Monday, March 18, 2019

Looking Forward to Deckle Edge

by Paula Gail Benson

This weekend, I've delighted in reading about all the activities at Sleuthfest. Next weekend, in Columbia, S.C., we're looking forward to our own literary festival, Deckle Edge, on Saturday, March 23. The "deckle edge" is the rough edge on hand cut paper, often seen on early printed books. If you're in the area, please come to the main library on Assembly Street for a day of celebrating the written word.

I'm particularly excited to be moderating a panel about the Detective in the South. The panelists are authors David Burnsworth, Sasscer Hill, Roger Johns, Raegan Teller, and Maggie Toussaint. Here's some information about the topic and participants:

To paraphrase Raymond Chandler, “Down the mean streets a detective, man or woman, must go, who is not himself or herself mean.” What happens when those mean streets happen to be in the American South? Does the setting change the crime or detective, or both? Join us for a lively discussion involving traditional and unique fictional detectives whose investigations have a Southern flair!

David Burnsworth became fascinated with the Deep South at a young age. After a receiving a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and fifteen years in the corporate world, he made the decision to write a novel. Having lived in Charleston on Sullivan’s Island for five years, the setting for his Brack Pelton novels was a foregone conclusion. He and his wife call South Carolina home. He also writes a series featuring private detective Blu Carraway.

Sasscer Hill is the author of the Agatha and Macavity nominated Nikki Latrelle horseracing series. Her latest novels, Flamingo Road and The Dark Side of Town, have followed Fia McKee, who after being put on leave for use of excessive force as a Baltimore police officer receives a second chance working for the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau. Flamingo Road won the $10,000 Dr. Tony Ryan Best in Horse Racing Literature Award for 2018. In addition, Sasscer, herself and expert horsewoman, has written a Nikki Latrelle prequel for Young Adults and a number of short stories.

Roger Johns writes the Wallace Hartman Mysteries from St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books: Dark River Rising (2017) and River of Secrets (2018). He is the 2018 Georgia Author of the Year (Detective·Mystery Category), a 2018 Killer Nashville Readers’ Choice Award nominee, a finalist for the 2018 Silver Falchion Award for best police procedural, runner-up for the 2019 Frank Yerby Fiction Award, and the 2019 JKS Communications Author-in-Residence. His articles and interviews on writing and the writing life appear in Career Authors, Criminal Element, and the Southern Literary Review. He co-authors the MurderBooks blog at www.murder-books.com

Raegan Teller is the award-winning author of the Enid Blackwell series. Murder in Madden (Pondhawk Press, 2016) was her debut novel, followed by The Last Sale (2018) and Secrets Never Told (2019)Her mystery novels are set in and around Columbia, where she lives with her husband and two cats. Teller writes about small town intrigue, family secrets, and tales of murder, and while her books are fiction, her books are inspired by real events. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Queens University, Charlotte, and a member of Sisters in Crime, South Carolina Writers Association, and Charlotte Writers Club.

Maggie Toussaint is a scientist by training, a romanticist at heart, and an award-winning author of mystery, romance, romantic suspense, and science fiction. Her series protagonist Baxley Powell has inherited the ability to dreamwalk in order to find answers about crime. Through her investigations, Baxley seeks justice for the dead and solace for the living in a unique lowcountry setting. Maggie is the Past President of the Southeast Mystery Writers of America and a member of Low Country Sisters in Crime.

We hope you can join us!

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