Mystery Writers and the fans who love them convene at 2019 Mystery Fest Key West


Keys media personality Jenna Stauffer settles in for some beach reading ahead of the 2019 Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 28-30.

Keys media personality Jenna Stauffer settles in for some beach reading ahead of the 2019 Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 28-30.

Acclaimed mystery authors, celebrated storytellers and the fans who love them are set to rendezvous on the tropical island where so many have found literary inspiration during the Sixth annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 28-30 in Key West.

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

This year’s headliners are keynote speaker Jeffery Deaver, international bestselling and global multi-award winning suspense-thriller author of 40 novels, including his famous “Lincoln Rhyme” series; New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham; New York Times bestselling authors Lisa Black, Carla Norton and Diane A.S. Stuckart; along with authors Jane Bock, Micki Browning, Gray Basnight, David Beckwith, Robert Coburn, Bill Craig, Mike Dennis, Wayne Gales, Cheryl Hollon, Renee Kumar, Rick Ollerman, Shirrel Rhoades, bestselling Buck Reilly adventure series author John H. Cunningham, literary agent Bob DiForio and Authors on the Air radio talk show host/Authors on the Air Global Radio Network executive producer Pam Stack, who will be interviewing participating authors live at the Fest.

Mystery Fest Key West 2019 headliner and keynote speaker Jeffery Deaver. GUNNER PUBLICATIONS / COURTESY PHOTO

Mystery Fest Key West 2019 headliner and keynote speaker Jeffery Deaver. GUNNER PUBLICATIONS / COURTESY PHOTO

Founded in 2014, the Mystery Fest Key West quickly grew in fame and attendance, but “still has the intimacy of a boutique-sized convention with lots of direct interaction between authors and audience,” commented author, publisher and Fest co-founder Shirrel Rhoades. “And, because of the star-power of our guest authors, the fascinating panels and unique social events, we also attract writers and fans of other genres as well.”

Beginning Friday afternoon, June 28, Mystery Fest highlights include an opening wine and cheese party on the veranda of Key West’s iconic Custom House Museum with author Heather Graham and Key West Mayor Teri Johnston presiding, keynote luncheon with Jeffery Deaver, a killer lineup of panels and presentations examining everything from “Forensics for Writers” to “How I Plot a Mystery,” author book signings, a rum sampling event at Hemingway Rum Company/Papa’s Pilar Distillery, a Bloody Mary Morning breakfast at the historic Schooner Wharf Bar, a chance to win a cameo “character placement” role in author Gray Basnight’s next mystery tale and presentation of the annual Whodunit Mystery Writing Award.

Event registration is $195 and includes all panels, presentations, a lunch and a brunch and social events, with panels and presentations taking place at The Studios of Key West in the island’s Old Town historic district. Those who register early are automatically entered into a Gray Basnight “character placement” contest.

Mystery Fest Key West 2019 is sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, The Helmerich Trust, The Gardens Hotel, The Laureate Key West, Margaritaville Key West Resort and Marina and Key West Art & Historical Society.

For a full schedule, online registration and hotel links, visit MysteryFestKeyWest.com. ¦

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