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University of Iowa News Release

March 11, 2005

Hart Reads From New Detective Novel March 24 On WSUI

Minneapolis detective novelist Erin Hart, the author of "Haunted Ground," will read from her new book, "Lake of Sorrows," at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 24 on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910. Listen on the Internet at

The reading, hosted by WSUI personality Julie Englander, will be a free event in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

Hart's novel, just out in mass-market paperback this month, features "an archaeological dig in Ireland and a red hot love story."

Marilyn Stasio wrote for the New York Times Book Review, "Hart spins another uncanny tale linking the bizarre bloodletting practices of the ancients with modern acts of violence. . . . More a brooding presence than a dramatic backdrop, the bog is 'a mysterious, holy place, home to spirits and strange mists, a place of transformation and danger' that works a spell on people with a need to connect to their ancestral past. Hart taps into this deep vein of regional superstition, creating characters whose eccentricities have been handed down in their bloodlines."

A Publishers Weekly review summarized, "Every character is fascinating, from the depressed yet fearless and tenderly passionate Dr. Gavin, to the coldly erotic and bullying archeologist Ursula Downes, whose murder Nora helps solve nearly at the cost of her own life. . . . Hart's language sings, and the gothic atmosphere lingers the way peat clings to the skin of bog workers."

And author William Kent Krueger wrote, "'Lake of Sorrows' is that elusive pot of gold at the end of an Irish rainbow. A beautifully told mystery, lush in its language, rich in history and characters, full of ancient rites and modern treacheries, this is a treasure of a tale."

"Lake of Sorrows" has been selected as a finalist in the 17th Annual Minnesota Book Awards. "Haunted Ground," re-released as a trade paperback this month as well, was one of Booklist's top-10 crime novels of 2003-04, won the 2004 Friends of American Writers Award, and was nominated for the Anthony Award and the Agatha Award.

Hart trained to become a theater director, and has been a stage manager, propmaster, editor, copywriter, writing teacher, journalist and theater critic. She was educated at St. Olaf College and the University of Minnesota, and co-founded a local Irish Music and Dance Association.

"People often ask why I chose Ireland as a setting, and I have to say that I think Ireland chose me," she says. "It's a place I've been drawn to more than any other ever since I was a child. There's something about Ireland's complex and contradictory nature, all those layers of history one on top of the other -- that lends a particular resonance to the kinds of stories I feel compelled to tell."

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