Isabella Maldonado is the author of the Veranda Cruz mystery/thriller series, which features a Phoenix police detective and her large, loving, sometimes interfering ethnic family. Before her foray into the world of crime fiction, Ms. Maldonado wore a gun and badge in real life. She retired as a police captain after over two decades in law enforcement and moved to the Phoenix area. During her tenure on the department, she was a patrol officer, hostage negotiator, spokesperson, and recruit instructor at the police academy. After being promoted, she worked as a patrol sergeant and lieutenant before heading the Public Information Office. Finally, as a captain, she served as Gang Council Coordinator, and oversaw a police precinct before her final assignment as the Commander of the Special Investigations and Forensics Division.
She graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico after eleven weeks of physically and mentally challenging study for 220 law enforcement executives from around the world. She is proud to have earned her “yellow brick” for completing the famous FBI obstacle course. Now her activities involve chasing around her young son and enjoying her family when she’s not handcuffed to her computer.
Ms. Maldonado is a member of the FBI National Academy Associates, International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime, where she served as president of the Metro Phoenix Chapter in 2015 and currently sits on the board.
LAW ENFORCEMENT BACKGROUND:
Isabella Maldonado retired as a police captain with over two decades of law enforcement experience. During her tenure on the department, she was a patrol officer, hostage negotiator, spokesperson and recruit instructor at the police academy. After being promoted, she worked as a patrol sergeant and lieutenant. Finally, as a captain, she commanded the Gang Council, Public Information Office and a police precinct with 150 personnel including patrol officers, detectives, specialty units, supervisors, and civilians. Her final assignment was Commander of the Special Investigations and Forensics Division, which included CSI detectives, fingerprint analysts, video and other surveillance specialists, computer forensics and the crime lab.
One of her most memorable experiences was graduating from the FBI National Academy in Quantico in 2008. It was eleven weeks of physically and mentally challenging study for law enforcement executives from around the world. She had the unique opportunity of sitting at a dining table (and running the famous FBI obstacle course) with about 220 police officials from agencies as diverse as Australia, NYPD, France, Thailand, the Texas Rangers, and even a Canadian Mountie!
After retiring as a police captain and moving to Arizona, she joined the Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter in 2010 with the goal of embarking on a second career as a crime fiction writer. She has always been a huge fan of the genre, and figured years of police work could help her write with credibility about the world of criminal investigations.
For five years, she attended workshops and writer’s conferences and also studied numerous books on the craft of writing. In order to hone her skills for a full length novel, she wrote three short stories, which were published in Desert Sleuths anthologies.
In 2015, she was elected President of the Desert Sleuths Chapter. It was an amazing year, full of excitement as the organization grew to 120 members. She had the opportunity to work with an incredibly talented and dedicated group of people on the board of directors and in the chapter.
At the annual “Write Now!” conference, she pitched her debut novel to Terri Bischoff, Acquiring Editor for Midnight Ink. She was subsequently offered a three-book contract, and her writing career began in earnest. The first book in the Veranda Cruz series, BLOOD’S ECHO, is now available at bookstores nationwide. The second, PHOENIX BURNING, will be published in March, 2018.
In July 2107, she attended ThrillerFest as part of their Debut Author Program. She was fortunate to meet and subsequently sign with Liza Fleissig of the Liza Royce Agency in New York. She is excited to see what the future has in store. Busy, busy, but living the dream!
Sisters in Crime (national)
Mystery Writers of America
International Thriller Writers
Sisters in Crime (Desert Sleuths Chapter in Phoenix)
FBI National Academy Associates