$1 for 3 months
$1 for 3 months

Solve a true crime case with author Michael Lister

Staff Report

Mystery writer Michael Lister is inviting his readers and fans of true crime to investigate a real-life suspicious death case alongside him. 

The intriguing case is the basis for the latest novel in his long-running mystery series. 

“Many of my John Jordan mystery thrillers have been inspired by baffling true crime cases, and my forthcoming novel, “Beneath a Blood-Red Sky," is one of them.  

Over the past 25, Lister has been inspired by a number of true crime cases, including the Atlanta Child Murders, the JonBenét Ramsey case, the Maura Murray case, the Hae Min Lee case, the Brianna Maitland case, Columbine, Ted Bundy’s crimes, the Lost Girls of Panama and many, many others. 

“I’m continuously searching for and attempting to stay open to inspiration,” Lister said. “I think this is key for all artists, but for a novelist writing a long series featuring the same core cast of characters, I think it’s absolutely essential.” 

In hopes of keeping his John Jordan series fresh and vibrant and relevant, Lister has turned to three primary reservoirs for new ideas and inspiration—literature, current events, and unsolved true crimes. ‘Beneath a Blood-Red Sky’ draws from all three, but primarily from a baffling true crime case that has captured my imagination like few cases have.  

“But instead of studying and researching and investigating it on my own as I write the new novel, I’m inviting readers and true crime aficionados to join me in the investigation,.” Lister said.  

Participants in Lister’s online investigation discussion group will examine evidence, listen to witness statements, discuss findings, and be encouraged to develop theories. 

“Like me,” Lister said, “many of my readers are fans of both crime fiction and true crime, and this gives them a chance to be involved in the intersection of the two. And those who join me on this journey can participate as much or as little as they like. They can just observe if they like. They don’t have to do more than that unless they would like to.” 

Lister believes that the global pandemic makes this the perfect time for a project like this. 

“I really think this would be a cool project to do at any time,” he said, “but given the state of the world and how many people across the globe are isolated and looking for safe forms of engagement and entertainment I think there has never been a better time.”  

Lister says he’ll wait to reveal the crime to be investigated to the group, but he says it’s compelling and fascinating and heartbreaking.  

“I consume true crime content almost daily,” Lister said, “and only on very rare occasions does a case capture my imagination enough to inspire a John Jordan novel, so I think that speaks to how unique and baffling this particular case is.” 

Everyone who signs up for Solve a Mystery with Michael Lister will receive exclusive access to the investigation team discussion group and a copy of “Beneath a Blood-Red Sky” when it is published in the fall.  

To register for Solve a Mystery with Michael Lister, go to and join the investigation today.  

Michael Lister