Jeff Morgan, Marketing/Public Relations, Iowa Historical Foundation, Iowa Department
of Cultural Affairs; (515) 281-3858; Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov
Authors Patricia Bryan and Thomas Wolf, graduates of the University of Iowa, visit
the State Historical Building for a book signing event for their new novel: Midnight
Assassin: A Murder in America's Heartland.
Sunday, April 24, 2005, at 2:00 p.m.
The State Historical Building Atrium & Iowa Museum Store, 600 E. Locust Street,
Des Moines, IA 50319
and open to the public. Advance telephone interviews with authors are available.
Iowa murder remains unsolved to this day.
devotees who have devoured all the literature on famous real-life mysteries will
delight in this stirring and evocative account of an obscure turn-of-the-century
Iowa murder… (Bryan and Wolf) vividly portray the era’s attitudes
toward women (indicated by a tolerance of domestic abuse) while crafting a tale
that reads like a good novel.” – Publishers Weekly
University of Iowa graduates
Patricia Bryan and Thomas Wolf visit the State Historical Building on Sunday,
April 24, 2005 at 2 p.m. for a book signing event of their most recent offering,
Midnight Assassin, the story of a notorious family tragedy that caused a
media frenzy and captivated the American public more than 100 years ago, and that
today still remains an unsolved mystery. Midnight Assassin's publication
date is April 1, 2005.
Patricia Bryan and Thomas
Wolf are husband and wife. Bryan has been a professor of law at the University
of North Carolina since 1982. She is the author of Stories in Fiction and
in Fact: Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers” and the 1901
Murder Trial of Margaret Hossack, which was published in the Stanford
Law Review in 1997. Wolf received and MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop
and now works as a writing consultant for the Association of American Medical
Colleges. They are both graduates of the University of Iowa and live in Chapel
Hill, North Carolina, with their three sons.
explores the story of Margaret Hossack, the wife of a prominent Indianola, Iowa,
farmer who was arrested in 1900 for bludgeoning her husband to death with an ax
while their children slept upstairs. The crime and ensuing trial had the Warren
County community in an uproar. Residents who thought Hossack was innocent were
afraid of a murderer on the loose; their challengers concluded that Hossack must
be the killer because she lacked the feminine ideals of delicacy and restraint.
The sensational trial and
prominent victim attracted widespread media attention. One of the first journalists
on the scene was Susan Glaspell, a reporter for the Des Moines Daily News
from 1898 to 1901. More than 15 years later, Glaspell reworked her accounts of
the trial into a one-act play, Trifles, and the celebrated story, A
Jury of Her Peers, later selected by John Updike as one of the Best Short
Stories of the Century.
Both a vivid portrayal
of what life was like in small town America at the turn-of-the-20th-century and
a chilling step-by-step account of the murder and its aftermath, Midnight
Assassin is a true story of scandal, sexism, and community prejudice that
delves into what really happened the night John Hossack was killed.