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Eli's novel Don't Know Tough was awarded the Peter Lovesey First Crime Novel Contest and will be published by Soho Press in 2022. Over the course of his career, Eli's fiction has garnered multiple awards (2018-The Missouri Review; 2017-Greensboro Review).  Along with fiction, Eli writes a nationally-syndicated sports column, and his craft column, "Shop Talk," appears monthly over at CrimeReads. Eli is currently at work on his next novel, Ozark Dogs, which will be published by Soho Crime in 2023. 

what are people saying?

“"Eli Cranor knows the underbelly of Friday night lights in this stunning debut that bleeds authenticity and raw emotion."”

- Ace Atkins
New York Times bestselling author of The Fallen and The Sinners

“Don't Know Tough really packs a punch. I enjoyed reading between the lines, dreading the trouble Billy was bringing on himself and his fragile life-chances. At the heart of the book is the pull of loyalties—the football team, the family and religion. The characters involved in all the stresses and strains are well drawn and convincing. It’s tough reading, but the humanity shines through.”

- Peter Lovesey,

author of the Peter Diamond mysteries, in his adjudication of the

Peter Lovesey First Crime Novel Contest