Tuesday, October 22, 2019


Very sad news. Bette Golden Lamb, talented writer, artist (both potter and painter), and warrior woman, passed away last night just after midnight. She leaves behind her husband JJ (Jim) Lamb, her family, and her many friends. I knew Bette for over 40 years. She was so special. My heart goes out to JJ and the family.

Bette was a friend and mentor. She was a nurse, a writer, and an artist. She was so creative in so many ways. Her art work has appeared in numerous show and is held in many private collections. Her books, of course, are everywhere.

Bette was from the Bronx, and she said that growing up in New York City coupled with being an RN was a clue as to why she loved to write dark and gritty medical thrillers. A Marin county writer and artist, she and JJ spent some time in the wilds of Virginia City, Nevada, an isolated throwback to the old West, where she was a trauma nurse while her husband was the editor of the The Territorial Enterprise, a newspaper Mark Twain once ran. And, at that time, she also ended up running a funky bar, The Silver Stope. Never a dull moment.

Bette and J. J. Lamb have written novels that include a female serial killer who thinks she’s on a noble mission to save barren women from a life of despair (Sisters in Silence) and the Gina Mazzio RN medical thriller “Bone” series (Bone Dry,  Sin & Bone,  Bone Pit, Bone of Contention, Bone Dust, Bone Crack, Bone Slice, Bone Point). She said that writing about Gina Mazzio and her boyfriend, Harry, also an RN, was a fun experience, as well as a privilege to write about people who dedicate their lives to helping others.

Bette's most recent novel The Russian Girl was based on a true story of a woman who escapes from a high security nursing home during the hottest day of the year. Her delirium reveals a harrowing story of a young immigrant Russian girl forced to come to America in the early 1900s. Her turbulent life is filled with upheaval, lost love, and activism in a crushing, brutal 20th century journey.

Bette was so encouraging to and supportive of new writers and artists.

I'll miss Bette -- at meetings, at parties, at shows, conventions. She was a special light in the mystery community. Rest in Peace, Bette. May your memory be a blessing.

As I receive information, I will update this post with information on a memorial and where to send donations in her honor.


D. P. Lyle, MD said...

I'm so saddened to hear this. Bette was always full of life and upbeat. Smart too. JJ., our thoughts are
with you.

Sue T. said...

I was so sorry to hear that Bette had passed away. She was such a delightful person, and someone I always looked forward to seeing at mystery events. I also had the honor of working with Bette to help design the cover & interior of her novel "The Russian Girl," which was a project so dear to her heart. She will be much missed by everyone who knew her!

Nancy Lynn Jarvis said...

I met her in a bookstore once. Nice woman.

Priscilla said...

My deepest sympathy to JJ and their family. Bette was just plain special. I enjoyed every conversation and was always delighted to see them both in the audience at conferences as well as listening when either was on a panel. I will miss Bette. She gave so much to the writing community and to readers. But she also simply gave because that was the kind of person she was.

Terry said...

Thank you for posting this.

I met Bette when we used to live in Mill Valley and she and Jim would run on the same running path my husband and I ran on. One day we were invited to the home of Marilyn Wallace--and there were Bette and JJ. So that life-long connection was sealed. It's hard to imagine a Sisters in Crime meeting without Bette. Her sardonic Bronx laugh will live in memory. She had a big heart, a big laugh, a big talent, and I will miss her sorely.

K.C. Callahan-Aves Callahan-Aves said...

I was so sorry to read that Bette had passed away. She was such an excellent writer. My favorite books were the Gina Mazzio series. I retired as an R.N. same as Bette. My deepest sympathy to her husband and other family members. You will be missed.
K.C. Callahan-Aves in Australia