The Mystery of “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”

French literary critic Roland Barthes famously published an essay titled “The Death of the Author,” which argues against interpreting literature primarily in light of the author’s politics, religion, or historical context. For Barthes, to prioritize an author’s meaning is to impose a limited interpretation onto a work of literature, rather than considering the many meanings and interpretations …

Bibliomanes and Biblioklepts

“I have known men to hazard their fortunes, go long journeys halfway about the world, forget friendships, even lie, cheat, and steal, all for the gain of a book.”–A.S.W. Rosenbach, Books and Bidders: The Adventures of a Bibliophile (1927) In January of this year, the book world was shocked by a daring theft from a rare …

2 Questions with 3 Local Mystery Authors

On July 19, we’ll host three mystery writers who live in the Philadelphia area for a panel discussion of their craft.  Merry Jones is the author of the popular Philadelphia-based Zoe Hayes mysteries, including The Nanny Murders, The River Killings, The Deadly Neighbors, and The Borrowed and Blue Murders. Her most recent book is Child’s Play. Jon McGoran is the author of eight …

The Mystery of “The Mystery of Marie Roget”

When we say that Edgar Allan Poe invented the detective story, we may as well say that Poe invented the detective. In 1841, when “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” was first published in Graham Magazine, Boston was still five years away from founding the first professional police detective unit in the United States. Indeed, in creating …

How true do we want true crime to be?

I was in graduate school when Oprah Winfrey confronted author James Frey about fabricating portions of his memoir, A Million Little Pieces. Oprah, who had previously defended Frey’s memoir as a meaningful book with or without a strict adherence to the facts, apologized to her viewers: “I left the impression that the truth does not …

To Catch a Thief in the Days before Detectives

In 1750, Philadelphia was plagued by a series of domestic robberies over several weeks. The items targeted were primarily the luxury goods that were becoming increasingly available to residents who had financial means: jewelry, fine cloth, good silver. Although the colony of Pennsylvania was still largely an agricultural economy, the City of Brotherly Love was …

Hedgerow Theatre Radio Mysteries @ The Rosenbach

Date / Time

  • August 22, 2017
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

With minimal staging, the talented Hedgerow Theatre Company brings classic radio mystery plays to life with the power of the human voice and imagination. This summer, tune in for a live performance of suspense, thrills, mystery—and catchy jingles. Each event will revive classic episodes of the suspenseful radio plays that riveted generations past, along with humorous scenes that recapture the timeless appeal of vaudeville.






Hedgerow Theatre Radio Mysteries @ The Rosenbach

Date / Time

  • July 25, 2017
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

With minimal staging, the talented Hedgerow Theatre Company brings classic radio mystery plays to life with the power of the human voice and imagination. This summer, tune in for a live performance of suspense, thrills, mystery—and catchy jingles. Each event will revive classic episodes of the suspenseful radio plays that riveted generations past, along with humorous scenes that recapture the timeless appeal of vaudeville.






Bibliococktails: The Hound of the Baskervilles

Date / Time

  • August 11, 2017
    7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Beat the dog days of summer with the most famous canine in crime fiction (sorry, Scooby). With a discussion of this puzzling prequel and a specially crafted cocktail, The Baskerville, you can help us do battle with Sherlock Holmes’ fiercest foe.






Bibliococktails: The Murders in the Rue Morgue

Date / Time

  • July 14, 2017
    7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Edgar Allan Poe invented the detective story and the clever protagonist C. Auguste Dupin before the word “detective” had even been coined. Join us as we reinvent this harrowing tale with a mysterious new cocktail and a deep dive into literature’s first whodunit.