“Defend and Betray,” a Victorian mystery by bestselling novelist Anne Perry, is Book Talk’s choice for its Jan. 11 meeting at 7 p.m. at Donald W. Reynolds Community Center & Library, 1515 W. Main St. in Durant.
Dr. Alexa Smith-Osborne, who is in private psychotherapy practice in Oklahoma and North Texas, will lead the discussion.
In the novel, retired and highly esteemed General Thaddeus Carlyon dies in what at first appears to be a freak accident: falling from stairs onto a halberd held by a decorative suit of armor on the floor below. But his wife soon confesses to having stabbed him after he fell.
However, some close to her doubt she did it, and suspect she’s protecting the real killer. It’s up to a trio of investigators—private detective William Monk, nurse Hester Latterly, and brilliant barrister Oliver Rathbone—to discover and reveal the truth before a woman is wrongly convicted and hanged.
Copies of Book Talk selections are available for sale at the library’s service desk. The public is welcome at Book Talk discussions. The group meets the second Thursday of each month except December and summer months.
Before opening her private psychotherapy offices, Dr. Smith-Osborne retired from the University of Texas at Arlington, where she was a full Professor and held the endowed Chair of Mental Health. She has also been a clinical social worker at a hearing and speech agency and at mental health clinics in the state of Maryland.
She is especially interested in interventions to help vulnerable populations, such as traumatized children and military veterans, and has presented papers in these areas at numerous academic conferences.
Dr. Smith-Osborne holds the MSW and Ph.D. degrees in social work from the University of Maryland, as well as the B.A. degree in English/Psychology/Sociology from the University of Virginia (UVA).
She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society and was an Echols Scholar at UVA.