MERRIMAC — Calling all mystery and crime-solving enthusiasts! The Merrimac Public Library is hoping to bring readers of all ages together through the excitement of the mystery genre. This shared community reading experience includes public book discussions of two local mystery novels, “Defending Jacob” by William Landay, and “Deadly Cove” by Brendan Dubois.
Events planned include murder mystery movie screenings; visits from crime authors such as Hank Phillipe Ryan and Brendan Dubois; an interactive murder mystery play, co-sponsored by Merrimac Old Home Days; a crime vehicle day at the Merrimac Police Station; and a visit from a real-life CSI investigator.
The Merrimac Reads Local Mysteries program is made possible through a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and runs from March through September. All events are free and open to the public, so stop by the library to pick up a copy of the full schedule of events or go to www.merrimaclibrary.org and click on the events calendar link. The schedule is also listed below.
April 8: 7 p.m., book discussion: “Defending Jacob”
All are welcome to join in the discussion of this mystery/thriller. This event will be held in the meeting room at the Merrimac Public Library, and is free and open to the public. Hosted by the Merrimac PTO Book Club.
April 25: 7 p.m., speaker: Hank Phillipe Ryan
Award-winning mystery author and investigative reporter Hank Phillipe Ryan will introduce her newest thriller, “The Other Woman.” Copies of her books will be available to purchase at the program. www.hankphilliperyan.com.
May 16: 7 p.m., Criminal Minds, Killer Events
Forget the television show “CSI” … come hear real stories from Paul Zambella, a practicing Massachusetts forensic scientist and forensics professor at Salem State College and Northeastern University. This interactive program will include the history of forensic science, State Police Crime Lab, fingerprint processing, DNA collection, the use of crime scopes, and more.
May 30: 6-8 p.m., movie screening: “Gone Baby Gone”
Two Boston-area detectives investigate a little girl’s kidnapping, which ultimately turns into a crisis, both professionally and personally (based on the best-selling Dennis Lehane novel). This 2007 film is rated (R) and is recommended for older teens and adults.
June 13: 7 p.m., A Tribute to Dennis Lehane
Melissa Pennell, professor of English at UMass Lowell, will explore the tradition of the hard-boiled detective novel, focusing on local author Dennis Lehane. She’ll discuss a few of best-selling novels that have been brought to life in film, including “Mystic River” and “Gone Baby Gone.”
July 13: 10-11:30 a.m., Crime Vehicle Day
Come visit the Merrimac Fire Station and explore a variety of fire and crime investigation vehicles. This event is co-sponsored by the Merrimac Police Department.
July 18: 7 p.m., A Supernatural Evening with Jeff Belanger
Jeff is one of the most visible paranormal researchers today and has written over a dozen books, including “Weird Massachusetts” and “The World’s Most Haunted Places.” He has written for newspapers like The Boston Globe and is the series writer and researcher for Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel. Jeff’s books will be available for purchase at the program.
Aug. 1, Community Read: “Deadly Cove”
Join others in Merrimac reading “Deadly Cove” by Brendan Dubois, the featured author for Merrimac Reads Local Mysteries. In “Deadly Cove” ( set in Hampton, N.H.), magazine columnist and former Department of Defense research analyst Lewis Cole is covering an anti-nuclear protest when gunfire breaks out, injuring his journalist friend and killing a charismatic activist.
Aug. 10: 7 p.m., play: “A Menacing Night at the Modern Museum”
Come and be a part of this interactive murder mystery play where the audience gets to guess whodunit. The setting is a modern art museum in Boston and includes a zany cast of characters. This free, family-friendly event is co-sponsored by Merrimac Old Homes Days Committee. Seating is limited and entry will be first come, first served.
Aug. 22: 6-8 p.m., movie screening: “Rear Window”
“Rear Window” is one of Hitchcock’s most suspenseful and stylish thrillers. When a professional photographer (Jimmy Stewart) suspects his neighbor of murdering his nagging wife, he enlists his socialite girlfriend (Grace Kelly) to help investigate. This 1954 film is rated (PG).
Sept. 12: 7 p.m., book discussion: “Deadly Cove”
All are welcome to join in the discussion of this mystery/thriller. This event will be held in the meeting room at the Merrimac Public Library and is open to the public. Hosted by the Merrimakers Book Club.
Sept. 26: 7 p.m., author visit: Brendan Dubois
Brendan DuBois is the award-winning author of more than 15 novels and short story collections, including “Deadly Cove” and is the featured local mystery author for Merrimac Reads Local Mysteries.