Fans of Florida mystery novels will find many of their favorite authors in Sarasota this week.
The sixth annual Mystery Florida: A Conference to Die For takes place Friday and Saturday at the Hyatt Regency in Sarasota. The roster of bestselling authors of crime fiction with a Florida connection includes Michael Connelly, Mark Billingham, Lisa Black, Mary Jane Clark, Tim Dorsey, David Hagberg, Bob Morris, Karen Rose, James Swain, Lisa Unger, Elaine Viets and more.
Also on hand for the conference's panel discussions and other sessions will be film executives, editors, publicists and book reviewers (including Times book editor Colette Bancroft). Session subjects include publishing basics, trends in e-books and self-publishing, character development and writing an effective denouement.
Mystery writers — and those who aspire to be mystery writers — can register for both days of the conference or Saturday only at the festival's website, which also has a complete schedule.
Crime fiction fans hoping to meet their favorite writers and get copies of their books signed are in luck. The Mystery Mingle on Friday evening features all of the conference authors — more than two dozen of them — meeting fans and signing their books, which will be available for sale. The event is free and open to the public.
Mystery Florida is a local nonprofit organization established to promote literacy and Florida's iconic relationship with the art of mystery. Proceeds from the conference are donated to independent libraries.