Brush Up On Murder, the sixth novel in the Aurora Anderson Mystery Series.

“An artistic but deadly combination of brides, bank robberies, and blame, set against the quaint backdrop of the Vista Beach community. What’s not to love about this Valentine’s-themed cozy?”Jennifer J. Chow, Agatha, Anthony & Lefty Award-Nominated Author of Death By Bubble Tea

Aurora Anderson #6

“If you’ve been missing this series, you’ll be glad to glad to get a new entry. If you are new to the characters, Brush Up on Murder will have you hunting down Rory’s earlier cases.” -Carstairs Considers

“Brush Up On Murder is another wonderful book in the Aurora Anderson Mystery series, it is engaging, flows well, and keeps the reader on their toes. The author does a great job creating a world that grabs the reader and pulls them in, keeping them engaged from start to finish. The characters are vibrant and exciting.” -Sapphyria’s Books

“Brush Up On Murder is a delightful cozy mystery that combines, intrigue, and a well-crafted plot. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an engaging and entertaining cozy mystery read.” -JK Joy Mysteries, Thrillers, Suspense

In Brush Up On Murder:

Love is in the air in the quiet Los Angeles County city of Vista Beach, home of computer programmer and decorative-painting enthusiast, Aurora (Rory) Anderson.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, residents are training for the annual Love Run and expressing their undying affection for each other by attaching love locks to the pier railings. But a string of bank robberies is ruining the romantic vibe.

While Rory helps friends prepare for a Valentine’s Day wedding, a body is found and the groom is implicated in the murder. Convinced of his innocence, Rory puts her heart into the investigation. Can she identify the killer before someone else encounters their own brush with death?
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Ghosts of Painting Past, the fifth novel in the Aurora Anderson Mystery Series.

Listen to the first part of Chapter 1 on the Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast.


The story was filled with twists and moved along nicely. I loved that the past and present were tied together in a top-notch mystery . . . Ghosts of Painting Past is a great addition to this series. It checks all my cozy boxes and left me excited for the next book in the series.”Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

Aurora Anderson #5

“Ghosts of Painting Past is a holly, jolly, oh-my-golly romp of a holiday mystery. Christmas spirit abounds, but in the surfer’s paradise, Vista Beach, everyone, even the snowmen—I mean sandmen—have deeply buried secrets worth killing for. Sybil Johnson has created a tightly woven plot with a murderer who will keep you guessing until the end.” Annette Dashofy, USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers Mysteries.

“Johnson adds a satisfying and enjoyable whodunit to her Aurora Anderson Mystery series. Clever. Smart. Filled with plenty of secrets and a plot that twists until the end.” Abby L. Vandiver, USA Today and WSJ bestseller, author of the Romaine Wilder Mystery Series.

“This was such a fun read! From the whimsical and quirky cover to the main character… There is just something about a mystery from the past that gets my reading brain pumping!”Courtagonist 

In Ghosts of Painting Past:

It’s Christmastime in the quiet Los Angeles County city of Vista Beach, home of computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The magic of the season fills the air as residents enjoy school concerts, a pier lighting ceremony and the annual sand-snowman contest.

During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Rory plans on painting ornaments to sell at the local craft fair and joining in on the holiday fun. But she finds the season anything but jolly after the house across the street is torn down, revealing a decades old crime. Past meets present when her father is implicated in the murder.

Fearing for her father’s future, Rory launches her own investigation, intent on discovering the truth and clearing his name.

Amazon incl. Kindle Amazon HB B & N IndieBound

Designed For Haunting, the fourth novel in the Aurora Anderson Mystery Series.


Cover of Designed For Haunting

Aurora Anderson #4

Designed for Haunting is a genuine treat! Engaging sleuth Rory Anderson finds herself caught up in another perplexing mystery when Halloween tricks turn her beautiful beach town upside down. A clever, satisfying plot with plentiful twists will keep you happily guessing until the very end.” Cynthia Kuhn, Agatha Award-winning author of the Lila Maclean Academic Mysteries

“If you are looking for a fun book to read this October, Designed for Haunting is perfect for you. It will have you turning pages as you settle into the season.” — Carstairs Considers 

In Designed For Haunting:

October brings a message from Beyond The Grave…

Halloween is fast approaching in the quiet Los Angeles County city of Vista Beach, home of computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. While her painting chapter prepares to open its annual boutique house, Rory receives an unexpected email from Beyond The Grave, a company that automatically sends out messages when someone dies.

“I think I have a stalker,” the message reads. “If you’re reading this I’m either missing or dead. My life may depend on what you do. Please find out what happened to me.” Haunted by her friend’s disappearance and possible death, Rory begins her search with the help of best friend and fellow painter, Elizabeth (Liz) Dexter. Can they discover who has designs on the missing woman and uncover the truth before one of them becomes the stalker’s next victim?

Amazon incl. Kindle B & N  IndieBound

A Palette for Murder, the third novel in the Aurora Anderson Mystery Series.


Cover of A Palette For Murder

Aurora Anderson #3

“In this engrossing new addition to her Aurora Anderson Mystery series, Sybil Johnson offers readers humor, heart, and unexpected plot twists, painting a portrait of a California beach town peopled with endearing characters. With a smart, sympathetic protagonist, lots of colorful detail,…A Palette for Murder is a work of art.” Ellen Byron, Agatha-nominated and USA Today bestselling author of the Cajun Country Mysteries.

“In A Palette for Murder, Johnson has crafted a clever mystery with a colorful protagonist. Set along the vibrant Southern California coast, this story resonates with a rich understanding of the artistic as well as the homeless communities. A smooth read!” Daryl Wood Gerber, national bestselling author of the Cookbook Nook Mysteries.

“Aurora Anderson and her friends are back with a brand new mystery to solve. A Palette for Murder is a well-crafted tale of betrayal, revenge, and the power of family ties, set in a Southern California beach town.” Maggie King, author of the Hazel Rose Book Group series

In A Palette for Murder:

A killer heat wave settles over Seagull Lane…

Summer’s sizzling in Vista Beach, the home of computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The abnormally high temperatures are hard on everyone in the quiet Los Angeles county beach community, especially the city’s homeless population. Residents are doing everything they can to stay cool, including leaving windows open to catch the faintest breeze. Not the best idea when a string of burglaries is plaguing nearby towns.

Still, Rory doesn’t expect to find her neighbor’s body just a few doors down. When suspicion falls on a friend and fellow painter, Rory must discover the truth before the police paint the wrong picture and send her friend away permanently.

Amazon incl. Kindle B & N IndieBound  Audio Version

Paint the Town Dead, the second novel in the Aurora Anderson Mystery Series.


“Paint the Town Dead is a cleverly crafted mystery full of secrets and intrigues that kept me guessing till the end.” – Connie Archer, author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery Series

Paint the Town Dead cover

Aurora Anderson #2

“Paint the Town Dead is an engaging mystery set amidst a painting convention and showcases the complexity of relationships when a tragedy strikes.” – Christina Freeburn, author of the Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery Series

“There are enough plot twists and turns to keep the reader interested and guessing right up to the end. Prepare to do nothing else until the book is finished!” – Cuppa Tea w/G

“I love how Sybil takes each thread and magically weaves them all together into a book that is engaging, flows well, and keeps the reader guessing.” Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

“…chalk up another mark in the win column for Sybil Johnson’s Paint the Town Dead…There are many of the elements that make a cozy mystery cozy, and surprises to hold our interest. Looking forward to #3!” Back Porchervations

“The reading was easy, the story flowed smoothly and I had a chuckle or two at the characters expense.” fundinmental

Paint the Town Dead is one of the most relaxing cozies I have read…” Mallory Heart Reviews

In Paint the Town Dead:

The Ocean Painting Society invites you to join the painting wave…

It’s June in the quiet Los Angeles County city of Vista Beach, the place computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson calls home. Decorative painters are flocking to the newly built Akaw hotel to attend the Ocean Painting Society’s inaugural convention.

During the week-long event, Rory plans on shopping the trade show floor, working at her mother’s booth, taking classes and connecting with other decorative painting fans. She doesn’t expect to witness her childhood friend collapse in class and die. When the police find no evidence of foul play, Rory embarks on her own investigation. Can she brush aside the lies to uncover the truth and bring the killer to justice?

Amazon incl. Kindle B & N IndieBound Audio Version

Fatal Brushstroke, the first novel in the Aurora Anderson Mystery Series.

Fatal Brushstroke was featured in Murder & Mayhem’s list of 9 Fun and Quirky Whodunits by Female Mystery Authors!

Cover of Fatal Brushstroke

Aurora Anderson #1


“Rory is definitely a quirky character; she has the ability to draw the readers in so that they want to follow her through her adventures. Which is a good thing, because this is the first in a brand new series featuring Rory Anderson, so there’s even more fun to come.” – Suspense Magazine

“Johnson has penned a fun and fast-paced romp with plenty of suspense and intrigue, colorful characters, infidelity and family secrets. Fatal Brushstroke is sure to please cozy readers, especially those who love crafts mixed with murder.” – Sue Ann Jaffarian, Author of the Bestselling Ghost of Granny Apples and Odelia Grey Mystery Series

“Fans of crafty cozies will love this delightful new series that features tole painting enthusiast, Aurora “Rory” Anderson…In Fatal Brushstroke, Johnson has penned a charming mystery filled with colorful characters, clever plot twists and unexpected surprises that will keep you guessing whodunit right until the end. A rewarding read and a refreshing debut.” —Hannah Dennison, Author of The Vicky Hill Mysteries and The Honeychurch Hall Mysteries

“Traditional mystery readers will love this debut author, Sybil Johnson, and her amateur sleuth, Aurora “Rory” Anderson, a Southern California woman who has survived her share of tragedy in the fictitious seaside community of Vista Beach. Johnson has an assured, steady hand in creating complex plotlines in Fatal Brushstroke. Readers will definitely want to revisit Vista Beach in Aurora’s next outing of investigating. Just watch out for those inline skaters on the beachside bike path!” – Naomi Hirahara, Edgar Award-Winning Author of Murder on Bamboo Lane

“Johnson paints characters with a folksy charm that makes them feel like family. But beware! This richly-textured mystery has it all: family secrets, professional competition, and judgments cast for past mistakes. Color me a fan!” – Diane Vallere, Author of the Material Witness, Style & Error, and Mad for Mod Mystery Series

In Fatal Brushstroke:

A dead body in her garden and a homicide detective on her doorstep…

Computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson doesn’t envision finding either when she steps outside to investigate the frenzied yipping coming from her own back yard. After all, she lives in Vista Beach, a quiet California beach community where violent crime is rare and murder even rarer.

When suspicion falls on Rory, she embarks on a quest to identify the killer and clear her name.

Can Rory unearth the truth before she encounters her own brush with death?

Amazon incl. Kindle B & N IndieBound Audio Version