Mystery writers from across the country will descend on Wetumpka to take part in the 16th annual Murder on the Menu event sponsored by the Wetumpka Public Library at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Wetumpka Civic Center. 

Tickets are $40 each and can be obtained at the library or from the library’s website at www.wetumpkalibrary.com

“This is our main fundraiser,” librarian Susan Hayes said. “The money we bring in helps with additional projects we hold throughout the year, including our summer reading program.”

Attendees will have the chance to converse with a total of 16 authors, including New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson who wrote “Gods in Alabama” and Thomas Mullen, author of the “Darktown” series. 

During Murder on the Menu, attendees can enjoy a catered meal while an author sits at their table. After lunch and conversations with the authors conclude, Hayes said the authors will participate in panel discussions on a variety of topics. 

Afterward, books from many of the authors will be available for purchase and the authors will stick around to autograph them. A silent auction is scheduled in which guests can bid to have a name of their choosing included in that author’s next book.

The event wraps up a weekend of events for these authors beginning in Birmingham with an event called Murder in the Magic City. 

“By the time the authors cross the bridge in Wetumpka, see the river and make it to the civic center they are charmed,” Hayes said. “Mayor (Jerry) Willis, every year but one, will come and speak to and welcome the authors to Wetumpka. They just love that as well.”

The event in Wetumpka has grown into its current format through the efforts of Tammy Lynn, according to Hayes. 

Lynn formerly owned a bookstore in Wetumpka and works in conjunction with organizers of the Birmingham event to reach out to various mystery authors. Some of the authors reach out to be a part of the events.

“I like to call it a fun raiser,” she said. “Even if reading is not your thing, this is just a fun event and it cannot happen without the help of a lot of people.”

Hayes said those interested in attending should purchase their tickets by Feb. 19 in order to ensure enough meals are ordered.