Arts and Culture | Local

‘Columbo’ creator to lead off Brandeis mystery/history fest

William Link

The Tucson chapter of the Brandeis National Committee will hold two Book and Author events next month, an evening soiree on Feb. 9 and a lunch program on Feb. 10.

Featured authors ­— all with a mystery or history bent — are William Link, Douglas Starr, Rhys Bowen and Tucson’s own Rhody Cohon.

Link, co-creator with his late writing partner, Richard Levinson, of numerous TV series including “Columbo,” “Mannix,” and “Murder, She Wrote,” is the author of “The Columbo Collection,” 12 new stories about the rumpled detective. A frequent contributor to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and a screenwriter of made-for-TV movies and major motion pictures, Link is a multi-Emmy and Edgar Award winner and was elected to the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1995. Link and Levinson’s most-honored TV movies dealt with controversial social issues, such as “That Certain Summer” (homosexuality) and “My Sweet Charlie” (race relations).

Douglas Starr

Starr is the author of the critically acclaimed “The Killer of Little Shepherds,” which documents how the pursuit of a serial killer in late 19th-century France led to the birth of forensic science. A professor of journalism at Boston University, his science, medical and environmental articles have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, Smith­sonian, Audobon and National Wildlife. His previous book, “Blood: An Epic History of Medicine and Commerce,” became a PBS documentary and was named among the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly, Booklist and Library Journal.

Rhys Bowen

Rhys Bowen has been nominated for more than two dozen major mystery awards, including the Edgar for best novel, and has won 10. Born in England, she lives in San Francisco and winters in Arizona. Her books include the Molly Murphy series, set in turn-of-the-20th-century New York City and featuring a feisty Irish immigrant; the Royal Spyness series, which follows the escapades of Lady Georgie, a minor cousin of King George V, in 1930s England; and the Constable Evan Evans series, featuring a Welsh policeman.

Rhody Cohon

Rhody Cohon and her writing partner, Stacia Deutsch, have collaborated on more than 30 books for children and young adults, including the “Blast to the Past” series, profiling noted Americans from George Washington to Walt Disney. Their movie tie-in novels include 2010’s “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” a New York Times best seller. The Association of Jewish Libraries recently announced their “Hot Pursuit: Murder in Mississippi,” the true story of the murder of three civil rights workers in 1964, as a 2011 Sydney Taylor Award finalist. Cohon lives with her three children in Tucson, where she also teaches math at Pima Community College.

The soirée, which will be held at the home of Ruthann Pozez, begins at 6 p.m. and includes dinner and a musical program. Tickets are $75 for members, $85 for nonmembers.

The Book and Author Day, which will be held at Skyline Country Club, begins with book signings at 9:30 a.m. and includes lunch and talks by the authors. Tickets are $70 for members, $80 for nonmembers; seating with an author is $175. Packages including both events also are available.

Proceeds will help fund an endowed scholarship to Brandeis University, with preference to needy students from the Tucson area.

RSVP to Sheila Rothenberg at 232-9559 or Shelly Picus at 529-8004.