April 7, 2024 at 7pm

Erin E. Adams, Lisa Gardner, Karen E. Olson, Carter Wilson

Erin E. Adams

Erin E. Adams is a first-generation Haitian-American writer and theatre artist. Her debut novel, Jackal, was named one of the best of the year by Esquire, Vulture, PopSugar, Paste, and Publishers Weekly, and a best horror novel of all time by Cosmopolitan. Jackal was also a finalist for the Edgar® Award, the Bram Stoker® Award, and the Shirley Jackson Award.

Her work was featured in Out There Screaming, edited by Jordan Peele. Adams has called New York City home for the last decade.

Her sophomore novel One of You will be published in 2025.

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Jackal

Liz Rocher is coming home . . . reluctantly. As a Black woman, Liz doesn’t exactly have fond memories of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a predominantly white town. But her best friend is getting married, so she braces herself for a weekend of awkward, passive-aggressive reunions. Liz has grown, though; she can handle whatever awaits her. But on the night of the wedding, somewhere between dancing and dessert, the newlyweds’ daughter, Caroline, disappears—and the only thing left behind is a piece of white fabric covered in blood. As a frantic search begins, with the police combing the trees for Caroline, Liz is the only one who notices a pattern: A summer night. A missing girl. A party in the woods. She’s seen this before. Keisha Woodson, the only other Black girl in Liz’s high school, walked into the woods with a mysterious man and was later found with her chest cavity ripped open and her heart removed. Liz shudders at the thought that it could have been her, and now, with Caroline missing, it can’t be a coincidence. As Liz starts to dig through the town’s history, she uncovers a horrifying secret about the place she once called home. Children have been going missing in these woods for years. All of them Black. All of them girls. With the evil in the forest creeping closer, Liz knows what she must do: find Caroline, or be entirely consumed by the darkness.

Lisa Gardner

Lisa Gardner, a #1 New York Times bestselling thriller novelist, began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has transformed her interest in police procedure and criminal minds into a streak of internationally acclaimed novels, published across 30 countries. She’s also had four books become TV movies (At the Midnight Hour; The Perfect Husband; The Survivors Club; Hide) and has made personal appearances on TruTV and CNN.

Lisa’s books have received awards from across the globe. Her novel, The Neighbor, won Best Hardcover Novel from the International Thriller Writers, while also receiving the Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle in France. She was also recognized with the Daphne du Maurier Award in 2000 for The Other Daughter. Finally, Lisa received the Silver Bullet Award from the International Thriller Writers in 2017 for her work on behalf of at-risk children and the Humane Society.

Lisa lives in New Hampshire where she spends her time with an assortment of canine companions. When not writing, she loves to hike, garden, snowshoe and play cribbage

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Still See You Everywhere

Frankie Elkin is an expert at finding the missing persons that the rest of the world has forgotten, but even she couldn’t have anticipated this latest request—to locate the long-lost sister of a female serial killer facing execution in three weeks’ time. She has called herself “death,” but people called her the devil. The case was sensational. Kaylee Pierson had confessed from the very beginning, waived all appeals. Despite the media’s chronicling of her tragic circumstances—the childhood spent with a violent father—no one could find sympathy for “the Beautiful Butcher” who had led eighteen men home from bars before viciously slitting their throats. Now, with only twenty-one days left to live, Pierson has finally received a lead on the whereabouts of the sister who was kidnapped over a decade ago, and she needs Frankie’s help to find her. The Beautiful Butcher’s offer: When was the last time your search ended with finding the living? Unable to resist the chance for a rescue, Frankie takes on Pierson’s request. Twelve years ago, five-year-old Leilani went missing in Hawaii. The main suspect? Pierson’s tech mogul ex-boyfriend, Sanders MacManus. Now, on a remote island in the middle of the Pacific—the site of MacManus’s latest vanity project—fresh evidence has appeared. In order to learn the truth and possibly save a young woman’s life, Frankie must go undercover at the isolated base camp. Her challenge: A dozen strangers. Countless dangerous secrets. Zero means of calling for help. And then the storm rolls in…

Karen E. Olson

Karen E. Olson is the author of the Annie Seymour and Tattoo Shop mysteries, the Black Hat thrillers, and now An Inconvenient Wife.

She won the Sara Ann Freed Memorial Award at Mysterious Press for her first book, Sacred Cows, and her fourth book, Shot Girl, was a Shamus finalist. She was a longtime newspaper journalist and an editor at Yale.

Now retired from the day job, she and her husband, a freelance journalist, are empty nesters and live in the suburbs of New Haven with their ginger cat Seamus.

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An Inconvenient Wife

Kate Parker knows what she’s getting into when she marries billionaire businessman Hank Tudor—she’s his sixth wife, after all, and was by his side (as his assistant) when his fifth marriage to actress Caitlyn Howard fell apart. But honeymoon plans go awry when a headless body is discovered near Hank’s summer home, forcing Kate to contend with two more of his exes: Catherine Alvarez—the first—who lives as a shut-in with her computers, carefully following Tudor Enterprises; and Anna Klein—the fourth—who runs a bed-and-breakfast where she and her wife keep a steady eye on things—particularly Hank’s children, Lizzie and Teddy. In this clever and suspenseful reimagining of Tudor era betrayals, these three women become entwined in a deadly game of cat and mouse—with each other, Hank, and Hank’s brilliant fixer, Tom Cromwell—as Kate seeks to solve the puzzle of who the murdered woman is, who killed her, and whether her death has any connection to the other headless body from eight years ago.

Carter Wilson

Carter Wilson is the USA Today bestselling author of nine critically acclaimed, standalone psychological thrillers, as well as numerous short stories.

He is an ITW Thriller Award finalist, a five-time winner of the Colorado Book Award, and his works have been optioned for television and film.

Carter lives in Erie, Colorado in a Victorian house that is spooky but isn’t haunted…yet.

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The Father She Went to Find

Penny has never met anyone smarter than her. That’s par for the course when you’re a savant–one of less than one hundred in the world. But despite her photographic memory and super-powered intellect, there’s one mystery Penny’s never been able to solve: why did her father leave when she was in a coma at age seven, and where is he now? On Penny’s twenty-first birthday, she receives a card in the mail from him, just as she has every year since he left. But this birthday card is different. For the first time ever, there’s a return address. And a goodbye. Penny doesn’t know the world beyond her mother’s house and the special school she’s attended since her unusual abilities revealed themselves, but the mystery of her father’s disappearance becomes her new obsession. For the first time ever she decides to leave home, to break free of everything that has kept her safe, and use her gifts to answer the questions that have always eluded her. What Penny doesn’t realize is she might not be able to outsmart a world far more complicated and dangerous than she’d ever imagined…

Meet Your Hosts

The Back Room is the brainchild of best selling authors Hank Phillippi Ryan and Karen Dionne. Each event they are host to a lively discussion with a panel of authors.

Learn more about how they conceived of The Back Room, how it works, and about their books too!

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