Mystery Fest Key West

KEY WEST, FL - Jeffery Deaver, the international bestselling and global multi-award winning suspense-thriller author of 40 novels, returns by popular demand to headline a sizzling Who’s Who of mystery writers at the 2019 Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 28-30 in America’s southernmost city. resizeimage 4Jeffery Deaver, the internationally renowned author known for tapping out his thrillers in darkened rooms, interacts with artifacts in Ernest Hemingway’s Key West writing room. (Photo by Carol Tedesco)Deaver, widely hailed as the “master of psychological suspense” has won or been nominated for just about every mystery writing award you can think of. His “Lincoln Rhyme” series novel “The Bone Collector” was made into a blockbuster film starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie and now NBC has a TV pilot-in-progress based on the brilliant forensic criminalist Rhyme.

“We are thrilled that Jeffery Deaver is returning as this year’s headliner,” said Fest co-founder Shirrel Rhoades, a publisher who has held executive positions with Reader’s Digest, Scholastic, Harper’s, Marvel Entertainment and other publishing companies. “He absolutely mesmerized the 2015 keynote audience, was a brilliant contributor during the various panels, was accessible to fans at the social events, and even became friends with some of the ‘Hemingway cats.’” 

Each year since 2014, top-tier authors in a variety of mystery genres – from thrillers to true crime to cozy’s – have rendezvoused at the unique boutique-sized conference to share several days immersed in panel discussions, presentations, and social events with fellow-authors, aspiring authors and book fans. 

Other featured mystery-makers set to appear in June are New York Times bestselling authors Heather Graham, Lisa Black, Carla Norton, and Diane A.S. Stuckart, bestselling Buck Reilly adventure series author John H. Cunningham, Noir author Mike Dennis along with many others.

Beginning Friday afternoon, June 28, Mystery Fest highlights are to include an opening wine and cheese party on the veranda of Key West’s iconic Custom House Museum with author Heather Graham and Key West Mayor Teri Johnston presiding, keynote luncheon with Deaver, a killer line-up of panels and presentations examining everything from “Forensics for Writers” to “How I Plot a Mystery,” a Bloody Mary Morning breakfast at the historic Schooner Wharf Bar, a chance to win a cameo “character placement” role in author Gray Basnight’s next mystery tale, and presentation of the annual Whodunit Mystery Writing Award. 

Event registration is $195 and includes all panels, presentations, and social events, with panels and presentations taking place at The Studios of Key West in the island’s Old Town historic district. Those who register by May 30 are automatically entered into the Gray Basnight “character placement” contest.

Mystery Fest Key West 2019 is sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, The Helmerich Trust, and Key West Art & Historical Society.

For a full Fest schedule, online registration, and details on the Whodunit Mystery Writing Contest visit