CUSHING — Nancy Perkins, enthusiastic reader and student of mystery stories, will explore the rise of the British mystery novel that has become one of the world’s most popular genres in a Zoom presentation for the Cushing Public Library Thursday, Jan. 13, at 6:30 p.m. To register, call Wendy Roberts at 207-691-0833 or email

From the northernmost tip of the Shetland Islands to the densely populated Sussex plains, murder and crime are everywhere. From A. Conan Doyle to P.D. James, the British practitioner has created far more than a crime story but rather a literary work recognized and loved worldwide. One unlikely fan, Ayn Rand, states, “[T]here’s nothing like tea in the afternoon. When the British Empire collapses, historians will find that it had made two invaluable contributions to civilization — the tea ritual and the detective novel.”

Perkins is a Virginia transplant to Belfast. Her literary passion began with Nancy Drew to Agatha Christie and eventually all the Golden Age writers, even before her arrival at Westhampton College of the University of Richmond. She has taught courses on British mysteries and, as president of Belfast Senior College, she has kept the organization viable through the recent challenges of pandemic and Zooming. Like many, she hopes to return to face-to-face teaching, but realizes that online activity affords significant possibilities.