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Release: Immediate

"That's Spenser with an 's' ": mystery writer Robert B. Parker to visit UI for public program

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Robert B. Parker, the internationally renowned author of the best selling "Spenser" detective series, will visit the University of Iowa for a free public presentation Thursday, April 30. Sponsored by the UI Libraries as part of the "Intrigue at Iowa Mystery and Mayhem Series," the program "Robert B. Parker and the Spenser Mysteries," will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Triangle Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union.

Rather than deliver a lecture, Parker will sit for a public interview conducted by Robert Wachal, professor emeritus in linguistics. Wachal is an authority on culinary mysteries who recently developed a guide to food references in Parker's work. A reception and book signing will follow the program.

Parker is considered one of the best writers of crime fiction today, and his novels featuring the wisecracking, street-smart, private-eye Spenser have earned him critical acclaim and a devoted following. Spenser made the leap from the page to the television screen in the series "Spenser For Hire," starring actor Robert Urich, which ran from 1985-1988 and can still be seen in syndication.

The author of more than 30 books, Parker has finished one of Raymond Chandler's 'Marlowe' novels and has written a novel of his own in the style of Chandler. Copies of Parker's most recent books will be on sale at the event courtesy of the University Bookstore. For additional information on book sales, contact the University Bookstore (319) 335-3179.

Due to limited seating, free tickets for this event are being distributed through the University Box Office, located at the IMU, and the University Libraries Administrative Office, located on the first floor of the Main Library. Those who wish to attend the program may pick up tickets at either location beginning April 6. Tickets may also be ordered by phone by calling (319) 335-5867 and will be mailed if orders are received by April 22. The normal hours for the Box Office are Monday - Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. and Sunday, Noon - 9:00 p.m. Tickets will be available on a first-comebasis.

For more information about this event, contact University Libraries at (319) 335-5867.

(Editors Note: Parker is available for telephone interviews before he arrives in Iowa City. For information about arranging an interview, contact Mary Geraghty at University News Services, (319) 384-0011.)