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Library Invites All to Investigate “The Maltese Falcon” During The Big Read

The Springfield-Greene County Library invites everyone to dig into the classic detective novel, “The Maltese Falcon,” in April and attend the related films, detective lectures and author events as part of the annual Big Read.

The “one book, one community” event encourages all ages to read for the joy of it, and the Library has planned fun events through April for kids, teens and adults to further explore the topics of hard-boiled detectives and femme fatales.

The Library has also dropped off paperback copies of “The Maltese Falcon” at public sites in Springfield and Greene County, encouraging people to “Take this book, read it and pass it on,” so everyone gets a chance to sample this classic novel by Dashiell Hammett.

One of the popular kick-off events returns this year at 6 and 7 p.m. Friday, April 6 at the Park Central Branch Library. It’s the Iron Chef Cook-off and the Edible Books Festival, which attracted hundreds of visitors in 2011. This year two teams and chefs from Victory Mission Trade School will compete at 6 p.m. to cook the best San Francisco style food in keeping with the setting of “The Maltese Falcon.”  Once the winner is announced, everyone gets to sample the food.

At 7 p.m., professional bakers will display cakes decorated in the theme of “The Maltese Falcon,” and visitors will get to vote on their favorite and share the cake after the winner is crowned.

Something is happening nearly every day in April for all ages, but the two keynote events are live visits from children’s author Bruce Hale, of the Chet Gecko Mysteries at 7 p.m. April 12 at the Library Center; and from mystery writer Ridley Pearson at 7 p.m. April 26 at Pythian Castle in Springfield.

Other events include a talk about self defense by Sgt. Jason Pace of the Missouri Highway Patrol, lessons in forensic science to solve crimes, a Clue board game tournament, a trivia contest at Patton Alley Pub, a Big Read on C-Street festival on Commercial Street, book discussions in libraries and coffee shops around Springfield, and much more.

For a full schedule of events throughout April, pick up a copy of the Library’s calendar of events, Bookends, or go to thelibrary.org/bigread.

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Kathleen O’Dell is community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at kathleeno@thelibrary.org.

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