Crooked Lane Books was founded in 2014 to publish the highest quality crime fiction titles in both print and electronic editions. In 2020 we introduced a second line—Alcove Press—to publish upmarket book club fiction that explores family, friendship, and community.
We are distributed to the trade through Penguin Random House Publisher Services.
Senior Editor Faith Black Ross has been with Crooked Lane Books since 2016 after more than a decade in publishing. Previously she handled mysteries and historical fiction for the Berkley Publishing Group (Penguin Random House). For Alcove Press, she’s looking for projects with great voice that give her a good laugh (or a good cry, but nothing too mawkish or anything with dead pets), especially if it involves history, fun settings, or food. Faith would love to receive projects perfect for fans of Paula McLain, Lauren Willig, Liane Moriarty, Graeme Simsion, Amor Towles.
Senior Editor Terri Bischoff began her life in books as a bookseller at Kramerbooks in Washington, D.C. After moving home to the Midwest, she worked at a feminist bookstore before purchasing and operating Booked for Murder in Madison, WI. She spent 10 years at Midnight Ink as their acquiring editor and published 36-40 books a year. Terri has a wealth of experience and knowledge in both mysteries and in bookselling, particularly as a book buyer and reviewer. Terri’s interests lie in mainstream suspense and thrillers, LGBTQIA, and diverse characters / storylines.
Senior Acquisitions Editor Toni Kirkpatrick began her publishing career at St. Martin’s Press, where she worked for more than a decade acquiring historical and women’s fiction. She joined Crooked Lane Books and Alcove Press in 2019 and is looking for book club fiction that is provocative, humorous, and/or haunting. Toni loves reading about women in history and is drawn to biographical novels about remarkable but maybe not-well-known historical women of any time period. She would love to find stories that highlight contemporary women’s issues, common or odd family dynamics, female friendships, motherhood, and the immigrant or multicultural experience. She is very interested in novels by diverse writers, especially those writing from Latina/o/x, Afro-Latina/o/x, or indigenous perspectives. Works that step into speculative territory are welcome.
Jessica Renheim, Senior Acquisitions Editor, joined Crooked Lane Books in December 2019, one year after relocating to Gothenburg, Sweden. She spent the previous eleven years at Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Random House, where she focused on thrillers, crime, suspense, smart commercial fiction, and select narrative nonfiction. Jess has worked with established New York Times bestsellers, Edgar-award winners, and critically acclaimed debut authors. Authors she has had the privilege of working with include Jussi Adler-Olsen, Jospeh Finder, Meg Gardiner, Howard Michael Gould, Richelle Mead, Brad Parks, Bryan Reardon, Daniel Suarez, Brad Taylor, and Holly Watt.
Currently closed to submissions.
Tara Gavin has always loved books. She began her career very early—reading every book she could get her hands on. Her favorites were the classics, Women’s Fiction and mysteries.
She has spent years at Harlequin Books, where she pursued her love of Women’s Fiction, working with New York Times bestsellers Diana Palmer and Lindsay McKenna, as well as many others. Moving onto Kensington Books, Tara still worked with bestselling women’s fiction authors, but also was able to pursue her love of mysteries, suspense and diverse author voices.
She is excited to be working with Alcove Press and Crooked Lane Books, where the best of all worlds come together—upmarket, commercial women’s fiction, suspense, and mysteries. She loves complex plots that entertain and have deep, emotional characterization. Her wish list when she acquires for Crooked Lane Books include books in the tradition of: Ruth Ware, Lisa Gardner, and Karen Rose. She loves cozy mysteries that contain humor, a community of interacting characters, and animals or crafts. Examples of her favorite types of stories can be found in the books by Anne Canadeo, J.C. Eaton and Mary Marks.
Ben LeRoy was the founder and publisher of both Bleak House Books and Tyrus Books, two critically respected imprints of crime and literary fiction. Ben has worked with award winning and best selling authors including Reed Farrel Coleman, Victoria Houston, and Ann Garvin. He is especially interested in books that explore the human condition through the prism of tragedy and its aftermath be it in crime, literary, or commercial fiction. He is equally excited to work with established and debut authors alike. He lives in Madison, WI but has visited all 50 States and is deeply intrigued by books taking place in underrepresented locales and communities.
Rema Badwan’s passion for reading led her to a career in books in one form or another. She began her journey at the Zachary Schuster Harmsworth Agency in Boston, MA, and then moved on to manage a small independent bookstore, The Spirit of ’76, in Marblehead, MA. Having lived abroad, Rema’s dream of combining books and travel came to fruition with a job in the International Sales Department at Random House where she spent six years. She continued her international sales career at National Geographic and Simon & Schuster before joining Crooked Lane Books as Sales & Publishing Operations Manager.
Editorial and Production Associate Melissa Rechter graduated with a BA in English Literary Studies from York College of Pennsylvania and a MS in Publishing from Pace University. During her schooling, she interned for a myriad of literary agencies. In her last semester of her graduate studies, she joined Crooked Lane Books and Alcove Press, where she is able to read all the thriller and suspense novels her heart desires.
Marketing Associate Madeline Rathle graduated from Louisiana State University with a BA in journalism before completing her master’s in publishing at NYU. She has previously worked at Baton Rouge Parents Magazine, LSU Press, and Peter Lang Publishing. Her favorite genres to read are true crime and historical fiction, but she never says no to a good mystery!
Marketing Assistant Dulce Botello graduated with a BA in Arts, Media and Entertainment from the University of Arizona, and with an MS in Publishing from NYU. During her undergraduate studies, Dulce interned at Kore Press, a nonprofit feminist press. She also interned with Macmillan Publishers in the subrights department where upon graduation she joined the special sales division. Dulce loves to read everything and anything
that lands on her lap but has a special affinity for dystopian stories, thrillers and the occasional fantasy.
Publishing and Production Assistant Rebecca Nelson graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BA in English and BS in Biology, and she has an MA in English from Kansas State University, where she was the editor in chief of the literary magazine Touchstone. She has interned for Dzanc Books, Amphorae Press, Creative Media Agency, and Ayesha Pande Literary. Her favorite genres include thrillers, true crime, and YA, and she also enjoys bookclub fiction and popular science.
Matt Martz, Alcove Press’s publisher, launched Crooked Lane Books in 2014 after eight years at Minotaur Books, the crime fiction imprint for St. Martin’s Press. During his career, he has published New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestsellers. In addition to crime fiction, Matt is looking for books that cross over to other genres, especially reading group fiction. He is particularly drawn to small town settings, stories with compelling family dynamics, and seemingly ordinary characters who harbor dark and explosive secrets.