About Alan

Alan Orloff’s debut mystery, Diamonds for the Dead (Midnight Ink, 2010), was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. He published two more novels with Midnight Ink, Killer Routine (2011) and Deadly Campaign (2012), both part of the Last Laff Mystery Series.

His suspense novel, Running From the Past (2015), an Amazon Kindle Scout selection, and his thriller, Pray for the Innocent (2018), were published by Amazon Publishing’s imprint, Kindle Press. Pray for the Innocent won a Thriller Award for Best Ebook Original.

Alan’s P.I. thriller, I Know Where You Sleep (2020), was a Shamus Award Finalist for Best First PI Novel, and his YA thriller, I Play One On TV (2021), won the Agatha and Anthony Awards for Best Children’s/YA Novel. Both were published by Down & Out Books.

Alan has also self-published a few darker thrillers, including The Taste (2011), First Time Killer (2012), and Ride-Along (2013).

He has published more than forty short stories in numerous anthologies and periodicals, including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Mystery WeeklyBlack Cat Mystery Magazine, and five volumes of the Best New England Crime Stories series.

He’s been a guest editor for SmokeLong Quarterly and has served on the editorial selection panel for several anthologies and writing awards. He even had a recipe (KILLER TOFU) included in The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook (ed. Kate White), published by Quirk Books. 


Alan Orloff is one of a rare breed—a native Washingtonian. Born in D.C. and raised in the Maryland suburbs, he received a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland (GO TERPS!) before hitting the road to work for General Electric.

After a few years touring the country (Syracuse, NY; Tewksbury, MA; Richmond, VA; Newport News, VA; Louisville, KY:), he decided engineering wasn’t his thing and attended business school, earning an MBA at MIT/Sloan (GO BEAVERS!). Upon graduation, he returned to the Washington area and made the arduous trek across the Potomac River into the Virginia suburbs. Recently, he moved to Florida, where the weather is always warm.

Throughout his eclectic career, Alan has worked on nuclear submarines, supervised assembly workers in factories, and stacked washing machines three high in a warehouse with a forklift. He worked at a newspaper company (The Washington Post), for a marketing research firm (Arbitron), and at a hardware/software systems developer (Odin). He even started his own newsletter business, educating the public about the benefits of recycling and waste reduction (GO EARTH!).

Years later, though, he decided business wasn’t really his thing either. Buoyed by the support of his wife, he started writing fiction. Miraculously, he didn’t get bored; in fact, he actually enjoyed writing. This would have made his late father, a former English teacher, very proud.

Alan is a member of Mystery Writers of America (MWA)International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime.

He is happily married, with two sons, and enjoys a host of hobbies, not least of which is bragging about his adult children. He likes to play golf and read a lot, too. He also runs and swims, but he doesn’t much like doing either.

Awards / Honors

Finalist, 2022 Whirling Prize – Etchings Press (I Play One On TV)

Winner, 2022 Anthony Award (I Play One On TV, Best Children’s/YA)

Winner, 2022 Agatha Award (I Play One On TV, Best Children’s/YA Mystery)

Finalist, 2021 Shamus Award (I Know Where You Sleep, Best First P.I. Novel)

Winner, 2021 ITW Thriller Award (“Rent Due,” published in Mickey Finn: 21st Century Noir, Vol. 1, Best Short Story)

Winner, 2019 ITW Thriller Award (Pray for the Innocent, Best E-Book Original)

Winner, 2019 Derringer Award (“Dying in Dokesville,” Short Story published in Mystery Most Geographical)

Best American Mystery Stories 2018 (“Rule Number One,” originally published in Snowbound, edited by Louise Penny)

Finalist, 2018 Derringer Award (“Happy Birthday,” Flash Fiction, Shotgun Honey)

Finalist, 2011 Agatha Award (Diamonds for the Dead, Best First Novel)

Podcasts / Interviews

Central Booking, with John Valeri (July 26, 2021)

Tart Words, with Linda Hengerer (July 18, 2021)

SMAF 2021: Alan Orloff and Art Taylor in Conversation (March 12, 2021)

Wrong Place, Write Crime, with Frank Zafiro (January 13, 2021)

Crime Corner, with Matt Coyle (July 25, 2020)

House of Mystery Radio, with Alan Warren (July 21, 2020)

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