Mystery Writers Discuss Their Craft

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SPEAKERS: Jo Dereske, Carolyn Hart, Katherine Page, Patricia Sprinkle, Jacqueline Winspear
EVENT DATE: 04/24/2006
RUNNING TIME: 56 minutes


Five popular mystery writers discussed the art of writing mysteries during a panel discussion sponsored by the Humanities and Social Sciences Division for the eighth annual Judith P. Austin memorial lecture. The Humanities and Social Sciences Division established and sponsors 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.

Authors Jo Dereske, Carolyn G. Hart, Katherine Hall Page, Patricia Sprinkle and Jacqueline Winspear talked about their sleuths, their fans and their methods of conducting research.

Speaker Biography: Jo 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.

Speaker Biography: Carolyn G. 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.

Speaker Biography: Katherine Hall 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. 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.

Speaker Biography: Patricia 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. 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.

Speaker Biography: Jacqueline 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.

SERIES: Judith Austin Memorial Lecture

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