January 9, 7 PM ET

Join authors Yasmin Angoe, Lisa Barr, Robert Dugoni, and Heather Gudenkauf along with Back Room hosts Karen Dionne and Hank Phillippi Ryan for an evening of great conversation!

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The Authors

 

Yasmin Angoe is a first-generation Ghanaian American and debut author of Her Name is Knight. In 2020, she received the Sisters in Crime Eleanor Taylor Bland Award for Emerging Writers of Color and is a proud member of SinC, Crime Writers of Color, and, Southeast Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers.

Yasmin was a middle and high school English teacher and currently works as a developmental editor and sensitivity reader. When not writing or editing, she is watching movies, engrossed in a new audiobook, or obsessing about the fact she probably should be writing. Learn more yasminangoe.com.


Lisa Barr is the award-winning author of Woman on Fire, The Unbreakables (HarperCollins) and Fugutive Colors, a suspenseful tale of stolen art, love, lust, deception and revenge on the “eve” of WWII. The novel won the IPPY gold medal for “Best Literary Fiction 2014” and first prize at The Hollywood Film Festival (Opus Magnum Discovery Award).

In addition, Lisa served as an editor for The Jerusalem Post, managing editor of Today’s Chicago Woman, managing editor of Moment magazine, and as an editor/reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. Among the highlights of her career, Lisa covered the famous “handshake” between the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat, and President Bill Clinton at the White House. Lisa is also the editor and creator of the popular parenting blog GIRLilla Warfare, and has been featured on Good Morning America and Today for her work as an author, journalist and blogger.

She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and three daughters (aka: Drama Central). Learn more at lisabarr.com.


Robert Dugoni is the critically acclaimed New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and #1 Amazon bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite police series set in Seattle, which has sold more than 8 million books worldwide. He is also the author of The Charles Jenkins espionage series, the David Sloane legal thriller series, and  several stand-alone novels including The 7th Canon, Damage Control, and the literary novels, The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell Suspense Magazine’s 2018 Book of the Year, for which Dugoni’s narration won an AudioFile Earphones Award and the critically acclaimed, The World Played Chess; as well as the nonfiction exposé The Cyanide Canary, a Washington Post Best Book of the Year.

Several of his novels have been optioned for movies and television series. Dugoni is the recipient of the Nancy Pearl Award for Fiction and a three-time winner of the Friends of Mystery Spotted Owl Award for best novel set in the Pacific Northwest. He has also been a finalist for many other awards including the International Thriller Award, the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, the Silver Falchion Award for mystery, and the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award.

Robert Dugoni’s books are sold in more than twenty-five countries and have been translated into more than thirty languages.  Learn more at www.robertdugonibooks.com.


Heather Gudenkauf is the New York Times & USA Today, Edgar Award nominated author of 8 novels. Her debut novel, The Weight of Silence, was an instant NYT bestseller and remained on the list for 22 weeks.

Gudenkauf’s critically acclaimed novels have been published in over twenty countries and have been included in many Best Of lists including Seven Thrillers to Read This Summer by the New York Times, The 10 Best Thrillers and Mysteries of 2017 by The Washington Post, and a Best Book for the Beach by ChicagoNow.com.

Her upcoming novel, The Overnight Guest, will be released on Jan. 25, 2022. Gudenkauf lives in Iowa with her family. Learn more at heathergudenkauf.com.


Authors’ Books

 

Her Name is Knight by Yasmin Angoe

Stolen from her Ghanaian village as a child, Nena Knight has plenty of motives to kill. Now an elite assassin for a powerful business syndicate called the Tribe, she gets plenty of chances.

But while on assignment in Miami, Nena ends up saving a life, not taking one. She emerges from the experience a changed woman, finally hopeful for a life beyond rage and revenge. Tasked with killing a man she’s come to respect, Nena struggles to reconcile her loyalty to the Tribe with her new purpose.

Meanwhile, she learns a new Tribe council member is the same man who razed her village, murdered her family, and sold her into captivity. Nena can’t resist the temptation of vengeance–and she doesn’t want to. Before she can reclaim her life, she must leverage everything she was and everything she is to take him down and end the cycle of bloodshed for good.

Purchase at an independent bookstore near you.

Purchase online at www.bookshop.org.


Woman on Fire by Lisa Barr

After talking her way into a job with Dan Mansfield, the leading investigative reporter in Chicago, rising young journalist Jules Roth is given an unusual—and very secret—assignment. Dan needs her to locate a painting stolen by the Nazis more than 75 years earlier: legendary Expressionist artist Ernst Engel’s most famous work, Woman on Fire. World-renowned shoe designer Ellis Baum wants this portrait of a beautiful, mysterious woman for deeply personal reasons, and has enlisted Dan’s help to find it. But Jules doesn’t have much time; the famous designer is dying.

Meanwhile, in Europe, provocative and powerful Margaux de Laurent also searches for the painting. Heir to her art collector family’s millions, Margaux is a cunning gallerist who gets everything she wants. The only thing standing in her way is Jules. Yet the passionate and determined Jules has unexpected resources of her own, including Adam Baum, Ellis’s grandson. A recovering addict and brilliant artist in his own right, Adam was once in Margaux’s clutches. He knows how ruthless she is, and he’ll do anything to help Jules locate the painting before Margaux gets to it first.

Purchase at an independent bookstore near you.

Purchase online at www.bookshop.org.


The World Played Chess by Robert Dugoni

In 1979, Vincent Bianco has just graduated high school. His only desire: collect a little beer money and enjoy his final summer before college. So he lands a job as a laborer on a construction crew. Working alongside two Vietnam vets, one suffering from PTSD, Vincent gets the education of a lifetime. Now forty years later, with his own son leaving for college, the lessons of that summer–Vincent’s last taste of innocence and first taste of real life–dramatically unfold in a novel about breaking away, shaping a life, and seeking one’s own destiny.

Purchase at an independent bookstore near you.

Purchase online at www.bookshop.org.


The Overnight Guest by Heather Gudenkauf

True crime writer Wylie Lark doesn’t mind being snowed in at the isolated farmhouse where she’s retreated to write her new book. A cozy fire, complete silence. It would be perfect, if not for the fact that decades earlier, at this very house, two people were murdered in cold blood and a girl disappeared without a trace.

As the storm worsens, Wylie finds herself trapped inside the house, haunted by the secrets contained within its walls–haunted by secrets of her own. Then she discovers a small child in the snow just outside. After bringing the child inside for warmth and safety, she begins to search for answers. But soon it becomes clear that the farmhouse isn’t as isolated as she thought, and someone is willing to do anything to find them.

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. Ryan could win a sixth Agatha with this one.” It is now a nominee for the Anthony Award  and the Mary Higgins Clark Award.

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 newest 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)

Purchase Her Perfect Life at an independent bookstore near you.

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


 

 

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