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 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


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