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Just Desserts: The Results of our May 2013 “Series Share”

Just Desserts Logo 225In May, the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group sponsored by the libraries conducted an experiment. Instead of all the participants reading the same exact book and meeting to discuss it, all interested attendees were asked to read the 1st or 2nd book in ANY new mystery series (preferably a “Cozy” or “Amateur Detective” series) that has launched within just the past couple of years.

seriesshareAt our meeting, we went around the table, and each Just Desserts member was given a couple of minutes to describe the major characters, settings, style and tone of the series they sampled, plus to offer up their opinion as to whether or not they’d recommend the series.

In the list below, in no order whatsoever, we provide the titles and authors for each series sampled. We also offer up the Just Desserts reviewer’s opinions — LIKED, DISLIKED or SO-SO!

  • Killer Librarian by Mary Lou Kirwin — SO-SO
  • The Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson — LIKED
  • Rogue Island by Bruce DeSilva — LIKED
  • Cat Trick by Sofie Kelly — DISLIKED
  • That Old Flame of Mine by J.J. Cook — SO-SO
  • The Tale of the Tip Off by Rita Mae Brown — LIKED
  • Grace Under Pressure by Julie Hyzy — LIKED
  • The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames — LIKED
  • Crashed by Timothy Hallinan — LIKED
  • Books Can be Deceiving, Due or Die, and Book, Line and Sinker by Jenn McKinlay — LIKED
  • The Christie Curse by Victoria Abbott — LIKED
  • Alive by Loren Estleman — LIKED
  • Still Life with Crows by Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston — LIKED
  • Whack and Roll and Shake, Murder and Roll by Gail Oust — LIKED
  • Peach Pies and Alibis and Pies and Prejudice by Ellery Adams — DISLIKED
  • Death by the Dozen, Going, Going, Ganache and Buttercream Bumpoff, all by Jenn McKinlay — LIKED
  • The Last Wool and Testament by Molly Macrae — LIKED
  • Tender Mercy of Roses by Anna Michaels — LIKED
  • A Deal to Die For and 50% Off Murder by Josie Belle (a.k.a. Jen McKinley) — LIKED
  • In Plain Sight by Lorena McCourtney — LIKED
  • Gone by Mo Hayder — LIKED
  • Ritual by Mo Hayder — SO-SO
  • The October Killings and Those Who Love Night by Wessel Ebersohn — SO-SO
  • Deadly Politics by Maggie Sefton — LIKED, though it was poorly edited – lots of typos
  • Just Desserts by Mary Daheim — SO-SO
  • Helsinki White and/or Helsinki Blood by Jack Thompson — LIKED
  • The Inspector and Silence by Hakan Nesser — SO-SO

Books that didn’t quite fit our criteria for the series share meeting:

  • Waiting to Be Heard by Amanda Knox
  • Aunt Dimity and the Lost Prince by Nancy Atherton
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
  • Honeymoon by James Patterson
  • Calico Joe by John Grisham
  • Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland
  • The Artist (DVD)
  • Thereby Hangs a Tail by Spencer Quinn
  • The Submission (a One Book One Lincoln 2012 finalist)
  • The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

Members of Just Desserts also wanted to share the following information of possible interest to fellow mystery readers:

The “All Seward Reads Together” selection for 2013 is Doc by Mary Doria Russell

Author Marie Bostwick will be appearing at Quilt Nebraska, at Concordia University in Seward, on July 27th.

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