June 24th Program: Third Annual JPL Mystery Readers / Writers Literary Festival

Sponsored by the Sisters In Crime New Orleans Chapter and SOLA.

***Please note that this will be the fourth Saturday of the month.

Five local authors or criminal activity experts will make presentations at the third annual JPL Mystery Readers / Writers Literary Festival at 9 a.m., Saturday, June 24, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie.

The festival is intended not just for mystery writers but for readers as well. This event is free of charge and open to the public. There is no registration.


9:30 to 10:15 a.m. – Keynote – New York Times Bestseller Erica Spindler
Raised in Rockford, Illinois, Spindler had planned on being an artist, earning a BFA from Delta State University and an MFA from the University of New Orleans in the visual arts. In June of 1982, in bed with a cold, she picked up a romance novel for relief from daytime television. She was immediately hooked and decided to write one herself. She leaped from romance to suspense in 1996 with her novel Forbidden Fruit, and found her true calling. Her novel Bone Cold won the Daphne du Maurier Award for excellence. A Romance Writers of America Honor Roll member, she received a Kiss of Death Award for her novels Forbidden Fruit and Dead Run and was a three-time RITA Award finalist. Publishers Weekly awarded the audio version of her novel Shocking Pink a Listen Up Award, naming it one of the best audio mystery books of 1998.

10:30 to 11:45 a.m. – The Wheels of Justice with Author/Prosecutor Sal Perricone
S.R. Perricone served in most aspects of law enforcement for nearly 40 years. He was a deputy sheriff, police detective, FBI agent and, for 21 years, a federal prosecutor. He was the Chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force. Before his retirement in 2012, Perricone served as the Senior Litigation Counsel for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Orleans. He was an attorney for 35 years. During his career he specialized in public corruption and organized crime investigations and prosecutions. His first novel in the Crescent Criminality series, Blue Steel Crucifix was published in 2014. Perricone’s second book in the series, The Shadows of Nazareth, was published in 2016.

12:00 to 1:15 p.m. – High Speed Car Chases with Jeff Blue
Jeff Blue, a former police officer and now an attorney, will discuss the reality of police pursuits based on his personal experiences, including discussion on his training; proper protocol when engaged in a chase (and why it’s not followed); changes in pursuit policies during his career; and the different types of officer responses when involved in a chase. He will cover some of the common misconceptions and mistakes that writers and directors make when describing a chase for their readers and viewers. Blue spent 18 years as a police officer in Louisiana. He began his law enforcement career as a small-town cop in the northeast Louisiana town of Tallulah. He then moved to New Orleans, where he accepted a position with Probation and Parole, working some of the most dangerous areas of the city while supervising some of the convicted felons responsible for making New Orleans one of the deadliest cities in the nation. During this period, Blue was a member of the warrant squad and spent several days per week working with the NOPD 7th District Task Force to provide enhanced supervision of sexual and violent offenders. Many of the dozens of pursuits that Blue engaged in were in response to “hot calls” that came out while working with the Task Force.

1:30 p.m. – Break for Lunch

2:00 to 3:15 p.m. Hard Roll, A Paramedic’s Perspective of Life and Death in New Orleans with Jon McCarty
Known as one of America’s most dangerous cities, New Orleans plays host to incidents ranging from the tragic and disturbing to the completely bizarre-and during his career as an emergency medic, Jon McCarthy saw it all. He chronicles some of the most formative calls of his career in this autobiography that reads like crime fiction. McCarthy demonstrates with detail and clarity that the difficult choice is often the right choice. While not for the faint of heart, each entry in this collection provides poignant insight into the bonds between medics and the people and city they serve. A veteran of the United States Coast Guard, Jon McCarthy has worked professionally in EMS since 1996. He is one of the co-creators of the New Orleans EMS Field Training Officer program and served as the lead field training officer for nearly five years.

3:30 to 4:30 p.m. – Master Class for Authors – Pacing for the Thriller or Mystery
Bill Loehfelm is the author of the critically acclaimed Devil series about New Orleans Police Department rookie Maureen Coughlin, featuring the novels Let the Devil Out, Doing the Devil’s Work, The Devil in Her Way, and The Devil She Knows. The fifth Maureen Coughlin novel, The Devil’s Muse, will be published in July 2017. He is also the author of the stand-alone novels, Fresh Kills and Bloodroot, set in his hometown of Staten Island. His short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in several anthologies. He lives in New Orleans with his wife, AC Lambeth, a writer and yoga instructor.

For more information regarding this presentation, contact Chris Smith, Manager of Adult Programming for the library, at 504-889-8143 or wcsmith@jefferson.lib.la.us.