Constable on the hill
Peter N. Walker (pen name Nicholas Rhea) was an inspector for the North Yorkshire Police. In this first volume, he recounts vignettes adapted from true-life experiences. This book launched a set of 35 more! It also launched a series that can be seen on BritBox called Heartland. Although we appreciated the visit to this tranquil world, we generally appreciate longer stories.
Thursday Mystery REaders 2021
Third Thursday of the Month: 6:30-8pm AZ time
Like mysteries? Then come join us!
While we hope to return to the library soon, in the meantime we'll continue to zoom our meetings:
January 21: Rhea, Nicholas. Constable on the Hill. (1st in series) (1979)
February 18: Kelly, Sophie. The Cats Came Back. (2018)
March 18: Michaelides, Alex. The Silent Patient. Complex thriller. (2019)
April 15: Brodsky, Zach. The Mysterious Case of the Missing Tuk-Tuk. 1st of 3. (2019)
May 20: Quinn, Spencer, Dog On It. (2009)
June 17:Atkinson, Kate. Case Histories. (2007)
July 15: Cavanaugh, Steve. Thirteen. (2020)
August 19: Fforde, Jasper. Lost in a Good Book. (2004)
September 16: Swanson, Peter. Rules for Perfect Murders (2020)
October 21: Walker, Martin. Fatal Pursuit. (2016)
November 18: Grant, Michael The Artful Assassin (2020)
December 16: Spencer-Fleming, Julia. Hid from Our Eyes (PB 4/21)
Drowned under by Wendal Thomas
Tonight's book was a breezy romp on a cruise ship with a murderer or two, a victim or two, and a wild animal. We appreciated Thomas' humor and the breezy read. We might have heard about the Balenciaga bag too often, but we were astonished to Google the brand and find out that those purses are expensive! No wonder protagonist Cyd Redondo hangs onto hers so tightly!
The novel has good humor throughout, For example, on p. 33: “I looked through [the helicopter] door at the water below and reminded myself that in eight seasons, Thomas Magnum, P.I., had never fallen out.”
Cyd is a fun protagonist, and Thomas whisks her through one adventure after another until the story strands finally come together.
For November, we appropriately read November Road. One reader worried about the level of violence but ended up appreciating the book quite a bit. We all did. I had some questions about one of Guidry's final choices, but we agreed the book was well-written, the characters were interesting and believable, and the level of suspense pulled us right in.
Tarquin Hall Takes us to India
Wow, we sort of... agreed on this one! Basically, we all liked it! We enjoyed the humor and the setting especially. One reader had been to India and assured us that Hall had understated many of the problems with traffic and so on. I enjoyed Puri's use of English. It reminded me very much of the way a friend of mine from Sri Lanka speaks. For example, on p. 115: “Don’t do jugglery of words,” scolded the detective.
We appreciated the cast of characters and the plot as well. The glossary was quite helpful for understanding local terms. Several readers had already read The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken and thought that was an even stronger book.
The readers were so enthusiastic that, even though we usually choose new authors, we might read another Tarquin Hall book next year.
So for a cheap and funny trip to India.....
2020 Mystery Readers Book Club
Here's what we're reading for 2020!
We meet on the Third Thursday of the month, 6:30-7:45pm. Please join us!
Here's our zoom url! https://arizona.zoom.us/j/670502630
We WERE meeting at the Martha Cooper Library, 1377 N. Catalina Ave. Hopefully we'll get back there soon!
1/16 Charlaine Harris Dead Until Dark (humorous vampire mystery)
2/20 Leslie Budewitz Assault and Pepper (cozy, first in a series)
3/19 Ruth Ware The Woman in Cabin 10 (twisty British cruise mystery)
4/16 Felix Francis Crisis (horse racing theme by Dick Francis’ son—he’s written 19 books in the franchise)
5/21 Craig Johnson An Obvious Fact (Western procedural)
6/18 Amanda Quick The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1930s Hollywood)
7/16 J.A. Jance Field of Bones (Sheriff Joanna Brady mystery)
8/20 Joe Ide IQ (East Long Beach detective)
9/17 Ragnar Johnasson The Darkness (atmospheric thriller)
10/15 Tarquin Hall The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing (humorous mystery set in India)
11/19 Lou Berney November Road (thriller love story set against the JFK assassination)—it’s won lots of awards this year)
12/17 Wendall Thomas Drowned Under (zany travel-themed mystery)
I think we've all appreciated having very different views! Here's what I thought about The Darkness.
Ragnar Jónasson’s The Darkness (2015) was an interesting read. The author is a busy lawyer, but he makes time for writing too. I heard him speak at the International Agatha Christie conference in 2017. He’s translated several of Christie’s works into Icelandic, but now he’s a famous author in his own right. This novel is part thriller, part police procedural. I could easily relate to the protagonist, who is finding difficulties with the younger members of the police squad. She doesn’t want to retire, but she has no choice because she's being forced out by a younger, know-it-all boss. In order to go out with a bang, she wants to complete one last case, but she doesn’t realize what a challenge she’s chosen for herself . . . .
Dazieri's Kill the Father
I'm not sure if we enjoyed this title, but we had a lively discussion about the aspects of the novel we might have changed. Several, including myself, wanted to shorten it by at least 30%. Others wanted Colomba to be at least a little sympathetic. Despite these issues, we slogged our way through! We did appreciate an intricate plot (until it got carried away) and the interplay between Dante and Colomba.
My favorite line: (p. 174 on the mass market paperback edition): “Colomba, on the other hand, seemed to be a woman who used her gun for everything, even to open bottles at home.”
Krueger's tale takes us into the past--the story is told through the eyes of a man remembering his boyhood in the Midwest.
The novel swept the award circuit the year it was published, which was 2013. Most readers agree that it has a literary quality that makes the standalone a standout.
How did you feel about Frank Drum and his journey into the past?
Mystery Book Club
What could be better than writing a good mystery? Reading one, of course!
At the Mostly Mysteries Book Club, we read fairly contemporary mysteries to celebrate engaging novels, analyze their popularity, and compare our reactions.
We meet at Mostly Books on the third Thursday of the month, 6:45 p.m. to 8 p.m.
6208 E Speedway,
Tucson, AZ 85712, (520) 571-0110.
For those who can, please join us! For those who can't, do peruse our reading list and share your reactions.
January 17th: Kellye Garrett, Hollywood Homicide (1st in series)
February 21st: MC Beaton, The Blood of an Englishman (late in series)
March 21st: Ellen Byron, Plantation Shudders (1st in series)
April 18th: Tim Hallinan, Crashed (1st in Junior Bender series)
May 16th: Robert Parker, The Professional
June 20: William Kent Kreuger, Ordinary Grace (standalone)
July 18: William Landon, Defending Jacob (standalone)
August 15: Nick Petrie, The Drifter
September 19: Sandrone Dazieri: Kill the Father (1st in series)
Oct 17: Kathy Reichs, Bones to Ashes (#10, forensic procedural)
Nov 21: James Ziskin, No Stone Unturned (2nd in Ellie Stone Mysteries)
Dec 19: Terry Shames, Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek (retired police chief)