In ‘The Unquiet Dead,’ human rights lawyer Ausma Zehanat Khan pens a mystery

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(Images: Courtesy of Ausma Zehanat Khan)
<p>Ausma Zehanat Khan</p>

“The Unquiet Dead” is so much more than a whodunnit. The book draws on the diverse life experiences of its author, Ausma Zehanat Khan.

She's an international human rights lawyer who lives in Denver and now writes full-time. Her expertise is war crimes in Bosnia, where it’s estimated 100,000 people, many of them Muslim, were slaughtered in the 1990s.

The genocide plays a big role in this debut novel. Khan, herself Muslim, is formerly editor-in-chief of Muslim Girl, which she says was the first magazine for young Muslim women.

Khan on weaving in the Bosnian genocide

This was probably the single most important thing in writing this book was to try to represent as many unheard, authentic Bosnian voices as I possibly could in this book.

Her favorite writers to read

I’ve been reading mystery fiction since I was probably five years old… graduating from stage to stage… Enid Blyt on, Agatha Christie… and now at 25 or 30 writers that I now read regularly.

On running Muslim Girl magazine

We wanted to tweak the notion that a Muslim woman or a Muslim girl is a subjugated woman… a person who doesn’t have agency or a voice of her own.

Click on the audio link above to hear the full conversation, taped at the Tattered Cover Bookstore's Highlands Ranch location.