Guests of Honor

In alphabetical order, we are pleased to be joined by these amazing people!

Lifetime Guest of Honor:
David Baldacci

David Baldacci published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996. The feature film adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 48 novels for adults; all have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and television. His novels are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with 150 million copies sold worldwide. David has also published seven novels for young readers.

CJ Box (credit: Dave Neligh)

National Guest of Honor:
C.J. Box

C. J. Box is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 30 novels including the Joe Pickett series. He won the Edgar Alan Poe Award for Best Novel (Blue Heaven, 2009) as well as the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Maltese Falcon Award (Japan), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, two Barry Awards, and the 2010 Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Award for fiction.  He was recently awarded the 2016 Western Heritage Award for Literature by the National Cowboy Museum as well as the Spur Award for Best Contemporary Novel by the Western Writers of America in 2017.  Over ten million copies of his books have been sold in the U.S. and abroad and they’ve been translated into 27 languages.  Two television series based on his novels are in production (BIG SKY on ABC and JOE PICKETT on Spectrum Originals).

Cozy Guest of Honor:
Kate Carlisle

New York Times bestselling author Kate Carlisle is a native Californian who worked in television production for many years before turning to writing. It was a lifelong fascination with the art and craft of bookbinding that led her to write the Bibliophile Mysteries, featuring Brooklyn Wainwright, whose bookbinding and restoration skills invariably uncover old secrets, treachery and murder. Her first book in that series, Homicide in Hardcover, debuted in February 2010. In November 2014, Kate launched the Fixer-Upper Mysteries featuring building contractor Shannon Hammer, who specializes in Victorian home renovation and repair. The series is set in Lighthouse Cove, a seemingly idyllic town with many dark secrets hiding under its floorboards. Three of the Fixer-Upper Mysteries have been brought to the small screen by Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

International Guest of Honor:
Ann Cleeves

This award winner celebrated publishing 30 books in 30 years in 2016 and just keeps going. Ann Cleeves’s books have been translated into twenty languages. Raven Black was shortlisted for the Martin Beck award for best translated crime novel in Sweden in 2007. It has been adapted for radio in Germany – and in the UK where it was a Radio Times pick of the day when it was first broadcast Radio adaptations of Raven Black and White Nights have both been repeated. Ten series of VERA, the ITV adaptation starring Brenda Blethyn, have been shown in the UK and worldwide, and series eleven (delayed because of the coronavirus) is currently in progress; there have also been five series of SHETLAND, based on the characters and settings of her Shetland novels, with a sixth currently airing. A television adaptation of THE LONG CALL, the first in Ann’s new series set in North Devon, was also broadcast in October 2021.

Naomi Hirahara

Naomi Hirahara is an Edgar Award-winning author of multiple traditional mystery series and noir short stories. Her Mas Arai mysteries, which have been published in Japanese, Korean and French, feature a Los Angeles gardener and Hiroshima survivor who solves crimes. The seventh and final Mas Arai mystery is Hiroshima Boy, which was nominated for an Edgar Award for best paperback original. Her first historical mystery is Clark and Division, which follows a Japanese American family’s move to Chicago in 1944 after being released from a California wartime detention center. Her second Leilani Santiago Hawai‘i mystery, An Eternal Lei, is scheduled to be released in 2022. A former journalist with The Rafu Shimpo newspaper, Naomi has also written numerous non-fiction history books and curated exhibitions. She has also written a middle-grade novel, 1001 Cranes.

Fan Guest of Honor:
Dru Ann Love

The reclusive figure of Dru reportedly spends her working hours at the mysterious daytime situation doing “research.” Her non-working hours are spent less reclusively on her blog, dru’s book musings where the main goal is to introduce readers to authors and their work. An avid reader who writes poetry, creates quilts and is happy to be in “her element” within the mystery community, she loves mysteries, especially cozies. She has been honored for her contributions by two Anthony nominations and an MWA Raven Award.

Regional Guest of Honor:
Jacqueline Winspear

Together with A Sunlit Weapon (March 2022) Jacqueline has written 17 novels in the award-winning Maisie Dobbs historical mystery series. Her second standalone novel, The White Lady was published in March 2023.  The Care and Management of Lies, Jacqueline’s first standalone novel, was also a New York Times and National Bestseller, and a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Jacqueline has published two non-fiction books: What Would Maisie Do? (2018) based upon the series, and a memoir, This Time Next Year We’ll Be Laughing (2020). In addition, her recent published essays include Writing About War, exploring the impact of writing about war on the author, and Women On Fire, about women working in wildfire management. Her essay on writing the historical mystery appeared in Mystery Writers of America’s How To Write A Mystery, edited by Lee Child (April 2021). For more on Jacqueline Winspear, visit: