Stacy Horn showed morbid slides at Barnes & Noble in Chelsea on Monday, but that's just the nature of her topic. What would you expect from a book whose cover features an ominous bullet hole? She wore a pearl necklace that matched her white shirt and spoke on a dark subject.
"The Restless Sleep: Inside New York City's Cold Case Squad" (Viking) recounts how New York homicide detectives pursue old, unsolved murders, working against the odds to uncover fresh leads. Ms. Horn, a contributor to NPR's "All Things Considered," follows three key detectives trying to solve four cases that go back as far as 1951.
"Did you ever lose your faith in mankind?" an audience member asked Ms. Horn. "It definitely did get to me," she said. She didn't meet a lot of murderers, though, since she concentrated on homicide investigators.
Death is a subject she has examined before, in her earlier book "Waiting for My Cats To Die: A Memoir" (St. Martin's Press). The audience asked her what topic she'll tackle next. Ms. Horn said that she picked ghosts - because after all that death, she wanted to work on something lighter and more fun.
What could be more fun than a ghost story? But then, she said to audience laughter, a few months into her research she realized that she was right back where she started: death. In order to have a ghost story, you must first have a dead person!
Ms. Horn will discuss the book on New York's cold case squad this Saturday at the Museum of the City of New York and again at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York on November 16.
BOOK LAUNCH In the historical novel "Kingston by Starlight" (Three Rivers Press), author Christopher John Farley brings to life 18th century seafaring and piracy. Mr. Farley imaginatively draws upon the life of Anne Bonny, who poses as a man named "Bonn" and joins a pirate ship led by Calico Jack Rackam in the West Indies.
The Harvard-educated Mr. Farley, a senior editor at Time magazine, spoke at McNally Robinson bookstore in SoHo on Tuesday evening. The prior evening, a group of friends feted him at an Upper West Side party hosted by Henry and Celia McGee and Three Rivers Press. Seen at the party were Sarah Jones, creator and star of "Bridge & Tunnel"; Thelma Golden, director of the Studio Museum in Harlem; Isolde Motley, corporate editor of Time Incorporated; businessman and philanthropist Alphonse "Buddy" Fletcher, and Black Filmmaker Foundation president Warrington Hudlin.
The attendees cheered when Mr. McGee, president of HBO Video, said the new book was not Mr. Farley's only recent production: Mr. Farley and his wife, Sharon Epperson, also have a new baby daughter.
NIXON'S NEMESES The Tribeca Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Institute hosted a conversation Tuesday with Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, and Ben Bradlee following a special screening of "All the President's Men" at Tribeca Cinemas. Moderated by Charlie Rose, the panel discussed the fall of the Nixon presidency and Mr. Woodward's new book, "The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat" (Simon & Schuster).
The event was a reunion of the three major Washington Post figures whose coverage of the Watergate break-in and subsequent cover-up led to President Nixon's resignation in 1974. Seen were Mr. Bradlee's wife, Sally Quinn, and their son, Quinn Bradlee; Simon & Schuster publisher David Rosenthal; agent and attorney Robert Barnett, and Alice Mayhew, who has edited Mr. Woodward's books.
Mr. Rose asked Messrs. Woodward, Bernstein, and Bradlee how well they thought Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, and Jason Robards Jr. had portrayed them in the movie. The audience roared when Mr. Woodward said his 8-year-old daughter leaned over halfway through the movie to say of Mr. Redford, "He doesn't look at all like you, Dad." Mr. Bradlee said Robards portrayed him very well, Mr. Rose joked that he was "a better Bradlee than Bradlee."
Mr. Woodward mentioned that when Robards first read the script, he was heard to complain, "All my character does is walk around the newsroom yelling 'Where's the [expletive] story?'" Mr. Woodward said a forthcoming biography of Alan Pakula recalls the director replying, "That's all he does, and your job is to do it 15 different ways believably."
Mr. Bernstein said Mr. Woodward's book "The Secret Man" showed how J. Edgar Hoover's shadow hung over Watergate. Nixon had internalized Hoover's obsession with gathering information.
Mr. Rose asked about the legendary journalistic duo's relationship today. Mr. Woodward said, "Just like in the movie, we're incredibly close, but it's always tense. We see the world differently."
An entertaining moment occurred when one audience member referred to Messrs. Woodward and Bernstein's Pulitzer Prize, only to be corrected by Mr. Woodward that it was the Washington Post that received the Pulitzer Prize. This led Mr. Bradlee to turn to Mr. Woodward and say, "Still hurts, hmm, Bob?" To which Mr. Woodward replied, "Just trying to be accurate, Ben."