Mystery in the Midlands ONLINE and FREE!!!! Saturday, July 25, 2020

by Paula Gail Benson

For the last two years, the Palmetto Chapter of Sisters in Crime and the Southeast Chapter of Mystery Writers of America have sponsored a mid-summer conference for readers and writers in “famously hot” Columbia, S.C. While we had to cancel our in person gathering due to Covid 19, our third venture as an online conference, to be held on Saturday, July 25, 2020, looks to be a charm with a terrifically HOT lineup and a program offered free of charge (thanks to Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America for generous support). Anyone can attend. You don’t have to be a member of Sisters in Crime or Mystery Writers of America to join in the fun!

All you have to do is register at this link, then click through to the Crowdcast link to save your spot.

Here’s the link again:

Today, Monday, July 20, 2020, is the last day to register! You don’t want to miss this fabulous program hosted by Dana Kaye with books available through Jill Hendrix’s Fiction Addiction Bookstore in Greenville, S.C.

Here’s the schedule for Mystery in the Midlands, on Saturday, July 25, 2020:

10:00 am to 10:15 am EST   Welcome
Kaye (moderator), Debra Goldstein (SEMWA), and Paula Gail Benson (Palmetto
Chapter SinC)

10:30 am to 11:15 am EST   Slip into Some Shorts
Dana Kaye (moderator) – John Floyd, Tara Laskowski, and Art Taylor
11:30 am to 12:00 pm EST  Mystery Writers Are Always Hot! Keynote
12:15 pm to 1:00 pm EST       Spectres
Rather Than Heat Mirages
Kaye (moderator) – Alexia Gordon, Toni L.P. Kelner, and Gigi Pandian
1:15 pm to 2:00 pm EST      Pages Burning Their Way to the Screen
Kaye (moderator) – Dana Cameron, Jeffrey Deaver, and Charlaine Harris
2:15 pm to 2:30 pm EST      Everybody in the Pool!

Dana Kaye
(moderator), Debra Goldstein (SEMWA), and Paula Gail Benson (Palmetto Chapter

Here’s some information about our fabulous authors:

Charlaine Harris is a true
daughter of the South. She was born in Mississippi and has lived in Tennessee,
South Carolina, Arkansas, and Texas. After years of dabbling with poetry,
plays, and essays, her career as a novelist began when her husband invited her
to write full time. Her first book, Sweet
and Deadly,
appeared in 1981. When Charlaine’s career as a mystery writer
began to falter, she decided to write a cross-genre book that would appeal to
fans of mystery, science fiction, romance, and suspense. She could not have
anticipated the huge surge of reader interest in the adventures of a barmaid in
Louisiana, or the fact that Alan Ball would come knocking at her door. Since
then, Charlaine’s novels have been adapted for several other television series,
with two in development now. Charlaine is a voracious reader. She has one
husband, three children, two grandchilden, and two rescue dogs. She leads a
busy life.
John M. Floyd’s short
fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Ellery Queen
Mystery Magazine, The Strand Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post
, and many
other publications. Three of his stories have been selected for the
annual Best American Mystery Stories anthology (the 2015,
2018, and 2020 editions) and another was recently optioned for film. A former
Air Force captain and IBM systems engineer, John is also an Edgar nominee, a four-time
Derringer Award winner, a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a recipient of the
Edward D. Hoch Memorial Golden Derringer Award for lifetime achievement, and
the author of eight books. He and his wife Carolyn live in Mississippi.
Tara Laskowski’s debut
novel, One Night Gone, won the 2019 Agatha Award for Best First
Novel and was a finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark, Anthony, Macavity, and
Lefty Awards. It was hailed by Tana French as “a subtly but relentlessly
unsettling novel.” Tara is also the author of two short story
collections, Modern Manners for Your Inner Demons and Bystanders,
which The Guardian named a best book of 2017. She has had
stories published in Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery
 Mystery Magazines and has won both an Agatha Award and a Thriller
Award for her short fiction. She was a longtime editor of the flash fiction
journal SmokeLong Quarterly. Tara earned a BA in English from
Susquehanna University and an MFA from George Mason University and lives in
Northern Virginia with her husband, writer Art Taylor, and their son, Dashiell.
Art Taylor is
the author of the story collection The Boy Detective & The Summer
of ’74 and Other Tales of Suspense 
and of the novel in stories On
the Road with Del & Louise, 
winner of the Agatha Award for Best
First NovelHe won the 2019 Edgar Award for Best Short Story for
“English 398: Fiction Workshop,” originally published in Ellery
Queen’s Mystery Magazine
, and he has won three additional Agatha Awards,
an Anthony Award, three Macavity Awards, and three consecutive Derringer Awards
for his short fiction. He is an associate professor of English at George Mason
Virginia native, physician by training, author by passion, Alexia Gordon writes the award-winning
Gethsemane Brown Mysteries, with Book 5, Execution in E, being released March
24, 2020. She is a member of MWA, SinC, ITW, and CWoC; blogs at and with the Femmes Fatales
(; and hosts the podcast, The Cozy Corner
with Alexia Gordon. Find her on social media (Facebook: AlexiaGordon.writer,
Twitter: @AlexiaGordon, Instagram: DrLex1995) and visit her website ( to sign up for her
Toni L.P. Kelner/Leigh
is two authors in one. As Leigh Perry, she
writes the Family Skeleton Mysteries. The sixth, The Skeleton Stuffs a
, was released in Fall 2019. As Toni L.P. Kelner, she wrote eight novels in the Laura Fleming
mystery series and three “Where Are They Now?” mysteries. Kelner also co-edited seven urban fantasy
anthologies with New Your Times best-seller Charlaine
Harris. Under both names she writes short fiction, including recent
publications in 
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and a forthcoming story in Shattering Glass. Kelner has won the Agatha
Award and an RT BookClub Lifetime Achievement Award and has been nominated
multiple times for the Anthony, the Macavity, and the Derringer.

Gigi Pandian is a USA Today bestselling and Agatha
Award-winning mystery author, breast cancer survivor, and accidental
almost-vegan. The child of anthropologists from New Mexico and the southern tip
of India, she spent her childhood traveling around the world on their research
trips, and now lives in California with her husband and a gargoyle who watches
over the garden. Gigi writes the
Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mysteries, Accidental Alchemist mysteries, and
locked-room mystery short stories.
Dana Cameron writes
across many genres, but especially crime and speculative fiction. Her work,
inspired by her career in archaeology, has won multiple Anthony, Agatha, and
Macavity Awards, and has been nominated for the Edgar Award. Dana’s Emma
Fielding archaeology mysteries were optioned by Muse Entertainment; the third
movie, based on More Bitter Than Death,
will premier on the Hallmark Movie & Mystery Channel in January, 2019. When
she’s not traveling or visiting museums, she’s usually yelling at the TV about
historical inaccuracies.

A former journalist, folksinger and attorney, Jeffery Deaver is an international
number-one bestselling author. His novels have appeared on bestseller lists
around the world, including the New York Times, the Times
of London
, Italy’s Corriere della Sera, the Sydney
Morning Herald
 and the Los Angeles Times. His books are
sold in 150 countries and have been translated into over twenty-five languages.
He has sold 50 million books worldwide. The author of over thirty-five novels,
three collections of short stories and a nonfiction law book, and a lyricist of
a country-western album, he’s received or been shortlisted for dozens of
awards around the world. His book 
A Maiden’s Grave was
made into an HBO movie, his novel 
The Bone Collector was
a feature release from Universal Pictures, and in 2019, NBC picked up a series
called “Lincoln,” based on his books. Lifetime aired an adaptation of his 
The Devil’s Teardrop.

We hope that you’ll all join us for Mystery in the Midlands, Saturday, July 25, 2020!