This fall we’ve got a fabulous variety of offerings for mystery lovers!

Linda Castillo, author of the Kate Burkholder series of Amish mysteries, is featured in the Fox Cities Book Festival on Saturday, October 13, and Sunday, October 14.  Castillo writes the New York Times bestselling series of crime thrillers set in Amish country. Sworn to Silence, Pray for Silence, Breaking Silence, Gone Missing, Her Last Breath, The Dead Will Tell, After the Storm, Among the Wicked, and Down a Dark Road are the first nine books in the Kate Burkholder series.

A Gathering of Secrets is Linda Castillo’s most recent novel, released on July 10, 2018. When a historic barn burns to the ground in the middle of the night, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called in to investigate. At first, it looks like an accident, but when the body of eighteen-year-old Daniel Gingerich is found inside―burned alive―Kate suspects murder. Who would want a well-liked, hardworking young Amish man dead? Kate delves into the investigation only to find herself stonewalled by the community to which she once belonged. Is their silence a result of the Amish tenet of separation? Or is this peaceful and deeply religious community conspiring to hide a truth no one wants to talk about? Kate doubles down only to discover a plethora of secrets and a chilling series of crimes that shatters everything she thought she knew about her Amish roots―and herself.

Reading from this new release, Linda Castillo will be speaking at the James J. Siebers Memorial Library at 6:30 pm on Saturday, October 13. Come for “An Evening with Linda Castillo.” She will speak about her background—growing up in Ohio—how she conducts research, and address questions from the audience. On Sunday, October 14, at 1 pm in the Neenah Public Library, come for “A Conversation with Linda Castillo.” She will talk about how she broke into publishing, describe her research and writing process on her new book, A Gathering of Secrets, and address your questions.

Joseph Heywood recently released his eleventh Woods Cop Mystery, Bad Optics, which has Conservation Officer Grady Service on unpaid leave due to an investigation into his unofficial partner, Limpy Allerdyce, a lifelong poacher. Set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the wilderness is threatened by illegal commercialization and Grady enlists help from Allerdyce and fellow game warden and Vietnam Vet Luticious Treebone. Heywood is himself a Vietnam Veteran and for the last 18 summers he has spent up to a month a year on patrol with Michigan’s conservation officers gathering material for his next book. His next book, Upper Peculiar, will be a collection of 30 original short stories.

The Appleton Public Library hosts Joseph Heywood on October 8 at 6:30 pm. “Deluged by Foxes: Thoughts from an Aging Scribbler,” is the topic of his presentation. He’ll share his insights into his writing career. “Writing is a calling, a form of marriage, not a job. The calling lasts until death do us part.”

Neal Griffin is originally from a small town in Wisconsin and is the author of Benefit of the Doubt and A Voice From the Field. During his career in law enforcement, Griffin was Tactical Operations Team Leader, Narcotics Investigator, Hostage Negotiator, and Supervisor of a Homicide Unit. His new book, By His Own Hand, released in April of 2018, is Book 3 in the Newberg Novels.

Los Angeles Times bestselling author Neal Griffin burst onto the scene with Benefit of the Doubt, which introduced Tia Suarez, the only female―and Latina―cop on the police force in tiny Newberg, Wisconsin. Griffin’s compelling suspense novels show that big-city crime regularly plagues small-town America―that Breaking Bad is the rule, not the exception.

Neal Griffin will be at the Elisha D. Smith Public Library on October 9 at 6:30 pm for “Writing the Dark and Dangerous World of Small Town Policing.” Small town cops are usually homegrown, patrolling the same streets where they grew up and have personal connections in a community where they stayed to serve and protect. Griffin gives readers a ride-along with a cop from the heartland.

Author Jim Guhl’s new novel, Eleven Miles to Oshkosh, takes readers back to 1970s Wisconsin where he tells the story of a teenage boy coming of age as he deals with the unsolved murder of his father. The book will be released from University of Wisconsin Press on October 2. He will be at the Neenah Public Library on October 10 at 1:30 pm for a reading and conversation.

Hudson Star-Observer photo by Randy Hanson

As the Vietnam War grinds on and the Nixon presidency collapses, Del “Minnow” Finwick’s small world in Wisconsin has blown apart. His father, a deputy sheriff, has been murdered by the unknown “Highway 41 Killer.” His mom has unraveled. And a goon named Larry Buskin has been pummeling Minnow behind Neenah High. Minnow finds support in the company of his roguish grandfather, his loyal pal Mark, and beautiful Opal Parsons, who has her own worries as the first African American student in their school. When the sheriff seems in no hurry to solve the murder, Minnow must seek justice by partnering with unlikely allies and discovering his own courage.

Murder in Door County. The latest Rhiannon Nolan mystery is Death in a Pink Cadillac: The Door County Special. Author of eight novels in this cozy mystery series, Kathy Buchen is a native of the Fox Valley and is the Supervising Librarian in the Children’s Room at Elisha D. Smith Public Library in Menasha, where she has worked for the past 26 years.

The humor ramps up when Rhi and Didi, the Lucy and Ethel of crime fighters, crash a Supreme Cosmetics workshop while on vacation in Door County. Supreme Cosmetics is owned by Fantastic Fran who ends up dead in her pink Cadillac, dead from her big hair extensions to the tips of her pink soled Manolo Blahniks. The dynamic duo of Rhi and Didi go to work to solve the crime. Of course, there are multiple suspects to choose from. Is the murderer Fran’s jealous ex-husband, her best high school frenemy, her current toy boy, her much put upon assistant, her marketer with the deep dark secret, or one of the attendees of her workshop who has an ancient ax to grind? Suspects, plot twists, and red herrings abound. You can hear author Kathy Buchen on October 10 at 6:30 pm at the Kaukauna Public Library or on October 11 at 10 am in the Neenah Public Library. “Booked for Murder” will be a whole lot of good, clean, murderous fun.

And stay tuned here for more on featured authors and books at the Fox Cities Book Festival who write about true crime.