About the Whodunit Book Club

Whodunit Book Club has met in its present location for almost seventeen years! If you would like to join us, our meetings are held on the last Tuesday of every month (except December).
We meet at the Chapters Store located at 41 MicMac Blvd., Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Phone (902) 466-1640

Saturday, February 18, 2017

This blog is dying due to apathy...

I did NOT update the Whodunit blog this month after January's meeting.

The apathy surrounding this blog has left me less than enthusiastic.

It is just not worth my time anymore.
After over 8 years there are only 6 followers and I can count the comments on one hand.

My Fictionophile blog is busy with 1,702 followers  Lots of activity, comments, etc. so you can imagine I'd rather spend my time on that.

I will continue to attend Whodunit meetings as I enjoy the camaraderie and book discussions.

If anyone wants to continue on with a Whodunit Blog, I will happily support them.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Whodunit Book Club 2017 - New members welcome!

Whodunit Book Club - November 29, 2016

It's hard to believe, but tonight's meeting is the last bookclub for 2016.  It was a great year of camaraderie and, at times, lively discussion (both on topic and off).

The novel we discussed this evening was "Gone" by Randy Wayne White.  The reaction to this book was varied, but the final score by Whodunit members was 6.4 out of a possible 10 points, with half of the members present saying they would read another book by this author.

The first in a series featuring fishing guide Hannah Smith, the book was said to be 'predictable' and 'a quick and light read'.  We discussed how it seemed obvious that the novel was written with a male perspective even though the protagonist was female.

Most members said that they quite liked Hannah, a thirty-one year old fishing guide/private investigator.  She seemed resourceful and confident in some respects, though she had little self-confidence in other aspects of her life.  She is hired to find a missing heiress with whom she identifies on some level.  The woman, Olivia Seasons, was presumed to have been manipulated/taken by a vicious predator, Ricky Meeks.  He has a history for preying on rich yet emotionally vulnerable women.

Because the reader knows from the outset what has happened to Olivia Seasons, this book is not really a mystery.  It is a crime thriller describing the methods Hannah takes to bring Olivia home.

The setting of Florida's Gulf Coast was well rendered due to the fact that this is where the author lives and works.  The peripheral characters were interesting and it was suggested more than once that it would have been interesting to know more about them.

The author, Randy Wayne White has successfully authored a quite lengthy series (24 titles) featuring biologist/intelligence agent Doc Ford.  The Doc Ford character played a very minor role in "Gone" and it was hinted at that he might be a 'romantic interest' for Hannah's character.

My personal review of "Gone" can be found on my blog: Fictionophile.

About the author

Randy Wayne White is an American writer of crime fiction and non-fiction adventure tales. He has written best-selling novels and has received awards for his fiction and a television documentary.  He is best known for his series of crime novels featuring the retired NSA agent Doc Ford, a marine biologist living on the Gulf Coast of southern Florida. A resident of Southwest Florida since 1972, he currently lives on Pine Island, Florida, where he is active in South Florida civic affairs and with the restaurant Doc Ford's Sanibel Rum Bar & Grill on nearby Sanibel Island.

The lucky winners of the book giveaways for the month of November are:
1. Marilyn
2. Jean
3. Margaret
4. Lynn
5. Marlene

Our next Whodunit meeting will be held on January 31, 2017 when we will discuss "A siege of bitterns" by Steve Burrows.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Whodunit Book Club - October 25, 2016

We welcomed two new faces to our bookclub at October's meeting.  Twelve members were present as we discussed "The Trap" by Melanie Raabe.
As usual, we went around the circle and asked members to give the novel a score out of a possible ten points.  The average score for "The Trap" was 6.7 with only half of the members saying they would read another novel by this author.
Comments by members included:
  • interesting premise (reclusive author who sets a trap for her sister's killer)
  • story within the story was well done and not confusing to the reader
  • description was well rendered
  • chapter endings were sometimes cliff-hangers which added to readability and suspense
  • smooth translation from the German
  • everyone liked the character of the dog, Bukowski
  • the 'twists' were well done and appreciated by readers

  • story was far-fetched causing the reader to suspend belief
  • translation done by British person as the narrative included British jargon
  • poorly researched as regards the protagonists anxiety disorder
  • predictable ending
  • lacking in emotion
  • murderer not included in plot so as to make it impossible for reader to surmise/guess who it was

  • It was interesting to note that Melanie Raabe writing style was subtly different from Linda Conrad's writing style (Linda Conrad being the protagonist of the novel) causing the 'book within a book' to be different in tone.
    The book displayed what seems to be a new trend in thriller writing - the unreliable narrator.   This book won the Stuttgart Crime Prize for best crime debut of the year
    Melanie Raabe grew up in Thuringia, Germany, and attended the Ruhr University Bochum, where she specialized in literature and media studies. After graduating, she moved to Cologne to work as a journalist by day and secretly write books by night.

    There were five lucky winners of free books this evening!
    1. Margaret
    2. Nancy
    3. Marilyn
    4. Cathy
    5. Carmella

    On Tuesday, November 29th (the last Whodunit meeting of 2016) we will discuss the novel "Gone" by Randy Wayne White.  Whodunit members get a 10% discount off the price of the book.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2016

    Whodunit Book Club - September 26, 2016

    Thanks to Marlene for writing this post as I was absent from the September meeting. 

    Nine members met to discuss Thin Ice by Nick Wilkshire, a police procedural set in Ottawa and revolving around the murder investigation of a rookie hockey player, recently signed by the Ottawa Raftsmen.
    The publisher describes it this way:
    Hockey is a dangerous game, but it's what happens off the ice that can get you killed. Curtis Ritchie is the only news in town when Ottawa takes the young hockey sensation first overall in the annual spring draft. But on the eve of Ritchie's rookie season, the media frenzy over the signing and the controversial trades that secured the young star are eclipsed by news of his murder. As Ottawa Major Crimes Unit investigator Jack Smith reassembles Ritchie's life, he is surprised by how much it differs from the fledgling star's clean-cut image. A long list of suspects soon emerges, any one of whom had good reasons to want Ritchie dead. But there's something else about the young phenom - a secret so profound that its revelation to the wrong person could only have meant Ritchie's end.

    The book earned a score of 6.7 out of 10. All those present said they enjoyed reading the book, which they found to be well-written, while the quintessential Canadian setting of Ottawa and the professional hockey business added to the appeal. Although the main character, Jack Smith, came across as immature, particularly in his relationships with women, his partnership with David Marshall, the older, somewhat jaded senior investigator in the Major Crimes Unit shows promise for development in further books in the Capital Crime Series. For this reason, all but one of the attendees said they would read another book in this particular series.
    Some comments about the book included:
    ·       Although a classic police procedural, the repetitive listing of evidence detracted from the readability.
    ·       Jack’s character lacked depth. Perhaps it will become more developed in future books?
    ·       Too many secondary characters.
    ·       The cover shows people skating on the canal but the story takes place in the early fall.

    The lucky winners of book prizes for September were: Carmella, Marilyn, Jean, Nancy, and Gaye. Pam announced that, for at least the next few months, book prizes will include a copy of the next month’s selection.
    The book for October is The Trap by Melanie Raabe, translated from German by Imogen Taylor.

    Wednesday, August 31, 2016

    Whodunit Book Club - August 30, 2016

    As we didn't meet in July, it was great to see the familiar faces of Whodunit members this evening. Our book this time was "The kind worth killing" by Peter Swanson.

    Ten members present and one absentee member rated this psychological thriller 7.1 points out of 10.

    The publisher's blurb states:
    A devious tale of psychological suspense, soon to be a major movie directed by Agnieszka Holland. In a tantalizing set-up reminiscent of Patricia Highsmith's classic story "Strangers on a train"... On a night flight from London to Boston, Ted Severson meets the stunning and mysterious Lily Kintner.  Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing very intimate details about themselves. Ted talks about his marriage that's going stale and his wife Miranda, who he is sure is cheating on him. Ted and his wife were a mismatch from the start - he the rich businessman, she the artistic free spirit - a contrast that once inflamed their passion, bu has now become a cliché. But their game turns a little darker when Ted jokes that he could kill Miranda for what she's done. Lily, with missing a beat, says calmly, "I'd like to help". After all, some people are the kind worth killing, like a lying stinking, cheating spouse...
    Back in Boston, Ted and Lily's twisted bond grows stronger as they begin to plot Miranda's demise. But there are a few things about Lily's past that she hasn't shared with Ted, namely her experience in the art and craft of murder, a journey that began in her very precocious youth.
    Suddenly these co-conspirators are embroiled in a chilling game of cat-and-mouses, one they both cannot survive... with a shrewd and determined detective on their tale.

    • With short chapters told by different points of view, the consensus was that this novel was a fast-paced, page-turner.  
    • The title made perfect sense and connected well with the plot. 
    • The characters were manipulative, especially the women.  
    • The readers found most of the characters unsympathetic.
    • Lily's character was clever and crafty verging on the sociopathic.  
    • The writing had a Hitchcockian feel which made perfect sense once we learned that the author has also written a sequence of 53 sonnets, one for each of Alfred Hitchcock's films. 
    • Some disliked the way Ted and Lily met, feeling that it was too contrived. Others felt that they could completely understand that the anonymity could engender such a meeting.
    • Some found the novel to be humorous in places, a satirical kind of humor.
    • All the members liked the various settings included in the novel and stated it would make a great movie.
    • Most agreed that this was an entertaining thriller and that they would read another novel by this author.
    • The ending was satisfying for those readers who crave for justice to be done.
    The four lucky winners of the book giveaways this month were:
    1. Cathy
    2. Nancy
    3. Marlene
    4. Jean
    Next month we will meet again on September 27th to discuss the novel "Thin Ice" by Nick Wilkshire.