© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

KC Mystery and Suspense Authors

Kansas City and Mystery Writers go together like Sherlock and HolmesBy Up to Date


Steve Kraske talks with Nancy Pickard, Joel Goldman, and Michelle Black - all local, mystery authors about their work, Kansas City as their writing hub and what it's like to be a mystery writer.

Additional Information:

For more information about Nancy Pickard, click here.

xcNancy Pickard is the author of eighteen popular and critically acclaimed novels, including the Jenny Cain and Marie Lightfoot mystery series.

She is the co-author, with psychologist Lynn Lott, of the beloved non-fiction book about writing, Seven Steps on the Writer's Path, of which the best-selling writer Sue Grafton says, "I can give you seven reasons to buy this book for every writer you know. It's fresh, insightful, candid, funny, supportive, encouraging, and wise." A writer whose work covers an amazing span of the mystery world, from the classic cozy to private eye stories, and from humorous mysteries to psychological suspense.

Nancy has won the Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, and Shamus awards for her short stories. She won the first-ever Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original Mystery for her second Jenny Cain novel, Say No to Murder. She has won multiple Agatha and Macavity awards for her novels. The Los Angeles Times says, "Pickard pushes at the presumed limits of (crime fiction)." The San Diego Union says, "Nancy Pickard is acclaimed as one of today's best mystery writers. Mounting evidence suggests that this description is too limited. . .Pickard (is) one of today's best writers, period." She is a 4-time Edgar Allen Poe award nominee, having been a finalist three times for Best Novel and once for Best Short Story. Her three Edgar-finalist novels are: I.O.U., The Whole Truth, and The Virgin of Small Plains. She is also a Mary Higgins Clark award finalist, and a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement award for suspense fiction, from Romantic Times.

For more information about Joel Goldman, click here.

xvJoel Goldman started writing thrillers when one of his former law partners complained to him about another partner. Goldman told him he should write a murder mystery, kill the man off in the first chapter and spend the rest of the book figuring out who did it. So, Goldman did and never looked back. That was in 1992.

His latest book, No Way Out (2010), is the third book in his series featuring former FBI Special Agent Jack Davis, following The Dead Man (April 2009), and Shakedown (2008). In Shakedown Jack's world is coming apart and there is nothing he can do about it. One reason is a rare movement disorder that has come out of nowhere, causing him to shake when he should shoot. The Dead Man continues Jack's struggles with the dreams that haunt his past and a serial killer who makes his victims' worst nightmares come true. In No Way Out, Jack's search for two missing children leads him into a deadly web of deceit years in the making.

For more information about Michelle Black, click here.

xcMichelle Black divides her time between a home in Boulder, Colorado, and a horse farm outside Kansas City where she owns Missouri FoxTrotters.

She was born in Kansas and studied anthropology in college. She created her first "book," an illustrated survey of ancient Olmec art, as her undergraduate thesis. She went on to law school and graduated with honors. While practicing law, she wrote on a variety of nonfiction topics, most of them related to child advocacy issues.

In 1993, she moved to Colorado and began to focus on her fiction writing. For three years, she owned a bookstore in Frisco, Colorado, a small town nestled high in the Colorado Rockies where she resided with her husband and two sons.


KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.