Isabella Maldonado is an award winning published author, a retired police captain, and a regular contributor on television News Channel 12 (Phoenix NBC affiliate) as a law enforcement expert. Her last police position was Commander of Special Investigations and Forensics. During her long career, she served as a hostage negotiator, department spokesperson, and precinct commander among many assignments. She was recognized with a Meritorious Service Award and a Lifesaving Award, and was selected to attend executive management training at the FBI National Academy in Quantico. Maldonado is a past president of the Phoenix Metro chapter of Sisters In Crime, and currently sits on the board. She lives in Mesa, Arizona, where she is currently writing the third book in the Veranda Cruz series, which features a Latina Phoenix police detective.





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. 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 detectives and the crime lab.

A highlight of her law enforcement career was graduating 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 had the unique opportunity of participating in advanced training with about 220 police officials from agencies as diverse as Australia, NYPD, France, Thailand, the Texas Rangers, and even a Canadian Mountie! 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.

She is also a regular contributor on KPNX Channel 12 News, the Phoenix NBC television affiliate, as a law enforcement expert. Using her training and background, she provides comment and analysis of current news stories.


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, won the Mariposa Award for Best First Novel. The second, PHOENIX BURNING, garnered critical acclaim, including a starred review in Publishers Weekly. The third book in the series, DEATH BLOW, will be published in March 2019 and is available for pre-order now.

In July 2107, she attended ThrillerFest as part of the 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

International Society of Latino Authors

Sisters in Crime (Desert Sleuths Chapter in Phoenix)

FBI National Academy Associates