August 15, 7 PM EST

Criminally Great Fun! Join bestsellers Jeff Abbott, Meg Gardiner, Dan Fesperman, and Gabino Iglesias!

Meet these Mystery Masterminds and hear all about the felonies they’ve known, their secrets of the writing trade, and how they keep us readers riveted. As a special treat, they’ll read from their brand-new novels, too. Not only is the event FREE, you and three other attending readers can win the drawing for one of their exciting new novels. Emcee is our very own Jenny Milchman!


And what about those books? Wishing you the best of luck to win one:

Traitor’s Dance, by Jeff Abbott
Heat 2, by Meg Gardiner
Winter Work, by Dan Fesperman
The Devil Takes You Home, by Gabino Iglesias

As always, our guests’ (or their characters’) favorite snacks are posted below. If you’re feeling culinary and adventurous, dining and drinking will commence at the start of the show, so bring your favorite beverage.

Sign up soon! If you’re one of the first 100 in the Zoom room, you can personally debrief these gifted authors. You can also catch them on Facebook Live, and interrogate there via comments. Come meet the Criminally talented!

JEFF ABBOTT is the New York Times bestselling author of 21 novels of suspense. His novels have been summer reading picks by The Today Show, Good Morning America, O the Oprah Magazine, and USA Today. Jeff lives in Austin with his family.

Traitor’s Dance, August 23, 2022

Sam Capra—secret agent, bar owner, and now a suburban dad—is raising his son Daniel and working for Section K, an intel agency that takes on the jobs no one else can…such as finding Markus Bolt—a former agent who defected to Russia ten years ago. Sam has to find him before the Russians do—while facing a threat born of long-ago secrets that could change his and his son’s lives forever.

Sam doesn’t drink, but Jeff likes to unwind with a glass of Malbec.

MEG GARDINER has more awards and kudos than we can list here, including bestsellers in the U.S. and internationally, which have been translated into more than 20 languages, and being a past president of MWA.

Meg was born in Oklahoma City and raised in Santa Barbara, California. She graduated from Stanford Law, ran cross country, practiced law in L.A. and taught in the Writing Program at the University of California Santa Barbara. Later she moved with her husband and three young children to London, where she began writing suspense novels. Oh, and she is a 3 time Jeopardy! champ and a member of the Chickasaw nation.

Heat 2, August 9, 2022

In her new novel Heat 2, written with producer Michael Mann, Chris Shiherlis (played by Val Kilmer in the 1995 movie Heat) is holed up in Koreatown, wounded, half delirious, and desperately trying to escape LA. Hunting him is LAPD detective Vincent Hanna (played by Al Pacino). Hours earlier, Hanna killed Shiherlis’s brother in arms Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) in a gunfight under the strobe lights at the foot of an LAX runway. Now Hanna’s determined to capture or kill Shiherlis, the last survivor of McCauley’s crew, before he ghosts out of the city. Plans are in place to film Heat 2 in the future.

Meg’s drink is black coffee—and, when writing, preferably paired with Double Dark Chocolate Milano cookies!

DAN FESPERMAN first began writing about dangerous and mysterious people and places as a journalist. Reporting from Europe and the Middle East, he covered three wars while also writing his first three novels before quitting the newspaper biz to write award-winning fiction full time. A diehard Tar Heel, he grew up in Charlotte and graduated UNC at Chapel Hill. Dan is married to the journalist Liz Bowie, and they live just north of Baltimore. Their two children have moved off to adventures of their own.

Winter Work, July 12, 2022

On a chilly morning walk outside Berlin, Emil Grimm finds the body of his neighbor, a fellow Stasi officer named Lothar. Despite the appearance of suicide, Emil suspects murder. But in this new world, with the Berlin Wall only recently tumbled, being a Stasi colonel is more of a liability than an asset. More troubling still is that Emil and Lothar were actively involved in a final clandestine mission…and now Emil must finish the job alone.

Emil and Claire guzzle a fair amount of pilsner! For Cold War authenticity you’d want either a Schultheis or a Berliner Kindl (West Germany), or, from the other side of the Wall, a Berliner Pilsner or, for those East Germans lucky or privileged enough to have the best, a Radeberger Pilsner.

To accompany your beer you’ll want either a Currywurst or my local favorite, a Döner Kebab, which is a lot like like a Greek gyro, except it’s stuffed into Turkish bread. And I’m happy to say that Baltimore now has a place where you can get a decent Döner.

GABINO IGLESIAS is an award-winning writer, journalist, professor, and literary critic living in Austin, TX. He has a doctorate in journalism, is an amazing photographer and has been involved in every aspect of writing—writing, reviewing, judging, lecturing, and editing.

The Devil Takes You Home, August 2, 2022

Mario, buried in debt due to his young daughter’s illness, his marriage at the brink, reluctantly takes a job as a hitman. One final, near-suicidal job to hijack a cartel’s cash shipment before it reaches Mexico will leave him with either a cool $200,000 or a bullet in the skull. The hidden motivations of himself and his two partners are laid bare during the journey, alongside nightmarish encounters that defy explanation. One thing is certain: even if Mario makes it out alive, he won’t return the same.

Our MC:

Jenny Milchman is the Mary Higgins Clark award winning and PEN/Faulkner nominated author of five novels of suspense. Her work has been praised by the New York Times, chosen as Indie Next Picks, received starred reviews from PW, Booklist, and Library Journal, selected for numerous Best Of’s including Suspense Magazine, Pure Wow and Popsugar, and appeared on the USA Today bestsellers list (once, but we authors like to name these things). In 2013, Jenny rented out her house, traded in two cars for an SUV that could handle Denver in February, and pulled her kids out of 1st and 3rd grades to “car-school” them on what Shelf Awareness called the world’s longest book tour. Jenny now speaks nationally on the literal and figurative road to a dream.

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