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Tag Archives: Series Share

Just Desserts: Series Share and Reading Recommendations from group members in May 2020

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

At the May 2020 Just Desserts meeting that took place online using Zoom meeting software, 9 members participated in our annual “Series Share” discussion, in which attendees were encouraged to read the first or second volume in a new series that’s started within the past few years, and share their thoughts in a “round-robin” format. Here’s a list of the novels/series that were mentioned by group members. We asked all attendees to also give a “Thumbs Up” or “Thumbs Down” for whatever series they sampled – all participants this month gave a “Thumbs Up” to whatever they read – some more strongly than others:

  • The Jimm Juree series by Colin Cotterill, starting with Killed at the Whim of a Hat (as an audiobook)
  • The Coffeehouse Mystery series by Cleo Coyle (a.k.a. Alice Alfonsi & Marc Cerasini), starting with On What Grounds (as an audiobook)
  • The Jack McEvoy mystery series by Michael Connelly, starting with The Poet (she actually read both The Poet and The Scarecrow)
  • The Maeve Kerrigan series by Jane Casey, starting with The Burning
  • One of us wanted to sample the Wayward Pines mystery series by Blake Crouch, but was unable to get them due to the library closure
  • The Evelyn Talbot mystery series by Brenda Novak, starting with Her Darkest Nightmare
  • The D.C. Belsey series by Oliver Harris, starting with The Hollow Man
  • The Atlee Pine mystery series by David Baldacci, starting with Long Road to Mercy
  • The Alaska Wild series by Paige Shelton, starting with Thin Ice
  • The Timber Creek K9 series by Margaret Mizushima, starting with Killing Trail

Following the “Series Share” portion of the meeting, we held our monthly round robin in which all 9 attendees were able to share recommendations of what other books they’ve been reading recently.

Here’s the list of mystery, thriller and suspense books recommended by Just Desserts members in May 2020:

  • Unholy Writ, in the Mark Treasure series by David Williams
  • Various books in the V.I. Warshawski series by Sara Paretsky – past author selection for Just Desserts
  • Various books in the Atlee Pine series by David Baldacci on audio – past author selection for Just Desserts
  • Various books in the Will Robie series by David Baldacci – past author selection for Just Desserts
  • Various books in the Dylan Reinhart series by James Patterson and Howard Roughan – past author selection for Just Desserts
  • Various books in the Alex Cross series by James Patterson – past author selection for Just Desserts
  • Splinter the Silence and Insidious Intent by Val McDermid – past author selection for Just Desserts
  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  • The Heat of the Sun DVD series
  • The Hamish Macbeth DVD series
  • The White Bones by Ridley Pearson – past author selection for Just Desserts
  • The Cat Who series by Lillian Jackson Braun on audio – past author selection for Just Desserts
  • The Troubleshooter series by Suzanne Brockmann on audio
  • The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie – past author selection for Just Desserts
  • A few group members were unable to attend the Zoom meeting, but shared recent reads via e-mail:
  • Friends in High Places by Donna Leon (I’ve read all the books in her Commissario Brunetti series, and this is one of the ones I really like, so I listened to it in Overdrive. I like the plotting with a twist at the end, and the doggedness of this police procedural. It’s interesting to listen to a book you’ve read, to catch all the different nuances.) – past author selection for Just Desserts
  • Morse’s Greatest Mysteries by Colin Dexter (I’m more of a Morse/Lewis/Endeavour TV series fan rather than a book fan, having read a couple of Dexter’s Morse novels and not liking them so much. I thought I would listen to the short stories to see if I would like his style better in small doses. The book was acceptable, and laid out some good examples of the grumpy Morse, so I would recommend it for a newbie, but I wouldn’t read it again since it was just so-so. Again, I listened in Overdrive.)
  • Shake Hands Forever by Ruth Rendell (I’ve read her Inspector Wexford series and liked them, but I hadn’t read this one. It was available in Overdrive, and I liked it, though there was a deadline before the suspect left the country, and Inspector Wexford was hampered at every turn, including being taken off the case. You knew there would be an 11th hour save, but you didn’t know how it was going to happen. Even so, the coincidence with another case was a little unbelievable, so I would rate this as a good read/listen, but not my favorite of her series.) – past author selection for Just Desserts
  • Hid From Our Eyes by Julia Spenser-Fleming. (Two of my thumbs up! After a six year hiatus, the return of Rev. Claire Ferguson and Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne, wife and husband mysteries. The author returned to school to earn degrees in Law and Theology. In 2017 her husband died of cancer and her mother died. The mysteries set in the small community of Millers Kill remind me of Louise Penny when the genre rises above a good story to the depths of tragedy.)
  • Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler. (The first Bryant and May Peculiar Crimes Unit mystery begins in the present with flashbacks to 1940 and the beginning of the friendship. Two thumbs up! Fowler is a master of characterization. He makes me laugh at foibles and ponder the injustices. Thank you, Scott, for introducing me to the series. I would never have picked it up on my own.) – past author selection for Just Desserts
  • I enjoyed The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica and The Big Lie by James Grippando – Grippando was a past author selection for Just Desserts

And here were some non-mystery titles some group members also recommended in May 2020:

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

Just Desserts, May 30, 2019: Series Share

Participants in the Just Desserts Mystery Discussion Group share series books they have been reading.

Just Desserts “Series Share” reading recommendations – May 2019

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

At the May 2019 Just Desserts meeting this week, 17 members participated in our annual “Series Share” meeting, in which attendees were encouraged to read the first or second volume in a new series that’s started within the past couple of years, and share their thoughts in a “round-robin” format. Here’s a list of the novels/series that were mentioned by group members. We asked all attendees to also give a “Thumbs Up” or “Thumbs Down” for whatever series they sampled – all participants this month gave a “Thumbs Up” to whatever they read – some more strongly than others.

Titles not owned by the libraries are not hotlinked — consider getting them through InterLibrary Loan.

Just Desserts memberSeries they read by Author of Series, starting with Volume they read

Scott – The Daniel Hawthorne mystery series by Anthony Horowitz, starting with The Word is Murder (and)

Scott (again) – The Medlar Mystery series by Jude Deveraux, starting with A Willing Murder

Jodi – The Detective By Day mystery series by Kellye Garrett, starting with Hollywood Homicide

Joan – The Mercy & Elvis series by Paula Munier, starting with A Borrowing of Bones

Rayma – The Lena Jones mystery series by Betty Webb, Rayma read the 8th volume, Desert Redemption

Sharon – The Val Fremden mystery series by Margaret Lashley, starting with Glad One

Cheryl – The Orphan X thriller series by Gregg Hurwitz, starting with Orphan X

Cathy – The Knit and Nibble mystery series by Peggy Ehrhart, starting with Murder She Knit (and)

Cathy (again) – The Book Club Mystery series by Laura DiSilverio; Cathy read the 2nd, The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle (the libraries do not have this entry, but do have the 1st and 3rd in the series)

Ida – The Casey Duncan/Rockton mystery/thriller series by Kelley Armstrong, starting with City of the Lost

Christy – The Thursday Next mystery/literary series by Jasper Fforde, starting with The Eyre Affair

Ladena – The Eve Duncan series by Iris Johansen; Ladena had read up through the 11th entry in the series

Suzy – The Chef To Go series by Denise Swanson, starting with Tart of Darkness (and)

Suzy (again) – The Scumble River series also by Denise Swanson, starting with The Murder of a Small-Town Honey

Vera – The Timber Creek K9 Mystery series by Margaret Mizushima, starting with Killing Trail

Don – The Orphan X thriller series by Gregg Hurwitz, starting with Orphan X (and)

Don (again) – The Jane Hawk series by Dean Koontz, starting with The Silent Corner

Linda – The Bull Mountain series by Brian Panowich, starting with Bull Mountain

Tram – The Vinyl Detective series by Andrew Cartmill, starting with Written in Dead Wax

Jennie – Three different series by Elly Griffiths, including The Ruth Galloway series starting with The Crossing Places, The Mephisto and Stephens series starting with The Zig Zag Girl, and a stand-alone novel that may be the start of a new series, The Stranger Diaries (and)

Jennie (again) – The All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness, starting with A Discovery of Witches

Marlee – The Atlee Pine mystery/thriller series by David Baldacci, starting with The Long Road to Mercy

Following the “Series Share” portion of the meeting, we unfortunately did not leave enough time for our traditional monthly “Round Robin” in which group members share whatever else they’ve been reading lately. That will return to Just Desserts in June.

Reading Recommendations from May 2018 “Series Share” Just Desserts meeting

At the May 31st, 2018 meeting of the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group, our theme was our annual “Series Share” – participants were encouraged to read the first or second volume in any “new” mystery/thriller/suspense series that has started within the past 3 years (2016-2018). Each person was encouraged to describe the series, the central character(s), the themes or tone, the setting, and ultimately whether they would give it a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” recommendation. For the most part, group members met these guidelines, though not 100%. This session was audio-recorded and will eventually be released through the libraries’ series of podcasts. We did NOT have time at the end of this month’s session for our traditional “round robin” to find out what else Just Desserts members have been reading. [NOTE: Titles not currently owned by the Lincoln City Libraries have been submitted as purchase suggestions through the libraries’ Suggest-a-Title form.]

Join us again on June 28, 2018 at South Branch for a group discussion of James Lee Burke’s Robicheaux (2017).


Here’s the list of the titles/series of mystery/suspense books discussed by Just Desserts members at our May 2018 meeting:

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

Series Share list and other books Just Desserts members were reading in May 2017

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

At the May 2017 Just Desserts meeting a week ago, we held our annual “Series Share” meeting, in which group members were encouraged to read the first or second volume in a new series that’s started within the past couple of years, and share their thoughts in a “round-robin” format. Here’s a list of the novels/series that were mentioned by group members, plus whether they gave them a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” (a feature missed in this year’s meeting):

Following the “Series Share” portion of the meeting, the group held its regular monthly “Round Robin” in which group members shared what else they’ve been reading lately. That list included:

Mysteries/Suspense/Thrillers:

Non-Mystery:

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