March 8, 2006 Library of Congress Panel Discussion on April 24: "Deft, Daring and Delightful: Mystery Writers Discuss Their Craft"

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Emily C. Howie (202) 707-5771; Abby Yochelson (202) 707-2138

Five popular mystery writers, Jo Dereske, Carolyn G. Hart, Katherine Hall Page, Patricia Sprinkle and Jacqueline Winspear, will participate in a panel discussion at the Library of Congress at noon on Monday, April 24, 2006, in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave., S.E., Washington, D.C.

The presentation will be the eighth annual Judith Austin Memorial Lecture, sponsored by the Library’s Humanities and Social Sciences Division. The panel discussion, titled “Deft, Daring and Delightful: Mystery Writers Discuss Their Craft,” is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are required. A book signing will follow the presentation.

Dereske, a former librarian, lives in the foothills of Mount Baker in the state of Washington. She is the author of the “Miss Zukas” mystery series, the “Ruby Crane” mysteries series, and books for young people. The “Miss Zukas” series features sleuth Helma Zukas, an “always correct and always correcting” librarian who lives in fictional Bellehaven, Wash. “Bookmarked to Die,” the ninth entry in the series, will be published in June 2006.

Hart, creator of the popular “Death on Demand” mystery series and author of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize-nominated novel “Letter from Home,” is a native of Oklahoma and resides in Oklahoma City. She was one of 10 mystery authors invited to speak at the 2003 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. Hart is the author of more than 36 novels with 2.5 million books in print. Her popular “Death on Demand” series features a young mystery bookshop owner, Annie Darling, and her husband, Max. “Dead Days of Summer,” the latest entry in the “Death on Demand” series, will be published in April 2006.

Page is the author of the continuing mystery series about Faith Fairchild, a Massachusetts caterer and minister’s wife whose amateur crime investigations are laced with some of the recipes she puts to use in her catering business. The paperback edition of “The Body in the Snowdrift,” the 15th in the series, will be published in May 2006. Page lives in Lincoln, Mass., and will be the guest of honor at the 2006 Malice Domestic Convention, an annual event in Washington, D.C., that salutes traditional mystery books in the vein of Agatha Christie.

Sprinkle describes herself as “basically a Southern writer of mysteries and inspirational works.” Her “Thoroughly Southern” mystery series features MacLaren Yarbrough, a spunky, 60-something amateur sleuth and town magistrate living in the fictional town of Hopemore, Ga. “Did You Declare the Corpse?” the latest entry in the series, was published in February 2006. Sprinkle, who lives in Smyrna, Ga., is a past president of Sisters-in-Crime, a worldwide organization founded to combat discrimination against women in the mystery field.

Winspear is British-born, but now resides in Ojai, Calif., where she writes the historical “Maisie Dobbs” mystery series, which explores the lingering and grave impact on the survivors of World War I in Great Britain. “Pardonable Lies,” the third entry in the award-winning series, was published in August 2005, and the fourth one, “Messenger of Truth,” will be published in Septermber 2006.

The Humanities and Social Sciences Division established this lecture series as a tribute to Judith Austin and her many years of service to the Library of Congress. She served as head of the Local History and Genealogy Reading Room and the Main Reading Room.


PR 06-057
ISSN 0731-3527