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Galena LitFest: Mystery & Mayhem in the Midwest: Author Panel (virtual)

December 16, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Galena LitFest’s Mystery March continues with an exciting virtual panel of mystery and crime authors from across the Midwest. The Galena Library brings you five award winning and bestselling authors – Marcie Rendon, David Ellis, Tracy Clark, Laura Benedict, and Patricia Skalka – who will discuss why they love the genre, their writing processes, character development, and publishing. The conversation will be moderated by historical mystery author and 2019 Galena LitFest favorite, Michelle Cox.

This is a virtual event via Zoom. To register visit click here or call us at 815-777-0200. We can also play it live in the library. If you’d prefer to watch it at the library please email distlerl@galenalibrary.org. Registrants will have the opportunity to submit questions in advance, which will then be incorporated into the conversation. If time allows, questions will also be taken live from audience members. This program will not be recorded.

Galena LitFest is the tenth annual literary festival organized and funded by the Galena Public Library with support from the Friends of the Galena Public Library. Events will take place February through May 2024.

About the Authors

Marcie Rendon is White Earth Ojibwe. She was listed in Oprah’s 2020 list of 31 Native American Author’s to read and received Minnesota’s 2020 McKnight Distinguished Artist Award. A contemporary crime novel, Where They Last Saw Her, will be published by Penguin Random House in  2024. She has received prestigious recognition for her Cash Blackbear crime novels of which Sinister Graves was a MN Book Award finalist. Anishinaabe Songs For A New Millennium will be published by UofM Press, Spring 2024. Rendon received the McKnight Spoken Word Fellowship 2017 with Diego Vazquez for their work with incarcerated women in the county jail system.

David Ellis is a judge and an Edgar-award-winning author of eleven novels of crime fiction, as well as nine books co-authored with James Patterson. In December, 2014, Dave was sworn in as the youngest-serving Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court for the First District. Ellis lives outside Chicago with his wife and three children.

Tracy Clark is the two-time Sue Grafton Memorial Award-winning author of the highly acclaimed Chicago Mystery Series featuring ex-homicide cop turned PI Cassandra Raines. The protagonist is a hard-driving, Black private investigator who works the streets of the Windy City while dodging cops, cons, and killers. A multi-nominated Anthony, Lefty, Macavity, Edgar and Shamus Award finalist, Tracy is also the 2020 and 2022 winner of the G.P. Putnam’s Sons Sue Grafton Memorial Award, as well as the 2022 Sara Paretsky Award, and is a proud member of Crime Writers of Color, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and currently serves on the Bouchercon national board and the board of the Midwest Mystery Conference.

Laura Benedict is the Edgar- and ITW Thriller Award- nominated author of eight novels of mystery and suspense, including The Stranger Inside (Publisher’s Weekly starred review), and the Bliss House gothic novels and stories. Her latest book is a compilation of her short fiction, When I Make Love to the Bug Man: Collected Stories. Her stories have appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Strand Magazine, and in numerous anthologies. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, she currently  lives in Southern Illinois with her family.

Patricia Skalka is the author of the Dave Cubiak Door County mysteries, including the recently released Death Casts a Shadow, the seventh and final book in the series. She’s won both the Midwest Book Award for Best Thriller/Mystery and the Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award. USA Today picked Death Stalks Door County, the first Cubiak mystery, as the book to represent Wisconsin in its special feature: “50 States/50 Books to Read.” Skalka is a former president of Sisters in Crime Chicagoland and member of Mystery Writers of America, Wisconsin Writers Association, The Authors Guild, and the Society of Midland Authors. She divides her time between her home in Milwaukee and cottage in Door County, Wisconsin.

Michelle Cox has always been obsessed with stories of the past and has spent a lifetime collecting them. She is the award-winning author of the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series, a mystery/romance saga set in 1930s Chicago. Her latest novel, The Fallen Woman’s Daughter, is her first foray into women’s historical fiction and is based on a story she heard working in a nursing home. She has spent years crafting it into a novel and is delighted to finally share it with the world in March 2024. Cox also pens the wildly popular, “Novel Notes of Local Lore,” a weekly blog chronically the lives of Chicago’s forgotten residents.


December 16, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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Galena Public Library
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