Readers and writers can uncover valuable clues about enjoying and penning mystery fiction Friday through Sunday from some usual suspects.
The fourth annual Mystery Fest Key West is to star Clifford Irving, an investigative reporter with more than 20 books to his credit (including a faux Howard Hughes autobiography that landed him in prison); “Strange Tribe” author John Hemingway, grandson of literary master and 1930s Key West resident Ernest Hemingway; and Randy Rawls, past president of the Mystery Writers of America’s Florida chapter.
Other featured culprits include New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham, New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black and crime and science fiction writer James O. Born.
Titled “Murder & Mayhem in Paradise,” the weekend is headquartered at the DoubleTree Grand Key Resort, 3990 S. Roosevelt Blvd. Representatives of mystery genres ranging from hard-boiled and noir to true crime are to offer insights, as are law enforcement and military experts.
Scheduled panel discussions include “How to Commit a Perfect Murder,” “It Takes a Crook” and “Cozy Mysteries and Female Sleuths.” Workshops are to focus on topics such as blood-spatter forensics and police myths.
The event also features book signings and social gatherings where those attending can mingle with presenting authors. The highlight is a Friday night reception and buffet dinner at the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, 907 Whitehead St., with guest speaker John Hemingway.
And it would be “criminal” for attendees to miss Sloan’s Ghost Tour guided by Graham, author of more than 100 novels and novellas, from romantic suspense to occult-flavored offerings.
Attractions also include the Saturday presentation of the Whodunit Mystery Writing Award. The winner receives a book-publishing contract with Absolutely Amazing eBooks, among other prizes. In addition, aspiring mystery writers can pitch their plots to one of four literary agents.
Registration is $195 per person including all presentations, social events and four meals. For specifics and registration: mysteryfestkeywest.com