Martin J. Smith is a veteran journalist and magazine editor who has won more than fifty newspaper and magazine writing awards, and whose crime novels have been nominated for three of the publishing industry’s most prestigious honors, including the Edgar Award, the Anthony Award, and the Barry Award. His 2012 nonfiction book, “The Wild Duck Chase,” about the Federal Duck Stamp Contest and the strange and wonderful world of competitive duck painting, inspired Brian Golden Davis’ documentary film “The Million Dollar Duck,” which won both the Jury and Audience awards at the 2016 Slamdance Film Festival. He also is a former senior editor of the Los Angeles Times Magazine, and was editor-in-chief of Orange Coast magazine in Orange County, Calif., between 2007 and 2016, during which time the Western Publishing Association five times named Orange Coast the best city/metropolitan magazine in the western U.S., including four consecutive wins between 2013 and 2016.

Other Works

  • Mr. Las Vegas Has a Bad Knee

  • Mr. Las Vegas Has a Bad Knee

  • Combustion

  • The Disappeared Girl

  • The Wild Duck Chase

  • Oops: 20 Life Lessons from the Fiascoes That Shaped America

  • Poplorica: A Popular History of the Fads, Mavericks, Inventions, and Lore That Shaped Modern America

  • Straw Men

  • Shadow Image

  • Time Release


Awards and Recognition

  • Finalist, Anthony Award (1998) Finalist, Edgar Award (2002) Finalist, Barry Award (2002)
  • Finalist, Colorado Book Award (History category, for "Going to Trinidad") (2021)