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A Girl and a Gun 

Phillip Margolin's latest thriller muses on a six-shooter

Portland author Phillip Margolin has made a name for himself in the world of noir fiction, with a particular emphasis on the legal aspects of the genre. His historical drama Worthy Brown's Daughter is a heartbreaking story of slavery and murder set in 19th-century Oregon.

"Writing Worthy Brown's Daughter," he explained, "was a huge challenge because I had no idea what day-to-day life was like in Oregon in 1860. To make the book realistic I had to learn what life was like in 1860 in Oregon and what it was like to practice law in the 1860s. I found out that lawyers and judges had to know the law and how to shoot a gun."

His most recent offering, Woman with a Gun, follows an aspiring novelist who becomes captivated by a stunning photo in an art museum. The photo reveals a woman from behind, standing at the edge of darkness, with a six-shooter held behind her back. Who is this woman? Has she killed her husband on their wedding night? Is she going to commit suicide? Stricken with curiosity, the novelist is drawn deeper and deeper into the case, hoping to discover the details of a murder that was never solved.

Margolin has written 18 novels, many of them New York Times bestsellers. Each displays a "behind the scenes" aspect of criminal behavior, which derives from his long background as a criminal defense attorney who has handled more than 30 murder cases.

Margolin will be in Central Oregon to read from his work; 6:30 pm, Friday, April 24, Paulina Springs Books, Sisters; 6:30 pm, Saturday, April 25, Paulina Springs Books, Redmond.

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