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our 2022 authors

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

Stay tuned for our list of 2023 authors.

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Eric Beetner

Eric has been called “The 21st Century’s answer to Jim Thompson” (LitReactor). He is an International Thriller Award nominee, a Shamus nominee, and a three-time Anthony Award nominee. Eric has written 21 novels including All the Way Down, Rumrunners, and The Devil Doesn’t Want Me. His award-winning short stories appear in over three dozen anthologies. He co-hosts the podcast Writer Types and the popular Noir at the Bar reading series in Los Angeles.


mike befeler

Mike is the author of Paradise Court, Unstuff Your Stuff, Death of a Scam Artist, and the Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit mystery series, twice finalist for The Lefty Award for best humorous mystery. After a thirty-nine-year business career, he retired into writing. He grew up in Hawaii, lived in Boulder, Colorado, and currently resides in Lakewood, California, with his wife Wendy. When not writing, Mike can be seen taking his grandson to the park.

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Leif is best known as a yacht designer and builder, and his boats 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 has encountered in his travels. Follow him on his blog: and his website:

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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. and

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Matt coyle

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.



J.C. is a retired chief of police with 40 years of law enforcement experience. His background includes patrol, detectives, vice, internal affairs, and scientific investigation. His critically acclaimed Howard Hamilton mysteries, Cowards, Crooks, and Warriors, and Twenty-Three Minutes, take the reader on a ride-along without the brutality, racism, and use of force often portrayed by the new media. His latest book, Available Time, is a police procedural with life lessons. 

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ryburn dobbs

Ryburn spent ten years as a forensic anthropologist where he worked on dozens of death investigations. He was also an investigative analyst specializing in homicides and unsolved cases. His work as a forensic anthropologist inspired him to write The Sebastien Grey Novels. His first, The Comfort of Distance, was published in September 2020, The Boxwood Torso in July 2021, and his latest, Where the Blood Is Made, in spring 2022.

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rich ehisen — moderator

Rich is an award-winning journalist, editor, and public speaker. He has spent more than twenty-five years interviewing and reporting on politicians, athletes, authors, CEOs, celebrities, artists, cops, doers, and dreamers all over the country. He is the managing editor of the State Net Capitol Journal, a weekly online newsletter that covers state-level public policy issues in all 50 states. He is also the creator and host of The Open Mic: Writers in Their Own Words podcast and YouTube show.


dave freedland

Dave is a 34-year decorated law enforcement professional having served with the Irvine Police Department, where he served as a SWAT team leader and commander for over 25 years. He retired at the rank of Deputy Chief and currently holds a 6th-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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neal griffin — moderator

Neal uses his midwestern roots and police background to author the Los Angeles Times–bestselling Newberg Novels that Tami Hoag credited with “dead-on police procedures.” Neal’s latest novel, The Burden of Truth (May 2020), tells the tale of Omar Ortega, an eighteen-year-old Mexican American who deftly straddles the line between overzealous cops and bad actors in the barrio until his luck runs out. Booklist proclaimed the story of Omar “one of the finest reading experiences of the year.”

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chris hauty — speaker

Chris's debut novel, Deep State, was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and Barry Award nominee. C.J. Box called it “a propulsive, page-turning, compelling fragmentation grenade of a debut thriller.” Chris’s other novels include the CALIBA award–nominated Savage Road: A Thriller, and Storm Rising, as well as the acclaimed novella Insurrection Day, all of which follow former White House intern turned intelligence operative Hayley Chill. The next installment of the Hayley Chill series is due in spring 2023. Employed for the last thirty years as a screenwriter, Chris has worked for every major movie studio, in nearly all genres, and is best for known 2008’s Never Back Down and 2017’s Sniper: Ultimate Kill. He currently lives in Glendale, California.

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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.

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joe ide

Joe grew up in South Central Los Angeles and currently lives in Santa Monica, California. His IQ series has won the Anthony, Shamus, and Macavity Awards, and has been nominated for the Edgar, Barry, CWA New Blood Dagger, and Strand Book Critics Awards. His IQ books IQ, Righteous, Wrecked, HI Five, and Smoke are currently in development as an original TV series. His latest book, The Goodbye Coast, reimagines Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe.

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steven G. Jackson

Steven is a versatile author, with three highly acclaimed novels: thriller The Zeus Payload (2015), horror novel The Lamia (2021), and its sequel The Night Hag (2021). A fourth is underway. He has published five thrilling short stories in anthologies, including the mystery, “Just One More Thing.” He is also the author of 12 produced one-act comedy stage plays, a published restaurant review (for Noma, #1 in the world), and has written articles for engineers.

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stephen mack jones — speaker

Stephen is a published poet, award-winning playwright, and winner of the Kresge Arts in Detroit Literary Fellowship. Before writing fiction, he worked in advertising. Stephen has received many accolades for his August Snow crime/thriller series. He has been short-listed for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger award and been a finalist for the Shamus Award and Strand Critic’s Award. The Nero Wolfe Society awarded August Snow the 2018 Nero Award. In 2018, the International Association of Crime awarded him the Hammett Prize for literary excellence in the field of crime writing. The Library of Michigan named August Snow a Michigan Notable Book in 2018 and Dead of Winter in 2022. His fourth August Snow book will be available in late 2023.

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leslie s. klinger

Leslie is the New York Times–bestselling editor of the Edgar-winning New Annotated Sherlock Holmes and the Edgar-nominated Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s, annotated by Klinger. He has also edited two anthologies of classic mysteries and, with Laurie R. King, four anthologies of stories inspired by the Sherlock Holmes Canon. He is former president of the SoCal chapter of the Mystery Writers of America and lives in Malibu, California.

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S.A. (Saul) lelchuk

S.A. Lelchuk divides his time between Oakland and New Hampshire, where he teaches graduate creative writing 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.

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Ralph is a New York Times–bestselling author, award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and podcaster. His podcast Heroes Behind Headlines is rated in the top ten in numerous countries around the world. His books have been published in over twenty 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 the SEAL Team Six thrillers.



James is the author of the multi-award-winning Surf City Mysteries and two-time recipient of the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference Award for Fiction. He is currently working on the sixth, Remains to Be Seen. His most recent other works are Crashpad and Buzzkill, two historical novellas set in the 1960s at California State University, Long Beach. Kirkus Reviews called Buzzkill “A historical thriller enriched by characters who sparkle and refuse to be forgotten.”

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david putnam

Dave has done it all during his career in law enforcement. He worked in narcotics, violent crime, criminal intelligence, hostage rescue, SWAT, and Internal Affairs, to name just a few. He is the recipient of many awards and commendations for his heroism. He lives in Southern California with his wife, Mary. The Sinister, book nine in the Bruno Johnson series, was published in February 2022 and received a starred review in Publishers Weekly.

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kwei quartey — speaker

Kwei is a crime fiction writer and physician based in Pasadena, California. Quartey was born in Ghana, West Africa, where his Detective Inspector Darko Dawson and female PI Emma Djan series are set. He made the Los Angeles Times Bestseller List in 2009. The following year, the National Book Club voted him Best Male Author. The Missing American won the 2021 Shamus Award for Best First PI novel and was a nominee for the 2021 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel and the 2021 Strand Magazine Critics’ Awards for Best Novel. The PI Emma Djan novel Sleep Well, My Lady was a 2022 nominee for the Sue Grafton Memorial Award. Last Seen In Lapaz will be published in 2023.

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robert rotstein

Robert is a lawyer and the author of the legal drama 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 collection. His other novels include Corrupt Practices (2013, Booklist starred review); Reckless Disregard (2015, Kirkus and Booklist starred reviews), and The Bomb Maker’s Son (2015). He lives in Los Angeles.

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Adam is a former US Marine infantryman and CIA paramilitary officer. He has lived and served around the world, including the Middle East, Central Asia, East Africa, and Europe. Wherever he went, his books and notepads came with him, and they inform his novels. His first, Landslide, was published in September 2022. An international spy thriller set in Ukraine, it is the first in the Mason Hackett espionage series. Adam resides in Southern California.

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M. steven S.

Mark ​was born and raised in Santa Ana, California. He moved to Los Angeles to attend college and never left. He’s a graffiti enthusiast and a recent disc golf convert (he will absolutely play a round with you). He and his wife live in the middle of Los Angeles with their two dogs and three cats. Ill Behavior is his freshman novel, and he’s currently writing his sophomore effort.

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connor sullivan — speaker

Connor attended the University of Southern California, where he was the recipient of the Edward W. Moses Award for Creative Writing. During college, he worked for Warner Brothers reading screenplays before relocating with his family to the Gallatin Valley in Montana. He is the author of Sleeping Bear (2021), hailed “one of those rare novels that keeps getting better and better and better” by James Patterson. Sleeping Bear features a former Army veteran seeking solitude in the Alaskan wilderness after her husband’s death, finding herself a pawn in a deadly game with Russia. Connor’s next action-packed thriller, Wolf Trap, is due out in early 2023 and follows a shadow operative in the midst of a conspiracy with worldwide implications.

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carl vonderau

Carl, like the protagonist of Murderabilia, was a private banker who grew up in a religious family. His career took him to the U.S., Canada, Latin America, and North Africa, enabling him to put his foot in his mouth in several languages. Murderabilia, his first novel, won a Left Coast Crime award for Best Debut Novel, and a San Diego Book Award for Best Mystery/Suspense. Carl believes that “behind every crime is a family."

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don westenhaver

Don served with the Marines in Vietnam as an infantry company radioman and interpreter. His fascination with different cultures grew with many visits to Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Africa as a finance executive. These experiences inspired his five historical thrillers, including Missing Star set in Southern California. He is a long-time officer of the Southern California Writers Association. Don and his wife assist with charities, play golf, read novels, and love to travel.

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