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Tag Archives: reading assignment

Your Just Desserts hiatus reading assignment – 2016: The Gideon Oliver series

Just Desserts Logo 225fellowshipoffearDuring the Nov/Dec 2016 hiatus between meetings of the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group, we encourage regular attendees to continue to participate as a group…but in a virtual way. While we may not have an actual meeting scheduled during these two months, this blog is available to keep everyone active with their mystery reading and discussions.

Our “hiatus assignment” for 2016 is the “Professor Gideon Oliver” series by author Aaron Elkins. Comprised of eighteen volumes (so far), published between 1982’s first volume (Fellowship of Fear), and 2016’s latest volume (Switcheroo). Aaron Elkins began writing the first novel in the Gideon Oliver series in 1978, and has been steadily putting out books by himself, or in collaboration with his mystery-writing wife, Charlotte Elkins, ever since.

For those who are unfamiliar with Gideon Oliver, here’s a general overview of the series: Professor Gideon Oliver is a forensic anthropologist, whose expertise (especially in ancient human cultures) frequently allows him to assist in various investigations. Together with his wife, Julie, Gideon Oliver travels the world to various historical dig sites, stumbling across murder mysteries in many international settings.

Catalog Links: The libraries own all 18 novels in the Gideon Oliver series, starting with “Fellowship of Fear” (1982) through “Switcheroo” (2016) — although there are only limited numbers of copies of each title — anywhere from a single copy to as many as 4 of some of the older entries. Although none of the Gideon Oliver series is available in audiobook or Large Type editions, it does appear that all of them are available as eBooks through the libraries Hoopla digital content service!

In 1989, when the ABC television network had revived the concept of a “mystery movie night” with rotating sleuths, including Columbo, Kojak and B.L. Stryker, Gideon Oliver was one of their stable of mystery solvers. Louis Gossett Jr. played the anthropologist in 5 two-hour tv-movies. Those have not been released on DVD, but can be found on various online streaming sites.

Discuss the Professor Gideon Oliver series by Aaron Elkins on the Just Desserts Blog!

Handout with plots of all 18 Gideon Oliver novels — distributed at the October 2016 Just Desserts meeting.

Here’s the official Elkins website:

We look forward to seeing your comments here over the course of the next two months!

So…here’s your question:

Which of the “Gideon Oliver” novels did you read, and what was your opinion?

Your Just Desserts hiatus reading assignment – 2015: Holiday Mysteries

Just Desserts Logo 225mistletoeminiDuring the Nov/Dec 2015 hiatus between meetings of the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group, we encourage regular attendees to continue to participate as a group…but in a virtual way. While we may not have an actual meeting scheduled during these two months, this blog is available to keep everyone active with their mystery reading and discussions.

Our “hiatus assignment” for 2015 is “Holiday Mysteries” — including Christmas, Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, or New Year’s.

One of the most popular annual book displays at the Bennett Martin Public Library every year is the Mistletoe Mysteries display that goes up at the beginning of December…in fact, it’s hard to keep it fully loaded for all of December, as so many titles get grabbed by eager readers. In conjunction with that display, a special Mistletoe Mysteries booklist was created several years ago, and is updated each year on our website to reflect new additions to the “Christmas Mystery” category, as well as withdrawals of older titles no longer being read.

You can certainly wait until the start of December and check out the book display downtown, or you can click on the Mistletoe Mysteries links in this blog entry to jump straight to the online booklist, which will give you dozens, if not hundreds, of mystery reading choices for this festive time of year! So — your assignment is: read one or more Holiday Mysteries (either novels or short story collections), and respond to the question at the bottom of this post!

We look forward to seeing your comments here over the course of the next two months, until Just Desserts meets again in January 2016!

So…here’s your question:

Which of the “Holiday Mystery” novel or short story collection did you read, and what was your opinion?

Your 2012 Just Desserts hiatus reading assignment: John D. Macdonald

macdonaldJust Desserts Logo 225During the Nov/Dec 2012 hiatus between meetings of the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group, we encourage regular attendees to continue to participate as a group…but in a virtual way. While we may not have an actual meeting scheduled during these two months, this blog is available to keep everyone active with their mystery reading and discussions.

Our “hiatus author” for 2012 is John D. McDonald, creator of the classic mystery/suspense series featuring Travis McGee. McGee isn’t a typical P.I. or detective, but instead calls himself a “salvage consultant”, specializing in recovering lost or missing items. His standard fee is 50% of the value of the item recovered. McGee lives aboard a large houseboat called “The Busted Flush”, which he won in a poker game, and which is now docked at Fort Lauderdale, Florida. McGee appears in 21 novels, starting with The Deep Blue Goodbye in 1964 and ending in The Lonely Silver Rain in 1984. The Lincoln City Libraries have all but one of the 21 Travis McGee novels (we are missing #9).

We encourage Just Desserts participants to read any book in the Travis McGee series (click this link to jump to the library catalog), at some point in November or December 2012, then come back here and leave a comment about whatever you read or watched, as a response to this discussion topic.

As a bit of background, here are some links to MacDonald and Travis McGee information:

John D. MacDonald wrote much more than the Travis McGee series. In total, he wrote over 40 additional stand-alone novels, in both the mystery/thriller, general fiction and science fiction genres.

We look forward to seeing your comments here over the course of the next two months!

So…here’s your question: Which of the Travis McGee novels did you read, and what was your opinion?

Scott C. – Just Desserts coordinator and hos

Your 2011 Just Desserts hiatus reading assignment!

simenonJust Desserts Logo 225During the Nov/Dec 2011 hiatus between meetings of the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group, we encourage regular attendees to continue to participate as a group…but in a virtual way. While we may not have an actual meeting scheduled during these two months, this blog is available to keep everyone active with their mystery reading and discussions.

Our “hiatus author” for 2011 is Georges Simenon, creator of the legendary sleuth Inspector Maigret. We encourage Just Desserts participants to read any book in the Inspector Maigret series (or watch an episode of one of the Maigret TV or movie adaptations), at some point in November or December 2011, then come back here and leave a comment about whatever you read or watched, as a response to this discussion topic.

As a bit of background, here are some links to Simenon and Maigret information:

In all, there have been 75 novels and 28 short stories written by Simenon that feature Maigret, and the Lincoln City Libraries still have over 45 of these.

We look forward to seeing your comments here over the course of the next two months!

Scott C. – Just Desserts coordinator and host

The Works of Leslie Charteris

saintlogoJust Desserts Logo 225During the Nov/Dec 2009 hiatus between meetings of the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group, we encourage regular attendees to participate as a group in a virtual way. While we may not have an actual meeting scheduled during these two months, we want to use this blog to keep everyone active with their mystery reading and discussions.

We encourage Just Desserts participants to read a book by Leslie Charteris (the creator of Simon Templar, “The Saint”, as well as many other novels) at some point in November or December 2009, then come back here and leave a comment about whichever Charteris book they read, as a comment post in response to this message.

As a bit of background, here are some links to Leslie Charteris information:

We look forward to seeing your comments here over the course of the next two months!

Scott C. – Just Desserts coordinator