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

Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Devils in the mirror" by Lesley Horton

I just finished the third novel in the Inspector Handford mystery series by Lesley Horton. Another great read!
The novel deals with the issues of racism, religion, inner-city youth and ultimately murder. The author writes of which she knows. She was a teacher in an inner-city school in the area of Yorkshire, England in which the books are set.
With a growing Asian population, racism continues to be an issue in schools AND in police work in and around Bradford.
This title was written sympathetically and the reader can't help but identify with the people from both sides of the racial divide.
The protagonist Inspector John Handford, is a professional policeman who tries not to let his personal life interfere with his investigations. However, this time his wife is a teacher at the school where the murder victim attended and he realizes that the lines between his professional life and his personal life are blurred...

Shayla Richards was just fifteen when her body was found on Druid's altar on the moor.
Of mixed race parentage, Shayla had been missing for several weeks, was a known truant and a troublesome teenager. However, she didn't deserve this!
Handford and his team set about finding her murderer, but they meet up with loads of oppostion along the way...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Whodunit Book Club - January 26, 2010

Tonight's meeting was extra special! It marked the 12th anniversary of the club!
Also, our close-knit group welcomed two new members!
The 'magic' question this month was "Do you consider yourself a fast or slow reader?
Most of the members considered themselves to be faster readers than most, probably because they are avid readers and with practice comes speed... Our fearless leader said she read about 50 pages per hour. I have never measured how many pages I read in an hour, but now I am curious and will probably HAVE to find out!
The book under discussion this month was "The sweetness at the bottom of the pie" by Alan Bradley. I read this book back in July of 2009, so my memory of it was a bit fuzzy. My posting from last July reads:
"What a unique premise for a mystery novel! The protagonist is an eleven year old female aspiring chemist. Growing up in a motherless, and very eccentric household, Flavia de Luce is memorable to say the least. Throw in a dead bird, a little poison and some rare stamps, and you've got a unique historical British mystery written by a Canadian, Alan Bradley.
The book is the first of a proposed series called the Buckshaw Chronicles and Flavia even has her own fan club!
It has placed on numerous bestseller lists and has won the Debut Dagger Award awarded by the British Crime Writer's Association!"

At bookclub I was astounded to find out that Alan Bradley had never set foot in England until AFTER he wrote this book! Also, on the merit of an excerpt from this novel, the author garnered a 6 book deal with his publisher (at the age of 69).

Most of the club members agreed that Flavia was precocious and extremely observant for her age of eleven. She had to grow up fast because of being in a motherless family with little supervision. Many wondered why Flavia was not in school as the book was set in June and there were other children attending school in the time the novel took place.
Members liked the vivid description and considered the hostage scene to be quite exciting. A majority of members want to read the second title in the series "The weed that strings the hangman’s bag".

Next months meeting welcomes reading suggestions from WhoDunit members.
The winners of the free books at this meeting were: Betty, Lynne, Nancy and Brian.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

"The Crossing Places" 1st in a superior new series

In the past year I have read many books, mostly of the mystery/thriller genres. Many were by authors that I have been reading for years. Many were part of series that I have come to regard as old friends.
Recently I read a debut novel, first of a series, that promises to be one that I will follow for years to come. "The crossing places" by Elly Griffiths.
Set mostly in a brooding saltmarsh area of England's Norfolk coast, the series features Ruth Galloway, who is a university lecturer in forensic archaeology. Ruth is an intriguing character. Solitary, smart, and strong, (not to mention a cat owner) Ruth is a protagonist that I want to follow and I eagerly await the next novel which features her.
With such a powerful protagonist and themes of missing children, historical exhumations, and just a smattering of romance, "The crossing places" exhibited everything I truly enjoy in a mystery novel. Griffiths descriptions of the barren and beautiful marshlands set the mood for the book excellently.

The clincher for my buying the book was the attractive dustjacket which just happened to exhibit the words "Ruth Galloway is an inspired creation" -- Louise Penny. As Louise Penny is one of my favourite authors, her recommendation carried great weight with me.

I urge others to read the novel. I love sharing the joy...

"Elly Griffiths is a pseudonym for Domenica de Rosa, who was born in London and spent ten years in publishing before she turned to writing fiction. Her Ruth Galloway novels are inspired by the work of her husband, who gave up a job in finance to train as an archaeologist, and by her aunt, who lives on the Norfolk coast and who filled her niece's head with the myths and legends of that area. She and her husband have two children and live near Brighton."--MysteryBooks.ca