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17th Annual

Monday, April 30, 2012

with media sponsorship by Essential Public Radio

WDUQ logo

Doors open at 4 pm
Program begins at 5 pm

This year's Festival of Mystery will take place on Monday April 30, a week earlier than our usual time..

We will return to the new quarters at the Greek Orthodox Church in Oakmont, 12 Washington St., about 5 blocks from the store. The Church hall gave us a much more comfortable space for our many authors and their fans at last year's Festival and this year's promises to be just as big.

Keep checking this page for updates as we begin to assemble the program.

Tickets to the Festival are available in advance for $8, at the door for $9.

You can purchase tickets online. For multiple ticket purchases you can adjust the quantity in the shopping cart before you check out.

Festival Ticket, $8

A complete bibliography of books by the Festival authors is available to download and print

Also available: Festival Guide with complete information about the event and the authors.

Avery Aames Kathleen George NewNora McFarland
NewSparkle Abbey Daryl Wood Gerber NewJenn McKinlay
Lorna Barrett NewAnne Faigen NewSusan P. Mucha
NewJanet Bolin Beth Groundwater Sandra Parshall
NewMollie Cox Bryan Kathryn Miller Haines Les Roberts
NewJan Burke NewRebecca Hale Deborah Sharp
Kate Carlisle R.J. Harlick Joanna Campbell Slan
NewJessie Chandler Linda O. Johnston NewRochelle Staab
NewErika Chase Mitchell Kaplan Leann Sweeney
Sheila Connolly NewLois Lamanna Marcia Talley
K.C. Constantine Kylie Logan Heather Terrell
Casey Daniels Alice Loweecey NewVictoria Thompson
C. William Davis III NewAnna Maclean Elaine Viets
Vicki Delany NewDennis Marsili Tina Whittle
Vicki Doudera Nancy Martin Lois Winston
NewHallie Ephron    

Ellen ByerrumAvery Aames (top) and Daryl Wood Gerber

Avery Aames is the author of A Cheese Shop Mystery series.  The first in the series, The Long Quiche Goodbye, debuted as a national bestseller and won the Agatha Award 2011, “Best First Novel.” Clobbered by Camembert, which was released in February,  is the third in the series. Avery loves to cook and enjoys a delicious cheese and tasty wine.  Avery Aames is the pseudonym for Daryl Wood Gerber, who was nominated for the Agatha Award 2012 "Best Short Story" (Palace on the Lake, from FISH TALES, a water-themed short story anthology).

Sparkle Abbey (top)

A Festival first-timer, Sparkle Abbey is the pseudonym of mystery authors Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter who write the Pampered Pets mystery series. Their pen name was created by combining the names of their rescue pets – Sparkle (Mary Lee’s cat) and Abbey (Anita’s dog). They are friends and neighbors, and reside in central Iowa. Book Two, Get Fluffy, is an April 2012 release, just in time for the Festival. They are both members of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Lorna BarrettLorraine Bartlett (top) and Lorna Barrett (top)

Lorraine Bartlett comes to the Festival with a fresh, new mystery, The Walled Flower , the second in the Victoria Square series featuring Katie Bonner who manages a crafts market. As Lorna Barrett she is the author of the Booktown series featuring small-town mystery bookstore owner Tricia Miles. The fifth,Sentenced to Death, was published last year. 

Author PhotoJanet Bolin (top)

Janet Bolin was born and raised near Pittsburgh and has spent lots of time near the fictional village of Threadville, Pennsylvania, home of textile shops including amateur sleuth Willow Vanderling’s machine embroidery boutique. The first book in the Threadville Mystery series is the Agatha-nominated Dire Threads, in which thoughtless threats lead to dire consequences. Threaded for Trouble (a ‘killer’ sewing machine lives up to its name) hits store shelves June 5. Janet’s two dogs help her with everything from reading and writing to sewing and gazing into the distance.

Author PhotoMollie Cox Bryan (top)

A native Pittsburgher now living in Virginia, Mollie Cox Bryan is a cookbook author with a penchant for murder. Her debut mystery novel is Scrapbook of Secrets--the first in the Cumberland Creek series. The series is set in a small Southern town and focuses on a group of women who get together to scrapbook, eat, and as it turns out, solve mysteries. Lois Winston says about the book: "Imagine the housewives of Wisteria Lane sipping tea, scrapbooking, and solving murders, and you have this gem of a debut."

Author PhotoJan Burke (top)

Jan Burke's novels include Disturbance, Bloodlines, and a supernatural thriller, The Messenger. Among other awards, she won the Edgar Award for Best Novel, for Bones.  Her books have appeared on the NYT and USA Today bestseller lists, have been published internationally, and optioned for film and television

Ellen ByerrumKate Carlisle (top)

New York Times bestselling author Kate Carlisle spent twenty years working in television production before deciding to go to law school, where she turned to writing fiction as a lawful way to kill off her evil professors. She eventually left law school but the urge to write has never stopped. Kate makes her home by the beach in Southern California.

Ellen ByerrumJessie Chandler (top)

Jessie Chandler is the author of Bingo Barge Murders and is the VP of the Twin Cities Chapter of Sisters In Crime, and a member of Mystery Writer's of America. In her spare time, Chandler sells unique, artsy T-shirts and assorted trinkets to unsuspecting conference and festival goers. She's a former State Patrol dispatcher and police officer, and resides in Minneapolis.

Author PhotoErika Chase (top)

The first in the Ashton Corners Book Club mysteries by Erika Chase, A Killer Read, hit the bookshelves in April. Erika also writes short stories and is part of those dangerous dames, The Ladies’ Killing Circle. She has been shortlisted for an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada. Her second novel, Read and Buried is due November, 2012. She was the owner of a specialty mystery bookstore in a previous life. And then, as now, has been ably distracted by her two Siamese cats.

Katherine AyresSheila Connolly(top)

Before becoming a full-time mystery writer, Sheila Connolly tried out careers ranging from art history to investment banking to genealogy—all of which she now uses in her books.  Her Orchard Mystery Series opened with One Bad Apple; the sixth in the series, Sour Apples, will appear in August 2012. She also writes the Museum Mystery Series, set in Philadelphia, and the latest book, Fire Engine Dead, was published in March 2012. Her new County Cork Series will debut with Buried in a Bog in February 2013.

K.C. Constantine (top)

Born in McKees Rocks, reside since late '60s in Greensburg, thus Rocksburg.  Started writing in the Marine Corps to spite an English prof who had flunked me twice and told me, "Mr. K., you simply don't know how to write an English sentence."  Took decades to comprehend how much I owed him.  Lasted one year in U. of Iowa's Writer's Workshop where I was told I did know how to write, I "just didn't know how to make a box".  Lots of people still agree with that.  Married to my one and only--my first reader--since 1962.  Embarrassing to say why I went into hiding; no idea why I decided to search for light. 

Casey DanielsCasey Daniels and Kylie Logan (top)

Casey Daniels once applied for a job as a tour guide at a historic cemetery. She didn't get the job, but she did get the idea for the Pepper Martin Mystery Series about a cemetery tour guide who finds she can communicate with the permanent residents. The eighth in the series, Wild Wild Death, will be here in time for the Festival.

As Kylie Logan, she is the author of two books that feature button shop owner Josie Giancola. At the Festival we'll have the first: Button Holed. The second is due out on the summer.

Casey and Kylie learned to love mysteries early thanks to her dad, a Cleveland Police detective, who enjoyed Sherlock Holmes stories and spent his days off searching for stolen cars--with Casey along for the ride. Casey has a degree in English and a background in journalism and teaching. Casey lives in northeast Ohio.

C. William DavisC. William Davis III (top)

C. William (Bill) Davis is the author of the Clive Aliston Mystery Series. Clive Aliston is a southwestern Pennsylvania County Sheriff on the trail of a serial killer.The first three books in the series are The Forever Man Trilogy, which includes, The Forever Man, Tail of the Scorpion and The Ticket Master (Return of The Forever Man). The trilogy ends but the series will continue. Bill has lived in southwestern Pennsylvania nearly all of his life. After several years in the Aerospace Electronics field and a 30 year career in Industrial/Electrical at Allegheny Ludlum he has finally been able to pursue his lifelong interest in writing.

Vicki DelanyVicki Delany (top)

'Vicki Delany has been called “one of Canada's most promising new practitioners of the crime genre.” (Dick Adler, Chicago Tribune). Among the Departed is the fifth in a traditional police procedural series featuring Constable Molly Smith and set in the mountains of British Columbia. She is also the author of two novels of psychological suspense, Scare the Light Away and Burden of Memory. Vicki also writes a historial series set during the Klondike gold rush, the third, Gold Mountain, will be here for the Festival.

Vicki Doudera (top)

Vicki Doudera writes page-turning mysteries grounded in a reality she knows all too well: luxury real estate. A top producing broker for a firm on the coast of Maine and former Realtor of the Year, Vicki's first novel, A House to Die For, was chosen by Suspense Magazine as a top read of 2010. It introduces smart and savvy Darby Farr, a red-hot agent making multimillion dollar deals while solving bloody crimes. Deadly Offer , the latest in the series, has won praise from coast to coast. Vicki lives in coastal Maine where she is president of her local Habitat for Humanity, a member of MWA, and serves on the board of SinCNE.

Ellen ByerrumHallie Ephron (top)

Hallie Ephron writes books she hopes will keep readers up nights. Her two latest, Come and Find Me and Never Tell a Lie, were both finalists for the Mary Higgins Clark Award. Never Tell a Lie was adapted into a movie for the Lifetime Movie Network. Hallie is also author of the Edgar-nominated Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel and coauthored five Dr. Peter Zak mysteries.

Author PhotoAnne Faigen (top)

Anne G. Faigen has written several young people's novels, Finding Her Way (1997), Brave Salamander (2005), New World Waiting (2006), Frame Work (2008), and most recently Out of Turns (2009) - a mystery for adults. With a B.A. in creative writing and a graduate degree in literature, she enjoyed a rewarding career teaching high-school and college classes in literature and writing before becoming a full time author. An abiding interest in encouraging young readers to learn about themselves and their world motivated her to write historical fiction.

Kathleen George (top)

Kathleen George is a Pittsburgher and her police thrillers are set here. The Odds was nominated for an Edgar award for best novel of the year by the Mystery Writers of America. She is also the author of the acclaimed novels Taken, Fallen, and Afterimage as well as a short story collection The Man in the Buick and some books about theatre. She uses her theatre background to write suspenseful scenes. Coming very soon in 2012 are Simple, another novel in the Richard Christie series. She was also the editor of Pittsburgh Noir, a collection of short fiction set in the neighborhoods of Pittsburgh.

Ellen ByerrumBeth Groundwater (top)

Beth Groundwater comes to the Festival with the second in the Rocky Mountain Adventure series featuring river ranger Mandy Tanner, set in the wilds of Colorado. Wicked Eddies will garner a whole new audience for Beth. Meanwhile, the first of her series for gift basket designer Claire Hanover, A Real Basket Case, is newly availalble in paper back. Beth lives in Colorado and enjoys its many outdoor activities, including skiing and whitewater rafting.

Kathryn HainesKathryn Miller Haines (top)

Pittsburgh playwright and actor Kathryn Miller Haines is well known to MLB readers as the author of four novels in a WW II-set series featuring actress and would-be PI Rosie Winters. Last July she debuted a young adult historical mystery, The Girl Is Murder, subsequently nominated for a 2012 Edgar Award for best YA mystery. A follow up, The Girl is Trouble, is due out this July.

Author PhotoRebecca M. Hale (top)

Rebecca M. Hale is the New York Times best selling author of How to Wash a Cat and the Cats and Curios mystery series, starring her two adorable felines Rupert and Isabella. How to Tail a Cat, involving a rogue alligator loose on the streets of San Francisco, comes out in September.  In addition, the first book in Rebecca's new Mystery in the Islands series, Adrift on St. John, has just been released. When a water taxi sinks and one of the vessel's passengers disappears, the locals suspect the missing woman may have been done in by a ghost from the island's 1733 Slave Revolt. 

R.J. HarlickR.J. Harlick (top)

Canadian writer RJ Harlick, writes the acclaimed Meg Harris mystery series  set in the wilds of Quebec. Like her heroine Meg Harris, RJ loves nothing better than to roam the forests surrounding her own wilderness cabin or paddle the endless lakes and rivers.  The 4th book,Arctic Blue Death was a finalist in the 2010 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel. In the newly released, A Green Place for Dying, the latest in the series “Meg Harris…gets an education in evil in Harlick’s absorbing fifth mystery.” Publishers Weekly

Linda O. Johnston Linda O. Johnston (top)

Linda O. Johnston is the author of the new Pet Rescue Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime which debuted in March 2011 with Beaglemania. The series centers around Lauren Vancouver, dedicated administrator of a no-kill animal shelter who also finds herself having to solve murders. In the Pet Rescue Mysteries, “no-kill” means pets, not people! The Pet Rescue series is a spinoff from Linda’s Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter, mystery series. The latest book in the series is Hounds Abound, an April 2012 release

Mitchell Kaplan (top)

Mitchell James Kaplanis a cum laude graduate of Yale University whose first novel, By Fire, By Water, won the Independent Publishers' Book Award Gold Medal (IPPY) for historical fiction in 2011, received a Book of the Year Award (BOTYA) Bronze Medal in historical fiction, and received an honorable mention for the Eric Hoffer Award in Fiction. By Fire, By Water, which depicts ethnic and religious strife in Christopher Columbus's Spain, was also a 2010 nominee for the Goodreads Choice Award in Historical Fiction and was selected as the Community Read for 2010 by the Jewish communities of Philadelphia, Houston, Portland (Oregon) and the State of Delaware.

Author PhotoLois Lamanna (top)

Lois Lamanna is a retired teacher from the Penn Hills School District. While traveling home from a fishing trip in Canada, she imagined what would happen if she had discovered a body floating in the lake. When she arrived home, she started writing her first mystery which became Matrimony and Murder. She lives in a Pittsburgh suburb with her husband and Shih Tzus. She is currently working on her next mystery featuring Bethany and Marlene.

Alice Loweecey (top)

Alice Loweecey is a former nun who went from the convent to playing prostitutes on stage to accepting her husband’s marriage proposal on the second date. Force of Habit is her first novel and it introduces Giulia Falcone who is, oddly enough, a nun turned PI. Kirkus said it’s “not by any means your mother’s detecting-nun story,” and Publisher’s Weekly said its ‘fresh take on crime fighting is a delight.” Alice will join us with the second in the series: Back in the Habit. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. The author lives with her family in Western New York. 

Author PhotoAnna MacLean (top)

Anna Maclean is nom de plume of Jeanne Mackin, an award-winning journalist who also writes historical fiction as Jeanne Mackin. Working with Louisa May Alcott as the sleuth in her cozy mystery series is the culmination of a long, long affection for Louisa and her own startling career. Besides, the 19th century is such a great place to visit!

Ellen ByerrumDennis Marsili (top)

Dennis Marsili is a former New Kensington, PA police detective, who these days instead of his .40 caliber pistol packs a powerful prose. His first novel, Excessive Forces: A Pittsburgh Police Thriller draws from his own world and life experiences, taking readers into realities normally hidden from public view. A police procedural in the tradition of Joseph Wambaugh, Excessive Forces will shock and stir emotions within the reader while providing a peek inside the stark and pressure filled world of our law enforcement professionals. Dennis now works for the Police Academy at Indiana Univ of PA and lives in New Kensington, PA with his wife Cindy.

Nancy MartinNancy Martin (top)

Nancy Martin, author of nearly 50 popular fiction novels, departed from her bestselling Blackbird Sisters Mystery Series with the 2010 publication of Foxy Roxy, which featured tough Pittsburgh girl Roxy Abruzzo. Now Roxy is back in Sticky Fingers, a second for this Pittsburgh series. Fans will be excited to learn that the Blackbirds will be back in August with No Way to Kill a Lady. Nancy lives in Pittsburgh, serves on the board of Sisters in Crime and received the 2009 Romantic Times award for Lifetime Achievement for mystery writing.

Author PhotoNora McFarland (top)

Nora McFarland is the author of The Lilly Hawkins Mysteries from Touchstone/Simon & Schuster. The third book in the series, Going to the Bad, will be released in August 2012. Nora has worked in national news at CNN and, just like her main character, was a TV news photographer in Bakersfield, Calif. She loves movies almost as much as books and has an MFA from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Nora lives in Macon, Georgia.

Author PhotoJenn McKinlay (top)

Jenn is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cupcake Bakery mystery series and the Library Lover's mystery series. She is currently working on Cloche and Dagger, the first is the London Hat Shop mystery series to be released in 2013. Her main interests are reading, writing, baking, knitting and skateboarding. She lives in sunny AZ in a house overrun
with kids, pets and her husband's guitars.

Author PhotoSusan P. Mucha (top)

Susan Polonus Mucha is from Pittsburgh and now lives in Augusta, Georgia.  She is a former RN, who has worked as an emergency room nurse in Pittsburgh and New Orleans. She switched gears and earned a BA in English and Spanish and holds a master’s in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pa.   She is the author of the Ella Christie/Luis Echevarria medical mysteries. Deadly Deception, the first in the series, is a thriller set on the grounds of Augusta National and in the historic city of Lima, Peru, where her Spanish came in mighty handy.   The second, Die Before Your Time, is set on Bermuda and Kiawah Island.  Susan has written for many publications and has served as editor of Healthscope Magazine.  She has taught English at Augusta State University and developed a mentoring program at an inner-city school in Augusta. 

Author PhotoSandra Parshall (top)

Sandra Parshall writes the Rachel Goddard mysteries, set in Virginia. Her debut book, The Heat of the Moon, won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. It was followed by three more, the latest being Under the Dog Star. The series has been described as “medium-boiled” and a cross between traditional mystery and thriller, and has been praised by Kirkus Reviews for “spine-tingling tension from cover to cover.” The fifth in the series, Bleeding Through, will be out in September. Sandra lives in Northern Virginia.

Les Roberts (top)

Les Roberts is a Cleveland writer to came to the city while he was a producer for the Hollywood Squares and never left. He is the author of 15 novels featuring Cleveland PI Milan Jacovich (he stole the name from his dentist), the most recent of which is The Cleveland Creep. He'll come to the Festival with a brand-new standalone, The Strange Death of Father Candy.

Deborah SharpDeborah Sharp (top)

Native Floridian Deborah Sharp ditched the sad stories of the news business to write the funny, southern-fried Mace Bauer Mysteries. “Stephanie Plum goes into the backwoods,’’ raved  Kirkus.  The movie-themed Mama Sees Stars,’ Deborah’s fourth book, earned a
starred review from Library Journal. She landed a spot on NBC’s Today Show, where she was seen in a starlet’s boa, working “Mama’s’’ red carpet. Deborah belongs to Sisters in Crime and serves as a board member for Mystery Writers of America/Fla. Chapter. She and her husband, TV reporter Kerry Sanders, live in Fort Lauderdale.

Joanna Campbell SlanJoanna Campbell Slan (top)

Joanna Campbell Slan is the author of Paper, Scissors, Death, the first in a series featuring Kiki Lowenstein, an expert scrapbooker who plays amateur sleuth when her husband dies under suspicious circumstances. Paper, Scissors, Death has been called "an engaging cozy" with "an enjoyable mix of humor, suspense (and) a touch of romance." Ready, Scrap, Shoot , the fifth book in her Kiki Lowenstein mystery series, will be released just in time for the Festival.

Author PhotoRochelle Staab (top)

Rochelle Staab, a former award-winning radio programmer and music industry marketing executive, blends her fascination with the supernatural and her love for mystery in Who Do, Voodoo?, the Agatha nominated, bestselling first novel in her Mind for Murder Mystery series featuring psychologist Liz Cooper and occult expert Nick Garfield. Bruja Brouhaha, , the second novel in the series will be released in August. A first timer at the festival, Rochelle lives and writes in Los Angeles.

Leann SweeneyLeann Sweeney (top)

Leann Sweeney is the author of a four books in the "Cats in Trouble Mysteries" with amateur sleuth Jillian Hart solving the cat problems in Mercy, South Carolina, problems that always seem to involve murder. The fourth, The Cat, the Wife and the Weapon, will be out just in time for the Festival. She has also written five Yellow Rose Mysteries featuring adoption PI Abby Rose.Leann lives in Texas with her two inspiring cats, the ADHD labradoodle Rosie and her husband Mike.

Marcia TalleyMarcia D. Talley (top)

Marcia Talley returns to Pittsburgh to sign copies of her tenth Hannah Ives mystery A Quiet Death, just out in trade paper. Marcia's short stories appear in more than a dozen collections, including "Can You Hear Me Now?" from Two of the Deadliest: New Tales of Lust, Greed and Murder by Outstanding Women of Mystery edited by Elizabeth George. Marcia is also a featured contributor to the new "how-to" book, Now Write! Mysteries. This Agatha and Anthony award-winning author divides her time between Annapolis, Maryland and living aboard an antique sailboat in the Bahamas.

Heather TerrellHeather Terrell (top)

Pittsburgh attorney turned novelist Heather Terrell joins us with a book that takes her a new direction. Fallen Angels is the first in a series of young adult novels about a girl who discovers that her dreams of flying are not dreams--she's a fallen angel. Heather, an attorney, lives with her husband and two children in Sewickley, Pennsylvania.

Author PhotoVictoria Thompson (top)

Edgar Nominated author Victoria Thompson writes the Gaslight Mystery Series, set in turn-of-the-century New York City and featuring midwife Sarah Brandt.  Her latest is Murder on Fifth Avenue, available for the first time anywhere at the Festival!  She also contributed to the award winning writing textbook Many Genres One Craft. A popular speaker, Victoria teaches in the Seton Hill University master’s program in writing popular fiction. She lives in Central PA with her husband and a very spoiled little dog.

Elaine VietsElaine Viets (top)

Elaine Viets continues her national bestselling series of dead-end jobs with Final Sail . Elaine, who really does work all these jobs, also has a second series featuring mystery shopper Josie Marcus. Latest is Death on a Platter . Elaine lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.


Tina Whittle Tina Whittle (top)

Tina Whittle is a mystery writer living and working in Southeast Georgia. The Dangerous Edge of Things, her first novel, debuted last year. Set in contemporary Atlanta, The Dangerous Edge of Things is the first book in a series featuring gun-shop owner Tai Randolph and corporate security agent Trey Seaver. The sequel, Darker Than Any Shadow, will be here for the Festival. When not writing or reading, Tina enjoys golf, sushi, and spending time with her family (one husband, one daughter, one neurotic Maltese and three chickens).

Lois Winston Lois Winston (top)

Award-winning author Lois Winston writes the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries featuring magazine crafts editor and reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack. Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, the first book in the series, debuted last year and received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Kirkus Reviews dubbed it “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” You'll get a chance to pick up the sequel, Death by Killer Mop Doll, this year. Lois is also published in women’s fiction, romantic suspense, and non-fiction as well as being an award-winning crafts and needlework designer. 



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