For immediate release | June 14, 2013

Midwestern mystery authors featured at ALA Annual Conference

Discussion panel to feature Libby Fischer Hellman, Eric Lundgren and Peter Robertson

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office will present three emerging Midwestern voices as a part of Mystery Day on the PopTop Stage from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 29 at the upcoming 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Attendees are invited to join moderator Jane Gibson (Seattle Public Library) to learn why the Midwest is a great place for murder and how libraries are helping them build audiences for their writing. Located just beyond the 2600 aisle in the exhibits hall, the PopTop Stage is free for all conference attendees.

The discussion panel, entitled Mystery Solved: Introducing New Mystery Writers to Library Audiences, will feature three up-and-coming mystery authors from the Midwest:

Chicagoan Libby Fischer Hellmann is the award-winning author of nine crime fiction thrillers. They include the Ellie Foreman series, which Libby describes as a cross between “Desperate Housewives” and “24,” the hard-boiled Georgia Davis PI series and two standalones, "Set the Night on Fire," and "A Bitter Veil." Her 10th release, in September 2013, is "Havana Lost" (Red Herrings Press), a mafia thriller set largely in Cuba. She also has written nearly 20 short stories and novellas.

Eric Lundgren grew up in Minneapolis. He studied at Lewis & Clark College and earned his MFA at Washington University, where he was awarded a third-year fellowship. He works at a public library in St. Louis, where he lives with his wife Eleanor, and their two cats. "The Façades" (Overlook Press) is his first novel.

Peter Robertson was born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, attended university in the U.K. at the University of East Anglia and came to the U.S. at age 23. He settled in Chicago, where he has been a book reviewer, stay-at-home dad, soccer coach, student and teacher. Robertson is the author of the mystery novel "Permafrost" (Gibson House, 2012), set in northern Michigan, and its just released sequel, "Mission," set in Colorado.

Discussion panel moderator Jane Gibson is a librarian at the Seattle Public Library, where she organizes and presents literary programs and special events, provides readers advisory to all ages and leads book groups. She was born and raised and received her undergraduate degree in creative writing in the Midwest.

The 2013 installment of the PopTop Stage will focus on popular librarian favorites: Mystery, Sci- Fi and Poetry. The PopTop Stage will feature readings, discussions and presentations over the course of the exhibits. For more information on the PopTop Stage at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference, visit

The ALA Public Programs Office promotes cultural and community programming as an essential part of library service in all types and sizes of libraries. Successful library programming initiatives have included “Let’s Talk About It” reading and discussion series, traveling exhibitions, film discussion programs, the Great Stories CLUB, Live! @ your library and more. Recently, the ALA Public Programs Office developed, an online resource center bringing librarians timely and valuable information to support them in the creation of high-quality cultural programs for their communities. For more information on the ALA Public Programs Office, visit To view more events offered by the Public Programs Office at the ALA Annual Conference, visit

Related Links

The PopTop Stage at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference

2013 Annual Conference events offered by the Public Programs Office

Programming Librarian

ALA Public Programs Office


Colleen Barbus

Program Coordinator

Public Programs Office