Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Murder and Mayhem this Saturday, plus a preview event with Stephen Mack Jones and Danny Gardner Friday at Boswell

This Saturday, November 4, is the annual Murder and Mayhem conference at the Irish Cultural Center near the Marquette University campus downtown.The program features panels, interviews, and signings with these authors: James R Benn, Lou Berney, Chelsea Cain (pictured), Susanna Calkins, Reed Farrel Coleman (also pictured), Lori Rader-Day, Danny Gardner, Shaun Harris, Rob Hart, Matthew Fitzsimmons, Linda Joffe Hull, Stephen Mack Jones, Dave Krugler, SW Lauden, Kristen Lepionka, Bill Loehfelm, Nick Petrie, Thomas Pluck, Bryon Quertermous, Nathan Singer, F. Paul Wilson, and Lili Wright.

Who's out at the last minute: though on the guest list, we just learned we will not be seeing Sean Chercover. And one never really knows until the day of the event. Last year, one of our attendees had a flight cancellation.

Who's in, as of the latest update: Blake Crouch, Jamie Freveletti, Marcus Sakey

Here's the schedule of panels and interviews. Each panel tends to have four to six participants.
9 am: Violence in a Violent World
10 am: Worst. Panel. Ever.
11 am: Nick Petrie’s Mother is in the Audience
1 pm: F Paul Wilson interviewed by Nathan Singer
2 pm: What’s It All About?
3 pm: Chelsea Cain interviewed by Ruth Jordan
4 pm: Wondrous Woman of Crime Fiction

Register here! Tickets are $42.95 (including the ticketing fee) for a full day of thrills.

And of course on Friday, November 3, we're hosting a Murder and Mayhem preview event with Stephen Mack Jones, author of August Snow and Danny Gardner, author of A Negro and an Ofay.

Stephen Mack Jones is a published poet, an award-winning playwright, and a recipient of the prestigious Kresge Arts in Detroit Literary Fellowship. He was born in Lansing, Michigan, and currently lives in Farmington Hills, outside of Detroit. He worked in advertising and marketing communications for a number of years before turning to fiction.

In his debut, August Snow, the son of an African-American father and a Mexican-American mother grows up in the city's Mexicantown and joins the police force only to be forced out by corrupt officials and officers. It's not long before he's summoned to the palatial Grosse Pointe Estate, home of business magnate Eleanor Paget. Powerful and manipulative, Paget wants August to investigate the increasingly unusual happenings at her private wealth management bank, which he declines. A day later, Paget is dead of an apparent suicide – dragging Snow into a rat’s nest of deception and danger.

Joining him will be debut author Danny Gardner. From his beginnings as a young stand-up comedian, Gardner has enjoyed careers as an actor, director, and screenwriter. He is a recent Pushcart Prize nominee for his creative non-fiction piece Forever. His first short fiction piece, Labor Day, appeared in Beat to a Pulp, and his flash fiction has been featured in Out of the Gutter and on Noir On The Air. Gardner is a proud member of the Mystery Writers of America and the International Thriller Writers.

The novel A Negro and an Ofay takes place in 1952. After a year on the run, disgraced Chicago Police Officer Elliot Caprice wakes up in a jailhouse in St. Louis. Friends from his hometown secure his release and he returns to find the family farm in foreclosure and the man who raised him dying in a flophouse. Desperate for money, he accepts a straight job as a process server and eventually crosses paths with a powerful family from Chicago's North Shore. A captain of industry is dead, the key to his estate disappeared with the chauffeur, and soon Elliot is in up to his neck. The mixed-race son of Illinois farm country must return to the Windy City with the Chicago Police on his heels and the Syndicate at his throat. Good thing he's had a lifetime of playing both sides against the middle.

It's been a good year for mysteries, especially in Milwaukee, the setting for Nick Petrie's debut novel, The Drifter, which has now been a finalist for six prizes, and is the winner of the International Thriller Writers Best Debut Novel. We'll have copies of The Drifter and Burning Bright at the show, and you'll probably hear a little about his next novel, Light It Up, which releases next January. I feel like this could be the one that breaks him big!

Hope to see you on Friday or Saturday.

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