About Us

Crooked Lane Books was founded in 2014 to publish the highest quality crime fiction titles in both print and electronic editions. From editorial and production to promotion, distribution, and sales, we are a house that focuses on working with our authors to reach readers of mysteries, thrillers, and suspense.

Crooked Lane Books is distributed through Penguin Random House Publisher Services. They are committed to providing the highest level of sales and distribution services to independent publishers, and unparalleled access to information, new technologies, a leading supply chain, and the benefits and reach of the Penguin Random House sales force.

Crooked Lane is also represented by Biagi Literary Management for subsidiary rights licensing in foreign and domestic markets, and our business relationships include some of the most respected companies in the industry, including Bookspan, home of the country’s largest book clubs, and Dreamscape Media, the publishing and entertainment arm of Midwest Tape.

With our experienced staff, hands on approach, and innovative marketing techniques, Crooked Lane Books partners with our authors to publish the best possible books for fans of every kind of crime fiction.

Our Team

Matt Martz


Matt Martz began his publishing career in 2004. He joined Crooked Lane Books after eight years at Minotaur Books, the crime fiction imprint of St. Martin's Press. He publishes crime fiction, ranging from traditional mysteries to psychological suspense and high concept thrillers. He has published New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers, as well as Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalists and Barry Award nominees, among many other talented authors.

Faith Black Ross

Senior Acquisitions Editor

Faith began her publishing career at Cambridge University Press, after receiving her BA from Williams College, her MA from Rutgers University and studying at Oxford University. From Cambridge she moved to Avalon Books where she became head of the editorial department overseeing a mix of mysteries, romances, and historical fiction. Faith then joined the editorial department of the Berkley Publishing Group/Penguin Random House publishing mysteries and historical fiction and working with bestselling and award winning authors including Agatha Award winners and Edgar nominees. Faith then worked as an acquiring editor for Severn House in the UK before joining Crooked Lane in 2016.

Terri Bischoff

Senior Acquisitions Editor

Terri began her life in books as a bookseller at Kramerbooks in Washington, DC. 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, thrillers, quirky and humorous cozies, LGBTQIA, and diverse characters/storylines.

Ben LeRoy

Senior Acquisitions Editor

Ben 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.

Toni Kirkpatrick

Senior Acquisitions Editor

Toni began her publishing career at St. Martin’s Press, where she worked for more than a decade acquiring mysteries, thrillers, and suspense. Her titles won ALA, Anthony, Nero, Shamus, and RT Book Awards, were finalists for Agatha and Edgar Awards, and made best of year lists on Kirkus, Booklist, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Sun Sentinel. Toni joined Crooked Lane Books in 2019. She is looking for funny and clever traditional mysteries that may or may not lend themselves to pun-ny titles, gritty police procedurals, historical mysteries with a superb grip on the setting, devastating noir, small towns with secrets, vigilantes, and thrillers about the complicated relationships between women, alá Gillian Flynn and Megan Abbott. 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

Jessica 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. She’s looking for high concept thrillers; mysteries ranging from the dark and atmospheric to procedurals distinguished by compelling characters and a strong voice; domestic suspense that finds a way to keep even the savviest readers guessing, and psychological suspense featuring complex characters and twisted family dynamics. 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.

Tara Gavin

Senior Editor

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.

Rema Badwan

Publisher Operations and Business Affairs Manager

Rema’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.

Melissa Rechter

Publishing Assistant

Melissa earned her BA in English Literary Studies from York College of Pennsylvania and graduated Pace University's Masters in Publishing program in 2019. Previously, she interned for Entangled Publishing, Foundry Literary + Media, and Pippin Properties. In her last semester of her graduate studies, she joined Crooked Lane Books where she is able to read all the thriller and suspense novels her heart desires.

Madeline Rathle

Marketing and Publishing Assistant

Madeline graduated from Louisiana State University with a BA in journalism and minors in psychology, history, and political science. She is currently pursuing her MS in publishing at New York University. Since the start of her education, she has worked in the editorial department at Baton Rouge Parents Magazine and interned at 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!

Linda Biagi

Subsidiary Rights Coordinator

Biagi Literary Management offers full domestic & international licensing coverage for Crooked Lane. Linda Biagi has worked behind the desks of several major corporate publishers as a rights director and an editor; she has the heart, the instincts, and the connections of both those specialties. Her allegiance is always to the integrity of the publishing process and the protection and monetization of the author's assets.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated.

$sectionPageID = vp_option('vpt_option.footer_secion_page'); if ($sectionPageID != ""){ require_once 'sections/footer.php'; } ?>