Stan Lee, the pioneering writer of Marvel Comics, achieved unparalleled success by merging classical mythology with modern psychology, featuring heroes whose god-like powers were balanced by their all-too-relatable human foibles and insecurities. Flip through the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 Manual (or its Wikipedia summary) and behold a dazzling array of mental quirks that can form the basis for a riveting cast of characters. In creative work, art and science are deeply intertwined, like the double helix of DNA that writes the story of our existence. At the very least, you’ll sound smarter.


During our meeting on May 13th, Ellen Kirschman will explain how her professional experience as a clinical psychologist enriches and enhances her mystery writing.



Ellen is the author of the acclaimed Dot Meyerhoff mystery series. Called the “cop doc,” Ellen has been a clinical psychologist far longer than she has been a mystery writer. Her specialty is treating first responders, police officers, and firefighters who are suffering from work-related traumatic stress. She is indebted to her clients and colleagues for inspiring her with their stories. Her mystery series “marks author Ellen Kirschman as a novelist of exceptional storytelling talent,” according to the Midwest Book Review.


Ellen’s protagonist, police psychologist Dr. Dot Meyerhoff, is a spunky, fifty-plus-year-old who takes orders from no one, including her chief. Dot never gives up on anyone, which is important because cops are difficult clients. They hate reaching out for help because it makes them feel weak, and they don’t trust outsiders, especially “shrinks.” These overlapping tensions add rich psychological layers to Ellen’s intricately plotted mysteries.


Ellen started her writing career with non-fiction, and is still at it. Along the way, she has earned awards from The California Psychological Association for Distinguished Contribution to Psychology and the American Psychological Association for Outstanding Contribution to Police and Public Safety Psychology. She blogs at Psychology Today, serves on the Northern California board of Mystery Writers of America, and belong to Sisters-in-Crime, the Public Safety Writers Association, The American Psychological Association, and the psychological services section of The Association of Chiefs of Police.

When: Saturday,  May 13th at 10AM

Where: Headen-Inman House Museum
1509 Warburton Ave. Santa Clara

Continental Breakfast Included