Following are some of the mystery writers and others expected to be at Mystery Fest Key West:
▪ John Hemingway was born and raised in Miami and lives with his wife Kristina in Montreal, Canada, where he works as a writer and translator. His memoir, “Strange Tribe” (Lyons Press, May 2007), describes the love/hate relationship and the similarities between his father, Dr. Gregory Hemingway, and grandfather, Ernest Hemingway, who lives on Whitehead Street in Key West in the 1930s.
▪ Clifford Michael Irving is an American novelist and investigative reporter. He is best known for a fictional autobiography of millionaire recluse Howard Hughes, which was to be published in 1972. After Hughes denounced him and sued the publisher, McGraw-Hill, Irving and his collaborators confessed to the hoax. He was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison, of which he served 17 months. Irving later wrote “The Hoax” (1981), his account of events surrounding the development and sale of the fake autobiography.
▪ Charles Todd is the 2017 winner of the Mary Higgins Clark Award ( “The Shattered Tree”) and is the co-author of the mother-son writing team with Caroline Todd.
▪ After 10 years as a secretary, Lisa Black she went back to school to get a bachelor’s degree in biology from Cleveland State
University. In her job as a forensic scientist at the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Coroner’s Office, she analyzed gunshot residue on hands and clothing, hairs, fibers, paint, glass, DNA, blood and many other forms of trace evidence, as well as crime scenes. She now works as a latent print examiner for the Cape Coral Police Department.
▪ James O. Born is a former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent. His novels are based on some aspect of his career. His third novel, “Escape Clause,” won the inaugural Florida Book Award for Best Novel. In 2009 Born published the first in a series of science fiction novels under the name James O’Neal. The novels are police stories set in the near future.
▪ Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. The author of more than twenty novels, Cohen is a featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events.
▪ Bill Craig published his first novel at age 40. He has been publishing steadily ever since that first book, “Valley of Death.”
▪ Heather Graham, majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. Her first book was with Dell and since then, she has written more than 100 novels and novellas. She has been published in approximately 20 languages and has 75 million books in print.
▪ David Beckwith is a three-generation native of Greenville, Miss. His first book was a narrative nonfiction work published by the University of Alabama Press in 2009 titled “A New Day in the Delta.” He and his wife Nancy started writing the Will and Betsy Black Adventure Series in 2010. The protagonists of this series are a married couple somewhat reminiscent of Nick and Nora Charles of “The Thin Man” series.
▪ Like his fiction protagonist Buck Reilly, John Cunningham is an aviation enthusiast. He lived in Key West in the late 1970s and early ’80s but now lives in Virginia. He developed Buck Reilly as a protagonist who is more everyman than superman.
▪ Mike Dennis has published five novels, two novelettes and numerous individual short stories. In 2013, he had the opportunity to get into audiobook narration.
▪ Lewis C. Haskell spent his early career with a Fortune 500 company before founding a medical services firm. Today, in addition to writing mystery thrillers set in Key West where he lives, he runs an international consulting firm focused on CEOs and high net worth investors.
▪ Renee Kumor has lived in North Carolina for more than 30 years. The setting for her “River Bend Chronicles” series reflects her early life in Ohio and her later years in western North Carolina.
▪ Meg Muldoon is the Amazon bestselling author of 12 books. She lives in central Oregon with an Australian cattle dog named Huckleberry.
▪ Mark T. “Reef” Perkins of Key West is a marine surveyor with a colorful past, from commanding a 150-foot U.S. Army diving ship off Vietnam to smuggling in the Caribbean.
▪ Ken Rijock is author of “The Laundry Man” and “Dirty Dealing.” In the 1980s in Miami, he was the middle man between Columbians and the Mafia flooding America’s streets with cocaine and marijuana. After getting caught, he went undercover for the FBI and now works with banks and governments to track the new generation of money launderers.
▪ Co-founder of the Mystery Writers Key West Fest, Shirrel Rhoades is the author of numerous mysteries and travel books, a publisher, syndicated film critic, former university professor, and museum president. He is a former executive with Reader’s Digest, Scholastic, Harper’s and Marvel Entertainment.
▪ Carol Frederick has been with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for 26 years. She has investigated fraud, corruption, missing persons and narcotics violations. She is the FDLE’s resident agent in charge for Monroe County.
▪ Jim Linder is president and CEO of Technical Systems Management Corp., an aviation consulting and services firm in North Carolina. From 1999 to 2008, excluding periodic deployments to the Middle East, he ran drug interdiction operations in Latin America and the Caribbean while serving with the Defense Intelligence Agency in Key West.
▪ Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay graduated from Marathon High School in 1984 as president of his class. He began his Sheriff’s Office career in 1987.
▪ Lt. Michael DiGiovanni with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad Mike DiGiovanni spends most days stationed at Key West International Airport. But if there is any danger of explosives in Monroe County, he springs into action as a member of the bomb squad.