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Noel Q. King Annual Lecture: “Higher Mysteries: Faith and Theology in Crime Fiction”

May 14, 2013 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm  |  Santa Cruz Public Library – Downtown Branch


The King Lecture Series, preserving the work of UCSC History and Comparative Religion professor Noel Q. King, promotes and explores the dialogue between faiths. This year’s lecture also incorporates the interests of his wife, crime writer Laurie R. King, in conversation with three other award-winning crime writers, for an event called:

Higher Mysteries: Faith and Theology in Crime Fiction


Zoë Ferraris moved to Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of the first Gulf War, living in a conservative Muslim community with her then-husband and his family, a group of Saudi-Palestinians. Zoë has an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. Her novels are published in over thirty countries.



Sharan Newman is a Medieval historian with an MA in Medieval Literature and a PhD in Medieval Studies,specializing in twelfth-century France. She has been writing fiction since1980, with ten books in her award-winning series about Catherine LeVendeur, once a student under the abbess Heloise. Her books explore Medieval ideas of religion as well as Christian/Jewish relations.




Julia Spencer-Fleming, a bestselling author with an armful of awards, spent most of her childhood on the move as an army brat, then studied acting and history at Ithaca College, receiving a J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law. She writes a crime series about Army helicopter pilot-turned-Episcopal priest Clare Fergusson set in her native upstate New York.


Moderato8ed58f17ee320a7f0235ac.L._V388042139_SX200_r Laurie R. King, who did her BA in Comparative Religion at UCSC and her MA in Old Testament Theology at the Graduate Theological Union, turned to crime (fiction) when she wrote a tale in which young theology student Mary Russell meets the famous skeptic Mr. Sherlock Holmes, and finds herself apprenticed to him. Many of Laurie’s books have theological and religious themes.



Higher Mysteries is sponsored by UCSC’s Noel Q. King Memorial and the Santa Cruz Public Libraries. Books will be sold at the event by Bookshop Santa Cruz, and refreshments served thanks to the Friends of the Public Library.

For background reading to the discussion:
Zoë Ferraris: Finding Nouf & City of Veils
Laurie R. King: A Monstrous Regiment of Women & A Darker Place
Sharan Newman: The Outcast Dove & Strong as Death
Julia Spencer-Fleming: In the Bleak Midwinter & Out of the Deep I Cry

Please RSVP to will help the Friends with the chair setup.

For more information, write to


May 14, 2013
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Santa Cruz Public Library – Downtown Branch
224 Church Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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