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Tag Archives: book discussion

Tess Gerritsen’s “The Keepsake”

Just Desserts Logo 225keepsakeWhen the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group met on June 27th, 2013, 16 of us discussed the 2008 novel The Keepsake by Tess Gerritsen, one of her Rizzoli & Isles mystery thrillers, which inspired the TNT television series of the same name.

Whether or not you attended the actual meeting, you are  welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions about this book 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 The Keepsake by Tess Gerritsen?

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.

David Baldacci’s “The Camel Club”

Just Desserts Logo 225camelclub2When the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group met in February, we discussed David Baldacci’s novel, The Camel Club.

This book was discussed at the Just Desserts meeting on February 28, 2013. Whether or not you attended the actual meeting, you are welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions about this book (and 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! Our selections for future meetings are usually posted there months in advance.

What do you think of The Camel Club by Baldacci?

What mystery authors should we consider for 2013?

Just Desserts Logo 225As we prepare to wrap up our 2012 season of Just Desserts meetings and look forward to 2013, we are faced with that inevitable question — what authors should we read and discuss as a group in the next year?

Harlan Coben, our October 2012 selected author, is the 67th author we’ve tackled thus far. Our goal for the past 6+ years has been to not repeat an author if we could possibly help it. Here are the other criteria we’ve used when choosing past authors/titles:

  • For the first several years of Just Desserts, we alternated between “classic” authors and “contemporary” authors. We ended that practice after we ran out of “classic” authors for whom the library had sufficient copies to meet the group’s needs.
  • The libraries need to own at least 12 to 15 copies of whatever title we select, preferably in a variety of formats, including audio and/or downloadable.
  • We’ve tried to avoid those authors that everybody already seems to be reading (such as Evanovich and Patterson), and focus on picking authors that may be new to a large percentage of the group’s members.
  • We’ve tried to alternate tone and writing style — including a mix of cozies, police procedurals, amateur detectives, noirish P.I.s, forensic detectives, various time periods, etc.
  • We’ve had some success with picking a few authors for whom we didn’t select a specific title — instead recommending that participants read whatever novel(s) they could for those authors (Louise Penny and Suzanne Arruda). We are certainly capable of trying this again! This makes for unusual discussions, as we try to discuss generalities rather than specifics of individual titles.

With all of these considerations in mind, what authors do you suggest that we consider for Just Desserts gatherings in 2013? Leave your suggestions as a comment to this blog post — and feel free to elaborate on why you recommend particular authors in your comments!

Scott C. / Just Desserts coordinator

Here’s a link to the Just Desserts archives, so you can see an entire list of all the authors we’ve used in the past.

Anne Perry’s “Treason at Lisson Grove”

Just Desserts Logo 225treasonatlissongroveWhen the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group met in July 2012, we discussed a 2010 volume in Anne Perry’s popular “Thomas and Charlotte Pitt” series, Treason at Lisson Grove.

This book was discussed at the Just Desserts meeting on July 26, 2012. Whether or not you attended the actual meeting, you are  welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions about this book (and series) in a reply comment to this blog post, below.

Join us next on August 23rd, at the South Branch Library (6:30 p.m.), as we discuss a volume in the Tea Shop mystery series by Laura Childs, Dragonwell Dead.

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! Our selections for the September and October meetings were posted just recently.

What do you think of Treason at Lisson Grove and the Thomas and Charlotte Pit series by Perry?