Programs by Genre - Crime, True Crime, Mystery, and Horror

11 a.m. to Noon
State Capitol Building, House Committee Room 4
Louisiana Ladies of Mystery

Ellen Byron, A Cajun Christmas Killing
Cherie Claire, Ghost of a Chance: A Viola Valentine Mystery
Mary Beth Magee, Ambush at the Arboretum: An (LOL)4 Mystery
Colleen Mooney, Drive Thru Murder: A Brandy Alexander Mystery
Liah Penn, The Sweet Death
Erica Spindler, The Other Girl: A Novel

11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
State Capitol Building, Senate Committee Room E
Women on the Thin Blue Line: Louisiana Detective Thrillers

Debut author Roger Johns has created a tense and expertly-plotted mystery that takes you into the dangerous world of Baton Rouge female police detective Wallace Hartman in Dark River Rising. Acclaimed crime writer Bill Loehfelm conjures rowdy New Orleans in all its mess and marvel and sends rookie cop Maureen Coughlin deep into the city on another wild high-octane adventure in The Devil’s Muse. Johns and Loehfelm will discuss the craft of writing tightly-plotted thrillers and why they write what they do.

12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.
State Capitol Building, Senate Committee Room A
The Trials of Walter Ogrod: The Shocking Murder, So-Called Confessions, and Notorious Snitch That Sent a Man to Death Row
Thomas Lowenstein

12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.
State Capitol Building, Senate Committee Room F
The Elements of Noir: Hardboiled Crime Writing in Film

Using his mystery novel Lily Torrence for reference, author and historian Fred Andersen will explore the link between hardboiled crime narrative and dialogue, which existed first on the page and was later popularized in film. He will also discuss the long-lasting cultural importance of noir and how it became a recognizable and enduring set of styles and attitudes that have become part of the permanent cultural landscape.

1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
State Capitol Building, Senate Committee Room A
Hard Roll: A Paramedic's Perspective of Life and Death in New Orleans

Jon McCarthy chronicles some of the most formative calls of his career in this autobiography that reads like crime fiction.

1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
State Capitol Building, Senate Committee Room E
Salvation and Transcendence in Horror Fiction

Readers don't always approach horror fiction seeking stories of transcendence but the genre is uniquely capable of telling such stories. From popular novels like Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, where both the doctor and his monster long to transcend the limits of their given bodies, to cult classics like Clarice Lispector's The Passion According to GH, where a dying insect terrorizes a woman out of her domestic contentment and towards a quest for salvation, horror fiction puts these spiritual crises front and center. In this panel, Jon Padgett, The Secret of Ventriloquism: A Collection of Short Stories, Steve Yates, Legend of the Albino Farm, and moderator Joshua Wheeler talk about how their favorite horror stories approach these issues and how they’ve tried to tackle them in their own writing.

1:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
State Capitol Building, Senate Committee Room A
Southern Harm: Historical True Crime in Natchez and New Orleans

Karen L. Cox, Goat Castle: A True Story of Murder, Race, and the Gothic South
Christopher G. Peña, The Strange Case of Dr. Etienne Deschamps: Murder in the New Orleans French Quarter

2:15 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Senate Chamber
Desperation Road: A Novel

Michael Farris Smith delivers in powerful and lyrical prose a story of troubled souls twisted with regret and bound by secrets that stretch over the years and across the land.

3:15 p.m. to 4 p.m.
State Capitol Building, Senate Committee Room C
Desperate Characters: Steph Post, Bill Loehfelm, and Taylor Brown on Crafting Fiction

From the rivers of Georgia to heart of New Orleans and the wilds of the Sunshine State, authors Steph Post, Taylor Brown, and Bill Loehfelm are known for crafting intense, suspenseful novels peopled with vibrant and often troubled characters. This panel discussion focuses on how these authors develop compelling and complex characters, suspenseful plots, and explore their corners of the southern literary landscape. Moderated by Kent Wascom.


Book-loving volunteers are essential to the Louisiana Book Festival's success. Whether it's escorting authors, guiding visitors, selling refreshments, working with children in the Young Readers Pavilion or other fun and rewarding assignments, the Louisiana Book Festival wants you to join the volunteer team.

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