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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.

Help us pick the October 2011 Just Desserts author

Just Desserts Logo 225Our October 2011 Just Desserts selection will be our first experiment of picking an author with numerous titles, for whom the library doesn’t have the minimum 8-to-10 copies of any single specific individual title to meet our group’s needs. Instead, we’ll pick the author, then Just Desserts members will be encouraged to read ANY of that author’s works, and we’ll discuss them ALL as a group, rather than everyone reading the same exact title.

Here’s your assignment before the July 28th Just Desserts meeting: Please look at the following list of three possible authors for October, and click the link below to express your preference of which of the three authors you’d like to see us pick. You may only select one of these three authors under consideration:

Charles Todd — his Ian Rutledge series, set in post-WWI England, featuring a Scotland Yard detective suffering from PTSD and haunted by the ghost of a soldier whose death he’s responsible for.

Louise Penny — her Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series, is set in Quebec and its environs in modern day.

Suzanne Arruda — her Jade del Cameron series is set in the 1920s in Africa, and features a strong female protagonist.

Click this link to cast your vote for which of these authors you’d like to use in October! [link now disabled]

Thanks, and enjoy voting! The voting form will remain active through the end of the day on Wednesday, July 27th, 2011.