (Linda, my daughter, and I). We also shared a love for animal rescue. Linda was a truly warm, kind, generous person and a fabulous teacher and inspiration. There aren’t enough good words. Her classes were always filled early. I do agree with TSTL on her cozies, but she was always right-on on her notes to students and other work. She truly cared about her students. We miss her terribly.

    • Nancy, I’m so glad you were able to take one (or more?) of Linda’s classes and to be friends with her. From all I’ve read about her, she was a great teacher and a warm person. Definitely someone I would have liked to know. Thanks for sharing.

      • Hi Maggie, I was fortunate to have 5 or 6 screenwriting classes with Linda. They worked for her regular students as works-in-progress classes. There were 6 or 7 of us regulars at one time. That’s not to say she was ever easy on us, but she was always encouraging and very knowledgeable. You would have enjoyed her and I’m sure it would have been reciprocated. We’ll have to get together at a conference and talk some time.

    • Let me know what you think. I hope you’re enjoying your tour. I’m sorry not to have participated more, but I’m getting ready for this trip and craziness prevails!