Who We Are
Who are we? Collectively we are mystery fans from all over the map. A shared love of the mystery crime genre has drawn us together.
Jon (Jon the Crimespree Guy) and Ruth Jordan (Ruth the Crimespree gal) are fans of the mystery genre going WAY back. They met at a mystery convention in 1999, getting married exactly a year later (and yes, they WERE introduced to each other by a wonderful Scottish author). Since becoming a couple they have taken the love of all things mystery to new levels and have each hosted a Bouchercon, Ruth in 2008 with Judy Bobalik in Baltimore and Jon in 2011 in St. Louis. They also help organize the annual Murder and Mayhem in Muskego held each November. When not running things Crimespree related they like movies, live music and travel, though these things usually end up being related to crime fiction as well. Both are on Twitter (@crimespreejon, @mrscrimespree) and on Facebook as Ruth Jordan and Crimespree Cats. Jon also has a bit of an obsession with Lego.
Amy Alessio is a teen librarian for the Schaumburg Twnshp. Library in Illinois and has presented nationally on young adult library services. Her new co-authored title, A Year of Programs for Teens 2, is published by American Library Association Editions. Her book Mind Bending Mysteries for Teens was published in 2011. Her first young adult mystery, The High Ground, will be published in 2013. Learn about more mysteries and cookbooks she loves at amyalessio.com or vintagecookbooks.blogspot.com.
Ava Black is the pseudonym for an emerging author who creeps the cornfields by day and torments the thesaurus by night. An active member of MWA, RWA, ITW, and SinC, she regularly attends Noir at the Bar and indie bookstores in search of twisted tales of darkness and peanut butter sandwiches. Coca-Cola and crime fiction keep her brain bent while insomnia keeps her keyboard clicking. Thankfully, the love of her life, Bucky, eases the loneliness of long nights with tail wags and face-licks.
Linda S. Brown was the Assistant Manager of The Mystery Bookstore in Los Angeles for six years, where she leveraged her love of crime fiction into a position in which she developed and coordinated author events, acted as liaison with publishers and public relations firms, and coordinated media campaigns. Linda is now Book Lover at Large, reviewing and blogging about crime fiction at curiositybuilds.com, among others. She’s also a full-time mom.
Called a hard-boiled poet by NPR and the noir poet laureate by the Huffington Post, Reed Farrel Coleman has published sixteen novels. He is a three-time recipient of the Shamus Award for Best PI Novel of the Year and a two-time Edgar Award nominee. Reed has also won the Macavity, Anthony, and Barry Awards. He is an adjunct professor of English at Hofstra University and a founding member of Mystery Writers of America University. He lives with his family on Long Island.
Elise Cooper holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history and a teaching credential in mathematics. She is an avid reader who enjoys most genres but her favorites are mystery and thriller novels. For the past seven years she has written book reviews and Q/A’s whose interviews include best-selling and debut authors for various blogs. In addition for the last several years she has written numerous articles mostly dealing with national and homeland security issues.
Frank De Blase is an award-winning writer, photographer, ex-rockabilly crooner, social contrarian, and all-around troublemaker who always leaves room for dessert. His writing and photography has been published in CRIMESPREE, LEG SHOW, LEG WORLD, SWANK, ULTRA, TEMPTRESS, RETRO LOVELY TABOO, OL’ SKOOL RODZ, CAR KULTURE DELUXE, REBEL INK, SKIN AND INK, URBAN INK, V MAGAZINE, DOWNBEAT, and CITY NEWSPAPER.
A former high school English teacher who never lost her love for talking about books. Jen Forbus maintains the crime fiction book blog Jen’s Book Thoughts when she isn’t working to keep a roof over the heads of her cats and dogs. Accidentally dropped by the stork in Ohio, Jen has been promising ever since to move to a warmer climate. Jen also has the largest collection of ninja throwing stars in the Midwest.
In addition to writing for Crimespree Magazine, Tim Hennessy‘s work has appeared in Midwestern Gothic and The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel among other places. He lives and works in Milwaukee and rarely passes up bourbon or chili.
Katrina Niidas Holm is a voracious and opinionated mystery reader. She’s also an unabashed fan of Portland, Maine and the wife of fabulously talented pulp writer Chris F. Holm. When she’s not writing awesome things for Crimespree, she’s likely either reviewing mysteries for The Maine Suspect or blogging for Criminal Element.
Happily ensconced in a house made of books, cat fur and mismatched socks, Jennifer Jordan is writing and reading her way to Nirvana one word at a time. She edited the anthologies EXPLETIVE DELETED and UNCAGE ME!, and has her own fiction between a few anthology covers. She is currently hard at work breathing. She can be found on Twitter @lovingshiva.
Ali Karim is Assistant Editor at Shots eZine, a contributing editor at January Magazine & The Rap Sheet and writes for Crimespree magazine, Deadly Pleasures and Mystery Readers International and is an associate member of both The Crime Writers Association [CWA], International Thriller Writers [ITW] and the Private Eye Writers of America [PWA]. Karim contributed to ‘Dissecting Hannibal Lecter’ ed. Benjamin Szumskyj [McFarland Press] a critical examination of the works of Thomas Harris; The Greenwood Encyclopedia of British Crime Fiction [ed. Barry Forshaw] and ITW 100 Thriller Novels ed David Morrell and Hank Hagner [Oceanview Publishing].
St. Paul native Jeremy Lynch has held a myriad of jobs, including radio DJ and jewelry repair. Being an avid fan of music and movies, he was of course a natural choice as entertainment editor. He and his wife Jill also review some books, though when they find time is anyone’s guess…this is one busy couple! Jeremy is also on Twitter @MysterLynch.
Dan Malmon was launched from an exploding planet at a young age… No wait. Haunted by the murder of his parents in Crime Ally, he patrols the Gotham City night… Hold on. Wandering into an abandoned subway station, he met an ancient wizard who told him a magic word. But he wrote it on his palm, and then had to talk to a cute girl in English class. After the panic attack, the word read, “Shzzzmmm.” Needless to say, the boy is still a boy. And has to take the bus everywhere.
Kate Malmon: A stranger once invited me to a dinner party at a beautiful mansion in the hills. None of the guests were supposed to use our own name. Then, a murder happened. It was me. In the study with the candlestick.
Craig McDonald is a globe-trotting bon vivant, raconteur, and sometimes man-of-mystery who chooses to make his home in an obscure part of central Ohio. He is the author of several novels and two works of nonfiction that have earned him nominations for the Edgar, Anthony, Gumshoe and Macavity awards, among others. His series of literary thrillers featuring crime novelist/screenwriter Hector Lassiter has been translated into numerous languages. The first of the Lassiter novels, Head Games, is being adapted as a graphic novel by First Second from a script by the author. McDonald has written standalone novels too, including 2011’s El Gavilan, about immigration tensions in a small Ohio town that is not secretly the author’s hometown of Grove City. McDonald is also an award-winning journalist and newspaper editor. His collections of candid interviews with major American and European crime and literary fiction authors include notable exchanges with James Crumley, Daniel Woodrell, James Sallis, Ken Bruen, James Ellroy and Walter Mosley, among many others. You can find him online at craigmcdonaldbooks.com
Erica Ruth Neubauer has been addicted to the mystery genre since she was a kid and someone put a Nancy Drew book in her hands. Erica Ruth has spent 10 plus years in the military, two years as a cop and one year as a high school English teacher. She has finally found her calling as an online bookseller, and dabbles in some photography: www.ericaruthphotography.zenfolio.com. Erica Ruth lives in Milwaukee with her two literary cats—Mr. Darcy and Mr. Knightly—and her husband Gunther, who pretends not to notice the ever-growing stacks of books.
Ayo Onatade is a member of the Crime Writers Association of Great Britain (CWA) and is currently Chair of the CWA Short Story Dagger. She has been reading crime fiction for nearly forty years. She also writes articles and gives papers on all aspects of the crime and mystery genre and has interviewed numerous authors including some of her personal favourites. Her tastes range from historical to hard-boiled, short stories, noir films and graphic novels of all kind. She also has a secret weakness for unusual pieces of jewellery especially rings and necklaces. When she is not reading or reviewing crime fiction then she works with senior judges at the Supreme Court in London and spends what free time she has catching up with family and friends and trying to go to the cinema.
Rob Riley spent thirty-two years as a Milwaukee police officer: Seven years doing undercover narcotics investigations and twenty-two years as a major crimes detective. Of course, police work provided both the insight and inspiration for his PI mystery novel, Portrait Of Murder. Two additional novels that feature his main character, Private Investigator Jack Blanchard, have been completed.
Jo Kyle Schmidt (we call him Jo; you might call him Kyle) was discovered working in a comics shop in Milwaukee while he finished his degree in film studies. He is a pop culture encyclopedia and a good guy to have around. He is also well versed in calligraphy, so while you may not see it on the web, his reviews look beautiful. He has also been a sheriff in the Punisher comics.
Gerald So reviews DVDs, TV, and the occasional in-theaters movie for Crimespree. He is a founding co-editor of The Lineup: Poems on Crime, former fiction editor for The Thrilling Detective website, and past president of The Short Mystery Fiction Society. He lives on Long Island.
Bryan VanMeter: I am a lover of all things literary, but particularly of crime fiction. I read, I write, I eat. Kinda like that traveling chef guy, but with more books and less money. I have been with Crimespree for a little over a year now and love every minute of it. I currently live in Milwaukee with my dog Booth and stacks of books.
Steven Torres has had short stories published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, anthologies like Bronx Noir, and, of course, Crimespree. When he’s not reading fiction for Crimespree, he may well be writing. Or grading student papers. Or reading Shakespeare or chopping firewood or taking a walk. That’s the thing with Steven Torres. You’re never quite sure what he’s doing at the moment or what he’ll be doing next.