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U.P. Notable Book Club – “Dissecting Anatomy of a Murder” with Eugene Milihizer

August 10, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT

UPPAA The cover of dissecting anatomy of a murder.

UP Notable Book Club presents a Q&A session with Eugene Milihizer about “Dissecting Anatomy of a Murder”

UP Notable Book Club:  the Crystal Falls Community District Library in partnership with the U.P. Publishers & Authors Association (UPPAA) has scheduled author events with winners of the UP Notable Book List. The 29th event is with Eugene R. Milihizer and his in-depth analysis of fact and fiction behind both the novel and movie Anatomy of a Murder.  As a distinguished professor of law, Milihizer has unique insights to provide to the literary, legal, and cinematic dimensions of the story. The movie was famously filmed in both Ishpeming and Marquette, Michigan in an era when nearly all Hollywood productions were done on studio lots and sets. Milihizer captures rare recollections of this time in history in his book Dissecting Anatomy of a Murder, from Ave Maria Law Press.  He was warmly received at Northern Michigan University during his book tour last year.  Milihizer writes:

“I saw the film Anatomy of a Murder while in high school, and soon thereafter read the novel on which it was based. Anatomy was a major influence in my decision to attend to law school and my career as a lawyer. My latest writing project is a courtroom thriller entitled Searching for Lilly, which is an homage to the authenticity of John Voelker’s novel, and his capacity and willingness to confront the larger moral and ethical issues that often arise during a contested murder trial. Publication of my novel is expected by July 2023.”

When: August 10th, 2023 at 7 pm Eastern / 6 pm Central
Where: on the Zoom platform — please contact Evelyn Gathu in advance by egathu@crystalfallslibrary.org, or by phone at (906) 875-3344. We recommend you borrow a copy of these books from your local library or purchase from your local bookseller in advance to get the most out of these events. 

DEAN EMERITUS EUGENE R. MILIHIZER participated in hundreds of appeals, tried scores of criminal cases, and served in multiple leadership positions as an Army Judge Advocate. For three years, he held a teaching appointment at the Judge Advocate General’s School at the University of Virginia. In 2001, he joined the Ave Maria faculty and his course of offerings have included Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law, National Security Law and Military Law. Dean Emeritus Milhizer has been an invited presenter at law schools across the country and his legal scholarship has been published in many prestigious law journals. In May 2006, he was appointed Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and in April 2009, he was appointed Acting Dean of the Law School. In January 2010, he was appointed the Law School’s second President and Dean, and he served in that position until his return to full-time teaching in the summer of 2014. During the summer of 2009, under his leadership, the Law School successfully accomplished the unprecedented feat of relocating from Michigan to Florida. 

“The all-encompassing structure of Milhizer’s Dissecting Anatomy of a Murder makes it unique and a must-read for the Anatomy completist. Specifically, the book divides into three sections:  the early life and career of lawyer John D. Voelker (pen name Robert Traver), a detailed comparison of the real-life case, the real-life story of how Lt. Coleman A. Peterson shot and killed tavern owner Maurice Chenoweth point-blank in Big Bay vs. the screenplay depictions of case materials, and lastly an intense legal analysis of the pivotal issues including the insanity defense, jury nullification, and the underutilization of voir dire (eliminating unqualified jurors).

Sprinkled throughout the copiously footnoted book are wonderful reminisces from John Voelker about his career both as a struggling lawyer and then as 16 years as prosecuting attorney for Marquette County.  Voelker’s love for the rugged beauty and wilderness of the U.P. comes through his disdain for how the newly constructed Big Mac bridge would open up the U.P. to just about anybody and how carefully he hid his favorite trout fishing hole.  Some of these reflections come to us through excerpts of his three prior unsuccessful novels and his extensive personal diaries which give us a rare look at the man behind the mirror. In one of life’s cruel ironies, Voelker was finally selected as a Michigan Supreme Court justice just weeks after Anatomy of a Murder became a New York Times Bestseller. This would have also solved his financial woes but at the cost of forsaking his beloved U.P.”   — read the full review by Victor R. Volkman, U.P. Book Review

More information about the U.P. Notable Book list, U.P. Book Review, and UPPAA can be found on www.UPNotable.com

About the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association (UPPAA)

Established in 1998 to support authors and publishers who live in or write about Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, UPPAA is a Michigan nonprofit association with more than 100 members, many of whose books are featured on the organization’s website at www.uppaa.org. UPPAA welcomes membership and participation from anyone with a UP connection who is interested in writing.

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August 10, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT
Event Category:


Evelyn Gathu
(906) 875-3344
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