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Just Desserts

Reading List from Just Desserts “Anthology” meeting – January 2017

At the January 26th, 2017 meeting of the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group, the theme of the monthly meeting was “Mystery Anthologies and Short Story Collections”. First, we had a round robin in which each attendee shared comments about whichever Anthology or Collection they had read for the month, then we had a second round robin in which all 15 attendees were able to share recommendations of other books they’ve been reading recently.


Here were the Anthologies/Collections read by group members specifically for the January 2017 meeting:

Here’s the list of mystery books recommended by Just Desserts members in January 2017:

And here were some non-mystery titles some group members recommended in January 2017:

What mysteries have you been reading lately that you’d recommend?

Your Just Desserts hiatus reading assignment – 2016: The Gideon Oliver series

Just Desserts Logo 225fellowshipoffearDuring the Nov/Dec 2016 hiatus between meetings of the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group, we encourage regular attendees to continue to participate as a group…but in a virtual way. While we may not have an actual meeting scheduled during these two months, this blog is available to keep everyone active with their mystery reading and discussions.

Our “hiatus assignment” for 2016 is the “Professor Gideon Oliver” series by author Aaron Elkins. Comprised of eighteen volumes (so far), published between 1982’s first volume (Fellowship of Fear), and 2016’s latest volume (Switcheroo). Aaron Elkins began writing the first novel in the Gideon Oliver series in 1978, and has been steadily putting out books by himself, or in collaboration with his mystery-writing wife, Charlotte Elkins, ever since.

For those who are unfamiliar with Gideon Oliver, here’s a general overview of the series: Professor Gideon Oliver is a forensic anthropologist, whose expertise (especially in ancient human cultures) frequently allows him to assist in various investigations. Together with his wife, Julie, Gideon Oliver travels the world to various historical dig sites, stumbling across murder mysteries in many international settings.

Catalog Links: The libraries own all 18 novels in the Gideon Oliver series, starting with “Fellowship of Fear” (1982) through “Switcheroo” (2016) — although there are only limited numbers of copies of each title — anywhere from a single copy to as many as 4 of some of the older entries. Although none of the Gideon Oliver series is available in audiobook or Large Type editions, it does appear that all of them are available as eBooks through the libraries Hoopla digital content service!

In 1989, when the ABC television network had revived the concept of a “mystery movie night” with rotating sleuths, including Columbo, Kojak and B.L. Stryker, Gideon Oliver was one of their stable of mystery solvers. Louis Gossett Jr. played the anthropologist in 5 two-hour tv-movies. Those have not been released on DVD, but can be found on various online streaming sites.

Discuss the Professor Gideon Oliver series by Aaron Elkins on the Just Desserts Blog!

Handout with plots of all 18 Gideon Oliver novels — distributed at the October 2016 Just Desserts meeting.

Here’s the official Elkins website:

We look forward to seeing your comments here over the course of the next two months!

So…here’s your question:

Which of the “Gideon Oliver” novels did you read, and what was your opinion?

Patricia Cornwell’s “Cruel & Unusual”

Just Desserts Logo 225CruelandUnusual100When the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group met on October 27th, 2016, 23 of us enjoyed discussing Cruel & Unusual, a 1993 entry (#4) in the long-running Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell. Whether or not you attended the actual meeting, you are welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions about Cruel & Unusual and the Kay Scarpetta series, in a reply comment to this blog post, below.

For additional reminders about upcoming Just Desserts meetings and/or other announcements of interest to mystery fans, don’t forget to sign up for the Just Desserts e-mail list. Or, if you’re logged into your account on Facebook, you can visit the Events page for the Lincoln City Libraries, and mark whether or not you plan to attend upcoming sessions of Just Desserts – this is a great way for you to help us promote this engaging discussion group! Our selections for future meetings are usually posted there months in advance.

What do you think of Cruel & Unusual and the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell?

Reading Recommendations from Just Desserts members – October 2016

Just Desserts Logo 225At the October 27th, 2016 meeting of the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group, following the discussion of the assigned book of the month, we had a round robin in which all 23 attendees were able to share recommendations of other books they’ve been reading recently.

Here’s the list of mystery books recommended by Just Desserts members in October 2016:

And here were some non-mystery titles some group members recommended in October 2016:

What mysteries have you been reading lately that you’d recommend?

September 2016 reading recommendations from Just Desserts members

Just Desserts Logo 225At the September 29th, 2016 meeting of the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group, following the discussion of the assigned book of the month, we had a round robin in which attendees were able to share recommendations of other books they’ve been reading recently.

Here’s the list of mystery books recommended by Just Desserts members in September 2016:

And here were some non-mystery titles some group members recommended in August 2015:

What mysteries have you been reading lately that you’d recommend?