Spotlight: Southwest Mystery Authors

Three prolific and entertaining Southwest mystery writers-Steve Havill, Susan Cummins Miller, and Jonathan Miller-will come together at the Southwest Festival of the Written Word on Saturday, September 28 in Silver City, New Mexico to discuss the craft of writing mystery series. All three live in and write about trouble and mayhem that take place in the canyons and deserts of New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. The event is open and free to the public.

Steven F. Havill is the author of the popular Bill Gastner series, featuring the septuagenarian Bill Gastner as Undersheriff, and then Sheriff, of the fictitious New Mexico Posadas County and of the Posadas County series which focuses on Undersheriff Estella Reyes-Guzman after Bill Gastner’s retirement. A longtime resident of New Mexico, now living somewhere near Datil, Havill offers sought-after writing workshops throughout the state. In January, 2013, he taught a standing-room-only workshop for the Southwest Festival of the Written Word. He is also the author of four western novels, and two historical-medical novels set in the Puget Sound area during the 1890s.  Release of Night Zone marks Havill’s 19th mystery novel and brings his total number of novels to 25.

Tucson author/geologist, Susan Cummins Miller, writes the Frankie MacFarlane , Geologist, mysteries. Fracture, fifth in the series, was a Finalist for the 2012 WILLA Award in Contemporary Fiction and the 2012 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award in Mystery/Suspense, and was a 2011 Southwest Books of the Year Notable Book. In a review of Fracture, the Tucson Weekly wrote, ” Frankie MacFarlane is back in a gripping, layered whodunit . . . Miller has balanced shifting, fragile human relationships on top of shifting, impermanent, massive geological forms. They resonate with each other. They mirror patterns. They share change-that ‘universal constant’ driven by ‘unseen forces.’ And they provide a good story.” Miller’s sixth mystery, Chasm, set in Grand Canyon National Park, is in press, and she’s working on her seventh novel, Rift, set in northern New Mexico. Visit for more information.

Jonathan Miller is an Albuquerque attorney and the author of eight legal thrillers, including Rattlesnake Lawyer and the recent sequel, Rattlesnake Wedding. say “Miller’s expertise as an attorney in the field of criminal law, combined with his admiration for Albuquerque shines through in his writing…He clearly describes the good, the bad, and ugly from the eyes of an experienced criminal attorney who has seen it all… For the icing on the cake, he adds a great deal of wit through all the drama, with his keen sense of humor.” Jon’s books, Crater County and Amarillo in August both made the Tucson public library’s master list of Southwestern books of the year. Volcano Verdict was a finalist for New Mexico mystery of the and his book LaBajada Lawyer was a finalist in the 2010 ForeWord book awards for Multi-Cultural Fiction.

The Havill, S Miller and J Miller panel is one of 30 events featuring over 50 authors and publishing professionals that will take place at the Southwest Festival of the Written Word, Friday September 27-29 2013 in downtown Silver City NM. All events are free and open to the public except where noted otherwise in the schedule.

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