The first murder in Lucie Smoker's debut mystery novel, Distortion, takes place just three blocks from where she'll be appearing today. Her heroine is artist Addie Proust, who stumbles into intrigue while trying to get over a failed relationship. Proust is at a local punk club when it unexpectedly catches fire. As she flees the scene, she sees a man who has been stabbed to death, but the fire eradicates all evidence of the murder. Haunted by what she saw, she paints the scene as she remembers it, an act that inadvertently reveals a clue to the crime and attracts the attention of the killers. Best-selling author William Bernhardt called Smoker's protagonist, Proust, ''a unique character and a welcome addition to the fictional landscape'' and praised Smoker's many inventive twists and turns. Distortion is a terrific tale set right in the heart of Montrose, which just happens to be where Smoker once called home.
Thu., Nov. 15, 7 p.m., 2012