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Release: Immediate

'Women Mystery Writers' discusses women's influence on mystery genre

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The influence of women writers on the development of the mystery fiction genre will be explored in a special program, "Women Mystery Writers," at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8 in the North Exhibition Hall at the UI Main Library.

Registration and a reception will be held from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., followed by the discussion at 5:30 p.m. The event is free and is open to the public.

The program will be presented by Sandra Ballasch, UI reference librarian and Lois Cox, UI law professor.

Ballasch is a self-taught expert on the mystery genre has curated two special exhibitions on the subject. Cox frequently attends Bouchercon, the annual international mystery convention and has presented other programs on the mystery genre. Cox belongs to a local mystery book club that focuses on the work of women writers.

"The development of the mystery genre has been strongly influenced by women, and it is one of the few examples in literary history where women are nearly as well represented as men right from the beginning," says Ballasch.

Katherine Green (1846­1935) wrote contemporaneously with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the Sherlock Holmes stories. The work of early 20th-century authors Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers have been translated into numerous languages, and continue to be made into film and television projects. Other notable contemporary mystery authors include Mary Higgins Clark, Amanda Cross, Sue Grafton, PD James, and Sara Paretksy.

"Women Mystery Writers" is sponsored by the UI Libraries and the UI Alumni Association. Additional support comes from Lensing Funeral and Cremation Service, Iowa City.