About C.S. O'Cinneide

C.S. O’Cinneide (oh-ki-nay-da) is a writer and a blogger on her website, She Kills Lit, where she features women writers of thriller and noir. Her debut novel, Petra’s Ghost, a thriller set on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain, was nominated for a Goodreads Choice award in 2019, and selected as an American Library Association Book Club Central pick in August of that same year. The author walked the 500-mile Camino pilgrimage in 2015, at a time when a woman was abducted there. This, and the stunning landscapes of Northern Spain, provided much of the inspiration for the book. She also wrote The Starr Sting Scale, the first in a witty yet dark crime fiction series featuring hard-living, six-foot-three former hitwoman, Candace Starr. It was inspired by nothing more than a desire for a female avatar who could slam bad guys up against the side of a Slurpee machine if they got out of line.

C.S. O’Cinneide lives in Guelph, Ontario, Canada with her husband, an Irish ex-pat who remains her constant Celtic muse.

Her latest novel is the next in the Candace Starr series, Starr Sign, was released by Dundurn Press in March 2021. It follows Candace as she goes searching for her mother in the Detroit mob, in what may be her deadliest assignment yet.

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From the publisher:

Candace Starr has fallen on hard times since she helped her friend, Detective Malone, with a murder case last year. These days, she trades on her dark celebrity as a former contract killer to keep the wolf from the door and her glass of Scotch whisky full. But when her teenage half-sister, Janet, shows up, Candace finds herself responsible for more than her nightly bar bill.

Candace and Janet’s mercurial mother has gone missing while visiting her estranged family of Detroit mobsters, and Candace needs to track her down to take the kid off her hands. But the vicious Scarpello clan is hiding far more than her mother’s whereabouts.

Witty, gritty, and full of cocky hard-edged flair, the second book in the Candace Starr series unearths the well-buried secrets of Candace’s mob family tree, laying bare the roots of her own identity along the way.


“This novel is full of action, lots of creative and sharp-edged dialogue, a clever plot, and a satisfying ending. A must-read for thriller readers.”

The Miramichi Reader

“Tough-talking, hard-drinking Candace Starr’s appealingly amoral worldview coupled with her vast range of eccentric acquaintances and family is sure to provide more murderous fun as the series develops.”

Publishers Weekly

This is assured prose in the hands of a masterful storyteller, taking the reader effortlessly from the mansions of the very rich to the seedy sex-trafficking brothels where gangsters go to let their guard down.