A book signing for Chris Hope’s novel based on the Coosa County homicides from the 1970s will be held at Adelia M. Russell Library on Monday.
In the late 1960s and 1970s six people connected to Coosa County resident Rev. Willie Maxwell were killed, although there was never enough evidence to convict him. Robert Burns shot Maxwell at his stepdaughter’s funeral.
Local attorney Tom Radney defended both Maxwell and Burns, and famed author Harper Lee became interested in the case, visited Alexander City and met with local figures about the case.
Lee tried writing a true crime novel about the events but her manuscript was never published.
Hope’s book, titled “Blood Cries,” is about an author who finds the manuscript of the fictional “The Reverend.”
“It’s the fictional part about the Rev. Maxwell here,” library director Amy Huff said.
Huff said the library has held book signings for other books about the Coosa murders including “To Kill a Preacher” by the late E. Paul Jones and “Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee” by Casey Cep.
“We (hold book signings) when we think it’s something people will attend and if they have an interest in them and, of course, being a local author,” Huff said. “A lot of people are interested in that subject because it is about things that happened around here.”
Hope’s book signing will be from 1 to 4 p.m.