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Les Standiford

Les Standiford is the author of seventeen books including the novels of the John Deal series Done Deal, Raw Deal, Deal on Ice, and Deal with the Dead. Booklist called John Deal “the most emotionally centered protagonist in crime fiction today,” and the New York Times has said of Standiford’s suspense writing, “each scene is like a little gasp for breath.”

Standiford’s critically acclaimed works of nonfiction include Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean; Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick and the Bitter Partnership that Transformed America; and The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits, which was named a New York Times “Editors’ Choice.” He is also the editor of the crime-fiction anthology Miami Noir, and co-author of the national best-selling satire, Naked Came the Manatee, with Dave Barry, Carl Hiaasen and others.

In March 2011, Ecco Press published Bringing Adam Home, an account of Det. Sgt. Joe Matthews’ 27-year quest to solve the 1981 kidnapping and murder of Adam Walsh. The book became a New York Times best-seller and a #1 Wall Street Journal true-crime best-seller. In November 2012, Harper Collins published Desperate Sons: The Secret Bands of Radicals Who Led the American Colonies to Revolution. The book, described as a “real-life political thriller,” traces radical activities in the colonies from 1765-1775, including the exploits of well-known and lesser-known patriot-activists such as Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, and John Hancock.

Standiford has received the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, the Frank O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Florida International University in Miami. His Last Train to Paradise is a Florida classic, in its 23rd printing, and the “One Book” choice of more than a dozen county library systems in the state, including that of Key West.

Online Resources


Selected Bibliography

—Historical Nonfiction:
Desperate Sons: Adams, Henry, Hancock, & the Radicals Who Led the Colonies to War (2012)
Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction that Changed America (2011)
Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean (2002)

—The John Deal Series:
Havana Run (2003)
Bone Key (2002)
Presidential Deal (1998)
Deal to Die For (1995)