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Whitworth University Welcomes Author Willa C. Richards

February 16, 2022

The Whitworth English Department is pleased to welcome author Willa C. Richards. Richards will discuss her debut novel The Comfort of Monsters on Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. in Weyerhaeuser Hall’s Robinson Teaching Theatre.

Richards’ book is an Amazon editor’s pick in the category of best mystery, thriller and suspense. It centers on a family who hires a celebrity psychic in a last-ditch attempt to find their lost daughter and sister. Richards says she was inspired to write the story after her mother, an architect who works in historic cemeteries, was contacted by a family in Milwaukee who believed their loved one was buried in an area where she had worked. Richards says she started thinking about the hundreds of cold cases that are still unsolved, having been overshadowed by huge cases like that of Milwaukee serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in the 1990s. Richards studied the Dahmer investigation and its impact on the Milwaukee community while conducting research for her novel.  

Richards is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow. She is also the recipient of a Pen/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. Her writings have appeared in The Paris Review and will be in The Kenyon Review next month.

The event is free and open to the public. Masks are required during the presentation, and physical distancing is encouraged. 

About Whitworth University:

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of more than 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or