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our 2023 authors

We were thrilled to have the following slate of authors for our 2023 event.

Please check back this summer for our 2024 authors.


mike befeler

Mike is author of twenty books including Last Gasp Motel, Old Detectives Home, Paradise Court, Back Wing, Front Wing, Death of a Scam Artist, Mystery of the Dinner Playhouse, Unstuff Your Stuff, The Tesla Legacy, The Best Chicken Thief in All of Europe, and the Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery series. He was twice a finalist for The Lefty Award for best humorous mystery and has two books under contract to be published in 2024.

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Leif is best known as a yacht designer and builder of fast and beautiful sailboats that have won a slew of major regattas and prestigious awards. He has spent years racing and cruising, logging thousands of miles at sea and visiting many countries. His novel, Voyage to Crusoe, was inspired by some of the wild situations and interesting characters he encountered in his travels. Follow him on his blog: and his website:



Baron is the winner of the Silver Falchion Award (Hard Latitudes); Killer Nashville Readers’ Choice Award (South California Purples); and Best Book of the Year (Fistful of Rain). He’s been nominated for the Nero Award, the Lefty, the Foreword Indie, the Claymore, and the Pacific Northwest’s Spotted Owl Awards. Baron’s writing has been hailed as “The real deal” by Publishers Weekly; “Fast Paced and Engaging” by Booklist; and “Solid, fluent and thrilling” by Kirkus.



Marc is the New York Times-bestselling author of both the Jericho Quinn and Arliss Cutter series along with the last seven Tom Clancy Jack Ryan novels. In early 1991 he became part of the United States Marshals Service, specializing in dignitary protection. He moved through the ranks until finally retiring after twenty-nine years in law enforcement as chief deputy U.S. Marshal for the District of Alaska to pursue writing full-time. He holds a second-degree blackbelt in Jujitsu and often teaches defensive tactics to law enforcement agencies and civilian groups. Marc is also a certified law enforcement SCUBA diver, man-tracking instructor, and avid adventure motorcyclist. Motorcycles figure prominently in his novels. He and his wife live in Alaska. MarcCameronAuthor @marccameron1

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lance charnes

Lance has been an Air Force intelligence officer, information technology manager, computer-game artist, set designer, Jeopardy! contestant, and is now an emergency management specialist. He’s trained in architectural rendering, terrorist incident response, and maritime archaeology. His Facebook page features spies, archaeology, and art crime. He’s the author of the DeWitt Agency Files series of international art-crime novels, the DeWitt Agency Adventures series of action/adventure novels, the international thriller Doha 12, and the near-future thriller South.


warren easley

Warren is the author of the award-winning Cal Claxton Mysteries set in Oregon. The latest addition to the series, No Witness, received the 2022 Spotted Owl Award for the best mystery novel by a Pacific Northwest author, and Blood for Wine was shortlisted for a Nero Award in 2018. Warren has also been awarded the Kay Snow Award for fiction and named the Northwest’s Up and Coming Author in 2017.

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Matt coyle — MODERATOR

Matt is the author of the bestselling Rick Cahill crime series. He knew he wanted to be a crime writer at age twelve when his father gave him Raymond Chandler’s The Simple Art of Murder. His books have won the Anthony, Shamus, Lefty, Ben Franklin Silver, Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Silver, and San Diego Book Awards. Matt was named the Mystery Writer of the Year by the San Diego Writers Festival for 2021.

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ryburn dobbs

Ryburn taught biological anthropology and forensic anthropology throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and spent ten years as a forensic anthropologist, working dozens of death investigations. In addition to his anthropological pursuits, Ryburn also worked as an investigative analyst specializing in homicides and unsolved cases. His work as a forensic anthropologist inspired him to write The Sebastien Grey Novels: The Comfort of Distance, The Boxwood Torso, and Where the Blood Is Made.


dave freedland

Dave is a 34-year decorated law enforcement professional having served as a SWAT team leader and commander for the Irvine Police Department for over 25 years. He retired at the rank of Deputy Chief and currently holds a sixth-degree black belt in Japanese Shotokan karate. His first novel, Lincoln 9, was Oak Tree Press’s bestselling book on Amazon. His second, The Pepper Tree, is a work of fiction, but the location is a real killer’s dumping ground.

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paddy hirsch

Paddy is a journalist, broadcaster, and former British Royal Marines officer. When not writing novels, he works as a contributing editor and reporter for NPRs Planet Money. He is the author of two historical thrillers in the Lawless New York series, featuring Marshal Justy Flanagan: The Devil’s Half Mile and Hudson’s Kill (Tor/Forge). He is also the author of Man vs Markets: Economics Explained, Plain and Simple, which uses humor to explain how Wall Street works.


lee hollis

Lee Hollis is the pen name for Rick Copp, a veteran Hollywood screenwriter who has written and produced many film and television projects, including The Golden Girls, The Brady Bunch Movie, Scooby Doo, Teen Titans, Wings, Barbershop, and the hit web series Where the Bears Are. He has written over 30 mystery novels and collections, including the Hayley Powell Food & Cocktails series, the Poppy Harmon Desert Flowers series, and the Maya & Sandra series. &

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joe ide — speaker

Joe is of Japanese American decent and grew up South Central Los Angeles. His favorite books were the Author Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories. His first novel, IQ, won the Anthony, the Shamus, and McCavity awards, and was nominated for the Edgar, the Barry, the New Blood Dagger, and the Strand Critics’ awards. It was also selected as One of the Year’s Best Books by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Kirkus Reviews, and Time magazine. Joe’s Phillip Marlowe novel, The Goodbye Coast, is one of Apple’s Best Books of the Year for 2023, and the Washington Post said his latest IQ book, Fixit, was “superb.” Joe lives in Santa Monica with his wife and their golden retriever, Jolly.



Frederick inherited his enthusiasm for reading and writing detective fiction from his mother. For his 50th birthday, his wife loaded him into their trailer for a writing retreat to finish the first Archie Cavendish mystery, which blends his enthusiasm for character-driven mysteries with his love of the Caribbean. James and his wife live in Southern California and are proud parents of a one-eyed cat who thinks he is a dog.

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leslie s. klinger — moderator

Leslie is the New York Times-bestselling editor of the Edgar-winning New Annotated Sherlock Holmes and Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s. He currently edits the Library of Congress Crime Classics series with 15 volumes to date, and, with Laurie R. King, has edited five anthologies of Sherlock Holmes–inspired short stories. Klinger is a director and former president of the Southern California chapter of the Mystery Writers of America. He lives in Malibu, California.


nolan knight

Nolan is the author of Gallows Dome, The Neon Lights Are Veins, and Beneath the Black Palms. He is a fourth-generation Angeleno and a native of Los Angeles’ South Bay. He is a former staff writer for Los Angeles’ biggest music publication, L.A. Record. His short fiction has been featured in various publications, including Akashic Books, Thuglit, Crimespree Magazine, Shotgun Honey, Tough, and Needle. He lives in Long Beach, CA.

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s.a. (saul) lelchuk

Saul divides his time between Oakland and New Hampshire, where he teaches graduate creative writing courses at Dartmouth College and volunteers as a PEN America prison writing mentor. His debut novel, Save Me from Dangerous Men, was the start of a series featuring bookseller and private investigator Nikki Griffin. The series has been optioned for film and television and has been published in translation around the world. His most recent book is One Got Away.


john david mann

John David is the award-winning coauthor of over 30 books, including 9 NYT, a national bestseller. His classic parable The Go-Giver won the Living Now Book Award’s Evergreen Medal for its “contribution to positive global change.” His debut novel, Steel Fear, coauthored with former Navy SEAL Brandon Webb, was nominated for a Barry Award and named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2021. The third thriller in the series, Blind Fear, was just released.


lee musgrave

Lee is an N.E.A. Fellowship recipient, and his art has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions. He’s lived most of his life in Los Angeles, and he is a former professor of Art and curator involved with artists, collectors, critics, galleries, and an array of related enthusiasts. His ability to relate these experiences informs his creative noir writing about Los Angeles’ exciting art community. His novels Brushed Off and Off Kilter have won gold and silver awards.

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Ralph is a New York Times-bestselling author, award-winning playwright, and host of the popular podcast Heroes Behind Headlines. His books have been published in over 20 languages and include Jawbreaker, Inside SEAL Team Six, The Walk-In, Plunging into Haiti (winner of the Douglas Dillon Prize for American Diplomacy), Zero Footprint, Left of Boom, Ghost, and his latest novel Saigon, which is based on his childhood living in Vietnam in the mid-1960s.



James is two-time recipient of the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference Award for Fiction and the author of the multi-award-winning Surf City Mysteries. We are proud to launch is his sixth book, Remains to Be Seen, here at Men of Mystery 2023. His most recent other works, Crashpad and Buzzkill, are historical novellas set in the 1960s. Kirkus Reviews called Buzzkill “A historical thriller enriched by characters who sparkle and refuse to be forgotten.”

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david putnam

Dave is a bestselling author who has done it all during his career in law enforcement. He worked narcotics, FBI-sponsored violent crime teams, criminal intelligence, hostage rescue, SWAT, Internal Affairs, and more. The recipient of many awards and commendations for his heroism, Dave lives in Southern California with his wife, Mary. The tenth book in his Bruno Johnson series, The Scorned, was published in February 2023 and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.


kwei quartey

Kwei is a crime fiction writer who lives in Pasadena. His Darko Dawson and Emma Djan Investigations series are set in Ghana, where Kwei was born to a Ghanaian father and Black American mother. In 2021, his novel The Missing American, was nominated for the Edgar Award for Best First PI Novel and the Edgar Allan Poe Best Novel Award, and won the Shamus Award. Sleep Well, My Lady was a 2022 Edgar nominee for Best Novel.



Matthew is the New York Times-bestselling author of Inside Threat, Red Warning, Hour of the Assassin, The Night Agent, Dead Man Switch, Cold Barrel Zero, The Directive, and The 500. He studied history and literature at Harvard College, then worked as a reporter for The Atlantic magazine in Washington, D.C., where he wrote about crime, terrorism prosecutions, and international gangs. His novels have been translated into 20 languages. The Night Agent is a hit television series on Netflix. Matthew served as a producer and consultant on the show, and several of his other books are now in development for film and television. An Edgar award finalist and winner of the ITW Thriller Award for Best First Novel, Quirk lives in San Diego.



Frederick is the author of Black, White, and Gray All Over: A Black Man’s Odyssey in Life and Law Enforcement, selected as the 2022 Independent Authors Network Book of the Year, and Saint Bloodbath, a true crime story about the murders of six people in 2008–2009. After a 32-year career in law enforcement in Southern California, Frederick retired into writing. He currently resides in Riverside County with his wife, Carolyn, and children, Lauren and Desmond.

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robert rotstein

Robert is a lawyer and author of the legal dramas Corrupt Practices, Reckless Disregard, The Bomb Maker’s Son, and We, The Jury (Blackstone 2018), a USA Today bestseller and a Suspense magazine 2018 Book of the Year. With James Patterson, he wrote The Family Lawyer, the title story of the New York Times-bestselling short story collection. His next novel, The Out of Town Lawyer (Blackstone), will be released in June 2024.



Charles is a former magazine journalist and nonfiction book writer, and a founding member of the New York Writers Workshop. His crime novels, Swann’s Last Song, Second Story Man, and Canary in the Coal Mine have been nominated for the Shamus Award, and Devil in the Hole was named a best crime novel of 2013 by Suspense magazine. His latest book is Man on the Run. He lives and teaches writing in New York City.



Stephen is the LA Times-bestselling author of the Hayden Glass mysteries, Beat and Boulevard, the latter recently made into a short film. He has been a judge for the Thriller Awards, the Edgars, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery-Thriller. His book Hollywood Versus the Author is a compilation of essays by authors who sold their rights to Hollywood. He lives in Palos Verdes and teaches film studies at Emerson College.



Adam is the award-winning author of the international spy thriller Landslide and the forthcoming novel The Underhanded, set for release in April 2024. Before taking up the pen, Adam spent twenty-five years in national security as a US Marine and then as a paramilitary officer with the CIA, having served in Central Asia, East Africa, and Europe. Adam now resides in Southern California and writes as much as he can.



Domenic is an award-winning novelist known for his dark, elegantly written crime novels that skirt the edges of the genre while echoing the refrains of classic noir. His most recent, The White Devil, received the Hammett Award for its portrayal of a young American woman in Rome, an aspiring actress implicated in a series of murders. Other books include The Confession, recipient of the Edgar, and the North Beach Mystery series featuring Dante Mancuso.


carl vonderau

Carl won a Left Coast Crime award and a San Diego book award for his first novel, Murderabilia. His second novel, Saving Myles (August 2023), portrays two estranged parents who must launder money to save their troubled teenage son. Carl believes that behind every crime is a family. His books take place in the financial industry, where he had a long career in several countries. Carl lives with his wife in San Diego.



Daniel’s debut mystery, The Last Songbird, has been described by T. Jefferson Parker as “rock noir at its best—half Warren Zevon and half Raymond Chandler.” Daniel’s work has appeared in the LA Times, UK Guardian, Jewish Journal, Billboard, and California Magazine, as well several books including Too Cool, Hardcore California, Turn Up the Radio!, and Drinking with Bukowski. The Last Songbird is the first title in the Pacific Coast Highway Mystery series.

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