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CrimeConn 2024: History, Headlines & Heroes

Saturday, June 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Main Library, DiMattia Building

The Friends of the Ferguson Library, in partnership with Mystery Writers of America, New York Chapter, present CrimeCONN, Connecticut’s own one-day mystery lovers' conference.

CrimeCONN’s theme this year is History, Headlines and Heroes. Speakers will delve into historical mysteries, true crime stories and how thrillers have evolved over the years. Reed Farrel Coleman will start the day with a writing workshop that writers and readers who love mysteries will enjoy. And, to put everything in context, forensic scientist Michelle Clark and Detective Tammy Murray explain how real cold cases are investigated and solved. You will learn how the past is present and the future is still unwritten.

CrimeCONN will also be presented as a hybrid event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Zoom login will be provided in advance of the program.

Books will be available for sale and signing.

In-Person Event includes coffee, continental breakfast and lunch.


After May 8
$60 per person
$45 per person for MWA members, Friends members, seniors and students

Virtual Event
$25 per person



Schedule of Events

8:30 a.m. – Doors Open
9 a.m. – Welcome/Introductory Remarks

True Fiction
Just because it really happened doesn’t mean readers will believe it.

Aspiring writers and serious readers get a peek behind the curtain. Learn how writers expand a simple idea into 300 gut-wrenching pages. Led by award-winning, New York Times bestselling novelist and former college writing instructor Reed Farrel Coleman.

People are trapped in history, and history is trapped in them. – James Baldwin
How historical mystery writers solve and create puzzles of the past.

Mally Becker 
is a two-time Agatha Award-nominated author of the Revolutionary War Mysteries, which include: The Turncoat's WidowThe Counterfeit Wife and The Paris Mistress.

Nancy Bilyeau is a journalist and magazine editor who has written seven historical novels, including her bestseller and Oprah pick, The CrownThe Blue and The Orchid Hour.
Nev March is the first Indian-born writer to win Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America’s Award for Best First Crime Fiction. Her novels include Murder in Old BombayPeril at the Exposition and The Spanish Diplomat's Secret.
Laura Joh Rowland is the bestselling author of two series of mystery novels, one set in 17th century Japan, features samurai detective Sano Ichiro, and the other, set in Victorian England, featuring photographer Sarah Bain. Laura’s latest book is River of Fallen Angels.

Our greatest human adventure is the evolution of consciousness. – Tom Robbins
Examining the progression of mystery heroes from Poe to the present.+

Russ Colchamiro 
is the author of Crackle and Fire, Fractured Lives, Hot Ash, and Blunt Force Rising, the ongoing series featuring hardboiled private eye Angela Hardwicke.

Jim Fusilli is the author of nine novels, including The Mayor of Polk Street and its predecessor, Narrow's Gate.
Elise Hart Kipness is a television sports reporter turned crime fiction author. Her debut novel, Lights Out, is an Amazon bestseller and a Men’s Journal top 10 book of 2023. The second novel in the series, Dangerous Play, will come out September 24.
Tom Straw is a New York Times bestselling author (writing as Richard Castle). He is also an Emmy Award and Writer’s Guild of America-nominated writer-producer. His spy thriller, The Accidental Joe, will be published May 14.

12 p.m. - Break

Days of Future Past - The Moody Blues
Where we’ve been and where we’re heading.

Megan Abbott is the Edgar Award-winning author of 10 crime novels, including You Will Know MeGive Me Your Hand and the New York Times bestseller The Turnout, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award. She also writes for television, including Dare Me, the series she adapted from her own novel, now streaming on Netflix. Her latest novel, Beware the Woman, is in bookstores now.
Reed Farrel Coleman is the New York Times bestselling author of 33 novels, including six in the Jesse Stone series for the estate of Robert B. Parker.

Our dead are never dead to us until we have forgotten them. – George Elliot

With Michelle Clark, Medicolegal Death Investigator for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s in Connecticut, with Detective Tammy Murray of the West Haven Police Department.

Three things cannot be hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth. – The Buddha
True crime writers explore the ongoing fascination with reality.

Charles Salzberg
is the author of the Henry Swann mystery series and more than 20 non-fiction books.

Deborah Levison
 is an author and publicist. Her first book, The Crate is a true crime story with echoes of the Holocaust. Her award-winning debut novel, A Nest of Snakes, is part thriller, part courtroom drama inspired by real-life allegations of abuse at elite New England private schools.
M. William Phelps is the New York Times best-selling author of 46 non-fiction books and winner of the Excellence in (Investigative) Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.
Wendy Whitman was an executive and producer for Court TV and HLN for the Nancy Grace show, covering major high profile murder cases. She has published two crime thrillers: Premonition and the sequel, Retribution.

Yesterday is history. – Kosoko Jackson
How historical mystery writers re-live and re-imagine the near past.

Chris Knopf
 is the author of 18 mystery/thriller novels. His most recent book is Blood Bank.

Peter Blauner
 is a TV writer, journalist and the author of nine novels, including Slow Motion Riot, winner of an Edgar Allan Poe Award for best first novel from Mystery Writers of America, and the New York Times bestseller, The Intruder.
John Copenhaver is the author of the historical crime novel Dodging and Burning, which won the 2019 Macavity Award for Best First Mystery, and The Savage Kind, winner of the 2021 Lambda Literary Award for Best LGBTQ Mystery.
Alex Segura is the bestselling and award-winning author of Secret Identity and the YA Spider-Verse adventure, Araña/Spider-Man 2099: Dark Tomorrow.
Gabriel Valjan is the author of The Company Files and the Shane Cleary Mysteries. He has been nominated for the Agatha, Anthony, Derringer, Shamus and Silver Falchion awards.