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Mystery Fans Can 'Interrogate' World-Renowned Authors at Key West Fest

KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Readers and writers can uncover valuable clues about enjoying and penning mystery fiction Friday through Sunday, June 16-18, from "suspects" including some of America's most notable authors.

The fourth annual Mystery Fest Key West is to star Clifford Irving, a renowned investigative reporter with more than 20 books to his credit (including a faux Howard Hughes "autobiography" that landed him in prison); "Strange Tribe" author John Hemingway, grandson of literary master and 1930s Key West resident Ernest Hemingway; and Randy Rawls, past president of the Mystery Writers of America's Florida Chapter.

Other featured "culprits" include New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham, New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black and stellar crime and science fiction writer James O. Born.

Titled "Murder & Mayhem in Paradise," the dastardly doings are headquartered at Key West's DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Grand Key, 3990 S. Roosevelt Blvd. Representatives of mystery genres ranging from hard-boiled and noir to "cozy" and true crime are to offer insights, as are law enforcement and military experts.

Scheduled panel discussions include "How to Commit a Perfect Murder," "It Takes a Crook" and "Cozy Mysteries and Female Sleuths." Workshops are to focus on topics such as blood-spatter forensics and police myths.

The popular literary event also features book signings and social gatherings where attendees can mingle with presenting authors. The highlight is a Friday night reception and buffet dinner at Key West's Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, 907 Whitehead St., with special guest speaker John Hemingway.

And it would be "criminal" for attendees to miss Sloan's Ghost Tour guided by Heather Graham, author of more than 100 novels and novellas from romantic suspense to occult-flavored offerings.

Attractions also include the Saturday presentation of the Whodunit Mystery Writing Award. The winner receives a book-publishing contract with Absolutely Amazing eBooks among other prizes. In addition, aspiring mystery writers can pitch their plots to one of four literary agents.

Registration is $195 per person including all presentations, social events and four meals. Those registered by midnight June 1 are eligible to win a cameo role in featured panelist Meg Muldoon's next mystery novel.

Event information, schedule and registration: mysteryfestkeywest.com

Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY

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Scheduled panel discussions include "How to Commit a Perfect Murder," "It Takes a Crook" and "Cozy Mysteries and Female Sleuths."  Images: Carol Tedesco

Scheduled panel discussions include "How to Commit a Perfect Murder," "It Takes a Crook" and "Cozy Mysteries and Female Sleuths." Images: Carol Tedesco

Ernest Hemingway's grandson and riveting storyteller, John Hemingway is set to be a special guest speaker.

Ernest Hemingway's grandson and riveting storyteller, John Hemingway is set to be a special guest speaker.

It would be "criminal" for attendees to miss Sloan's Ghost Tour guided by novelist Heather Graham.

It would be "criminal" for attendees to miss Sloan's Ghost Tour guided by novelist Heather Graham.

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