About me...

Hi there, and welcome to my website! You might know me as ALI BRANDON, the New York Times bestselling author of the Black Cat Bookshop series featuring Hamlet the cat and his human, Darla. Unfortunately, that fabulous series has been cancelled...but not to worry. I'm have two brand new series. The first is the Tarot Cats Mysteries written as DIANE A.S. STUCKART. (Yep, more felines!) Book One, FOOL'S MOON, introduces Brandon and Ophelia, black cat siblings who are every bit the clever sleuths as Hamlet. You can read more about the series HERE.


My second new series launched in 2019 -- the Georgia B&B Mysteries from Crooked Lane written as ANNA GERARD. Nina Fleet and her trusty Australian Shepherd, Mattie, run a bed and breakfast inn down in Cymbeline, a quirky small town in South Georgia. Book 3 in the series, PEACHES AND SCHEMES, will be out in spring of 2021. Go to the Georgia B&B Mystery PAGE for more info!

If you're interested in my full publishing history, simply click on the BOOKS tab for info about my Leonardo da Vinci Mystery series, my historical romances written as Alexa Smart and Anna Gerard (some currently available on Kindle). And you'll find my short fiction, too.

A few personal notes. I'm a Texas native with a degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. Though I'm a westerner at heart, I moved to South Florida more than a dozen years ago and now can almost call myself a Floridian. I'm married, live in the boonies, and am caretaker to several dogs and cats...including the real-life Brandon Bobtail and Ophelia!

Photo Credit Sheila Carter

When I'm not writing, my hobbies are reading, doing a little creative landscaping, and selling vintage goods on Etsy (my shop name is ReallySmartFinds) and newer things on eBay. In addition to that, my husband and I have recently taken up beekeeping and are stewards of several hives of busy bees. Oh, and I'm a founding member of the Paranormal Researchers Of South Florida (PROS Florida), a South Florida ghost hunting group (okay, I'm the group's official skeptic).

Please tour through my website and learn more about me and my books. And do feel free to touch base with me via the CONTACT page where you can also sign up for my (very occasional!) newsletter.

Awards and Recognition


MASQUERADE (written as Alexa Smart):

          Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award Finalist


THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT (Book 1 of the Leonardo da Vinci Mystery Series): 

           Publishers Weekly Starred Review 


PORTRAIT OF A LADY (Book 2 of the Leonardo da Vinci Mystery Series):

             Library Journal Starred Review

             Florida Book Award Silver Medal Winner

             LitPick Five-Star Book Review Award


DOUBLE BOOKED FOR DEATH (written as Ali Brandon… Book 1 of the Black Cat Bookshop Mystery Series):

          “Read Humane” 2013 Selected Title


A NOVEL WAY TO DIE (written as Ali Brandon…Book 2 of the Black Cat Bookshop Mystery Series):

          New York Times Bestselling Novel (Mass Market)


FOOL’S MOON (Book 1 of the Tarot Cats Mystery series):

          Feathered Quill Reviewer’s Choice Award

          Cat Writers of America Muse Medallion Finalist


Additionally, Diane was presented with the Flamingo Award chapter service award in 2019 for her contributions as chapter president, vice-president, and board member of the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America.