SOURCE: San Mateo Public Library

August 22, 2006 23:55 ET

Four Witty Authors Open New San Mateo Main Library With Humorous Free Event, "Death Can Be Funny"

Grand Opening Celebration of Beautiful, State-of-the-Art Building Presents Four Authors Lightening Up the Dark Side

SAN MATEO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 22, 2006 -- For the grand opening celebration of the new San Mateo Main Library, librarians have rounded up four award-winning, best-selling authors to present a humorous free event, "Death Can Be Funny: Four Witty Authors Lighten Up the Dark Side," on Monday, August 28 at 7:00 p.m. Participants will include Joe Gores, the legendary mystery author and former detective; Bill Fitzhugh, the king of crime comedy novels; Mary Roach, the author of bestsellers "Stiff" and "Spooks"; and Vince Emery, who edited "Lost Stories" by Dashiell Hammett. This special panel will launch a monthly author series at the library with the theme, "San Mateo: City of Readers."

This entertaining event will be the first author program in the new San Mateo Main Library, a 90,000-square-foot state-of-the-art resource center that is not only spacious and beautiful, but also boasts free wi-fi, computer stations for children and adults, and three community meeting rooms. The new facility includes the Genentech Foundation Biotechnology Learning Center, as well as the Franklin Templeton Investments Business Resource Center, The Kenneth and Sherrilyn Fisher Journalism Center, large, specially-designed areas for children and teens, and new underground parking. Built on the site of the old library at 55 West Third Avenue (just west of El Camino Real), the new library is the largest in San Mateo County, and among the most up-to-the-minute buildings of its kind in the world.

The four intrepid authors who will appear at this inaugural event include:

Mary Roach's first two books are hilarious-but-scientific bestsellers that cover serious subjects: "Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers" and "Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife." She has written articles about everything from toenail fungus to movie stars for, Wired, Outside, GQ, Discover, Vogue, and the New York Times Magazine. Ms. Roach works in San Francisco.

Called "stingingly funny" by People magazine, former radio DJ Bill Fitzhugh admits to writing seven crime comedy novels and several screenplays. Mystery author Carl Hiaasen said, "Bill Fitzhugh is a deeply disturbed individual who uses his warped talents to write very funny novels." The Blue Moon Review disagreed, saying that Fitzhugh is "simply a nice guy, who happens to know a lot about prosthetics and testicle grafting." His novels "Pest Control" and "Cross Dressing" are under development by Warner Brothers and Universal Studios.

Joe Gores' popular novels and stories about detective firm Daniel Kearney Associates are based on his own experiences as a San Francisco private eye. He is a past president of the Mystery Writers of America. As a writer of novels, short stories, and screenplays, he has won three Edgar Awards. He has written scripts for "Kojak," "Columbo," "Magnum P.I.," "Remington Steele," and other television series. Francis Ford Coppola produced a movie based on Gores' novel "Hammett." Gores lives in San Anselmo.

Vince Emery edited and published the acclaimed "Lost Stories" by Dashiell Hammett, and published "Discovering The Maltese Falcon and Sam Spade," edited by Richard Layman, which was nominated for an Edgar Award. A resident of Burlingame, Emery also wrote the bestseller "How to Grow Your Business on the Internet."

The free event "Death Can Be Funny: Four Witty Authors Lighten Up the Dark Side" is sponsored by the San Mateo Main Library and the San Mateo bookstore "M" is for Mystery... and More. Books from all four authors will be available at the event for purchase and autographs. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to the San Mateo Main Library. For more information visit

Contact Information

  • Media contact:

    Donna Mandel
    Reference Librarian
    San Mateo Main Library
    (650) 522-7813
    Email Contact