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

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Whodunit Book Club - September 29, 2009

A good crowd turned out for this month's club meeting and we welcomed a new member to our group!
Pam's 'magical' question was: "Do you multi-task when you read?"
The answers were varied. Some liked quiet and maybe a glass of wine or coffee. Several actually like noise in the background when they are reading and liked to read when listening to music and/or watching television. One member cooks while reading and one reads while walking her dog. One who shall remain nameless actually admitted to driving while reading but she qualified it as to highway only (how comforting!).
I prefer quiet when reading, but admit to liking a beverage to accompany my book.

The book discussed this month was "Real Murders" by Charlaine Harris. We learned from Pam that the author has been writing since childhood and that she published two stand-alone mysteries before our book club selection which is the first in a series. The sixth book of this series entitled "A fool and his honey" garnered hate mail by the author which sounds intriguing... Charlaine Harris is a prolific author who also wrote the Lily Bard series set in Shakespeare, Arkansas (about a rape survivor) and the popular Sookie Stackhouse vampire novels. (Sookie is a telepath). The Sookie Stackhouse series has been adapted for television in the show "Trublood". The author's most recent series are mysteries with a dash of the supernatural and feature Harper Connelly.

Most Whodunit members agreed that the book "Real Murders" did not live up to its beguiling premise. There was only a superficial connection to the old murders. The book lacked suspense as most cozy mysteries do. The members of the fictionalized book club were an odd assortment who didn't seem to have any real reason for being there. The librarian was unrealistic and 'prissy'. We commented though that this is one of the author's earlier works and probably not as good as her later novels. Most members said they wouldn't read further novels in this series, but that they wouldn't discount Charlaine Harris and that they were willing to try one of the author's other series.

One of our digressions this evening was a short discussion on vampire fiction. We discussed its immense popularity and decided that the 'seduction of evil' and the immortality aspects of this genre were what fascinated readers. To read another blog article about vampire fiction click here.

The book winners this month were: Cathy, Judy, Carmella and Jane/Gayle.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The versatile Susan Hill

Perhaps you have heard of the prolific British author Susan Hill. She is probably most famous for the classic horror story "The woman in black" which relates the haunting testimony of a young lawyer who records in detail the nightmarish events of his stay in a house on a marsh in northern England, and the terrible events that alter his life forever. Another well known title is "Mrs. DeWinter", a follow-up to Daphne du Maurier's "Rebecca" telling of what occurred after the fire at Manderley.
Susan Hill, the recipient of several prestigious literary awards, is the author of many children's books and is also a playwright and has edited several anthologies of short stories.

In the past few years she has produced a four book (so far) mystery series set in England's West Country featuring British policeman Simon Serrailler. The novels are written with a sound knowledge of British police procedure and a unique understanding of human motivation and the details of daily life. A first rate detective story with a cunning twist at the end, the first book in this series "The various haunts of men" is one of my favorite mystery novels. The other three novels in the series are: "The pure in heart", "The risk of darkness" and "The vows of silence".

Recently she has published a novella, "The Beacon". A small gem, this story portrays the life of the spinster daughter of a farming family set on a remote English hillside. The novella is so well written that you can almost hear the wind battering the old farmhouse and the reader feels the protagonist's mixed emotions when following the death of her parents a family secret in revealed...
A versatile author who is equally adept writing several different genres, Susan Hill is an author not to be missed.