2012-10-05 / Community

Library brings in authors

The South Portland Public Library welcomes authors John Connolly and Julia Spencer-Fleming on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. for a discussion of “Books to Die For,” a unique anthology for fans of the mystery genre, edited by Connolly and fellow Irish crime writer Declan Burke.

A collection of essays from 120 of the world’s crime writers on the mysteries and thrillers that they most admire, the anthology showcases pieces by Spencer-Fleming on “The Bootlegger’s Daughter,” by Margaret Maron; Tana French on “The Secret History,” by Donna Tartt; Jo Nesbø on Jim Thompson’s “Pop. 1280,”; Kathy Reichs onThe Silence of the Lambs,” by Thomas Harris; Michael Connelly on Raymond Chandler’sThe Little Sister” and many others, explaining why that book affects them and how it has influenced their own work. Copies of the book will be available for sale at the event.

Connolly was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1968 and has, at various points in his life, worked as a journalist, barman, local government official, dogsbody at Harrods department store in London, and waiter at the Black Point Inn in Scarborough. He studied English in Dublin, and journalism at Dublin City University, subsequently spending five years working as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper, to which he continues to contribute.

He published his first novel, “Every Dead Thing,” in 1999, and introduced Charlie Parker, a former policeman hunting the killer of his wife and daughter. Of interest to local readers is that the novel, and each subsequent Parker novel, is in some way connected to Maine. Number two in the series, “Dark Hollow,” was released in 2000. The third Parker novel, “The Killing Kind,” was published in 2001, with “The White Road” following in 2002. In 2003, Connelly published his fifth novel – and first stand alone book – “Bad Men.” In 2004, “Nocturnes,” a collection of novellas and short stories, was released, and 2005 marked the publication of the fifth Charlie Parker novel, “The Black Angel.” Connelly’s seventh novel, “The Book of Lost Things,” a book about fairy tales and the power that books have to shape our world and imaginations, was published in 2006, followed by the next Parker novel, “The Unquiet,” in 2007, “The Reapers,” in 2008, “The Lovers,” in 2009, and “The Whisperers,” the ninth Charlie Parker novel in 2010. The 10th Charlie Parker novel, “The Burning Soul,” was published in 2011, and the 11th novel in the series, “The Wrath of Angels,” will be released in January 2013.

In 2009, Connolly published his first novel for young adults, “The Gates,” which was followed by a sequel, “The Infernals,” in 2011.

Connolly is based in Dublin, but divides his time between his native city and the United States.

Spencer-Fleming is the winner of the Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, Dilys, Barry, Nero Wolfe and Gumshoe Awards, and an Edgar and “Romantic Times” RC Award finalist. She was born at Plattsburgh Air Force Base and spent most of her childhood on the move as an Army brat. She studied acting and history at Ithaca College and received her J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law. She lives outside of Portland.

Spencer-Fleming made her literary debut with “In the Bleak Midwinter” in 2002, a portrayal of life and death in the small upstate New York town of Millers Kill. Spencer- Fleming continues to explore suspenseful crises of faith and murder in her small Adirondack town and the characters she introduced in that story, publishing “A Fountain Filled With Blood,” (2003); “Out of the Deep I Cry,” (2004); “To Darkness and to Death,” (2005); “All Mortal Flesh,” (2006); “I Shall Not Want,” (2008); and “One Was a Soldier,” (2011).

The South Portland Public Library is located at 482 Broadway, South Portland. Admission to the event is free. Questions can be directed to the South Portland Public Library at 767-7660. Visit the library website at www.southportlandlibrary.com or follow it on Facebook.

The program is made possible through the support of Friends of the South Portland Public Library.

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