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You are born and your parents name you Cornelius Lehane. You grow up to be: (a) a bartender, (b) a porn star, (c) a mystery writer. Answer: all of the above—well, except b, probably. In his debut novel, Beware the Solitary Drinker, Lehane draws on the 10-plus years he spent behind a bar to serve up a tale of sex, murder, and a particularly attractive flugelhorn player. The story itself is pretty standard: A young woman blows into town, hooks up with the wrong people, and ends up dead, leaving it up to an aging hippie bartender to solve the crime. Lehane leads the reader through the enjoyably seedy underworld of ’80s New York City, but after he sets up every barfly in town with a motive, the real sleuthing goes down in the microfiche research room of a public library. Despite this detour, the hard-boiled lingo throughout the book keeps the pace: “She acted like I’d kicked a baby,” the hero at one point grumbles about his moll. Ask Lehane what that means when he reads at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 7647 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda. Free. (301) 652-3336. (Shauna Miller)