The Red Queen Dies: A Reading

In honor of 2018 Literary Legend, Frankie Bailey, the APL Foundation presents an outdoor reading series of her detective novel,  The Red Queen Dies  this July. Frankie Bailey is a distinguished scholar and professor of criminal justice at the University at Albany. She is also a mystery writer who has popularized the streets and places of Albany with mystery readers across the country through her Hannah McCabe novels, The Red Queen Dies and What the Fly Saw. 

When two women are murdered in quick succession, biracial police detective Hannah McCabe is charged with solving the case. In spite of the advanced technology, including a city-wide surveillance program, a third woman is soon killed, and the police begin to suspect that a serial killer is on the loose. But the third victim, a Broadway actress known as “The Red Queen,” doesn’t fit the pattern set by the first two murders. With the late September heat sizzling, Detective Hannah McCabe and her colleagues on the police force have to race to find the killer in a tangled web of clues that involve Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.

We will read excerpts from the book in locations where their scenes take place, and hope this experience will be a treat for locals, whether they have already read the Hannah McCabe novels or not.

Red Queen Dies Cover

Thursdays in July, 5:30 to 8:00pm

  • July 5: Next to the Normanskill (Near the Dog Park)
  • July 12: Empire State Plaza Concourse (South Concourse)
  • July 19: Washington Park (Near the Soldiers and Sailors Monument)
  • July 26: Normanskill Farm (At the Tenants House) 

NOTE: July 26th reading has been cancelled due to weather. We will repeat this reading in September.

See below for more details on locations.



“Set in Albany, N.Y., in 2019, this intriguing series opener from Bailey (Death’s Favorite Child and three other Lizzie Stuart mysteries) introduces detective Hannah McCabe, who gets on the trail of a serial killer that a blogger (now known as a ‘threader’) and political gadfly has dubbed the ‘Albany Ripper.’ The first two victims are young local women, with no apparent connection, but the third is visiting actor Vivian Jessup, who played the Red Queen in a Broadway production of Alice in Wonderland. Albany history and plenty of old movie lore supplement the sleuthing. Readers will enjoy this mildly disorienting future, in which much remains the same (e.g., the city still can’t get no respect) while much has changed (e.g., the Yankees have been on a losing streak for years).”    — Publishers Weekly


Locations and Parking:

July 5th: The reading series will take place at a bench next to the Normans Kill creek. The bench is located near the Normanskill Farm Community Garden and dog park off of Delaware Ave at the end of Mill Road. Anyone driving to this event will be able to park in the loop in front of the garden and the dog park and walk down to the bench that is pinpointed on this map.

July 12th: The reading will take place in the South Concourse, underground. Enter through the Madison Ave doors, or if you enter from another entrance (near the Egg or near Building 4/Skating Rink) walk South. We’ll be just south of the Corning Tower lobby.

Visit the Empire State Plaza website for info on visitor parking at the Plaza. Or take CDTA bus to State and Eagle, Washington and Swan, or Madison Ave/Empire State Plaza. There are also CDPHP Cycle Bike hubs near the Madison Ave Plaza entrance and on State and Swan.

July 19th: Washington Park near Soldiers and Sailors Monument

We’ll have a picnic on the lawn to the West of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Bring snacks and a blanket! Here’s a map with the exact spot, if you’d like to enter it into your smartphone.

Park Playhouse is in season, so park on the North (State Street) side of the park, or walk, take CDTA or a CDPHP Cycle bike!

July 26th: At the Normanskill Farm Tenants House, near the location for the July 5th reading. This spot is also located off Delaware Ave down Mill Road. A little ways down Mill Road to the left there is a small opening with a sign for cars to park here. Guests should then be able to walk up the road to the house.