2019 Bios

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Agents & Editors

Paula Munier – Talcott Notch (Agent & Panelist)
Paula Munier is an agent and author whose first crime novel A Borrowing of Bones debuts from Minotaur in September 2018. Her other books include the bestselling Plot Perfect and The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings. In her fab day job at Talcott Notch Literary, she reps many great crime writers.

More coming soon!


Panelists & ‘Ask the Experts’

Lucy Burdette (Panelist)
Clinical psychologist Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib) has published 17 mysteries, including the latest  Key West food critic mystery, A Deadly Feast (Crooked Lane Books, May 2019.) Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime.

Richard Cass (Panelist)
Richard Cass is the author of the Elder Darrow jazz mystery series: Solo Act, In Solo Time, and Burton’s Solo. In Solo Time won the 2018 Maine Literary Award in Crime Fiction. The fourth book in the series, Last Call at the Esposito, is in production. Cass serves on the board of Mystery Writers of America’s New England Chapter and blogs with the Maine Crime Writers. He lives in Cape Elizabeth, ME.

Amy Collins (Panelist)
Amy Collins is the President of New Shelves Books, one of the best-known book sales and marketing agencies in the US. Collins is a trusted expert, speaker, and recommended sales consultant for some of the largest book and library retailers and wholesalers in the publishing industry. She is a USA TODAY and WALL STREET JOURNAL bestselling author and in the last 20 years, Amy and her team have sold over 40 Million books into the bookstore, library, and Chain store market for small and midsized publishers.  She is a columnist for and a board member of several publishing organizations and a trusted teacher in the world of independent publishers.

C. Michele Dorsey (Panelist)
C. Michele Dorsey is the author of No Virgin Island and Permanent Sunset in the Sabrina Salter mystery series set on St. John in the US Virgin Islands. Michele is a lawyer, mediator and adjunct professor of law, who finds inspiration and serenity on St. John and on Cape Cod. She is co-chair of New England Crime Bake, and has served on the boards of SINC NE and MWANE.

Elisabeth Elo (Panelist)
Elisabeth Elo’s new thriller, Finding Katarina M., is forthcoming in March 2019 from Polis Books. Her previous novel, North of Boston, was named one of Booklist’s Best Crime Novels: 2014. Elisabeth also published a literary novel called Save Your Own, chosen as a People Magazine “Great Read,” and her short stories, essays, and articles have appeared in a variety of publications.

Hallie Ephron (Panelist)
Hallie Ephron is the NY Times bestselling author of eleven suspense novels. Reviewing her newest, Careful What You Wish ForKirkus Reviews praised her “tidy approach to stowing clues, arousing suspicions, keeping the chaos of the climax under control, then tying up loose ends makes her a professional organizer of this type of entertainment. In a word—neat.” She is a five-time finalist for the MH Clark Award, Edgar finalist for Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel.

Charles Fergus (Panelist)
Charles Fergus has had 19 books published, including two novels. He has written for publications as various as Audubon, Country Journal, Highlights for Children, and the New York Times. He works as a communications consultant for the Wildlife Management Institute. A Stranger Here Below, his first mystery, is influenced by the personal tragedy of his own mother’s murder. Fergus lives in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom with his wife, the writer Nancy Marie Brown, and four Icelandic horses.

Sally Goldenbaum (Panelist)
Sally Goldenbaum is a sometime philosophy teacher, an editor, knitter and hiker, and the USA Today bestselling author of three dozen novels, including The Seaside Knitters Society mysteries and the Queen Bees Quilt Shop mystery series. She loves exploring the intricacies of small town living, along with the power of women’s friendship as her seaside women use intuition and emotion to uncover murderers in their town.

Sally does her best writing over lattes in noisy coffee shops or surrounded by millions of words and childhood smells in favorite libraries—or sometimes sitting on a porch with a writer friend. She recently moved to Cape Ann, MA, where she walks the shore every day, rubbing shoulders with her fictional friends.

Edwin Hill (Panelist)
Edwin Hill is the author of the Hester Thursby mystery series. He attended Wesleyan University for his BA and Emerson College for his MFA. He currently serves as the vice president and editorial director for Bedford/St. Martin’s, a division of Macmillan. He lives in Roslindale with his partner Michael and his favorite reviewer, yellow lab Edith Ann, who likes his first drafts enough to eat them.

Lisa Lieberman (Panelist)
Lisa Lieberman writes the Cara Walden series of historical mysteries based on old movies and featuring blacklisted Hollywood people in dangerous international locales. Her books hit the sweet spot between Casablanca and John Le Carré. 

William Martin (Panelist)
William Martin is the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of eleven novels, including Back Bay, The Lincoln Letter, and most recently, Bound for Gold.

Ruth M. McCarty (Panelist)
Ruth M. McCarty’s short mysteries have appeared in Level Best Books anthologies, Flash Bang Mysteries, Murder Most Edible and Over My Dead Body! The Mystery Magazine Online. She won the 2009 Derringer Award given by the Short Mystery Fiction Society for her story “No Flowers for Stacey” published in Deadfall: Crime Stories by New England Writers. She is former editor at Level Best Books, a member SinC, and MWA.

Lorraine Sharma Nelson (Panelist)
Lorraine grew up globally, constantly having to adapt to different cultures. Writing was her escape from the reality of always being the new girl in school. These days she writes for the pure joy of creating new stories instead of escapism. Her short stories have been published in sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and mystery/crime anthologies, and usually feature an Indian protagonist.

Susan Oleksiw (Panelist)
Susan Oleksiw is the author of three series, including the Pioneer Valley series featuring Felicity O’Brien, farmer and healer. She also writes the Mellingham series featuring Chief Joe Silva, and the Anita Ray series set in South India, following the exploits of photographer Anita Ray.

Leigh Perry (Panelists)
Leigh Perry is actually two authors. As Leigh, she writes the Family Skeleton mysteries featuring adjunct professor Georgia Thackery and her pal Sid, an ambulatory family skeleton. The Skeleton Stuffs a Stocking, the sixth, was just released. As Toni L.P. Kelner, she’s written eleven mystery novels and co-edited seven anthologies with Charlaine Harris. She won the Agatha for Best Short Story, and has been nominated for the Anthony, the Macavity, and the Derringer.

Joanna Schaffhausen (Panelist)
Joanna Schaffhausen has a doctorate in psychology, which reflects her long-standing interest in the brain―how it develops and the many ways it can go wrong. No Mercy is her second novel featuring police officer Ellery Hathaway and FBI agent Reed Markham. Her debut, The Vanishing Season, won the Mystery Writers of America/St. Martin’s Minotaur First Crime Novel Award. She lives in the Boston area with her family and a boisterous basset hound puppy named Winston.

Shawn Reilly Simmons (Panelist)
Shawn Reilly Simmons is the author of The Red Carpet Catering Mysteries and of over a dozen short stories appearing in various anthologies including Malice Domestic, The Best New England Crime Stories, Bouchercon, and Crime Writers’ Association series. 

Shawn serves on the Board of Malice Domestic and is co-editor at Level Best Books. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and The Crime Writers’ Association in the U.K. 

Janet Raye Stevens (Panelist)
Janet Raye Stevens writes short stories and novel-length mystery, YA, and romance. A 2019 Derringer Award nominee, three-time Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Award finalist (winning in 2018) and Daphne du Maurier Award winner, Janet lives in Massachusetts, where she spends her days drinking copious amounts of tea (Earl Gray, hot) plotting revenge (best served cold), and creating fictional worlds populated with cool chicks and hot guys.

Wendy Tyson (Panelist)
Wendy Tyson is a is an act writer, lawyer, and former therapist whose background has inspired her mysteries and thrillers. Wendy writes three mystery series: the bestselling Greenhouse Mystery Series, the popular Allison Campbell Mystery Series, and the forthcoming Delilah Percy Powers Crime Series. Wendy’s short stories have appeared in literary journals, and she has short fiction in two crime fiction anthologies, The Night of the Flood and Betrayed. Wendy and her family live in Vermont.

Gabriel Valjan (Panelist)
Gabriel Valjan is the author of the Company Files and the Roma Series with Winter Goose Publishing. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications, including Level Best anthologies. He received an Honorable Mention in the Nero Wolfe Black Orchid Novella Contest in 2018. Gabriel lives in Boston’s South End.

J.R Walcutt (Panelist)
J.R. Walcutt is a former microfinancier, chicken farmer and tarot card reader. He’s searched for lost Native American tribes in the deserts of Mexico, hitchhiked around the south of Spain, worked as an aid worker in the slums of Mumbai, lived on a sinking boat in the port of Jaffa-Tel Aviv, and started an export business in Beijing. His debut novel, GAIA HUNTED, is an international thriller with elements of fantasy and reincarnation. He lives on the North Shore of Massachusetts.

Paul Zambella (Panelist)
Paul Zambella was employed as a Forensic Scientist at the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory for 36 years. His functions in the laboratory included crime scene investigator, criminalist, drug analyst, serologist and toxicologist. He participated in more than 500 crime scene investigations, examined thousands of physical evidence items and testified in more than 350 criminal trials. Paul has taught courses in Forensic Science at Northeastern University, Salem State University and Hesser College. He has also lectured at Suffolk University and to various law enforcement institutions.