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Mystery on the Shelf: FREE Conference at Downtown Public Library

April 15, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

April 15: Mystery on the Shelf, an all-day free conference with speakers at the Downtown Central Library, which is co-hosting the event.  We are using 3 locations within the Central Downtown Library:  the auditorium, the fifth floor with Jaffe room, and the signing space near the library bookstore (books may be purchased through the bookstore and then taken to the author signing space a few steps away).


  • Auditorium –   Keynote: Cara Black   “How I, and maybe you, got into a life of crime”
    Growing up in a family of readers and with a grandfather who told endless stories, primed my pump to write. But it was the story I heard in Paris that I became passionate about and using the framework of a detective story enabled me to tell it. I’ll explore, how I and you, can translate a vivid experience into crime fiction.

11:00-11:50 am

  • Auditorium –   Keeping it Real: Law Enforcement and Private Investigations
    Learn how the pros who lived the facts write the fiction.
    with Terry Ambrose and David Putnam (moderator: Matt Coyle)
  • Cara Black signs



  • Auditorium –  Keeping It Mysterious: Carolyn Wheat
    What distinguishes a mystery novel from other fiction is that the villain’s identity is hidden from the reader for as long as possible. Today’s mystery writer must plant clues pointing to the killer, and then hide those clues to give the reader the experience of solving the crime along with the detective. Sounds like work? Maybe–but it’s also the fun part of writing a mystery.
  • 5th Floor – Keeping it Suspenseful: Lisa Brackmann
    Lisa Brackmann will discuss how techniques for writing crime fiction can be applied to nearly every genre, Learn how suspense and mystery can help drive narrative and keep your readers turning the pages.
  • Kate Carlisle signs


  • Auditorium –  Keeping it Cozy: Kathy Aarons, Kate Carlisle, Carlene O’Neil and Diane Vallere
    Hear how the modern cozy or traditional mystery keeps the excitement balanced with charm and humor (and maybe a hobby or two).
    (moderator: Kim Keeline)
  • 5th Floor – Keeping it Noir: Corey Lynn Fayman
    A discussion of the qualities and permutations of noir and its continuing evolution as a contemporary genre. “Giving murder back to the kind of people that commit it for reasons, not just to provide a corpse.” (Raymond Chandler).
  • 1pm workshop authors sign


  • Auditorium –  Keynote: Kate Carlisle   The Best Advice”
    Kate covers all the advice she’s been given over the years–and whether she followed it or not.

  • 2pm workshop authors sign

Once upon a time, in a life he’d rather forget, Terry Ambrose tracked down deadbeats for a living. He also hired big guys with tow trucks to steal cars—but only when negotiations failed. Those years of chasing deadbeats taught him many valuable life lessons such as—always keep your car in the garage. Today, Terry likes fast, funny mysteries and cool photography.  He writes the Trouble in Paradise McKenna Mysteries and organized an anthology to benefit Read Aloud America. He fondly likens his efforts to those of a blind man herding cats. Find him at terryambrose.com.

Lisa Brackmann
is the critically acclaimed, New York Times best-selling author of the Ellie McEnroe novels set in China (Rock Paper Tiger, Hour of the Rat, Dragon Day), and the thrillers Getaway and Go-Between. Her work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Review of Books and CNET. She lives in San Diego with several cats, far too many books and a bass ukulele. You can find her online at www.lisabrackmann.com.

Matt Coyle knew as a child he wanted to be a crime writer when his dad gave him THE SIMPLE ART OF MURDER by Raymond Chandler. He achieved his goal in four short decades. Matt is the author of the Rick Cahill crime series. His books have won the Anthony, the Ben Franklin Silver, and the San Diego Book Awards, and have accrued nominations for the Macavity, Anthony, and Lefty Awards. He lives in San Diego with his yellow Lab, Angus, where he is writing the fifth Rick Cahill novel. You can find him at http://mattcoylebooks.com/ and on Facebook.


“A powerful new voice on the crime-fiction scene” (ForeWord Reviews), Corey Lynn Fayman has done hard time as a musician, songwriter, and sound designer, but still refuses to apologize for it. Black’s Beach Shuffle, the first novel featuring the guitar-slinging detective Rolly Waters, was a San Diego Book Awards finalist. The second, Border Field Blues, won the genre award at the 2013 Hollywood Book Festival. His third Rolly Waters mystery, Desert City Diva, is a finalist for the Foreword Reviews 2016 INDIEFAB.


Kathy Krevat (writing as Kathy Aarons) is the author of the national bestselling CHOCOLATE COVERED MYSTERY series by Berkley Prime Crime. Death is Like a Box of Chocolates was selected as a Top Book of 2014 by the San Diego Union Tribune. Truffled to Death was published in June 2015 and Behind Chocolate Bars will be out October 2016. Kathy has been a tireless advocate for arts education for youth, serving on the board for Playwrights Project, advising the Middle School Writing Workshop series in Carmel Valley, and volunteering for the CCA Writers’ Conference, the only free writing conference for high school students in the US.  Visit her at www.kathyaarons.com.

National best selling author Carlene O’Neil is a former television writer, and is currently a commercial real estate broker in the Los Angeles market. She grew up in the heart of wine country in northern California, and is accredited by the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. Currently she lives in Valencia, California. The Cypress Cove Mystery Series is set along the central California coast, and the similarities between the fictional town of Cypress Cove and the stunning town of Carmel are no accident.  One Foot in the Grape is the first in the series published by Berkley Prime Crime. Her second novel, Ripe for Murder, was released March 2016. You can reach Carlene at her website at carleneoneil.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/CarleneONeilAuthor


During his 31 years in law enforcement, David Putnam has worked in narcotics, violent crimes, criminal intelligence, hostage rescue, SWAT, and internal affairs, to name just a few. He is the recipient of many awards and commendations for heroism. The Vanquished is the fourth in the Bruno Johnson series, following the best-selling and critically acclaimed The Disposables, The Replacements, and The Squandered. Putnam lives in Southern California with his wife, Mary. His website is: https://dwputnam.wordpress.com/


After two decades working for a top luxury retailer, Diane Vallere traded fashion accessories for accessories to murder. THE DECORATOR WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, #4 in her Madison Night Mystery Series, comes out April 2017. Diane is the  president of Sisters in Crime. She also writes the Samantha Kidd, and Lefty Award-nominated Costume Shop and Material Witness mystery series. She started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since.

Carolyn Wheat
is an Edgar-nominated mystery writer who teaches novel writing online through UCSD Extension. Her book How to Write Killer Fiction has been called an “indispensable addition to a writer’s bookshelf.”


April 15, 2017
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Partners in Crime: The San Diego Chapter of Sisters in Crime


San Diego Public Library: Downtown
330 Park Blvd.
San Diego,CA92101United States
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