Whodunit Winner Announced!

Winner Named in 2017 Mystery Writers Whodunit Writing Competition


Winning Authors Composite

Mike Pettit of Gulf Breeze, Florida, has been named First Place winner in an international competition to claim the 2017 Mystery Writers Whodunit Award, to be presented at the 4th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 16-18 in Key West, Florida.

Supported by the Marion Stevens Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys and sponsored by Absolutely Amazing eBooks,Pettit’s winning entry “Key West Flashpoint” wins him a Whodunit Award trophy, book-publishing contract with Absolutely Amazing eBooks, complimentary Mystery Fest Key West 2017 registration, airfare and hotel accommodations for two nights.

No stranger to mystery writing, Pettit is author of 29 fiction suspense thriller novels as well as several short stories and how-to books for independent authors. Joining Pettit in the winner’s circle are Kathryn K.M. Hershberger of Richmond, VA, who took Second Place with “Triggerpoint;” Lewis C. Haskell of Key West, FL, (who was also 2016 First Place winner and 2015 Second Place winner) who took Third Place with “Kilimanjaro Snow;” and Susan Chiappone, who placed with “The Choirboy Sings.”

Candidates for the award were required to submit the first three pages of a finished, but unpublished manuscript to a “blind” judging committee comprised of Dr. Toby Armour, a playwright, author and performer whose credits include the murder mystery book “Blood Tells” and the play, “Is This 24 Lily Pond Lane?”; Carol Lazar, an author, columnist, photojournalist and former senior editor for South Africa’s Independent Newspapers; Captain Reef Perkins, author of “Sex, Salvage and Secrets,” Screwed, Blu’d and Tattoed,” and the mystery novel “Deep Air”; Robin Robinson, an author, syndicated newspaper columnist, educator and horticulturist; and Shirrel Rhoades, an author, film critic, media consultant and publisher of Absolutely Amazing eBooks.

“Why just the first three pages? That criterion is a nod to late author Jeremiah Healy, a world-class mystery writer and a great judge of mystery writing,” says Shirrel Rhoades, co-founder of Mystery Fest Key West. “Jerry’s opinion was that a book either captures a reader in the first three pages…or it doesn’t. The competition judges all agreed with that assessment, and decided to use it as a yardstick for the competition.”

“I am honored and truly humbled to have won the First Place award,” said Pettit. “It is an amazing and talented group of authors that entered the contest and how fortunate I am for even placing in the run off. I thank the organization for selecting my book and look forward to receiving the Whodunit Award at the Key West Conference in June.”

Pettit is to receive his award trophy at 11am on Saturday, June 17, at DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Key Resort, headquarters for the Key West Mystery Fest, and will read his entry for the audience. The Fest itself is to include multiple workshops, presentations, panel discussions and social events where attendees mingle with acclaimed crime fiction and true crime writers including this year’s headliners John Hemingway, Clifford Irving, Randy Rawls and Charles Todd, featured presenters Lisa Black, James O. Born, Nancy J. Cohen, Heather Graham and many other authors and true-crime experts.

For information on attending the 4th Annual Fest as well as complete Mystery Writers Whodunit Writing Competition guidelines and submission details, visit mysteryfestkeywest.com.

8 Killer Reasons…

8 Killer Reasons to Register for Mystery Fest Key West 2017 Now

 The 4th Annual “Murder & Mayhem in Paradise” themed Mystery Fest Key West will take place June 16-18 in Key West, Florida. Here are 8 “killer” reasons to register now:

1)   With celebrated authors of action/adventure, true-crime, cozies, noir and more, it’s a mystery genre cornucopia!

2)   Sensational star power: Liaise with headliners John Hemingway, Clifford Irving, Randy Rawls, and Charles Todd, featured presenters Lisa Black, James O. Born, Nancy J. Cohen and Heather Graham, and panelist authors David Beckwith, Robert Coburn, Bill Craig, John Cunningham, Mike Dennis, Lewis C. Haskell, Susan Haskell and Nora-Jean Perkin, Renee Kumor, Meg Muldoon, Siera London, Rick Ollerman, Reef Perkins, Ken Rijock, Shirrel Rhoades, Marjory Sorrel Rockwell and Paul Sinor.

3)   Ramp up your sleuthing savvy: Learn first-hand the exciting how-to’s of crime scene investigation from leading local true-crime law enforcement experts.

4)   Pitch session opportunities with four prominent literary agents!

5)   You’ll get to explore infamous hauntings in Old Town Key West with New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham as she co-hosts a Saturday evening ramble with Sloan’s Ghost Tour Key West.

6)   You might walk into the very pages of a mystery novel: Fest guests who register by midnight on June 1 are automatically entered into a drawing for a cameo role in bestselling author Meg Muldoon’s next “Christmas River” series novel.

7)   Alluring diversions: A reception and dinner at the Hemingway Home and Museum, author book signings, a ‘mysterious’ special event at the Custom House Museum, and a Bloody Mary Morning breakfast at Key West’s historic Schooner Wharf Bar.

8)   It’s a steal of a deal: Event registration is just $195 and includes three days of exciting panels, presentations and social events – in Paradise – plus four meals in the company of Fest guests and celebrity authors.

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 supported by the Marion Stevens Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys and the Helmerich Trust.  For a full Fest schedule, online registration and links to accommodations visit mysteryfestkeywest.com

Key West Fest Guest Will Nab Cameo Role!

One Mystery Fest Key West Guest Will Nab Cameo Role in Author Meg Muldoon’s Next Novel

Key West, Florida Keys – In a startling plot twist, organizers of the upcoming Key West Mystery Fest have announced that one Fest guest will walk into the pages of bestselling author Meg Muldoon’s next “Christmas River” series novel.
Muldoon, a former news reporter and author of more than a dozen “cozy” mystery titles, is slated to be a featured panelist at the upcoming “Murder & Mayhem in Paradise” themed Key West Mystery Fest, a gathering of true-crime, mystery, and suspense writers and fans to be held in Key West, Florida, June 16-18. All who are registered for the Fest by midnight June 1 are eligible to win a cameo “character placement” role in the author’s forthcoming “Meltdown in Christmas River: A Christmas Cozy Mystery Book,” which is due out this August.
What is a “cozy” mystery, you ask? Cozies are one of numerous sub-genre’s in the mystery writing world. While a “hardboiled” mystery typically follows a gritty Private Investigator in a corrupt urban setting, and “noir” is known for its “no heroes, no happy endings” darkness, “cozy” mysteries are written with a warm and often humorous approach, are light on sex, violence and coarse language and generally star an amateur detective in a small-town setting.
 
“Part of the fun is that the winner will get to choose whether they want to be a good character or a bad character in my next book,” Muldoon said. “I can’t wait to see which one they go for!”
 
Over the past three years, the Santa Fe, New Mexico-based author, who is originally from Bend, Oregon, has earned considerable renown as a run-away success story in the self-publishing world. “When someone picks up one of my books, I want them to feel as if they’re coming to a special place full of mystery, romance, memorable characters, and delicious pie,” Muldoon said. “I try to put a lot of heart and honesty into my stories, and I think readers have really responded to that.”
Appearing with Muldoon at the Fest are a hit-list of high-profile and award winning mystery and crime fiction authors and true-crime experts, including headliners John Hemingway, grandson of Ernest and author of “Strange Tribe,” Keynote Speaker Clifford Irving, investigative reporter and author of more than 20 novels – including a faux Howard Hughes “autobiography” for which he served prison time – and Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter past-President Randy Rawls.
Featured presenters include New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black, award-winning crime and science fiction writer James O. Born, and New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham, each of whom will also moderate and appear on panels with award-winning “cozy” mystery writer Nancy J. Cohen and many others.
Mystery Fest Key West 2017 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 supported by the Marion Stevens Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys and the Helmerich Trust.
Event registration is $195 and includes all panels, presentations, social events and four meals. All panels and presentations will be held at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key. For registration, information and a full fest schedule visit mysteryfestkeywest.com.

MYSTERY FEST KEY WEST 2017–UPDATE

Key West Mystery Fest Welcomes Renowned Spinners of Suspense and Intrigue

Interested in bloodstain pattern analysis, forensic science, how to craft the perfect crime – or just like to hang out with fascinating storytellers? Then follow the clues to the 4th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 16-18, 2017 at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key.

During a weekend of panels, presentations and social events, Fest guests will learn first-hand how to craft tales of crime, murder and mystery from a stellar line-up of mystery and suspense luminaries and true-crime experts and even have the opportunity to pitch their own stories to several high-profile publishing experts.

1. John Hemingway_5Q0A1727_byCarol_Tedesco

Event headliners for 2017 are John Hemingway, grandson of Ernest and author of ‘Strange Tribe,’ Keynote Speaker Clifford Irving, investigative reporter and author of more than 20 novels, including a faux Howard Hughes “autobiography” for which he served prison time, and Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter past-President Randy Rawls.

Featured presenters include New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black, award-winning crime and science fiction writer James O. Born, award-winning ‘cozy’ mystery writer Nancy J. Cohen and New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham, each of whom will also moderate and appear on panels with mystery/suspense authors David Beckwith, Robert Coburn, Bill Craig, John Cunningham, Mike Dennis, Lewis C. Haskell, Susan Haskell and Nora-Jean Perkin, Renee Kumor, Meg Muldoon, Siera London, Rick Ollerman, Reef Perkins, Ken Rijock, Shirrel Rhoades, Marjory Sorrel Rockwell, Paul Sinor and Charles Todd.

2. Heather Graham_7870_by Carol Tedesco (1)

“In its first three years our Mystery Fest Key West developed a reputation not only for the caliber of authors that attend and participate, but the wide range of mystery genres they represent,” said Shirrel Rhoades, co-founder of the Fest. “It’s an intimate environment where authors and fans get to mix and mingle while exploring the craft in a tropical island paradise.”

Event highlights include a reception and dinner at the Hemingway Home and Museum, presentation of the 2017 Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition and Award, a ghost tour hosted by Heather Graham, a panel on ‘How to Commit a Perfect Murder,’ author book signings, a ‘mysterious’ special event at the Custom House Museum, a Bloody Mary Morning breakfast at Key West’s historic Schooner Wharf Bar and several back-to-back true-crime workshops led by Florida Keys Law Enforcement Officers who will present a bird’s eye view of how detectives and CSI investigators collect and work with evidence in real life.

Registration is just $195 and includes all panels, presentations, social events and four meals. Those who register at mysteryfestkeywest.com by June 1 will also automatically be entered in a drawing to win a walk-on role in bestselling author Meg Muldoon’s next book.

3. Lisa Black_5Q0A7426_by Carol Tedesco

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 supported by the Marion Stevens Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys and the Helmerich Trust.  Event registration is $195 and includes all panels, presentations and four meals.  For more information, visit mysteryfestkeywest.com.

Mystery Fest Key West 2017 Writers

PART TWO:

Author John H. Cunningham

Author John H. Cunningham has a background as eclectic as his literary subjects. Once the editor in chief of The Pro Review, a magazine for professional photographers, he has also enjoyed a long career as a commercial real estate professional developing projects in New York City, Washington, D.C., Toronto and other Mid-Atlantic states. Like his fiction protagonist, Buck Reilly, he’s also an aviation enthusiast, island hopper and an avid escapist.

John lived in Key West in the late ’70’s and early 80’s, but now lives in Virginia with his wife and two daughters, and spends much of his time traveling. His choices for the places and plots that populate the Buck Reilly series include many subjects that he loves: Key West, Cuba, the Bahamas, and multiple Caribbean settings, along with amphibious aircraft, colorful characters, and stories that concern themselves with the same tensions and issues that affect all of our lives.

He developed Buck Reilly as a protagonist who is more everyman than superman to create a hero on a human scale, with many of the same strengths and weaknesses as the rest of us. Wrapping these elements into a genre that is both popular and under-supplied, his work offers a compelling escape for readers who like against the odds stories in tropical settings.
http://www.jhcunningham.com

Author Robert Coburn

A native of Norfolk, Virginia, Robert Coburn graduated from Maury High School and then spent three years in the U.S. Army.  Upon his discharge he enrolled in the Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary VPI as an engineering student.  A year later he transferred to Richmond Professional Institute (now VCU) in Richmond, Virginia, as an advertising major, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Advertising.

Coburn spent his advertising career at major ad agencies in New York and Los Angeles.  He worked ten years with Doyle Dane Bernbach in New York, starting as a copywriter and becoming a Vice President Copy Supervisor.

He joined Rubin Postaer and Associates in Los Angeles where he became a Senior Vice President and Creative Director.

His television and print ads have won major awards in advertising shows nationally and internationally.  They include first place wins in The Clios, The Andys, New York Art Directors Club, The Beldings, and Gold and Silver Lions at Cannes.

After leaving the advertising business, Coburn turned his attention to writing novels.  His first, A Loose Knot–a mystery novel set in Los Angeles and Key West–was followed by A Deadly Deception, The Pink Gun and Little Boxes. Coburn’s latest, Bad Tidings, is due out in the summer of 2015.

Outside of writing, Coburn enjoys playing the saxophone and traveling.  He is also an instrument-rated commercial pilot.  He lives with his wife in Carmel, California.

Author Mike Dennis

For thirty years, Mike Dennis was a professional musician, retiring from full-time playing around 2003. He then became a professional poker player, and left Key West for Las Vegas. In late 2009, one of his novels was picked up by a publisher and he had to abandon poker to devote time to developing a platform for his books. Since then he has published five more novels, two novelettes, and numerous individual short stories. In December, 2010, Mike moved back to Key West.

In 2013, he had the opportunity to get into audiobook narration. Since then, he has over 40 audio titles available, about half in the crime/noir genre. His biggest title is I, The Jury by Mickey Spillane, the first Mike Hammer novel.

Author Siera London

I write about Sassy, Sensual heroines and the Alpha Males that love them, flaws and all.

Contemporary romance and women’s fiction is my therapy of choice. I served 22 years in the United States Navy as a registered nurse before I decided to focus on my writing career. It’s never too late, to follow your heart’s desire.

I live in Florida Keys with my husband and a color patch tabby named Frie. I am a pet lover at heart. I would gladly welcome more furry friends into the household; however, I had to guilt my husband into the cat. As a native Floridian, it’s nice to leave the DC weather in the rearview mirror.

When I’m not writing, I love getting lost between the pages of a great book. I get a thrill searching through recipe books with my sister in-law. I enjoy cooking  huge meals to share with friends and family. I would like to think I’m a pretty good cook since folks keep showing up at the front door to eat my food.

When I can whisk my husband away from his job we enjoy warm, sunny places anywhere in the world. We have plans to start a blog titled “Reading, Writing, & Walking the Keys.”
sieralondon.com

Mystery Fest Key West 2017

4th Annual Mystery Fest Key West Set to Infiltrate Southernmost City June 16-18, 2017

Celebrated mystery writers, acclaimed storytellers and their fans are set to infiltrate the tropical island city where Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams found their inspiration during the 4th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 16-18, 2017 at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key in Key West, Florida.

During the weekend’s series of panels, presentations and social events, Fest guests will have the opportunity to learn first-hand how to craft their own tales of crime, murder and mystery from a stellar line-up of high-profile mystery and suspense luminaries and true-crime experts.

Headliners for 2017 are 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.

Featured presenters include New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black, award-winning crime and science fiction writer James O. Born, award-winning ‘cozy’ mystery writer Nancy J. Cohen and New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham, each of whom will also moderate and appear on panels with mystery/suspense authors Dan Ames, David Beckwith, Robert Coburn, John Cunningham, Mike Dennis, Lewis C. Haskell, Susan Haskell and Nora-Jean Perkin, Renee Kumor, Meg Muldoon, Siera London, Rick Ollerman, Reef Perkins, Ken Rijock, Shirrel Rhoades, Marjory Sorrel Rockwell and Paul Sinor.

“In its first three years our Mystery Fest Key West developed a reputation not only for the caliber of authors that attend and participate, but the wide range of mystery genres they represent,” said Shirrel Rhoades, co-founder of the Fest. “It’s an intimate environment where authors and fans get to mix and mingle while exploring the craft in a tropical island paradise.”

Event highlights include a reception and dinner at the Hemingway Home and Museum, presentation of the 2017 Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition and Award, a ghost tour hosted by Heather Graham, a panel on ‘How to Commit a Perfect Murder,’ author book signings, a Bloody Mary Morning breakfast at Key West’s historic Schooner Wharf Bar and several back-to-back true-crime workshops led by Florida Keys Law Enforcement Officers who will present a bird’s eye view of how detectives and CSI investigators collect and work with evidence in real life – vs. popular television and film depictions.

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 and the Florida Keys Council of the Arts.  Event registration is $175 and includes all panels, presentations and four meals.

For Mystery Fest Key West media relations contact:
Carol Tedesco
KismetKeyWest@gmail.com

Mystery Fest 2017 Square Art w TDC out of county logo (1)

Schedule of Events: June 16-18, 2017

2017 MYSTERY FEST KEY WEST

FRIDAY, JUNE 16

1:00 – 1:45 p.m. Workshop 1: To Be Announced (Special Guest Appearance)
2:00 – 2:45 p.m. Workshop 2: James O. Born – Police Myths
3:00 – 3:45 p.m. Workshop 3: Lisa Black – Blood Spatter Forensics
4:00 – 4:45 p.m. Workshop 4 – Nancy J. Cohen – How to Write a Cozy
6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Reception and Buffet Dinner at Hemingway Home and Museum
Welcome – Mystery Fest Co-Founder Shirrel Rhoades
Special Guest Speaker – John Hemingway
8:30 p.m. Sloan’s Ghost Tour Key West – hosted by Heather Graham

SATURDAY, JUNE 17
8:30 a.m. Coffee & Danish

8:45 a.m. Introduction

9:00 – 9:45 a.m. Panel Discussion: Where I Get My Ideas
Moderator: Randy Rawls
John H. Cunningham
David Beckwith
Dan Ames
Paul Sinor

10:00 – 10:45 a.m. Panel Discussion: How to Commit a Perfect Murder
Moderator: Heather Graham
Lisa Black
Rick Ollerman
Robert Coburn

11:00 – 11:45 a.m. the Whodunit Mystery Writing Award, presented by Shirrel Rhoades.
Introduction of 2016 winner, Lewis C. Haskell
Presentation of the 2017 Whodunit Award

11:45 – 12:00 p.m. Presentation of the Florida Keys Community College Scholarship Winners

12:00 p.m. Luncheon

12:30 – 1:45 p.m. Clifford Irving, Keynote Speaker

2:00 – 2:45 p.m. Panel Discussion:  It Takes a Crook
Moderator – Rick Ollerman
Mike Dennis

Ken Rijock
Reef Perkins

3:00 – 3:45 p.m. Panel Discussion: Cozy Mysteries and Female Sleuths
Moderator – Nancy J. Cohen
Susan Haskell / Nora-Jean Perkin
Marjory Sorrell Rockwell
Renee Kumor
Meg Muldoon

 

4:00 – 4:45 p.m. Panel Discussion: Law Enforcement 
Moderator: James O. Born
Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, Key West Police Department, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and Federal Bureau of Investigation

 

5:00 – 5:45 p.m. Book Signing

7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Event To Be announced

SUNDAY, JUNE 18
8:30 – 11:00 a.m. Brunch at Schooner Wharf Bar at the historic Key West waterfront (included in registration + $15 for each additional guest.

To Contact:
Mystery Fest Key West
Please write to:
Mystery Fest Key West,
926 Truman Avenue,
Key West, Florida 33040
or Email Us info@mysteryfestkeywest.com