Author Topic: Mystery Corner ~ 2  (Read 544453 times)

BooksAdmin

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Mystery Corner ~ 2
« on: September 16, 2009, 07:01:57 AM »

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Discussion Leaders:    BillH and JoanK    


Frybabe

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2009, 08:16:02 AM »
I am in the middle of the first Thursday Next series called The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. It took me a few pages to warm up to it as it was more "fancyfull" than expected. You miss some of the fun if you aren't a little familiar with the books and characters involved in the story. I had to look up Martin Chuzzlewit to see if it really exists. It does. And so do a lot of other Charles Dickens writings about which I never knew. While the story line involves mystery and detective work, it could also be listed as fantasy. I believe the book cover intro uses the word surreal to describe the setting.

Babi

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2009, 09:05:14 AM »
  Just checking into the new site.

  Yeah, Martin Chuzzlewit isn't well known.  It is one of the books where the
lead character is not all that engaging, and if I remember correctly it was not
at all an encouraging book.  Dickens did emphasize the poverty and misery of his times and not all of his books had a lighter side or a happy outcome.
"I go to books and to nature as a bee goes to the flower, for a nectar that I can make into my own honey."  John Burroughs

mrssherlock

  • Posts: 2007
Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2009, 12:40:04 PM »
Jasper Fforde failed to capture my imagination, though I tried two times.  Sometimes my sense of whimsy is strained beyond repair when Life has once again dealt me a hand that is hard to play.  But sometimes it just doesn't grab me (the plot, that is).  It has been noted before that I have a weird sense of humor.
Jackie
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke

mabel1015j

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2009, 12:57:10 PM »
marking

marcie

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2009, 01:19:11 PM »
My niece, who is studying for a Masters in Library and Information Science, has recommended Jasper Fforde to me. I just came across The Eyre Affair in a thrift store so will see if I have more luck with it than some of you have posted about here. I usually enjoy whimsy but I may not have the background related to all of his literary and historical references to "get" it.

Frybabe

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2009, 01:26:06 PM »
I saw somewhere that CD thoughtMartin Chuzzlewit was his best work.

from mrssherlock:
Quote
Sometimes my sense of whimsy is strained beyond repair...

Yes, Fforde is stretching it a bit too far. The IDEA of characters going missing and a detective out to solve the mystery is interesting. But Fforde overdid it, IMO, by making the "normal" living environment of the heroine rather bizarre. Nevertheless, I am having fun identifying the character names with their literary counterparts. It has also peeked my curiosity about Swindon, the Crimean War, and to take another look at Merthyr Tydfil. I still need to find out who this Felix(#) is. He sounds almost like one of those bad guy characters from a comic strip.

PS Marci: I can see why your niece recommended the book. Aside from the characters and books mentioned, it gets into copyright infringement, forgeries, and literary license.

My last read was Harlan Coben's Tell No One. It was hard to put down. My sister now has it with a MUST READ note on it.

I've been trying to find books that do not contain a lot of violence and swearing in them for my Mom to read. She was okay with the Louise Perrys I gave her but they really didn't catch her fancy much. She did like the Cat Who series and Agatha Christie's Miss Marple series.

maryz

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2009, 02:07:04 PM »
marking my place.
"When someone you love dies, you never quite get over it.  You just learn how to go on without them. But always keep them safely tucked in your heart."

FlaJean

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2009, 02:33:43 PM »
 :)

JoanK

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2009, 03:29:03 PM »
Welcome to a new site. I hope everyone finds their way over here.

I'm going to have to try "The Eyre Affair". I don't usually read fantasy -- my sister PatH, who runs the Sci-Fi discussion, is always trying to lure me into it, usually without success. But this sounds too tempting.

I've never read Harlan Coban! I picked up one at the library, Monday. I'll read it when I finish my current book.

I'm reading "The Girl Who Played with Fire", the second Larsson book. You definately have to read it after "The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo" or you won't understand it at all. Much of it is continueing threads from the earlier story.

Decades ago, I started out to be a mathematician, so I was delighted to see all the math references in the book (Don't be put off by that-- they don't interfere with the story). His math statements are a bit off-- you can see Larsson has read a math book, and is all excited about it, but doesn't really think like a mathematician. Probably just as well, we're all a little kooky.

nlhome

  • Posts: 832
Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2009, 08:45:36 PM »
my son's girlfriend suggested a series by Keith Ablow. I think his books are rather gruesome, but since she was so enthusiastic and willing to share, that's my next read.

N

Frybabe

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2009, 10:07:14 PM »
JoanK,

More than the story itself (The Eyre Affair), I am having fun looking up names and places. This evening I have learned that there was a real Dic PENDERYN who was something of a hero involved in worker reform movement and the worker riots of 1831.

http://www.digitaldesk.org/external/penderyn/index.htm

I also found out that Abertawe is the Welsh name for Swansea.

I hope these little tidbits of research help you enjoy the book more too.

Babi

  • Posts: 6732
Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2009, 08:18:51 AM »
 And my daughter monitors the movies that come into the house, FRYBABE.
She tells me, 'You wouldn't like that one', and she knows me well enough
that I can take her word for it. It she says I wouldn't like it, she is
most likely correct.
"I go to books and to nature as a bee goes to the flower, for a nectar that I can make into my own honey."  John Burroughs

Steph

  • Posts: 7952
Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2009, 08:46:41 AM »
FForde is really fun, but I keep a notebook going when I read him. Some of his literary references require me to go and google stuff. Still I like him and have read several of his books. Just now we are in the rv on the road and I brought alone a book by a woman who belonged to one of the polygamous offshoots of the mormons. She has since left, so it is quite interesting in what they regard as normal. She is really not trashing them at this point in the book, but pointing out the many problems in polygamy for the women involved.
Stephanie and assorted corgi

mrssherlock

  • Posts: 2007
Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2009, 02:24:26 PM »
David Liss' historical mysteries take place in 18th century London and feature Benjamin Weaver, a renowned pugilist who is for hire.  Benjamin is also a Jew and has to fight prejudice to gain the respect he merits as he helps extricate his patrons from one dangerous venture after another.  A Conspiracy of Paper and The Whiskey Rebels are the titles of the first in this series.   The latest, The Devil's Company, finds Benjamin the unwitting agent for the destruction of his uncle's import business.  Ben turns down a job; the prospective employer reacts by ensnaring Benjamin, his uncle, and others of Ben's circle by buying their loan notes and threatening prison if Ben doesn't comply with his demands.  This is a convoluted conspiracy and it only gets worse as Ben struggles to save his uncle and himself from debtor's prison. 
Jackie
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke

JoanK

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2009, 09:20:27 PM »
Thanks for the hints on the FForde. PatH is sending me her copy of "the Eire Affair", so I'll be reading it soon. David Liss sounds interesting, too.

Johanz4

  • Posts: 20
Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2009, 09:26:49 PM »
checking in to new site.

JoanK - surprised you never visited tHe famous 'INNER Harbor' in Baltimore.  when i lived inNJ we took day trips there.  we all enjoyed it immensely. the first time, we took a local bus going around the area.  i was  enthralled with the houses.  the were so narrow and found out that everything was on different floors.  one way to get  execise. lots to see and in my opinion, outshown the 'South St Seaport' in Manhattan.

i read 2 Harlan Coben's books and enjoyed them very much. picked up another yesterday from the library. 

i find that libraries may have the same author but not the same books by that author.  i use to get very frustrating trying to find mentioned books so now i just go looking . less on my nerves.

 right now i am finishing a Red Hat Club - since i belong to a local chapter and also one on the PC - they are a welcome change.

       JOhanz

Steph

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2009, 08:38:08 AM »
Funny. I grew up two hours from Baltimore, but the inner harbor was a mess in the 50's. I have never seen it now, but understand it is really a wonderful place to go.. Was going last fall, but ended up in Annapolis and loved the Academy and the waterfront and never got over to Baltimore at all.
Stephanie and assorted corgi

FlaJean

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2009, 12:56:26 PM »
One of the first trips we made when we first moved to Maryland in 1978 was taking a walking tour at the Naval Academy.  We enjoyed it so much.  I loved the inner harbor and visited several times while we lived in Maryland.  That's the only area of Baltimore I've visited.  My son and family go to a wonderful seafood restaurant in the inner harbor for many of their special occasions.

Golden State Poppy

  • Posts: 55
  • Connie
Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2009, 01:51:03 PM »
I  have two books to discuss.  The first is "Phantom Prey" by John Sandford.  It is excellent and I highly recommend it.  The hero is Lucas Davenport with a setting in Minneapolis/St Paul area.  It is a little slow to start but quite exciting.  It includes a lot about the Goth scene in that area.  It is also about someone with a split personality which were popular themes a few years ago.

The other book isn't a mystery but an autobiography.  It is "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls.  I haven't finished it bit the cover reviewer compares it to Frank McCourt's "Angela's Ashes".  It is about a family who is always one step ahead of the sheriff as they leave in the middle of the night from yet anothr trailer park in some small mining town in the Western US.

JoanK

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2009, 03:07:19 PM »
Johanz: I have visited the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, and the wonderful aquarium that sits there. I've also visited other parts of Baltimore on a number of occasions, but don't feel that I know the town well. When I was a chld, we had to drive through Baltimore and always got lost. I remember row after row of red brick houses with white steps . If it was morning, women would be out, scrubbing the steps.

Phyll

  • Posts: 125
Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2009, 03:31:04 PM »
Bookmarking my place.
phyllis

Babi

  • Posts: 6732
Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2009, 08:53:28 AM »
 The way the economy is going now, POPPY, there may be more families on
the economic borderline that find themselves in that position.  It's a shame,
really.
"I go to books and to nature as a bee goes to the flower, for a nectar that I can make into my own honey."  John Burroughs

Frybabe

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2009, 12:25:30 PM »
I love Inner Harbor. The last time we were there, it was such a beautiful day that we spent time just sitting and watching the boats and people go by while soaking up the sun.

I am now into Jasper Fforde's second Thursday Next book, Lost in a Good Book. He is continuing his "fun with names". My favorite so far are partners Phodder and Kannon (cannon fodder). HaHaHa! ::).

Steph

  • Posts: 7952
Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2009, 02:30:47 PM »
Connie, read both books. My husband and I are both Lucas fans and have been for years.. I loved the Glass Castle.. Talk about being raised by Wolves.. Hard to be the grownup when you are really a kid
Stephanie and assorted corgi

pedln

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2009, 07:48:44 PM »
Amazing.  Nancy Grace has written a novel – The Eleventh Victim.  It has received mixed reviews, and I don’t know much about it, but it apparently follows parts of her own life.  Her fiance was murdered several years ago, and that spurred her on to law school.  I’ve never been one of her CNN fans, but this does sound interesting.  Have any of you read it?  Here’s the link for more --

Eleventh Victim by Nancy Grace

So many great mystery writers and books are brought up here.  Some may not be “meaty” enough for a month’s discussion, but are still fun reads worthy of a short-term discussion.  (And you wouldn’t have to worry about spoilers when you talk about the ending   :)).  Are there any that you have read or would like to read and discuss?  If so, do mention them here and/or drop a message in the suggestion box.

What mystery would  you like to read – either short-term or long-term?

Steph

  • Posts: 7952
Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2009, 07:47:08 AM »
I read a biography of Nancy Grace, but after watching what she did to a poor confused girl locally who killed herself afterwards, I would not spend money that she might benefit by .. Same way with politicians, To this day I have never spent a nickel to benefit Richard Nixon and his band of thieves..
Oh me.. mysteries. I would wondor if we could take up an author who follows a family or person in a long term series.. Margaret Maron?? Laura Lippman, etc. The way they develop over years is quite interesting. Think about the Kinsey Milhone is A... and now in S.. Very different lady indeed.
Stephanie and assorted corgi

Babi

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2009, 09:13:43 AM »
 I would think the Anne Perry books are 'meaty' enough for a good discussion.
Besides the 'mystery' aspects, they have a very good period background
presented.   And of course, excellent and believable characterization.
"I go to books and to nature as a bee goes to the flower, for a nectar that I can make into my own honey."  John Burroughs

pedln

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  • SE Missouri
Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2009, 09:35:26 AM »
Oh Margaret Maron, I love her and her Deborah Knott series.  She's probably one of my most favorite mystery writers.  And I think she has a new one out -- can't remember the name. A friend offered to lend it to me, but there were just too many other books going on then.  One of the places I want to go before I die is Sea Grove, NC -- and that's all because of Maron's Uncommon Clay, read several years ago.

Dana

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2009, 04:09:23 PM »
I've just been reading the Inspector Alvarez mysteries set in Majorca (by Roderic Jeffries).  Maybe I like them because I just spent some time in Majorca this summer.  Anyway they're very light and good bedtime reading.  No nastiness.  I get sick of incest and other cruelties in my fiction. I often think there's enough horror in the real world, I don't need some author making up more.. 

FlaJean

  • Posts: 831
  • FlaJean 2011
Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #30 on: September 21, 2009, 04:34:35 PM »
Dana, thanks for mentioning the Inspector Alvarez series.  I've read several and enjoyed them thoroughly.  I hadn't thought of that series in a while so will check and see if there are any new ones.

Watching Nancy Grace once or twice was enough for me.

mrssherlock

  • Posts: 2007
Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #31 on: September 21, 2009, 04:57:56 PM »
Finished David Liss' The Devil's Company which was up to his usual standards.  My library has The whiskey Rebels which is about post-Revolutionary War America;  I'll get that one next.
Jackie
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke

peace42

  • Posts: 45
Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #32 on: September 21, 2009, 11:39:28 PM »
I too would not ready Nancy Grace's book...watched her a few times and came away really angry at her...there's discussing and asking quesions but I would describe her as a bully...won't even take the book from the library! just finished a couple of books:
*Bad Things - Michael Marshall - eerie! - plodded along at first but stuck with it…dropped little hints of things to come all along the way…not Stephen King or Dean Koontz but, well, I liked it but still not sure just what happened!!
*The Last Secret - Mary McGarry Morris -not classified as a mystery but sounded kinda interesting... really didn’t like anyone in this book! - secrets pile up for one family and lead to it’s down fall in the end - author highly praised and awarded - wrote Songs in Ordinary Time and A Dangerous Woman - must just be me but I didn’t care much for the book or the writing - too much angst for me I guess!  well on to the next one or two or three!..nite everyone and sleep well and peacefully, always with a book on your chest where you fell asleep
Garrison Keillor on books: "they're rectangular and easier to wrap than, say, basketballs, and they're a compliment to the recipient"

Steph

  • Posts: 7952
Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2009, 10:06:35 AM »
Much to my surprise, I am reading Scarpetta and it is not bad. Her last books have been horrid, but this one has enought twists to make me like it.. Not done yet, but she is interesting again. Not quite so self centered.. Hooray
Stephanie and assorted corgi

joyous

  • Posts: 69
Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2009, 01:50:50 PM »

Just saving my seat at the library table.
JOY

JoanK

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2009, 03:04:57 PM »
JOY: there's always a seat for you.

JoanK

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2009, 03:44:12 PM »
Mystery readers: I need your help. We need to find books for discussion in the coming months.

I've been thinking about what mysteries would stand up to a month-long discussion. Most wouldn't -- not enough to them. Remember, we did "The Ladies No. 1 detective Agency", a great book, but not enough to talk about for a month.

But there may be a few. Here's what I've come up with. Could you comment please.

The Moonstone> I'd love to discuss that, it's funny and fascinatying: but it might not appeal to readers who like modern books.

Anne Perry: again period (19th century), but modern writing. Perhaps "Face of a Stranger".

"The girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Steig Larson.

An Elizabeth George. But everyone has seen the TV presentation.

What do you think of those? Any more ideas? It has to have enough content to talk about for a month.


marcie

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2009, 05:29:07 PM »
Steph, I think that your suggestion that "we could take up an author who follows a family or person in a long term series" is a good one. It could flesh out the discussion if we talk about more than just one mystery book. We could focus on one book but also talk about a character who is in several books in a series or similar themes in other books by the same author.

Johanz4

  • Posts: 20
Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #38 on: September 22, 2009, 08:24:34 PM »
if we decide on a book for a month's discussion, please let us know far enough in advance so we can reserve the book if our library does have it.  i'm beginning to take potluck and just check out all sections if they have the author - may not have the book. takes time to reserve and locate the book - hopefully not checked out.
finishing up Harlan Coben's Drop Shot.  i like his Myron Bolitar series.  understand he has others but so far located only thed Bolitar series.

       JO

Johanz4

  • Posts: 20
Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #39 on: September 22, 2009, 09:31:59 PM »
JoanK - I just received a SeniorLearn Bytes e-mail.

all about Matthew Pearl and his Poe series and others.  check out the e-mail and it turned up a Facebook page all about him. also checked his web site which was mentioned. 

i don't know anything about him - would he be good for our month lo ng discusison?

did you receive this e-mail seniorlearn bytes?

   JO