Scottish writer Peter May's thrillers are not well suited for readers with touchy stomachs. In his new novel, The Killing Room, from his Margaret Campbell thriller series set in China, the bodies of 18 women are discovered chopped to bits. The Critic, his latest book from the popular Enzo Files series about cold case forensic biologist Enzo Macleod working in France, involves corpses pickled in wine. It's not just the creative gore that keeps his fans turning pages and coming back for more. May, a former journalist and creator of several TV shows for the BBC, is widely praised for threading humor into his extremely tightly wound plots, and for his meticulous research. He spent so much time in China researching the Campbell series that the Chinese Crime Writers Association made him an honorary member, and he was inducted as a knight of the Order of the Divine Bottle of Gaillac for his expertise on wine from the Gaillac region of France after writing about it in The Critic. Wine will be served during his reading at Once Upon a Crime; just try to not think about people being pickled in it.
Tue., March 11, 7 p.m., 2008