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Authors clue in mystery buffs at Oahu libraries


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POSTED: Friday, March 06, 2009

Motive and opportunity. When it comes to murder, the clues are just as fascinating today as they were in the heyday of Miss Marple, Hercule Poiret and Nancy Drew. According to Cindy Chow, the spark plug behind this weekend's “;March Madness and Murder @ Your Library”; events, the whodunit is just as popular as it ever was.

               

     

 

Meet the writers

        » Tomorrow: Kelley Armstrong, 10:30 a.m., McCully-Moiliili Public Library, 973-1099

        »  Sunday: Dana Stabenow, 10:30 a.m., Kaneohe Public Library, 233-5676

        » Tuesday: Aaron Elkins, 6:30 p.m., Kapolei Public Library, 693-7050

Maybe more so. “;These are unsettled times, and mysteries are all about restoring order,”; mused Chow. “;Everything is resolved in the end, unlike real life. Mysteries are definitely escapist.”;

Once an employee at a failing bookstore with plenty of reading time on her hands, Chow became a mystery buff. Now, in addition to working as the young-adult librarian at Kaneohe Public Library, Chow helps organize mystery events and attends mystery conventions.

“;We've seen an increase in mystery checkouts, and it's still one of the most popular genres in publishing today,”; said Chow. “;Not just the new authors, either. Agatha Christie never goes out of style. The reasons people want to kill each other are just as mysterious today as they were a century ago.”;

You can ask the mysterians themselves if this is the case. The notable authors popping into town to speak about their craft include Kelley Armstrong of “;Exit Strategy”; and a paranormal series called “;Men and Women of the Otherworld”;; Dana Stabenow of “;Blindfold Game”; and “;Prepared for Rage”;; and Aaron Elkins of “;Unnatural Selection”; and the Gideon Oliver and Chris Norgren series.

TV shows like “;CSI”; and “;Law and Order”; trade on the mystery format, said Chow. But she doesn't see many successful mysteries on the big screen. “;What people think of as mystery movies are really thrillers. To solve a mystery, you have to use your head.”;