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, December 22, 2009

"Sworn to silence" by Linda Castillo

Wow! How lucky to find another great first of a series! Just when I thought I was running out of authors, I discover another one who is young and talented. (by that I infer lots of wonderful reads ahead!)

With a great cover scene of dead cornstalks in a snowy farmer's field, "Sworn to silence" grabs you right away. Set in Ohio's Amish country, this mystery/thriller features a unique protagonist. A female police chief who was formerly Amish.
Kate Burkholder has chosen to leave the Amish way of life and is shunned by her family. She leads a somewhat solitary life but enjoys her job largely due to her loyal employees.

Kate maintains a devastating secret from her youth which comes back to haunt her when a body is found in a wintery farmer's field. The setting is so well depicted that the cold is almost palpable... Loathe to call for assistance from outside law enforcement agencies because of her secret, Kate is called to task by the town's council who employ her. When the case becomes even higher profile with the discovery of a second body, they go over her head and call in an agent from the BCI. Agent John Tomasetti is a damaged individual. His posting to Kate's case is probably his last chance at salvaging what is left of his formerly illustrious career. He lost his wife and children to a psychopath and doesn't want anyone else to suffer what he has had to...

When Kate does not follow protocol and fails to find the culprit, the town council remove her from her duties. Knowing nothing else in her life will fill the void, Kate continues to work the case with the help of John. There is an attraction between them which is largely due to all the baggage they carry with them.

When Kate is eventually captured by the murderer, both she and John fear for her survival. Her ingenuity with the help of sound police work, bring the culprit to justice bringing about a most satisfying ending to the novel.

Linda Castillo had written a sound police procedural. Kate Burkholder is both intiguing and likeable and I look forward to meeting her again on her next case. "Pray for silence" is due out June 2010.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"Bad things happen" by Harry Dolan

It seems like lately I've been reading a lot of debut novels. I didn't plan it, but on several occasions I've been pleasantly surprised. Such was the case when I picked up "Bad things happen" by first time novelist Harry Dolan.

The book was unsettling for many reasons. First and foremost because the reader doesn't know who the protagonist is for the bulk of the book. He is referred to for the most part as 'the man who calls himself David Loogan'. Who is he really? An ex-cop (therefore a good guy) -- an ex-felon (therefore a bad guy)? The reader is made tense by the possibilities.
Set in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the novel follows the solitary Loogan who accidentally befriends a periodical publisher, Tom Kristoll. He eventually works for Tom as an editor for Tom's mystery magazine "Grey Streets". In due course, Loogan has an affair with Tom's beautiful wife. But life imitates the stories in 'Grey Streets'. Plans go wrong, bad things happen, people die...

The second protagonist in the novel is female homicide detective Elizabeth Waishkey. When Tom Kristoll dies, she meets David Loogan and is unsure whether he is a suspect or someone who can help her solve the case.

Written in a 'noir' style, "Bad things happen" is a very promising debut which held my attention and my interest until the last page. The characterizations were deftly rendered. Difficult when the reader doesn't really even know who the protagonist is! Bravo Harry Dolan!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A cup of Christmas tea

Every year at this time I like to share this Christmas poem with my friends and family.
It seems to epitomize the true meaning of this festive season.

The poem "A cup of Christmas tea" written by Tom Hegg is one I read every year to remind myself just what is important.
Merry Christmas everyone!

A Christmas recipe to enjoy!

1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
lemon juice
4 large eggs
lots of nuts
2 bottles red wine
2 cups of dried fruit

Sample the wine to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the wine again. To be sure it is the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.
Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.
Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the wine is shtill OK.
Try another cup .... just in case. Turn off the mixerer thingy.
Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.
Pick fruit off floor.
Mix on the turner.
If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers pry it loose with a sdrewscriver.
Sample the wine again to check for tonsisticity.
Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Who careshz.
Check the wine.
Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.
Add one table.
Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find.
Greash the oven and wee in the fridge.
Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over.
Don't forget to beat off the turner.
Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the wine.
Wipe down the counter with the cat.
Fall into bed.