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Michigan writer went from studying computers to penning award-winning mystery novels

author steve hamilton
Franco Vogt
Courtesy of Steve Hamilton
The Alex McKnight series centers around a former Detriot cop who leaves the force behind and moves to Paradise, Michigan.


This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Alex McKnight mystery series, and author Steve Hamilton is still turning out new books.

His most recent, the 11th in the series, is Dead Man Running

Hamilton joined Stateside’s Cynthia Canty to discuss this new novel and his surprising journey to becoming an award-winning writer.

He majored in computer science at the University of Michigan, but Hamilton said he always knew he wanted to be a mystery writer. When he was just 12 years old, he submitted his very first mystery story to the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Though magazine did not accept the piece, Hamilton said he has now made all his 12-year-old dreams come true. 

Hamilton says readers have been finishing Dead Man Running in just one night, telling him they just couldn't stop reading.  

“That's the nicest thing that you could ever say," Hamilton said, "because that is like the ultimate compliment for writers — that you created this experience and this world that somebody just had to stay until it was done.”

Hamilton will betouringall over Michigan this month. His next appearance will be 6 pm this Thursday at McLean & Eakin in Petoskey, MI. 

Support for arts and culture coverage comes in part from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

This post was written by Stateside production assistant Sophie Sherry. 

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