How does one disarm a bomb? How many bullets does a particular type of firearm hold? What’s the perfect poison?
Writers and fans of all genres can get the inside scoop on these questions and more at the 4th annual Mystery Fest Key West, running June 16-18 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Key Resort, 3990 S. Roosevelt Blvd., in Key West, Florida.
"Anyone who writes successfully knows that credibility in details is what separates the pros from the ‘cons,’" said Fest co-founder Shirrel Rhoades. “Our Fest attracts some of America’s top award-winning and bestselling mystery writers and true crime experts who come together and have a great time sharing details of not only WHO-dunit - but exactly HOW they did it.”
The 2017 “Murder & Mayhem in Paradise” themed weekend features headliners John Hemingway, grandson of Ernest and author of ‘Strange Tribe,’ Keynote Speaker Clifford Irving, and Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter past-President Randy Rawls.
Events kick off Friday afternoon with four back-to-back workshops: “How Law Enforcement Deals with Explosive Situations,” presented by Lt. Mike DiGiovanni, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad Commander, accompanied by the Bomb Squad robot; “Police Myths,” presented by award-winning author and former undercover agent James O. Born; “Blood Spatter Forensics,” presented by forensic scientist and New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black; and “How to Write a Cozy,” presented by award-winning author Nancy J. Cohen.
Friday evening, guests can enjoy a celebration and dinner on the grounds of the famous Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, presided over by Rhoades and special guest speaker John Hemingway, followed by a Sloan’s Haunted Key West tour co-hosted by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham.
Saturday’s series of panels and presentations spotlights leading authors representing a variety of mystery genres including (but not limited to), action/adventure, “cozy” mysteries, forensic, supernatural, noir and police procedural. They include, “Where I Get My Ideas,” with John H. Cunningham, David Beckwith, Charles Todd and Paul Sinor, moderated by Randy Rawls; “How to Commit a Perfect Murder,” with Lisa Black, Rick Ollerman, Robert Coburn and Siera London, moderated by Heather Graham; “It Takes a Crook,” with Mike Dennis, Bill Craig, Ken Rijock and Reef Perkins, moderated by Rick Ollerman; and “Cozy Mysteries and Female Sleuths,” with Susan Haskell and Norah-Jean Perkin, Marjory Sorrell Rockwell, Renee Kumor and Meg Muldoon, moderated by Nancy J. Cohen.
Saturday’s final panel – and an annual favorite of Fest guests – features local true crime experts sharing insights on the Keys criminal element and details of the strange crimes that surround them. This year’s panel, moderated by James O. Born, includes Carol F. Frederick, FDLE; Jim Linder, JIATF; Lt. Michael DiGiovanni, MCSO, and Sheriff Rick Ramsay, MCSO.
More Saturday highlights include luncheon with internationally renowned author Clifford Irving as Keynote Speaker, presentation of the Whodunit Mystery Writing Award, an author’s book-signing hour and a “mysteriously exciting” special event at the Custom House Museum. Sunday is just for chilling along the waterfront with the Fest’s finale Bloody Mary Buffet Breakfast at the iconic Schooner Wharf Bar.
Attendee’s will also have an opportunity to meet with and pitch their own book ideas to several on-sight literary agents—Dianna Collier, owner/agent Collier & Associates, Tom Colgan of the Berkley Publishing Group, Jessica Faust of Bookends Literary Agency, and Scott Miller of Trident Media Group.
The 2017 Mystery Fest Key West is sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, Mystery Writers of America – Florida Chapter, the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, and is supported by the Marion Stevens Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys and the Helmerich Trust.
Fest registration is $195 and includes all panels, presentations, social events and four meals. For registration and information visit mysteryfestkeywest.com.