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About Us
About Us

block_larry120_croppedLAWRENCE BLOCK is a critically acclaimed, bestselling American crime writer best known for two long-running New York-set series, about the recovering alcoholic PI Matthew Scudder and gentleman burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, respectively. Block has won the Edgar and Shamus awards four times, as well as the Nero Wolfe award. He was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1993. He is a past president of the Private Eye Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America. Larry contributes a regular column, "The Murders in Memory Lane," in which he recalls interesting writers that he has met over his long and varied career. Writers that he has profiled include: Donald Westlake, Charles Willeford, Ed McBain, Stanley Ellin, with lots more to come.

breen_jonl120JON L. BREEN reviews nonfiction and reference works in his regular Mystery Scene column "What About Murder?" Jon is a two-time Edgar Award winner for What About Murder?: A Guide to Books About Mystery and Detective Fiction (1981) and the first edition of Novel Verdicts: A Guide to Courtroom Fiction. His first novel, Listen for the Click (1983) was short-listed for the UK's John Creasey Award for best first novel under its British title, Vicar's Roses, and his fourth novel, Touch of the Past (1988) was short-listed for CWA's Dagger Awards. His short stories have been collected in three volumes: Hair of the Sleuthhound (1982), The Drowning Icecube (1999), and Kill the Umpire (2003). Breen is a frequent non-political contributor to The Weekly Standard. His latest novel, Eye of God, was published in 2006. In 2000 Breen retired after 25 years, first as a librarian and later as a professor of English at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, California. He lives in Fountain Valley, California, with his wife and first reader Rita, with whom he collaborated in editing the 1986 anthology American Murders.

cogdill_oline120OLINE COGDILL, journalist for more than 30 years, she is the mystery fiction columnist for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale and a frequent contributor to Mystery Scene. Her reviews regularly appear in up to 250 newspapers around the world via the McClatchy Tribune Feature Wires for which she also writes mystery fiction reviews. Oline was awarded the 1999 Ellen Nehr Award for Excellence in Mystery Reviewing by the American Crime Writers League. She also received the 1998 Pettyjohn, the highest award the Sun-Sentinel gives annually.

crider_bill120BILL CRIDER is the author of the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series, the latest of which is Murder in Four Parts. His peculiar blog can be found at

duerr_teri2_120TERI DUERR has been with Mystery Scene since 2005 and currently serves as a senior editor and subscriptions manager. She lives in Brooklyn, New York where she co-runs Horse+Dragon NYC, a boutique agency that puts creative talents to work on publicity, editing, design (such as the Mystery Scene website and newsletter), and events for artists, non-profits, and small businesses. She is currently a contributing editor for CODE Magazine and Tom Tom Magazine, and the founding editor and former editor-in-chief of New York Art Beat. From 2000-2002 she was the editor-in-chief of Tokyo Scene andKansai Scene in Japan. Her editorial and photo production work has appeared in places like Best Life, The Source, Men’s Health, Vogue Korea, Vogue China, and Chief Magazine among others.

foxwell_elizabeth120ELIZABETH FOXWELL is a New Jersey native and Mystery Scene consulting editor, and also a cofounder of the Malice Domestic Convention. She has edited nine anthologies, including the Anthony Award-nominated Malice Domestic 9 (2000). Her short story "No Man's Land" was nominated for the Macavity and won the Agatha Award for Best Short Story in 2004. She received first prize in the 2003 Cape Fear Crime Festival Short Story Contest and is the coauthor (with Dean James) of The Robert B. Parker Companion (2005) and the editor of the Malice serial novel The Sunken Sailor (2004). Foxwell serves as managing editor of CLUES: A Journal of Detection, and received the George N. Dove Award from the Popular Culture Association for contributions to the serious study of mystery and crime fiction.

gorman_ed120ED GORMAN co-founded Mystery Scene in 1986 and edited the magazine for many years. He is currently a contributing editor. The prolific and critically lauded Gorman - he has been called "The Poet of Dark Suspense" - has published more than two dozen mystery novels and hundred of short stories since turning to writing full-time in 1984. He's the editor of numerous anthologies and the beloved mentor of many writers and quite a few industry professionals. For an an idea of his influence in the field see the "Tribute to Ed Gorman" in Mystery Scene #76. Ed lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with his wife Carol.

kaczmarek_lynn120_croppedLYNN KACZMAREK was the editor and co-owner of Mystery News for 12 years until it ceased publication in 2009. She frequently contributes author profiles and articles to Mystery Scene. Now retired from the corporate world, Lynn shares her knowledge of all things mysterious by teaching classes with Learning in Retirement and a local folk school, The Clearing. She lives with her husband Mack, and three cats in Door County, Wisconsin.

larsson_annika120 ANNIKA LARSSON is the art director of Mystery Scene. Previously she has worked on The Armchair Detective, Mystery Writers of America's national newsletter, and The Agatha Christie Society's newsletter. She is the art director for promotion and marketing at Esquire Magazine, a position she previously held at Wenner Media (Rolling Stone, Men's Journal, and US), and at FHM Magazine. She lives in New Jersey with her two children, Tess and Erik.

lochte_dick120 DICK LOCHTE reviews audiobooks in his column "Sounds of Suspense" and also is a frequent contributor to Mystery Scene. He's the author of popular crime novels including Sleeping Dog (1985) which won the Nero Wolfe Award, was nominated for the Edgar, the Shamus and the Anthony Awards, and was named one of the 100 Favorite Mysteries of the 20th Century by the Independent Booksellers Association. Lochte's latest novel is Croaked! (2007). His crime fiction column that ran for nearly a decade in the Los Angeles Times earned him the 2003 Ellen Nehr Award for Excellence in Mystery Reviewing. Dick, who lives in Southern California with his wife and son, is also an award-winning drama critic and has written screenplays for such actors as Jodie Foster, Martin Sheen and Roger Moore.

sharonmageeSHARON MAGEE, a Phoenix-based writer and award-winning author, specializes in history with a heavy emphasis on the American Indian. She is also a generalist with extensive publishing credits in such magazines as Arizona Highways, Phoenix Magazine, The Valley Guide Quarterly, Priorities, and Phoenix Downtown. Currently, she is a columnist and reviewer for Mystery Scene Magazine.

mallory_michael120MICHAEL MALLORY is a frequent contributor to Mystery Scene. He's a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and the Derringer-winning author of some 100 short stories. He is the creator of Amelia Watson, whose adventures are chronicled in The Exploits of the Second Mrs. Watson (2008) and Murder in the Bath (2004), among other volumes, and co-editor of the Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles anthologies LAndmarked for Murder (2006) and Murder on Sunset Boulevard (2002). By day, Mike works as an entertainment journalist with over 400 articles to his credit. His most recent non-fiction book is X-Men: The Characters and Their Universe (2006).

marks_jeff120JEFFREY A. MARKS is Mystery Scene's contributing editor and an Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, and Maxwell-nominated writer, anthologist, and biographer. He writes an Ulysses S. Grant historical mystery series as well as a series set in current day Cincinnati. He has edited four anthologies of mystery short stories. His nonfiction includes the biography of Craig Rice, Who Was That Lady? (2001), and Atomic Renaissance: Women Mystery Writers of the 1940s and 1950s (2003). He is currently working on a biography of Anthony Boucher. Jeff's how-to book for marketing genre fiction, Intent to Sell (2005), is in its second edition. He is the moderator for MurderMustAdvertise, a 1,000 member discussion group. Jeff lives in Cincinnati where he teaches middle school.

maxwell_lynne120 LYNNE MAXWELL reviews paperback originals for Mystey Scene's regular "Very Original" column. A former Pittsburgher and current honorary member of the staff at Mystery Lovers Bookshop, Lynne Maxwell resides and writes in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. When she isn't reading and reviewing mysteries, Lynne is a law library administrator, choral singer, and dragon boater.

phillips_louis120 LOUIS PHILLIPS In addition to contributing the humor column "Mystery Miscellany," Louis Phillips is a widely published poet, playwright, and short story writer. He has three short story collections, A Dream of Countries Where No One Dare Live (SMU PRESS), The Bus to the Moon (Fort Schuyler Press), and The Woman Who Wrote King Lear & Other Stories (Pleasure Boat Studio). His humor pieces have appeared in Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal, Smithsonian, New York Times (op ed) and in many other publications. His most recent book is Fireworks in Some Particulars (Fort Schuyler Press), a collection of stories, poems, humor pieces, and a full-length play).He teaches creative writing at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He lives in Manhattan with his wife Pat and their two sons, Ian and Matthew.

smith_kevinburton120KEVIN BURTON SMITHis the man behind Mystery Scene's "Eyewitness" column and the founder and editor of The Thrilling Detective Web Site. His writings on hardboiled detective stories and other crime fiction, as well as music, film, bicycling and sundry other topics have appeared in numerous magazines and internet sites around the world. He is also an ongoing contributor to CrimeSpree and January Magazine. A homesick Montrealer, he now lives with mystery writer D.L. Browne in the Los Angeles area , where he is still working on the Great North American Private Eye Novel. He has a blog and a Crimespace page.

solimini_cheryl120CHERYL SOLIMINI is a former features editor of Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine and a writer for other national publications. She is a consulting editor for Mystery Scene as well as a frequent contributor. She has profiled Michael Connelly, Linda Fairstein, Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, Cornelia Read, Kate White, and Jacqueline Winspear, among others. She also kicked off the ongoing Mysterious Places series with her article, "Nefarious New Jersey: Crime Writers of the Garden State." Solimini’s debut mystery novel, Across the River, won Deadly Ink’s first Best Unpublished Mystery Award in 2007, and was published by Deadly Ink Press in June 2008.

taylor_art120ART TAYLOR Art Taylor has contributed a variety of articles to Mystery Scene, including a feature on To Kill a Mockingbird, a survey of Civil Rights Era mysteries, occasional round-ups of classic and contemporary films, and interviews with Nevada Barr, Janet Evanovich, and Dennis Lehane, among others. He regularly reviews mysteries and thrillers for the Washington Post, and his own short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in addition to other magazines and journals. Visit his personal website at

hankwagner HANK WAGNER's frequent contributions to Mystery Scene include profiles of Peter Abrahams, David Morrell, and Dana Stabenow, and regular book reviews. Hank lives in northwestern New Jersey with his wife and four daughters. His work has appeared in Cemetery Dance, Crime Spree, Hellnotes, and Jazz Improv, and he is a co-author of The Complete Stephen King Universe (2006) and Prince of Stories: A Guide to the Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman (2008). His latest effort, co-edited with David Morrell is Thrillers: 100 Must Reads (2010), an Edgar, Anthony, and Macavity award finalist.

webb_betty120BETTY WEBB writes the "Independent Press" review column for Mystery Scene. Betty is a longtime journalist and book reviewer for various newspapers. Her prize-winning Lena Jones series—beginning with Desert Noir (2001)—has garnered rave reviews from the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and other national publications. Desert Noir was a Booksense pick, and Desert Wives won a Silver Medal in the Willa Cather awards. She was a contributor to the Anthony-winning anthology, Mystery Muses. Her new series, set in a California zoo, debuts December 2008 with The Anteater of Death. Betty teaches accredited writing courses at Phoenix College. Her popular writing workshops include: The Deadly Writing Sins; and Get Five Novel Ideas Per Day for the Rest of Your Life, Guaranteed!

skupin_brian120 BRIAN SKUPIN is the webmaster and co-publisher of Mystery Scene. Brian, originally from Toronto, is also the chief detective behind the popular "What's Happening With..." author interview feature. He also reviews books, composes the Mystery Scene crossword, and runs the magazine's website. In 2004, Mystery Scene was awarded an Anthony Award for Best Mystery Magazine by the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention. In 2006, he and co-publisher Kate Stine were awarded the Ellery Queen Award by the Mystery Writers of America for contributions to mystery publishing.

stine_kate120 KATE STINE is the editor-in-chief and co-publisher of Mystery Scene. After years as a book editor, Kate consulted for clients such as The Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine, The Mystery Writers of America, MysteryNet, and Agatha Christie, Ltd. Kate was also editor-in-chief of The Armchair Detective Magazine from 1992-1997. Stine and Brian Skupin acquired Mystery Scene in 2002. Mystery Scene was awarded an Anthony Award for Best Mystery Magazine by the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in 2004. In 2006, Kate and Brian Skupin were awarded the Ellery Queen Award by the Mystery Writers of America for contributions to mystery publishing.


By Oline H. Cogdill

Most of the time, I pay little attention to Parade magazine when it comes in my Sunday newspaper.

I read the questions on the second page, flip through the rest and am done.

(Yes, I get a newspap


(Mystery Scene continues its ongoing series in which authors talk about their plots, characters, or process.)

J.J. Hensley, left, is a former police officer and former special agent with the U.S. Secret Service. He is the author of the novels Re


The award season continues with nominations for the 2018 Agatha, which will be awarded during the Malice Domestic conference, which is celebrating its 30th year.

The nominees represent those books pu