Julia Spencer-Fleming to Read at Books in the ‘Brook March 12

Julia Spencer-Fleming, acclaimed author of the Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne mystery series, will be reading at Books in the ‘Brook on Thursday, March 12 from 6 – 7 p.m.

Award-winning and bestselling author Julia Spencer-Fleming

A former military brat, the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist grew up in places as diverse as Montgomery, Rome, Stuttgart and Syracuse. A graduate of Ithaca College, George Washington University and the University of Maine School of Law, she took up writing while still a stay-at-home mother of two. During the time it took to finish her first novel, she got a full-time job at a Portland, Maine, law firm and had a third child.

Julia didn’t want to write yet another lawyer-sleuth, so she used her army past and a keen eye for the goings-on at her Episcopal church to create Clare Fergusson, first female priest in the small Adirondack town of Millers Kill. The resulting series has won or been nominated for every American mystery award available, including the Edgar, the Anthony, and the Agatha.

The ninth book in her series, Hid From Our Eyes, will be out in April 2020.

Spencer-Fleming’s reading at Books in the ‘Brook will take place in the Gathering Room at Walker Memorial Library. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.

Books in the ‘Brook to feature Poets Linda Aldrich and Edward J. Rielly at Walker Memorial Library on February 13

Books in the ‘Brook will feature two well-known local poets—Linda Aldrich and Edward J. Rielly—at readings on February 13 at Walker Memorial Library.  

Linda Aldrich is Portland’s sixth Poet Laureate. She has published two collections of poetry, Foothold (2008) and March and Mad Women (2012).  Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, most recently, Balancing Act II: An Anthology of 50 Maine Women, published by Littoral Books.  Linda was awarded a Hewnoaks writing residency in 2017, and her poem “Woman-without-Arms” won the Emily Dickinson Award from Universities West Press. A graduate of Vermont College’s MFA program, she co-hosts with Marcia Brown the monthly reading series “Local Buzz” in Cape Elizabeth, now in its ninth year. Linda lives in Portland with her husband, David Miller, and their exceptional dog, Simba. For more information about the poetry of Linda Aldrich, visit her website at https://www.lindaaldrichpoetry.com/.

Edward J. Rielly

Edward J. Rielly is professor emeritus of English and former director of the Writing and Publishing Program at Saint Joseph’s College in Maine.  He is the author or editor of approximately thirty books.  They include a memoir of his childhood (Bread Pudding and Other Memories: A Boyhood on the Farm), children’s picture books, biographies, cultural histories, literary studies, examinations of baseball and football, and many collections of poetry.  His Answers Instead: A Life in Haiku, published by Encircle Publications, is the 2016 recipient of the Mildred Kanterman Memorial Award from the Haiku Society of America.  His most recent books of poetry are Beautiful Lightning: Spiritual Poems in a Difficult World, Some Things Still the Same, and A Bed of Geraniums.  He lives in Westbrook, Maine, with his wife, Jeanne.

Books in the ‘Brook is a free monthly reading series that supports and nurtures the local writing and reading community. The February 13 readings will be from 6-7 p.m. in the Gathering Room at Walker Memorial Library, 800 Main Street in Westbrook. All are welcome!

Maine Crime Writers Coffin and Blood at Books in the ‘Brook on November 14

Bruce Robert Coffin

Books in the ‘Brook will feature two bestselling Maine crime writers—Bruce Robert Coffin and Jen Blood—at readings on November 14 at Walker Memorial Library.  

Bruce Robert Coffin is the bestselling author of the Detective Byron mystery series. A former detective sergeant with more than twenty-seven years in law enforcement, he supervised all homicide and violent crime investigations in Portland. Following the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, Bruce spent four years investigating counter-terrorism cases for the FBI, earning the Director’s Award, the highest award a non-agent can receive. His most recent novel, Beyond the Truth, was a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel, a finalist for the Maine Literary Award for Best Crime Fiction, and winner of Killer Nashville‘s Silver Falchion Award for Best Procedural. His short fiction appears in several anthologies, including Best American Mystery Stories 2016.

Bruce is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. He is a regular contributor to Murder Books blogs. Bruce is represented by Paula Munier at Talcott Notch Literary. He lives and writes in Maine.

Jen Blood

Jen Blood is the USA Today-bestselling author of the Erin Solomon Mysteries and the Flint K-9 Search and Rescue Mysteries. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine, is a regular blogger with Maine Crime Writers, and is also a certified dog trainer with a special interest in canine nutrition. When not working on her next novel, Jen can be found homesteading in an old New England farmhouse on the Maine Coast with a precocious pup named Marji, the magnificent Maine Coon Magnus, and a lovely bearded man called Ben.

More information about Jen and her books can be found at www.jenblood.com.

The November 14 readings will be from 6-7 p.m. in the Gathering Room at Walker Memorial Library, 800 Main Street in Westbrook.  

Stories of Island Life: Constable and Doctor to read at Books in the Brook October 10 at Walker Memorial Library

Books in the ‘Brook will kick off its 2019-2020 season with a focus on life on the islands of Casco Bay. Former Great Diamond Island constable Anne Weber and all-island doctor Chuck Radis M.D. of Peaks Island will read from their recent books about the island experience. Anne writes short stories and Chuck is a memoirist. Both books are full of humor and insight into the human condition.

Anne Weber’s first book—Constabulary Tales—is about change, individually and community wide.  The community just happens to be a small island off the coast of Maine with a fiercely independent population. The short fictional vignettes describe Fran McNulty’s first experiences in her new home and appointment as Constable.  Fran goes on to share some of the cases she investigated.

Anne Weber draws from her experience as Great Diamond Island’s only on-island law enforcement officer

Based on Anne’s experiences as Constable for four years on Great Diamond Island, the stories give the reader insight into island living and problem solving.

Anne was born on Long Island, New York and moved to Maine in 1995 with many stops in between. She has journaled for many years but began writing short stories after taking a writing course at OLLI Senior College in Portland, ME; two of which have been published. She is currently working on an island mystery.

Dr. Chuck Radis made house calls to all of the Casco Bay islands in all kinds of weather

Dr. Chuck Radis is the author of a collection of essays called Go By Boat about his experience as a general practice physician who served all of the Casco Bay Islands. After completing his internal medicine residency in 1985, he moved to Peaks Island where he practiced at the Island Health Center. In addition to clinic days on Peaks and Chebeague, he traveled to the Diamond Islands, Long, and Cliff Islands, making more than 150 house calls each year. 

Although Dr. Radis eventually left his Peaks Island medical practice for fellowship training in rheumatology, he continues to commute year-round on his boat from his home on Peaks Island to the mainland. His children, Kate and Molly, graduated from the Peaks Island grade school and have gone on to health careers of their own.  He has been a board member of the Peaks Island Health Center for more than 3 decades.  

In recent years, he has focused on Public Health projects in South Sudan and Uganda. A non-profit he co-founded with his wife, Sandi, and son-in-law, Dan Crothers, the Maine-African-Partnership for Social Justice, partners with refugee groups in the Kiryandongo United Nations Refugee Settlement in Uganda. Educational projects have included: traditional birth attendant training, first-aid training, and sanitation and vaccination programs.

Books in the ‘Brook is a reading series founded to support and nurture the local writing and reading community. The October 10 readings will be from 6 – 7 p.m. in the Gathering Room at Walker Memorial Library, 800 Main Street in Westbrook . The event is open to the public. For more information, contact the library at 207-854-0630.

Rock Hudson Biographer and Award-winning Mystery Writer to read at Books in the ‘Brook on June 8

Books in the ‘Brook returns with an exciting double-feature on Saturday, June 8 when biographer Mark Griffin, whose chronicle of Rock Hudson’s life was released to much acclaim last year, and Barbara Ross, author of the Maine Clambake mystery series, will read and talk about their work.

Mark Griffin has written the definitive biography of Hollywood star Rock Hudson

Mark Griffin is the author of All That Heaven Allows, a comprehensive biography of Rock Hudson, the embodiment of romantic masculinity in American cinema throughout the 50’s and 60’s.

Featuring interviews with Carol Burnett, Joel Grey, Piper Laurie, Jack Scalia, Claudia Cardinale, Armistead Maupin, Arlene Dahl and Robert Osborne, All That Heaven Allows includes new insights from Hudson’s friends, family members and former partners. With unprecedented access to private journals, personal correspondence and production files, Mark was able to tell the icon’s complete story.

Mark also is the author of A Hundred or More Hidden Things: The Life and Films of Vincente Minnelli. He recently appeared in the documentary Gene Kelly: To Live and Dance.

Mystery Writer Barbara Ross has been nominated for several awards, including the Maine Literary Award

Barbara Ross is the author of seven Maine Clambake Mysteries. The latest, Steamed Open, was released in December 2018. Barbara’s novellas featuring Julia Snowden are included along with stories by Leslie Meier and Lee Hollis in the anthologies Eggnog Murder and Yule Log Murder. Barbara’s books have been nominated for multiple Agatha Awards for Best Contemporary Novel and twice for the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction, including this year, for Stowed Away. She blogs with the Maine Crime Writers and the Wicked Authors. Barbara and her husband live in Portland, Maine. A new non-Clambake book, Jane Darrowfield, Professional Busybody, will be released on June 25, 2019.

This very special Books in the ‘Brook will take place at Quill Books and Beverage, One Westbrook Common, from 4 – 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 8.  The public is welcome. The event is free. Beverages and food are available for purchase at Quill.

Mystery author Maureen Milliken and well- traveled poet Daniel Duff Plunkett to read at Books in the ‘Brook April 6

Books in the ‘Brook will welcome Maine mystery writer Maureen Milliken and multi-lingual poet Daniel Duff Plunkett on April 6 when the monthly reading series continues at Quill Books and Beverage.

Maureen Milliken and Daniel Duff Plunkett to read at Books in the ‘Brook April 6thMaureen Milliken is a longtime journalist who worked for daily newspapers in northern New England for more than three decades. Her three-book Bernie O’Dea mystery series is set in Franklin County, Maine, and she’s currently working on a stand-alone set in Piscataquis County.

A journalism theme runs through her books, and she’s also committed to portraying her home state of Maine in a way that those who are familiar with it say, “Yeah, that’s Maine,” and those who have never been to Maine feel like they have. Milliken blogs with other Maine crime writers at mainecrimewriters.com and co-hosts a true-crime podcast, Crime & Stuff, with her sister, artist Rebecca Milliken. She lives in central Maine.

Daniel Duff Plunkett is a poet who believes in the sanctity of language, just not very firmly. He is the author of four volumes of poetry: Strike Back Cover (1986, Headcheese Publishing, Bangor, Maine); The Butter Poems (1996, Hand2Eye Productions, Washington, DC); Left Brain, Right Brain (2007, Acorn Productions, Westbrook, Maine) and MUSEUM: Poetry about Art and Artists (2016, Moon Pie Press, Westbrook, Maine).

Poet Daniel Duff Plunkett

He has written poems in the French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Turkish and Swahili languages and travels internationally in his work as an economist. His work has taken him around the world, particularly to Africa, where he has spent time in 27 different countries. Books in the ‘Brook is a monthly reading series that supports and nurtures the local writing and reading community. The April 6 readings will take place at Quill Books and Beverage, One Westbrook Common from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Ample parking is available in the lot adjacent to the CVS. The event is free and the public is welcome.

Scott Nash at Books in the ‘Brook March 2

Award-winning children’s book illustrator and author Scott Nash.

Books in the ‘Brook will turn its focus to children’s literature on March 2 with an hour-long program featuring Scott Nash, a well-known children’s book illustrator and author from Peaks Island.

Nash has illustrated over fifty children’s books, including Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp!The Bugliest Bug, Betsy, Who Cried Wolf!Betsy, Red Hoodie, and Flat Stanley.  He also is the author/illustrator of TUFF FLUFF, The Case of Duckie’s Missing Brain, Shrunken Treasures and The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate.

Nash has lectured widely and taught at Boston University, Northeastern University, The Art Institute of Boston and Maine College of Art, where he established and chaired the illustration department. In 2016 Scott co-founded the Illustration Institute, an arts organization and residency program supporting narrative arts through workshops, talks and exhibitions. 

As a founding partner of BIG BLUE DOT, Corey McPherson Nash and NASHBOX, Scott developed expertise in the branding and creative development of products and programming for the entertainment, consumer product and publishing worlds. In addition to designing identities for Nickelodeon, PBS, ABC, Comedy Central, FX, YTV, Scott’s design clients include American Girl, Disney, Harvard University, Mattel, The Boston Pops and From the Top.

Books in the ‘Brook is a monthly reading series that supports and nurtures the local writing and reading community. This very special program featuring Scott Nash will be held Saturday, March 2 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. at Quill Books and Beverage, One Westbrook Common. The event is free and the public is welcome. Ample parking is available in the lot adjacent to the CVS.

February 2, 2019; Saturday

Gerry Boyle

Gerry Boyle is a crime novelist based in Maine. He is the author of more than a dozen novels, including the acclaimed Jack McMorrow mystery series, featuring ex-New York Times reporter Jack McMorrow and his social worker girlfriend Roxanne Masterson. DEADLINE, the first McMorrow mystery, was published in 1993 to national acclaim. Boyle followed his debut with more McMorrow adventures, which have been published in six languages and have built a loyal following for Jack and his retired Marine buddy Clair. Boyle lives with his wife and first reader, Mary, in a small village on a lake in central Maine. When he isn’t writing fiction, Boyle is editor of the Colby College magazine.

Anna Wrobel

Anna Wrobel is an American historian and teacher, a Holocaust Studies educator, and a Sage Lecturer of history transmitted in poetic forms at the University of Southern Maine’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She has published poems in several journals including Cafe Review and Lilith and two collections of her work have been published by Moon Pie Press. She is the curator and co-host, with Jim Donnelly, of Maine’s long-running feature poetry series, Lowry’s Lodge, a history presenter at the Puffin Foundation, a contributing writer to Jewish Currents, a journal of progressive politics and culture. Her historical poetry has been used by educators in several U.S. states, Poland, Germany and the Mideast.