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About me...

DIANE A.S. STUCKART began her writing career in the 1990s as the critically acclaimed author of historical romance under the names Alexa Smart and Anna Gerard. She later switched to the mystery genre and is the New York Times bestselling author of the Black Cat Bookshop Mystery series written as Ali Brandon.
Additionally, Diane is the author of the award-winning Leonardo da Vinci historical mysteries, which received starred reviews from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly, as well as a Florida Book Award for the second in the series, PORTRAIT OF A LADY. She’s also penned several mystery, fantasy, and romance short stories that have appeared in various anthologies and magazines. 

Diane’s latest ventures include the Tarot Cats Mystery series set in a West Palm Beach botanica and stars a pair of clever feline detectives. Her Georgia B&B Mystery series, written as Anna Gerard, features an innkeeper-turned-sleuth in a fictional tourist town west of Savannah. Book 3 in that series, PEACHES AND SCHEMES, is her 18th published novel and was released in 2021.

A member of Mystery Writers of America, Diane served as the 2018 and 2019 Chapter President of the MWA Florida chapter. She’s also a member of Sisters in Crime, Treasure Coast Chapter of SinC, and the Cat Writers’ Association. Outside her writing life, she’s an avid thrifter with shops on Etsy and eBay and is a member and current secretary of the Palm Beach County Beekeepers Association. Diane is a native Texan with a degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma but has been living in the West Palm Beach, FL area since 2006. She shares her “almost in the Everglades” home with her husband, dogs, cats, and a few beehives. Learn more about her books at 

A personal note...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 monthly newsletter.

Photo Credit Sheila Carter

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 (Certificate of Excellence)


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.

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