Heather Marie Carlson
It's a common misconception that the science of forensics is centered around the investigation of dead bodies. While corpses certainly are fun, forensics actually involves the examination and use of all kinds of evidence to help solve crimes. Real-life forensics expert Carlson speaks tonight. Friends of Mystery, at the NW Cultural Center, 1819 NW Everett, 241-0759, 7:30 pm, free

Siri Hustvedt
Super intellect or pseudo intellect? Hustvedt's been accused of being both. In her third novel, What I Loved, she mixes thoughtful meditation into a psychological thriller about educated New York couples. Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St, 228-4651, 7:30 pm, free

Kevin Clark
Established poet and teacher Clark reads from his new verse collection, In the Evening of No Warning, a book blessed, as one reviewer puts it, "by a searching and restless consciousness." Reed College, Psychology Auditorium, 3203 SE Woodstock, 777-7755, 8 pm, free

Bharati Mukherjee
The difference between hoochie-mama American values and traditional Indian culture is extreme, and often results in sharp conflict between the younger and older generations within Indian families. In other words, it's a vein of gold for dramatic storytelling, and Mukherjee mines it as well as anyone out there. Twenty-Third Avenue Books, 1015 NW 23rd Ave, 224-6203, 7:30 pm, free


Kim Barnes
Pulitzer-contender Barnes presents her debut novel, Finding Caruso, about two Okies in the 1950s who go on an erotic escapade to Idaho. Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St, 228-4651, 7:30 pm, free