Twist Phelan



Twist received her bachelor and law degrees from Stanford University, completing her undergraduate studies in two years. Success as a plaintiff’s trial lawyer enabled her to retire in her early thirties. Since then, Twist has been a world traveler and endurance athlete. During the past decade she has competed in Ironman triathlons, team-roped in the American West, rock-climbed in the Canadian Arctic, paddled outrigger canoe in Australia, and bicycled from the Pacific to the Atlantic Coast in less than four weeks. A different sport figures into each of Twist's legal-themed mysteries, which are set in the fictitious Arizona town of Pinnacle Peak.

Selected Bibliography

The Pinnacle Peak Mystery Series:

Heir Apparent. Sands Publishing, 2002
Family Claims. Poisoned Pen Press, 2004
Spurred Ambition
. Poisoned Pen Press, 2006
Heir Apparent (2nd edition). Poisoned Pen Press, 2007
False Fortune. Poisoned Pen Press, 2007


Short Stories:

"For the Good of the Game" in The Mystery Review (Vol 4, No 4); Red Herring Magazine (Vol 3, No 1)
"A Trader's Lot" in Wall Street Noir, Akashic Press (2007)
"Crime Wave" in CrimeSpree Magazine (July/August 2007)
"Floored" in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine (June, 2008)
"Strange Bedfellows" in Politics Noir, Verso Press (2008)

“The Peahen” in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine (September/October, 2008)

“A Stab in the Heart” in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine (February, 2009)

“Time Will Tell” in Mystery Writers of America Presents The Prosecution Rests (2009)

“Talk to Me” in American Crime Writer’s League presents America Past, America Present (2009)


"Cowboy Up" in Mystery Scene Magazine (No 77, 2002)
"'Queen of the Road" in Mystery Scene Magazine (No 83, 2004)
"The Writer's Life...From the Other Side of the Breakfast Table" in Mystery Scene Magazine (No 91, 2005)
"Climb Every Mountain...and Building, Too" in Mystery Scene Magazine (No 93, 2006)
"Paddle Up!” in Mystery Scene Magazine (No 101, 2007)


"Twist Phelan on Bootlegger's Daughter by Margaret Maron" in Mystery Muses: 100 Classics that Inspire Today's Mystery Writers, Crum Creek Press (2006)


Family Claims,
Winner, Mystery Category, Colorado Gold Writing Contest
Family Claims, Nominee, Calavera Award (Best Regional Mystery), Left Coast Crime
Spurred Ambition, February 2006 Book Sense Notable Pick, American Booksellers Association
False Fortune, Nominee, Rocky Award (Best Regional Mystery), Left Coast Crime
“A Trader’s Lot,” Nominee, Derringer Award (Best Story, 4001-8000 words), Short Mystery Fiction Society


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