- Friday, 27 January 2023 02:33
Hey, mystery fans! Looking for something good to read?
At the January 2023 Just Desserts meeting, 18 group members participated in a discussion of the novels in three established series by British author Rhys Bowen — the Constable Evans series (1997-2006), the Molly Murphy series (2001-present), and the Her Royal Spyness series (2007-present).
Nobody seemed to absolutely “love” any of the series, but at the same time, only a few people truly disliked any of them. Most of the group’s readers fell into the category of generally liking whatever they’d chosen to read but not really being engaged enough that they will continue with the series they sampled. One observation that resonated with the group was that Rhys Bowen titles were great things to read “if you [were cooped up and] had the Flu” and needed something to entertain you but which didn’t require paying very close attention. There were still a few group members who were regular Rhys Bowen readers who will continue to be so!
Here are the Rhys Bowen series titles read by Just Desserts members for our January 2023 discussion, and each reader’s reaction:
- Carolyn read one of Bowen’s non-series titles Above the Bay of Angels, and the second Constable Evans title, Evan Help Us, and like both of them.
- Cathy read Her Royal Spyness and enjoyed it.
- Cathy Ann read Murphy’s Law and was so-so about it.
- Charlotte read The Twelve Clues of Christmas, 6th in the Her Royal Spyness series, and enjoyed it. You can find her full review of it in the Staff Recommendations on the libraries’ BookGuide resource pages.
- Cheryl read the first in all three of Bowen’s series, Evans Above, Murphy’s Law, and Her Royal Spyness. She liked the Evans title, was so-so on the Molly Murphy title and disliked the Her Royal Spyness title.
- Cindy read Evans Above and enjoyed it.
- Don tried starting Murphy’s Law but hated it and gave up quickly
- Donna read Her Royal Spyness and enjoyed it.
- Jennie read In Like Flynn, the 4th Molly Murphy and was so-so about it, plus the 7th Constable Evans title, Evan Only Knows, which she didn’t care for.
- Linda read In Like Flynn and was so-so about it.
- Marlee read Crowned and Dangerous, the 10th Her Royal Spyness novel, and was so-so about it.
- Mary read Evans Above, Murphy’s Law and In Farleigh Field and enjoyed them all.
- Nancy read In Farleigh Field, one of Bowen’s World War novels, and was so-so about it.
- Sara read Evans Above and Her Royal Spyness and was so-so about both of them.
- Scott listened to the audiobook-on-CD version of the 15th Molly Murphy, Away in a Manger and was still in the middle of the audiobook-on-CD version of the 6th Her Royal Spyness, The Twelve Clues of Christmas. He loved the audio narrator of Away in a Manger but thought the villains cartoonish. And although the narrator of The Twelve Clues of Christmas is also excellent, he’s not getting into the Noel Coward/Oscar Wilde-like dry, urbane style of that one. He had to get the two books-on-CD through InterLibrary Loan as the Lincoln City Libraries surprisingly doesn’t have any of the Rhys Bowen series titles on either CD or as downloadable audios.
- Sharon read both Her Royal Spyness, and the second in that series, A Royal Pain, but ended up so-so about both of them.
- Suzy had read the first three in the Molly Murphy series, Murphy’s Law, Death of Riley and For the Love of Mike years ago and remembers enjoying them all at the time, but not enough to continue with the series.
- Tram read the entire 10-volume Constable Evans series, just to be a completist, and had mixed opinions about them – enjoying some but only so-so about others.
- Vickie read several in the Her Royal Spyness series and enjoyed them all.
So…What did you think of the works of Rhys Bowen? Which have you read?
This was our first“in person” meeting for 2023. Just Desserts returns on February 23rd, with a discussion of the first three novels by author S.A. Cosby. We hope to see you there!