About Us

Bouchercon Gathering of DP Contributors circa 2011
From left to right Larry Gandle, Maggie Mason, Ali Karim, Marv Lachman, Ted Fitzgerald, George Easter (standing), Maddie Van Hertbruggen (standing), Donus Roberts and Bev DeWeese

The Editors

George Easter

∙ Born in New York City (Gotham Hospital)
∙ Raised on Long Island, New York
∙ College: In Utah (BYU Undergrad, University of Utah – Law School)
∙ Utah has been my home for the past 51 years. My house is high on the mountainside and I enjoy a view of the Great Salt Lake

Sunset over the Great Salt Lake as seen from my home June, 2020

∙ Married to Michele (Stimpson) Easter – 47 years and counting
∙ Path to Mystery Fandom:
∙ Dick Tracy comics in the Daily News
∙ Batman comics
∙ The movie Shane – my favorite movie as a boy – Jack Reacher in gunfighter clothes
∙ Hardy Boys
∙ Edgar Allan Poe
∙ Sherlock Holmes
∙ The Count of Monte Cristo
∙ Alastair MacLean thrillers
∙ Harry Kemelman Rabbi mysteries
∙ NERVE by Dick Francis – the turning point that flipped a switch in me. I then read all of the Dick Francis novels in print and went in search of similar writing and eventually branched out into all that is encompassed by that great inclusive umbrella term “mystery.”
∙ Attended first mystery convention – Bouchercon – in 1991 – in Pasadena, California
∙ Started Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine in 1992.

Larry Gandle
Assistant Editor

 I have been reading mystery fiction, like everyone else writing for this magazine, since I was a child. AND THEN THERE WERE NONE by Agatha Christie was a true revelation after The Hardy Boys mysteries.  I read all kinds of books both fiction and nonfiction but it was in the mid 1990s that I decided to read and learn specifically about mystery fiction. The reason was an advertisement sent to me by a company known as The First Editions Library which reprinted perfect facsimile editions of great books. They mentioned that they worked with Otto Penzler, the proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in NYC. I looked into the bookstore and they said Otto is the one to contact if you are interested in collecting mystery fiction. Needless to say, I read all ten of the mystery classic books they published then contacted Otto about collecting. In a one hour phone call, he taught me about collecting books and managed to sell me a first edition of THE MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD and all the books published, at that time, by Michael Connelly, and Walter Moseley. Both were early in their careers but it was evident that they were special authors. He was right, of course.      I then joined mystery fan websites on the old prodigy community bulletin board and later, DorothyL, connecting me with many fellow enthusiasts. I used as my reading list books like THE CROWN CRIME COMPANION which listed and described the 100 greatest mysteries of all time. Then, with the Prodigy and DorothyL sites, started reading and familiarizing myself with the current crop of mystery writers. I started reviewing in those websites almost twenty five years ago.

I also discovered Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine at that time. I loved the magazine and used it as a guide to the best writers of the day. (George will never live down the cover story about the great Ronald Levitsky which prompted me to go out and buy all three of his books. He has never been heard from again!) I sent George a column of my reviews of all the Edgar nominated books, I think in 1996 or 1997 and he asked if he could publish it. I was thrilled and soon became another columnist in the magazine. For many years I also critiqued the major short lists for the CWA Dagger Awards. Eventually all this led to my promotion to Assistant Editor. I have written the Edgar column every year since then and for a number of years was an expert on first novels. I served as a judge for the Thriller Awards for Best Novel and First Novel multiple times.   

                  By the way, I am also a radiation oncologist living and working in Tampa, Florida with a second home in New Orleans, my favorite city. My wife, Carol, and I have two daughters- Cassandra, a physician, and  Lauren, an attorney. We are very proud of them.     


Ted Hertel, Jr.

TED HERTEL is a retired attorney in Mequon, Wisconsin.  He is the recipient of MWA’s Robert L. Fish Award for Best First Short Story by an American Author.  His short stories have been nominated for both the Anthony and Macavity Awards.  Ted is the proud recipient of the Don Sandstrom Award for Lifetime Achievement in Mystery Fandom.  He was Local Arrangements Chair for Eyecon ’95 and co-chair of the 1999 Bouchercon.  He has served on MWA’s National Board (including as EVP and is currently its Parliamentarian), and has been the Edgar Awards General Chair.  He has been a reviewer for Deadly Pleasures since 2000.

Maggie Mason

I’ve been a mystery reader since my parents encouraged my Nancy Drew/Dana Girls/Judy Bolton collections.

I was a bookseller from 1989 to 2012. My specialty was mystery/detective fiction, but also had a lot of fun selling childrens books, and other things. I loved doing book shows and mystery conventions, meeting new people and sharing my love of mysteries, and introducing people to new authors. At one point I concentrated on getting authors to use my name as a character in one of their novels. I believe I appear as such in over 20 mysteries. My favorites are Nevada Barr’s use of my name as the name of an alligator, and Robert Crais’ use of my real name (Mary) and my nickname (Maggie) for twin prostitutes in one of his novels. I still get a chuckle when I think of those two examples.

I worked for the County of San Diego for 23 years and retired early when I had spent half my life there, always finding the worst departments to work for.

I was the first Fan Guest of Honor at the Left Coast Crime Convention, and one of the two Fan Guests of Honor at the 1999 Bouchercon in Milwaukee.

One of the great reference works of mystery fiction is TWENTIETH CENTURY CRIME AND MYSTERY WRITERS, to which I was fortunate to be asked to contribute.

In 2005 I was presented the Don Sandstrom Award for Lifetime Achievement in Mystery Fandom which was especially heart-warming to me because of my great affection for Don Sandstrom.

In addition to mystery fiction (modern and vintage) I also collect Edward Gorey items, and other books. I have some signed books by Bob Newhart and Carl Reiner that I treasure.

I’ve been reviewing for Deadly Pleasures for many, many years, mainly in the cozy mystery arena – since George asked me for a review of a Reviewed to Death book that no one else had liked. I enjoy all types of mystery, not just cozies. For instance, I am one of Lee Child’s original Reacher’s Creatures.

My greatest heartbreak is being allergic to dogs, as Golden Retrievers (and most dogs especially big ones) are my favorite things in life Put a cute pix of a dog on the cover, and I’m anxious to read it.

Ali Karim

For those who know Ali well, this says a lot.


Assistant Editor at Shots Magazine, contributing editor for January Magazine, The Rap Sheet, also writes for Deadly Pleasures, Crimespree and Strand Magazine among many others, specialising in Crime and Thriller Fiction

Literary Awards
2011 David Thompson Memorial Award for Special Services to the Crime and Thriller Genre
2013 Don Sandstrom Lifetime achievement award for services to Crime and Mystery Fandom
2018 Red Herring Award for services to Crime Fiction by The Crime Writers Association [CWA]
2021 Fan Guest of Honour at Bouchercon New Orleans [2021]

As a published writer [contributing to]
Dissecting Hannibal Lecter ed. Benjamin Szumskyj [McFarland Press]
The Greenwood Encyclopaedia of British Crime Fiction [ed. Barry Forshaw]
ITW 100 Thriller Novels ed David Morrell and Hank Hagner [Oceanview Publishing].

Literary Judge
Ngaio Marsh Award [New Zealand] 2017 – to date
British Book Awards [Nibbies] 2017- 2018
CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2016 – 2018
CWA Gold Dagger Award 2012 – 2016
CWA Short Story Dagger Award 2009 – 2012
Deadly Pleasures Barry Awards 2003 – to date

Associate Memberships
The Crime Writers Association [CWA]
International Thriller Writers [ITW]
Private Eye Writers of America [PWA]
Former Board Member to Bouchercon [The World Mystery and Crime Convention] 2014 – 2017
Co-chaired programming for Bouchercon 2015 [Raleigh, North Carolina].

L J Roberts

Was there a time when I did not read? If there was, I don’t remember it, with my reading covering the range of genres. However, my one constant love has always been mysteries.

I joined the DorothyL email group early on with the “Nom de Clavier,” or typewriter name, of “The Honorable Phryne Fisher,” and started writing snippet reviews, mainly so I would remember who and what I liked. Those grew in length and notice until I was asked by Barbara Peters of Poisoned Pen Books to review their books. From 2003-2006, I then evaluated manuscripts using Robert Rosenwald’s list of nine elements to consider.

In January 1994, I established the East Bay Mystery Readers’ Group (ebmrg.org), and in 2009, created the review site LJ’s Mystery Reviews—It is purely my opinion (booksaremagic.blogspot.com).

Things snowballed and I contributed reviews to
– 2010-2012 the Australian subscription newsletter, Calamity’s Corner, – 2010-2014 for Sally Powers’ e-newsletter I Love a Mystery,

– 2011 was a paid reviewer for The Strand Magazine, and on-going associations with

– 2006 Steve Lewis’ Mystery*File

– 2010 Janet Rudolph’s magazine Mystery Readers’ Journal
I also have a reviews email distribution list of several hundred people, post to several mystery sites on Facebook, have over 3,000 reviews on GoodReads, and am delighted to be a part of Deadly Pleasures Online Mystery Magazine. Oh, and I crochet for charity.

Donus Roberts

Donus Roberts has had a lifetime love affair with the written and spoken word. He was a teacher of English and speech courses from 1960 until his retirement in 1999. He recently was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame.
Donus Roberts is also known for his garden and book-collecting skills. He operates Robyn’s Garden in the summer where he grows and sells over 25 vegetables at a stand at the garden as well as at the local Farmer’s Market. He has a collection of signed first edition books that total about 18,000, and he has an additional 12,000 for sale over the internet or at his own bookstore. He loves to champion new writers whom he has discovered.
Like all of the staff at Deadly Pleasures, Donus is very well read and knowledgeable about crime fiction.

Jeff Popple

My name is Jeff Popple. I have lifelong interest in crime fiction and thrillers and from 1982 to 2015 I was the crime fiction reviewer for the Canberra Times. I now do a weekly book column in the Canberra Weekly. I am also a regular contributor to George Easter’s Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine. I have also contributed in the past to magazines such as Mean Streets and Crime Factory. I have done several book launches, public interviews and panel sessions with authors and have been on the Selection Committee for the Ned Kelly Awards and the Barry Awards.
In 2019 I traveled to my first Bouchercon (Dallas) and was surprised with a Don Sandstrom Award for Lifetime Achievement in Mystery Fandom.

Kristopher Zgorski

My name is Kristopher Zgorski and I live in Columbia, Maryland – about halfway between Baltimore (home of The Wire) and Washington, DC (these days, the less said about that the better). My day job is in academic publishing with one of the leading and oldest University Presses in existence. Besides reading, I can be a bit obsessive about Broadway Theater, opera, and quality television. I regularly attend book conventions – from genre gatherings such as Bouchercon and Malice Domestic to industry-only events such as BookExpo America.
I write reviews for my blog Bolo Books (bolobooks.com) and Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine, among others.

In 2018 the MWA awarded me a Raven Award for contributions to the world of mystery fiction.

Steele Curry

Steele Curry Bio

I was honored to receive the Don Sandstrom Memorial Award at the October 2017 Toronto Bouchercon. I formerly served on the National board of directors of the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention and as its co-chair together with Mike Bursaw. Have been a passionate reader and “collector” of mystery, espionage and thriller fiction for over 40 years. During this time, have attempted to encourage and support the writing careers of a number of great storytellers from around the world. My wife and I live in Calgary, Canada and spend our summers on the Greek island of Skiathos. While on the island I binge read all the mysteries that have accumulated over the year past and then write a column for DP about my reading experience.


Marv Lachman

Marv Lachman has been reading mysteries since 1943, when he was eleven. He won Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award for Best Critical/Biographical Work in 1976, for ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MYSTERY AND DETECTION (with co-authors Chris Steinbrunner, Otto Penzler and Charles Shibuk). He was nominated for the same award in 1994 for A READER’S GUIDE TO THE AMERICAN NOVEL OF DETECTION, which was also nominated for an Agatha, an Anthony, and a Macavity Award. Lachman won the Macavity Award in 2001 for THE AMERICAN REGIONAL MYSTERY (2000), which was also nominated for an Anthony and an Agatha.
Lachman was given a Raven Award from the MWA in 1997, for his fan-related activities. MWA’s Raven is a “special award given for outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside of the realm of creative writing.” In 2001 he received the first Don Sandstrom Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in Mystery Fandom. In 2013 the Bouchercon Board of Directors gave him the David Thompson Special Service Award for his “exemplary life-long service to the mystery and crime fiction community.” In 2019 Marv attended his fortieth Bouchercon, where he was duly recognized for his accomplishments on several occasions.
In 2006 the first edition of THE HEIRS OF ANTHONY BOUCHER won the Anthony Award. This has been revised and reprinted in 2019 and is available for purchase. It tells the history of mystery fandom in all of its glorious aspects.
And, last but not least, Marv has been a faithful reviewer and contributor to many mystery publications, including Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine, right from its beginning.

In the eyes of fellow DP contributors (and many other mystery fans and authors), Marv Lachman is the “Grand Old Man of Mystery Fiction.” His experience and knowledge is encyclopedic and extremely impressive.

Mike Ripley

Mike Ripley is the author of the award-winning ‘Angel’ series of comedy thrillers which have twice won the CWA Last Laugh Award. It has been said that he ‘paints a picture of London Dickens would recognise’ and that ‘he writes like the young Len Deighton, weird and wonderful information and very, very funny’. Described as ‘England’s funniest crime writer’ (The Times), he is also a respected critic of crime fiction, writing for the Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Times and the Birmingham Post among others.
Recently he was commissioned to continue the Margery Allingham/Albert Campion series and is up to book #7 in that series. He has also gained renown for his publication of KISS KISS, BANG BANG, a delightful history of the rise of British action thrillers from 1950 to 1980 or so.
He is best known to readers of Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine for the witty and insightful column he writes for the online SHOTS magazine, which we duly pilfer for reprinting in each issue of DP.
He and his wife, Dame Ripley, live at the stately house Ripster Hall, where they are frequently visited by Prince Ali Karim, who is required to keep a two meter distance at all times. Nothing to do with Covid-19.

Where’s my invite?

George H. Madison

As an attorney and politician by vocation, I am a life long enthusiastic reader of mysteries.  For the past few years, I’ve been a frequent contributor to Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine, as well as “The Wolfe Pack Gazette”, “Old Time Detection” and am a staff writer for “Dark Pages”, a bi-monthly noir movie publication.
My wife Nancy and I reside in Highland Falls, NY; adjacent to the United States Military Academy at West Point and are involved in many cadet activities.

Nancy-Stephanie Stone


“Mystery” Mike Bursaw

A mystery book seller for over 50 year, Mike Bursaw is the unseen power behind almost every successful Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention. He recently accepted the position of Chairman of the National Board for Bouchercon. Last year he was honored as the Fan Guest of Honor at Thrillerfest.

He is also a valued advisor to Deadly Pleasures and his wisdom and business acumen are greatly appreciated.

Mike (and Steele Curry) were the driving forces behind the creation of Barry Thriller Award and Mike is a member of our nominating committees.