Festival Spotlight: Mystery Writers of America

On the heels of winning this year’s International Thriller Writers Award and Strand Critics Award for her novel The Fever, Megan Abbott will headline an evening of mystery (and maybe mayhem) on Tuesday, September 29, as part of Fall for the Book’s continuing partnership with the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of Mystery Writers of America.

The evening’s events begin at 6 p.m. in Grand Tier III of the Center for the Arts on George Mason’s Fairfax, VA, campus with a panel of local and regional mystery writers from the Mystery Writers of America. Panelists include:

  • Sherry Harris, author of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries, including the Agatha Award-nominated Tagged for Death
  • Josh Pachter, a short story writer and translator whose career has spanned six decades and whose latest book is the story collection The Tree of Life
  • B.K. Stevens, an Agatha-nominated and Derringer Award-winning short story writer boasting two debut novels this year: Interpretation of Murder and the YA martial arts mystery Fighting Chance
  • And LynDee Walker, author of the Headlines in High Heels mystery series, including the Agatha-nominated Front Page Fatality and most recently the fourth book in the series, Devil in the Deadline

Art Taylor, an Agatha, Macavity, and Derringer Award-winning short story writer and author of On the Road with Del & Louise: A Novel in Stories, will moderate the discussion.

At 7:30 p.m., Abbott takes the stage in the Grand Tier to discuss her recent work, including The Fever, about a mystery illness supposedly plaguing high school girls (and inspired by real-life incidents in New York in 2012); the book was named among this year’s top summer reads by publications including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly and People, and is now being adapted for an MTV series with Sarah Jessica Parker’s production company. Abbott’s previous book, Dare Me—described as “Heathers meets Fight Club, with teenage cheerleaders”—is also being adapted for film.  Abbott’s other novels include her Edgar Award-winning debut Queenpin, plus The Song Is You, Die a Little, Bury Me Deep, and The End of Everything. She is also the author of a nonfiction book, The Street Was Mine: White Masculinity in Hardboiled Fiction and Film Noir, and the editor of A Hell of a Woman, an anthology of female crime fiction. She has been nominated for many awards, including three Edgar Awards, the Hammett Prize, the Shirley Jackson Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Folio Prize.

Both the panel discussion and Abbott’s appearance are sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, which serves Virginia, DC and Maryland in its mission to promote and protect “the interests and welfare of mystery writers and to increase the esteem and literary recognition given to the genre.”

The Books:

Abbott_TheFeverPB-high res on-the-road-400x619 yardsale Tree of life walker Front Cover (2)