Cocktails and Cyanide brings murder mystery to Schaible auditorium

Andrew Sheeler / Sun Star Reporter
July, 20, 2011

Somebody has been murdered by poison and it will be up to the Schaible Auditorium audience to figure out who did it. That’s the premise behind the Wednesday, July 20 lecture titled “Cocktails and Cyanide” being held by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Deborah Blum. The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. and is free to the public.

Blum, a journalist, is the author of several books, the most recent of which is The Poisoner’s Handbook. Her work has also been featured in such news outlets as The New York Times, Slate, The Wall Street Journal and Huffington Post. As the name of the lecture implies, Blum will spend Wednesday evening talking about the history of poisons, those who used it to kill and those who sought to uncoverĀ  such heinous crimes.

The lecture is being sponsored by UAF Summer Sessions, and it was Summer Sessions employee Vanessa Spencer’s idea to bring Blum up. Spencer said that last year she had read a piece by Blum in Slate about the dangers of raw milk. That story piqued Spencer’s interest. She continued to follow Blum’s work and eventually came up with the idea of asking Blum to come speak at UAF.

Blum has promised that her lecture will be as entertaining as it is informative, and plans to include the audience in a murder mystery exercise as a way of getting them more involved.

Spencer said she expects a decent turnout for the event at Schaible, which seats roughly 230 people. Following the lecture, Blum will hold a book-signing.

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