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Reading Recommendations from Just Desserts members – October 2023

Hey, mystery fans! Looking for something good to read?

At the October 2023 Just Desserts meeting, 19 group members and guests participated in a discussion of the life and works of classic American author Dashiell Hammett.

Following the “assigned reading” portion of the meeting, we held our monthly “round robin” in which attendees shared recommendations of what other books they’ve been reading recently, with an emphasis on mysteries/suspense/thrillers. We continued a new policy that began earlier this year, to make sure everyone got a turn in the Round Robin – everyone could share a single title during their verbal recommendations, but could share additional titles on a paper form – ALL titles recommended are shared below. The titles marked by an * are those specifically mentioned verbally during the Round Robin.

Here’s the list of mystery, thriller and suspense books recommended by Just Desserts members in October 2023:

And here were some non-mystery titles some group members also recommended in October 2023:

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

Join the discussion on the Life and Works of Dashiell Hammett

The Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group held its final monthly meeting of the year on October 26th, 2023. 19 Attendees discussed the Life and Works of classic American author Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961), with participants having read several different selections by this author. If you have read any of Hammett’s mystery novels, and would like to contribute your comments about it/them, please do so as a reply comment to this blog post, below.

Dashiell Hammett titles read or listened to by group members for this discussion included: Red Harvest (4 readers), The Maltese Falcon (12 readers), The Dain Curse (3 readers), The Glass Key (1 reader), The Thin Man (7 readers), Nightmare Town (short story collection, 2 readers), The Woman in the Dark (novella, 1 reader), Too Many Have Lived (anthology featuring works by many contributors to Black Mask magazine, including Hammett, 1 listener). Opinions about Hammett and his works ranged from “one of my favorite authors” to “hated it”, though the majority fell somewhere in the middle. Easily 2/3rds of the group appreciated or enjoyed reading a Hammett novel, but less than 1/2 appeared interested in reading anything more by him. There was a general consensus that his skills as a writer were undeniable, as was his major influence on the genre of mystery fiction, particularly the “hardboiled” subgenre. But his writing was definitely of his time (1920s-1930s for the most part), with his characters expressing disparaging attitudes towards women, minorities and non cishet individuals, and doesn’t necessarily translate well into an enjoyable read for modern audiences accustomed to more enlightened stances.

For additional reminders about upcoming Just Desserts meetings (once they resume) and/or other announcements of interest to mystery fans, don’t forget to sign up for the Just Desserts e-mail list. Or, once in-person meetings are possible again, 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!

So…What did you think of the works of Dashiell Hammett? Which have you read?

The following handout was prepared for the members of Just Desserts: The Works of Dashiell Hammett.

This was our final “in person” meeting for 2023. Just Desserts is on its year-end hiatus in November and December, but will return in January 2024, with a discussion of the many series by Allison Brennan.

 

Reading Recommendations from Just Desserts members – September 2023

Hey, mystery fans! Looking for something good to read?

At the September 2023 Just Desserts meeting, 15 group members and guests participated in a discussion of the debut suspense novel by Ashley Flowers, All Good People Here.

Following the “assigned reading” portion of the meeting, we held our monthly round robin in which attendees shared recommendations of what other books they’ve been reading recently, with an emphasis on mysteries/suspense/thrillers. We continued a new policy this month that began earlier this year, to make sure everyone got a turn in the Round Robin – everyone could share a single title during their verbal recommendations, but could share additional titles on a paper form – ALL titles recommended are shared below. The titles marked by an * are those specifically mentioned during the Round Robin.

Here’s the list of mystery, thriller and suspense books recommended by Just Desserts members in September 2023:

And here were some non-mystery titles some group members also recommended in September 2023:

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

Join the discussion of Ashley Flower’s debut novel, “All Good People Here”

The Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group held its September 2023 meeting in person, on Thursday September 28th. Fifteen attendees discussed the debut suspense/mystery novel All Good People Here by Ashley Flowers. If you have read this novel, and would like to contribute your comments about it, please do so as a reply comment to this blog post, below.

For 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!

So…What did you think of All Good People Here? Will you read additional works by Ashley Flowers?

At our next meeting, on October 26th, 2023, the members of Just Desserts will be looking back at the life, career and notables works of Dashiell Hammett, at the downtown library. We hope to see you there! This will be the final Just Desserts meeting for 2023.

Join the discussion of Richard Osman’s “Thursday Murder Club” series

The Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group held its August 2023 meeting in person, on Thursday August 31st. Seventeen attendees discussed the bestselling series of humorous mysteries by British author Richard Osman, starting with The Thursday Murder Club. If you have read any of these novels, and would like to contribute your comments about them, please do so as a reply comment to this blog post, below.

For 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!

So…What did you think of The Thursday Murder Club series? Will you read additional works by Richard Osman?

At our next meeting, on September 28th, 2023, the members of Just Desserts will be discussing the novel All Good People Here, by Ashley Flowers, at the downtown library. We hope to see you there!