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April 19, 2011

“History in the Mystery” Panel Discussion at Library of Congress, May 23

What do Sir Walter Raleigh, Harry Houdini, Sherlock Holmes, Edgar Allan Poe, Thomas Jefferson and a current-day vintner from Virginia have in common? They are characters who show up in historical mysteries and likely to be discussed during the Library of Congress panel "History in the Mystery."

The panel—with moderator Maureen Corrigan and noted authors Louis Bayard, Ellen Crosby and Daniel Stashower—will take place at noon on Monday, May 23, in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

Sponsored by the Library’s Humanities and Social Sciences Division, the event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed. Book sales and signings will follow the program.

Writers Louis Bayard, Ellen Crosby and Daniel Stashower will share their insights on writing mysteries. They will discuss inspiration for plots and characters; conducting research for their novels; writing fiction vs. nonfiction; and getting published.

The panel will be moderated by Maureen Corrigan, a critic-in-residence and lecturer in the Department of English at Georgetown University and a book critic for the Washington Post and for National Public Radio’s "Fresh Air" program.

Bayard’s most recently published book is "The School of Night," a literary thriller centering on an Elizabethan secret society that possibly included Thomas Harriot, Sir Walter Raleigh and Christopher Marlowe. Bayard’s previous historical mysteries are "The Pale Blue Eye," "The Black Tower,"and"Mr. Timothy,"featuring Edgar Allan Poe, 19th-century French detective Eugène François Vidocq and Charles Dickens’ character Tiny Tim, respectively.

Crosby is the author of the "Wine Country Mystery" series starring vintner Lucie Montgomery. Although the books are set in contemporary Virginia wine country, "The Viognier Vendetta," "The Bordeaux Betrayal," and others incorporate significant historical elements.

Stashower has written nonfiction works on renowned mystery writers Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle. His books include "The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe and the Invention of Murder;" "Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters;" and"Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle." Harry Houdini and Sherlock Holmes solve the cases in Stashower’s novels and short stories.

The Humanities and Social Sciences Division (HSS) provides reference service and collection development in the Main, Local History and Genealogy, and Microform and Machine Readable reading rooms at the Library of Congress, where research can be conducted by anyone 16 years of age and older. HSS regularly sponsors programs in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds nearly 147 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at myLOC.gov.

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PR 11-086
04/19/11
ISSN 0731-3527

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