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Free for All: Robert Crais, Dallas Asian Film Festival and the Teapot Tournament

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Two broken spirits search for redemption in Robert Crais's new crime thriller Suspect, which he'll be reading from and signing on Friday. One is Scott James, a Los Angeles cop who's been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder since he and his partner were attacked several months earlier. The nighttime blitz left James angry and humiliated. Even so, he got off easy; his partner was killed. The other is Maggie, a German shepherd who served three tours in Iraq but was severely traumatized when her handler was killed by an IED. The pair must make their new partnership work or they'll both be removed from duty. Their first case? Finding the men who killed James's partner.

Robert Crais reads at 6:30 p.m. at Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. For information, visit the bookstore's website or call 713-524-8597.

In an era of three-hour-plus screen times for films about hobbits and Civil War-era presidents, short films still have something to say. The Dallas Asian Film Festival: Experimental Shorts, screening on Saturday, will feature nine short films from the festival that celebrates "new Asian and Asian American works that unapologetically push past the limits of the usual film genres." The films, which run from one to 15 minutes, span comedy (Planking: A Tutorial for Empty Nesters, about a mature adult teaching others about the fad of planking), animation (Fish Tank Fantasy, about a philosophical fish frustrated with life in the bowl), drama (Will, detailing a girl's last moments with her father on 9/11 before he leaves for work) and science fiction (Love Like Aliens, which explores, um, a human/robot hookup).

5 p.m. Asia Society Texas Center, 1370 Southmore. For information, visit the center's website or call 713-496-9901.

The 6th Annual International Texas Teapot Tournament closes on Sunday. Clay artists from around the world submitted all sorts of teapots, from super-tiny to two feet tall, from practical to completely ornamental. The two winning submissions are set to become part CAMEO's permanent collection.

It's your last chance to see the show aon Sunday 12 to 5 p.m. at 18 Hands Gallery, 249-B West 19th Street. For information, visit the gallery's website.

Bob Ruggiero contributed to this post.

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