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Book Notes: True-crime legend Rule hits Auntie’s

Ann Rule, Seattle’s queen of true-crime, will be at Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W. Main Ave., on Saturday to read from her new book – a book of considerable interest here in Spokane.

The title is “In the Still of the Night: The Strange Death of Ronda Reynolds and Her Mother’s Unceasing Quest for the Truth” (Free Press, $26.99).

It’s about state trooper Ronda Reynolds, 32, who was found dead in Toledo, Wash., in 1998. The death was ruled a suicide, but her mother, Barb Thompson, embarked on a long campaign to prove otherwise.

Why does this story resonate in Spokane? Because Thompson is from Spokane and Reynolds was raised in Spokane.

Rule, who also wrote the Ted Bundy book, “The Stranger Beside Me,” will be at Auntie’s at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The Grashio connection

Here’s an early alert of another lecture and signing of high local interest: John Lukacs, author of “Escape From Davao: The Forgotten Story of the Most Daring Prison Break of the Pacific War,” Oct. 23, 2 p.m., Gonzaga University, College Hall, Room 101.

It’s a thrilling story of 12 men who escaped from a brutal Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in the Philippines after the fall of Bataan.

One of those escapees was Samuel Grashio of Spokane, who went on to become an administrator at Gonzaga University. The book devotes plenty of attention to Grashio’s part of the story.

Lukacs is a Pennsylvania author whose work has appeared in many magazines and newspapers. This event is part of a Gonzaga’s All-Military Service Reunion weekend, and is free and open to the public.

Jan Brett tickets

The Jan Brett appearance in Spokane on Oct. 20 will be a ticketed event – but with a few unusual wrinkles.

You can grab your free tickets at Auntie’s Bookstore beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, four days before the event. Auntie’s will give out one ticket per family group, or one ticket per single adult. Ticketholders will be able to meet Brett and get a book autographed. There will be a limit of 275 tickets.

Those who don’t have tickets can still come to the event and see Brett’s presentation – it’s just that they won’t be able to get books personally autographed. They will, however, be given signed bookplates that they can paste into their books.

Why all of these rules? Otherwise the lines would be too long for one author to handle. Brett is an exceptionally popular children’s book author.

That’s also why the location was switched from Auntie’s to the Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave., Oct. 20, 5 p.m. This is still an Auntie’s event, however, and Auntie’s will be selling a wide selection of books there. For more info, go to

Cowboy ethics

Author James P. Owen, author of “Cowboy Ethics,” which is about living according to the principles of the working cowboy, will be the keynote speaker at a fundraising breakfast for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Spokane County on Oct. 19, 7:30 a.m. at the club at 544 E. Providence Ave.

The presentation is free and open to the public, but reservations are required due to limited seating. Call (509) 489-0741 for reservations. And since this is a part of the clubs’ fundraising campaign, titled the One Campaign 2010, donations will be welcome.

Owen, besides being an author, is what he calls the Chief Inspiration Officer for his Center for Cowboy Leadership and Ethics in Texas. His books will be available for purchase and autographs.

What are cowboy ethics? “Live each day with courage, take pride in your work and always finish what you start” are three of the main ones.

‘Reflections on the Road’

Pullman author Martha Mullen will read today from her book, “Reflections on the Road,” which details her years-long quest to drive every county road in Whitman County. Along the way, Mullen explored cemeteries, climbed buttes, ate in small-town cafes and attended community celebrations.

Her book is a “reflection of the author’s love affair with this unique and continually surprising section of the country,” according to a publicity release.

Her reading is at the Dahmen Barn in Uniontown, Wash., today at 1 p.m.

To find the Dahmen Barn, drive Highway 195 through Uniontown. You can’t miss it. It’s the big white barn, which has been turned into a community “creativity center,” behind the iron-wheel fence.

‘The Gift Exchange’

A book release party for “The Gift Exchange” (Gray Dog Press) by Devi Fournier will be held at the Arbor Crest Cliff House, 4705 N. Fruit Hill Road, on Saturday at 2 p.m.

It’s a novel about an international TV correspondent who has to make an agonizing decision: Should she grant her friend’s wish and help her die? Fournier is a former TV reporter and writer from Hayden, Idaho.

This party is free and open to the public and will feature live music and dancing. The public is invited.

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