Link to our Facebook Page
Link to our Instagram Page
Link to our Twitter Page
Link to our Youtube Page

Tag Archives: discussion group

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.

April 2013 reading suggestions from Just Desserts members

Just Desserts Logo 225Here, a bit belatedly, is the list of reading recommendations from the April 2013 Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group meeting. After discussing our book-of-the-month, the group did a round robin, asking members to say what they’d been reading lately that they’d recommend.

Here is the list of titles that were hot with this mystery-savvy batch of readers that month:

Mysteries

  • A Dreadful Lemon Sky by John D. MacDonald
  • The Camel Club novels by David Baldacci
  • The Woods by Harlan Coben
  • The Breathtaker by Alice Blanchard
  • Little Scarlet by Walter Mosley
  • Jefferson Key by Steve Berry
  • Breaking Point by C.J. Box
  • Six Years by Harlan Coben
  • The Forgotten by David Baldacci
  • The Scumble River Series by Denise Swanson
  • The Pigeon Pie Mystery by Julia Stuart
  • A Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny
  • Abandon Ship by ??? (on Kindle)
  • Live Wire by Harlan Coben
  • Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Swift Run by Laura DiSilverio
  • The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon
  • Haunted Ground by Erin Hart
  • Precinct Puerto Rico and others by Steven Torres
  • The V.I. Warshawski novels of Sara Paretsky
  • Red Velvet Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke
  • Black Box by Michael Connelly
  • Guilt by Jonathan Kellerman
  • The Easter Bunny Murder by Leslie Meier

Non-Mysteries

  • Home by Toni Morrson
  • Traveling With Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd
  • David Copperfield (on CD) by Charles Dickens
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
  • The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian
  • The Silent Land by Graham Joyce
  • You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto by Jaron Lanier
  • Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriot Ann Jacobs (1861 public domain title)
  • The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
  • Richard III (the play on CD) by William Shakespeare

So…what mystery have you been reading lately that you’d recommend?

Tana French’s “Into the Woods”

Just Desserts Logo 225inthewoodsWhen the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group met on April 25, 2013, 16 of us discussed the multi-award-winning 2007 novel In the Woods by Tana French.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 In the Woods by Tana French, set in Ireland?

Join us next on May 30th at the South Branch Library for a special discussion — all participants are encouraged to read a volume in a NEW “cozy” or “amateur detective” series (that launched from 2011 to 2013), and share their impressions with the rest of the group!

Just Desserts recommended reading list for January 2013

Just Desserts Logo 225Hey, mystery fans! Looking for something good to read?

At the January 31st, 2013 Just Desserts meeting, after discussing our monthly “assigned” author, we did a round robin at the table, asking attendees to share what mysteries they’d been reading lately that they felt they could recommend. Here’s a list of the books that were hot last month with this mystery-savvy crowd:

  • What the Cat Saw by Carolyn Hart
  • Firefly Beach by Meira Pentermann
  • Tell No Lies by Julie Compton
  • Gone for Good by Harlan Coben
  • A Necessary Evil by Alex Kava
  • Mad River by John Sandford (several readers)
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (several readers)
  • Nightmare in Pink by John D. MacDonald (for the Nov/Dec Just Desserts reading challenge
  • Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich
  • The Agony of Leaves by Laura Childs
  • Multiple works in the Commissario Guido Brunetti series by Donna Leon (this month’s assigned author)
  • A Dog’s Journey by W. Bruce Cameron
  • Books in the Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben
  • Buzzard’s Table by Margaret Maron (several readers)
  • Books in the Scumble River series by Denise Swanson
  • Books in the Mystery Shopper series by Elaine Viets
  • Books by David Baldacci
  • The Old Grey Wolf, the final Charlie Moon mystery by James Doss (who has died)
  • The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye
  • The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olson
  • Ritual Bath by Faye Kellerman
  • Bodies Left Behind by Jeffery Deaver
  • Three books by James Lee Burke
  • A Place of Execution by Val McDermid
  • The Sugar Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke
  • A Time to Kill by John Grisham
  • In the Company of Angels by Thomas E. Kennedy
  • The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
  • Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore
  • The Dark Winter by David Mack
  • A Novel Way to Die and Double Booked for Death by Ali Brandon
  • Broken Harbor by Tana French
  • Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear
  • City of Whispers by Marcia Muller
  • The Complaints by Ian Rankin
  • Hotwire by Alex Kava
  • Two in the Cork O’Connor series by William Kent Krueger
  • The Fourth Bear, second in the Nursery Crimes series by Jasper Fforde
  • Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal
  • The Con Job, a Leverage tie-in novel, by Matt Forbeck

So, what mysteries have you been reading that you’d recommend?

The Works of Donna Leon

Just Desserts Logo 225deathatlafeniceWhen the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group met on January 31, 2013, we discussed the entire Commissario Guido Brunetti series by Donna Leon, starting with, Death at La Fenice.

Whether or not you attended the actual meeting, you are  welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions about this 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 Death at La Fenice and the entire Commissario Guido Brunetti series by Leon?

Join us on February 28th at the South Branch Library for a discussion of The Camel Club by David Baldacci!