Lanier Library is located in Tryon.
For anyone who writes mysteries, or is thinking of some day writing one, or just enjoys reading a good who-done-it, the Lanier Library is bringing someone to town you will want to meet. Edgar Award-winning crime author David Housewright will be the featured guest at this year’s Lanier Library Mystery Festival, the main highlight of a weekend of murderous fun, killer food, and mesmerizing discussion topics at the library, Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21.
A “reformed newspaper reporter and ad man,” Housewright has won both the Edgar Award and the Minnesota Book Award for his crime fiction. A former president of the Private Eye Writers of America, he is best known for his Rushmore McKenzie and Holland Taylor detective novels – as well as other tales of murder and mayhem in the Midwest. He earned the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Penance (1996) as well as three Minnesota Book Awards for Practice to Deceive (1998), Jelly’s Gold (2010) and Curse of the Jade Lily (2013). Housewright’s 19th novel – What the Dead Leave Behind – was released by St. Martin’s Press in June of this year.
He has taught a course on the Modern American Mystery Novel at the University of Minnesota, and frequently works as a writing instructor for the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he teaches a course entitled “It’s Basic: How To Write a Novel.”
He lives with his wife, theater critic Renee Valois, in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The three-part festival begins with the writers’ workshop where Housewright will cover the structure of the crime novel in a 3-hour lecture/writing seminar. Housewright says that in this seminar students will examine the structure of the crime novel—“the snare, the joyride, and the payoff,” as well as the importance of who tells the story and where it begins.
“The best mysteries have always been about more than who killed Mr. Body in the library with a candlestick,” he says. “They help us explore the truth of our existence with as much validity as any so-called work of literature.”
The workshop is limited to 15 people and is geared to all levels, beginners to advanced.
There will also be the opportunity to mingle socially with this celebrated author at the second event of the Mystery Festival, the library’s annual “Cocktails & Clues” mystery dinner, 5-9 pm on the 20th, where he will also talk and sign books.
The library, with support from a Kirby Fund grant at the Polk County Community Foundation, will also sponsor a free talk by Housewright on Saturday, October 21, 10 am at the library.
For additional information or reservations for the writers’ workshop or Cocktails & Clues, visit the library at 72 Chestnut Street, or call 828-859-9535. The library is open 9:30-4:30, Tuesday through Friday; 9:30-1:00 pm, Saturday; and 1:00-4:00 pm, Sunday.