Of the novelists reading in Houston in the coming week, Jeff Lindsay, the author of Dexter series, is perhaps the most anxiously anticipated. Fans are eager to discuss his latest release - and final installment in the Dexter story - Dexter is Dead. Lindsay will no doubt face questions from readers as to why he ended the series, how he ended the series and what’s next for him now that he’s no longer going to write about Dexter.
In Dexter Is Dead, the blood spatter analyst and serial killer Dexter Morgan's been accused of a murder (one that he didn’t commit, for once). The cops are fabricating evidence to convict their former colleague and as he faces sure conviction, Dexter does what he’s always done when he needs help — he reaches out to family (his adopted and still-really-angry-with-him sister Deb and his murderous, psychopathic brother Brian). Before it’s over, shots ring out in the dark, dead bodies fall to the floor, bombs explode and Dexter gets what he’s always wanted most.
The story has all the bumps, bangs and OMG! moments Lindsay’s readers have come to expect from him. The wit, humor and irony are all there. Even with its seeming spoiler title (we say seemingly because as we’ve seen in Lindsay’s previous Dexter novels, there are lots of ways to get dead), the story is a hold-your-breath-and-hang-on ride from beginning to end.
Jeff Lindsay reads from Dexter is Dead at 6:30 p.m. July 16. Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-524-8597 or visit murderbooks.com. Free.
Another writer who deals with murder and death, though in a completely different way from Lindsay, is Kathy Reichs, who's coming to town to discuss her latest Temperance Brennan release, Speaking in Bones. While Reichs' appearance is being presented in partnership with Murder by the Book, she'll be speaking at the Houston Museum of Natural Science as part of the HMNS Distinguished Lecture Series.
In Speaking in Bones, Temperance finds herself caught between her personal life (where she has no idea what's she's doing) and her professional life (where she knows exactly what she's doing) and . Police detective Andrew Ryan has just asked her to marry him and an amateur detective asks her to take a cold case. It's no surprise that Temperance goes with the professional where it's all just facts and science (and none of those pesky emotions that pop up in her dealings with Ryan).
The cold case involves eightteen-year-old Cora Teague who's been missing for three years. A recording of an unidentified young woman being terrorized turns up and evidence indicates it might be Cora. When Temperance investigates, she discovers that Cora's disappearance is just one of many sinister happenings in a small rural community where the truth and superstition have become inexplicably tangled.
Reichs visits Houston for signings and lectures often (we spoke with her in 2014 about her release Bones Never Lie). The fact that her central character is fashioned after Reichs (Temperance Brennan is a forensic anthropologist and author) and that her books feature an appealing mix of fact, fiction, drama, romance and grisly crime scenes make her an especially popular speaker.
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Kathy Reichs appears 6:30 p.m. July 21 at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Drive. For information, call 713-639-4629 or visit hmns.org. $40 (includes a copy of Speaking in Bones).
Other book events this week include Kent Wascom signing and discussing his Southern Gothic story Secessia set in 1862 New Orleans. (7 p.m. July 16 at Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-523-0701 or visit brazosbookstore.com. Free.)
Scott Sigler discusses his new release Alive, the first book in his Generations sci-fi trilogy about a group of teens who are trapped in a corridor with no memory of who they are or how they got there. (6:30 p.m. July 17 at Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-524-8597 or visit murderbooks.com. Free.)
Texas author Kay Kendall signs and discusses Rainy Day Women, the second in her Austin Starr series. Set in 1969, sometime between the Charles Manson murders and Woodstock, Rainy Day Women has Austin trying to help a friend who's been accused of murdering feminists activists in Seattle and Vancouver. (4:30 p.m. July 18 at Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-524-8597 or visit murderbooks.com. Free.)
And Kim O'Brien, who lives in The Woodlands, signs and reads from her new young adult novel, Bone Deep. The story centers on a young teen Paige Patterson who's spending the summer on an archeological dig with her father, her best friend Emily and the good looking Jalen Yazzi, the son of the dig's project manager. Paige has some things to work out with her father but before she can get to that Emily goes missing. There are plenty of suspects, including Paige's father who doesn't have an alibi for the night Emily disappeared. (2 p.m. July 18 at Blue Willow Bookshop, 14532 Memorial Drive. For information, call 281-497-8675 or visit bluewillowbookshop.com. Free.)