Newman created the Catherine LeVendeur mysteries set in 12th-century France. Russell authored “The Natural Selection” mystery about a Jewish detective who’s involved with a murder investigation during the Scopes Monkey Trial in the early 1900s. Lakin, a Marin County author, writes the “Getting Old” series-- “Getting Old is to Die For” and “Getting Old is the Best Revenge” --set in present-day Miami about a group of retirement home dwellers who solve crimes.
Toby Gottfried, a long time member of Mystery Readers International and a personal friend, picked the authors and will moderate the program. She volunteered for the Jewish Book and Arts Festival because she knows many mystery authors who use Jewish themes in their stories. O.K., Toby knows everyone, but you have to decide on a few to make the program vibrant.
Toby and her husband Bill Gottfried have been active in the mystery community since 1985. They've worked on and chaired several mystery conventions, run a regular summer mystery reading group, attend mystery conventions, and so much more. Toby, in her 'other' life is a molecular genetics researcher.