December 4, 7 PM ET

Join authors Ann Davila Cardinal, Elle Cosimano, Adam Hamdy, and Ausma Zehanat Khan along with Back Room hosts Karen Dionne and Hank Phillippi Ryan for an evening of great conversation!

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The Authors

 

Ann Dávila Cardinal is a writer and the Director of Recruitment for Vermont College of Fine Arts where she earned her MFA in Writing. Her young adult novels include Five Midnights (winner of a 2020 International Latino Book Award and a finalist for a Bram Stoker), Category Five, and the upcoming Breakup from Hell.

The Storyteller’s Death is her first novel for adults and was released on October 4, 2022, and her second book with Sourcebooks, We Need No Wings, is scheduled for release in March of 2024.

Ann lives in Vermont. Learn more at anndavilacardinal.com.


Elle Cosimano is a USA Today bestselling author, an International Thriller Award winner, a Bram Stoker Award finalist, and an Edgar® Award nominee. Her acclaimed young adult novels include Nearly Gone, Holding Smoke, The Suffering Tree, and Seasons of the Storm.

Elle’s debut novel for adults, Finlay Donovan Is Killing It, kicked off a witty, fast-paced contemporary mystery series, which was a PEOPLE Magazine Pick, was named one of New York Public Library’s Best Books of 2021, and has been optioned for the screen by 20th Television Studios.

In addition to writing novels for teens and adults, her essays have appeared in The Huffington Post and Time. Cosimano lives with her husband and two sons in Virginia. Learn more at ellecosimano.com.


Adam Hamdy is a British screenwriter and author who works on both sides of the Atlantic. Known primarily for thought-provoking action thrillers, James Patterson describes Adam as ‘a worthy successor to Robert Ludlum.’

Adam’s most recent novel, The Other Side of Night, is an intricately structured, emotional rollercoaster that will break your heart and blow your mind.

Prior to his writing career, Adam was a strategy consultant and advised global businesses in a variety of sectors.

Learn more at adamhamdy.com.


Ausma Zehanat Khan holds a Ph.D. in international human rights law with a specialization in military intervention and war crimes in the Balkans. She is the author of the award-winning Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty mystery series, which begins with The Unquiet Dead, as well as the author of the critically acclaimed Khorasan Archives fantasy series.

Her new crime series featuring Detective Inaya Rahman debuts with Blackwater Falls. The New York Times called Inaya Rahman “a fabulous character…complicated and fully fleshed out…in this impressive series debut.”

Khan is also a contributor to the anthologies Private Investigations, Sword Stone Table, and The Perfect Crime, and the former Editor-in-Chief of Muslim Girl magazine. A British-born Canadian and former adjunct law professor, Khan now lives in Colorado with her husband. Learn more at ausmazehanatkhan.com.


Authors’ Books

 

The Storyteller’s Death by Ann Dávila Cardinal

Isla Larsen Sanchez’s life begins to unravel when her father passes away. Instead of being comforted at home in New Jersey, her mother starts leaving her in Puerto Rico with her grandmother and great-aunt each summer like a piece of forgotten luggage.

When Isla turns eighteen, her grandmother, a great storyteller, dies. It is then that Isla discovers she has a gift passed down through her family’s cuentistas. The tales of dead family storytellers are brought back to life, replaying themselves over and over in front of her.

At first, Isla is enchanted by this connection to the Sanchez cuentistas. But when Isla has a vision of an old murder mystery, she realizes that if she can’t solve it to make the loop end, these seemingly harmless stories could cost Isla her life.

Purchase at an independent bookstore near you.

Purchase online at www.bookshop.org.


Finlay Donovan Jumps The Gun by Elle Cosimano

Finlay Donovan has been in messes before—after all, she’s an author and single mom who’s a pro at getting out bloodstains for rather unexpected reasons—but none quite like this. After she and her nanny/partner-in-crime Vero accidentally destroyed a luxury car that they may have “borrowed” in the process of saving the life of Finlay’s ex-husband, the Russian mob got her out of debt. But now Finlay owes them

Still running the show from behind bars, mob boss Feliks has a task for Finlay: find a contract killer before the cops do. Problem is, the killer might be an officer.

Luckily, hot cop Nick has started up a citizen’s police academy, and combined pressure from Finlay’s looming book deadline and Feliks is enough to convince Finlay and Vero to get involved. Through firearm training and forensic classes (and some hands-on research with the tempting detective), Finlay and Vero have the perfect cover-up to sleuth out the real criminal and free themselves from the mob’s clutches—all the while dodging spies, confronting Vero’s past, and juggling the daily trials of parenthood.

Purchase at an independent bookstore near you.

Purchase online at www.bookshop.org.


The Other Side of Night by Adam Hamdy

The Other Side of Night begins with a man named David Asha writing about his biggest regret: his sudden separation from his son, Elliot. In his grief, David tells a story.

Next, we step into the life of Harriet Kealty, a police officer trying to clear her name after a lapse of judgment. She discovers a curious inscription in a secondhand book—a plea: Help me, he’s trying to kill me. Who wrote this note? Who is “he”?

This note leads Harri to David Asha, who was last seen stepping off a cliff. Police suspect he couldn’t cope after his wife’s sudden death. Still, why would this man jump and leave behind his young son? Quickly, Harri’s attention zeroes in on a person she knows all too well.

Ben Elmys: once the love of her life. A surrogate father to Elliot Asha and trusted friend to the Ashas.

Ben may also be a murderer.

Purchase at an independent bookstore near you.

Purchase online at www.bookshop.org.


Blackwater Falls by Ausma Zehanat Khan

Girls from immigrant communities have been disappearing for months in the Colorado town of Blackwater Falls, but the local sheriff is slow to act and the fates of the missing girls largely ignored. At last, the calls for justice become too loud to ignore when the body of a star student and refugee–the Syrian teenager Razan Elkader–is positioned deliberately in a mosque.

Detective Inaya Rahman and Lieutenant Waqas Seif of the Denver Police are recruited to solve Razan’s murder, and quickly uncover a link to other missing and murdered girls. But as Inaya gets closer to the truth, Seif finds ways to obstruct the investigation. Inaya may be drawn to him, but she is wary of his motives: he may be covering up the crimes of their boss, whose connections in Blackwater run deep.

Inaya turns to her female colleagues, attorney Areesha Adams and Detective Catalina Hernandez, for help in finding the truth. The three have bonded through their experiences as members of vulnerable groups and now they must work together to expose the conspiracy behind the murders before another girl disappears.

Purchase at an independent bookstore near you.

Purchase online at www.bookshop.org.


Your Hosts

 

Karen Dionne is the USA Today and #1 internationally bestselling author of the award-winning psychological suspense novel The Marsh King’s Daughter, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in the US and in 26 other languages. Her follow up novel, The Wicked Sister (August 2020, G.P. Putnam’s Sons), is also an international bestseller and was chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of their Best Books of 2020.

The Marsh King’s Daughter was also chosen as one of the best books of 2017 by iBooks, Hudson Booksellers, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Irish Independent, Library Journal, Shelf Awareness and many other booksellers and reviewers, and is soon to be a major motion picture starring Daisy Ridley and Ben Mendelsohn.

Both The Wicked Sister and The Marsh King’s Daughter were selected by the Library of Michigan as Michigan Notable Books, and The Marsh King’s Daughter took home the Barry and the Crimson Scribe Awards for Best Novel. Visit Karen at www.karen-dionne.com

Karen’s newest novel is The Wicked Sister. “Dionne paints a haunting portrait of a family hurtling toward the tragic destiny they can foresee but are powerless to stop.”–Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Purchase The Wicked Sister at an independent bookstore near you.

Purchase The Wicked Sister online at www.bookshop.org.

Hank Phillippi Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of thirteen novels of suspense.  She has won five Agathas, four Anthonys, two Macavitys, the Daphne, and the coveted Mary Higgins Clark award. National reviews have called her a “master at crafting suspenseful mysteries” and “a superb and gifted storyteller.” Her 2019 book The Murder List won the Anthony Award for Best Novel of the year. Her 2020 book is The First to Lie, of which the Publishers Weekly starred review said, “Stellar.” It  was a nominee for the Anthony Award  and the Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her upcoming thriller, The House Guest, will be published in January 2023.

Hank is also an award-winning investigative reporter at Boston’s WHDH-TV. In addition to 37 EMMYs and 14 Edward R. Murrow awards, Hank’s won dozens of other honors for her ground-breaking journalism. Hank is  the co-host of First Chapter Fun, hosts the online mystery interview program for the acclaimed A Mighty Blaze, is a founding teacher at Mystery Writers of America University and served as past president of national Sisters in Crime. Learn more at www.HankPhillippiRyan.com.

Hank’s current novel, Her Perfect Life, published September 14, 2021 with starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly.  “Superlative…this is a fast-paced, surprise-packed treat.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)  It was chosen a Best of 2021 by The Strand magazine and Suspense Magazine, and is now  an Agatha Award nominee for Best Contemporary Novel.

Purchase Her Perfect Life at an independent bookstore near you.

Purchase Her Perfect Life online at www.bookshop.org.


 

 

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