Les Standiford is the author of 20 books, including Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick and the Bitter Partnership that Transformed America, which was the publisher’s nominee for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 2005. Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean is a Florida classic in its 23rd printing and has been the “One Book” choice of more than a dozen county library systems in the state, including those of Key West and Palm Beach. It was one of the History Channel’s Top Ten picks and was read coast to coast by Dick Estell, NPR’s “Radio Reader.”
Booklist called John Deal, the recurring series character in many of his novels, “the most emotionally centered protagonist in crime fiction today,” and the New York Times has said of his suspense writing, “each scene is like a little gasp for breath.” He edited and contributed to The Putt at the End of the World (2001) and edited the anthology of crime fiction Miami Noir (2006). He also authored one of the chapters in the national best-selling satire, Naked Came the Manatee (1998), with Dave Barry, Carl Hiaasen and others.
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. A native Ohioan, he is a graduate of Muskingum College and holds the M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Utah. He is Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Florida International University in Miami, where he lives with his wife Kimberly, a psychotherapist. They are the parents of three children.
Standiford’s novels are Spill (1991), Done Deal (1993), Raw Deal (1994), Deal to Die For (1995), Deal on Ice (1996), Presidential Deal (1998), Black Mountain (2000), Deal With the Dead (2001), Bone Key (2003), and Havana Run (2004). His other critically acclaimed works of non-fiction include Washington Burning: How a Frenchman’s Vision for Our Nation’s Capitol Survived Congress, The Founding Fathers, & the Invading British Army and The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits. Washington Burning was the publisher’s nominee for the Pulitzer Prize in 2008. The Man Who Invented Christmas was a New York Times “Editors’ Choice” in 2008.
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.