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, May 29, 2010

Whodunit Book Club - May 25, 2010

The May meeting of the Whodunit Book Club consisted of 19 members. A good sized crowd for a lovely spring evening.
Pam's magical question.... What was your last 'impulse buy' of books, and what made you succumb to the impulse? The answers were varied of course and stimulated the usual interesting discussion. Some said the cover art was a factor, some said the price. Some said it was the fact that it was an anthology (which have a limited shelf life) and some just wanted to treat themselves.

The book under discussion: "When Zeffie got a clue" by Peggy Darty. Most of us were in agreement that the book was poorly written and could be aimed at a juvenile audience. The cozy mystery was a bit too 'goody-goody' with antiquated sex role portrayal, annoying repetition, and stilted, unrealistic dialogue. Some went so far as to say the book was boring with cardboard characters and plot and a setting that played little or no part in the story's development. The group said that the best part of the book was the cover and that they definitely would NOT read another book by the author!

The book give-away winners this month were: Carolyn, Judy, Nancy, Cathy, Marilyn and Regis.

It was mentioned that local author Pamela Callow (author of 'Damaged') is interested in being a guest at a Whodunit meeting sometime in the near future.

The book for next month's discussion: "Coroner" by M.R. Hall. I have read this novel and hope that the club members will enjoy it as much as I did.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mystery Scene magazine

I am a huge fan of Mystery Scene Magazine. It is the must-have periodical for fans of mystery and suspense fiction. The magazine features great reviews and insightful articles on mystery authors and their work. Highly recommended!
This month's issue features author Lisa Lutz (author of the Spellman novels). The Whodunit Book Club will remember we did her first Spellman novel "The Spellman Files" in club.
Also figured this month is an article on Cara Black and her Paris mysteries. We did the first novel in the series "Murder in the Marais" in club recently.
Fans of Stephen King will enjoy the article on him and the book "Haunted heart: the life and times of Stephen King" which is the first book-length King biography.
There is always a little something for every mystery fan!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Whodunit Book Club - April 27, 2010

A smaller than average group of twelve turned out for this month's Whodunit meeting. We welcomed a new member, Kim.
The discussion question: "If a complete stranger viewed the list of books you have read over the past five years what would they think of your reading choices?"
The answers were varied. Some who read only mysteries and suspense might be viewed as blood-thirsty or a little warped. On the other hand they might be perceived as having a thirst for justice that real-life seldom affords... Some who read a lot of non-fiction might be perceived as intelligent. Those who read a variety of genres might be perceived as being 'well-rounded'. As many of us frequently wonder what others think of us, this was a question that provoked some thought.
This month's book for discussion was "Anatomy of Deception" by Lawrence Goldstone.
A historical forensic mystery, the novel was set in 1889 Philadelphia. Members agreed the book was well researched and that although complicated the plot was entertaining in a didactic way. The novel featured real people and fictionalized characters together. One of the real people in the novel was Dr. William Osler who has been referred to as 'the father of modern medicine'. Dr. William Osler was a bibliophile who collected the works of Michael Servetus. Another was Dr. William Stewart Halsted, an American surgeon of some reknown. Some members did not approve of the way the real people in the novel were portrayed in a less than flattering light and thought that the author took unnecessary liberties in that regard. A few readers believed the book should have used fictionalized characters to be implicated in the crimes, and left the real people's memory unsullied.
The painting on the dustjacket is a famous work by artist Thomas Eakins which now hangs at Johns Hopkins Medical Center.
"Anatomy of Deception" depicted the 'old-boy' network thought prevalent in the medical profession. The idea that physicians will cover for each other, regardless of whether guilty or innocent. Another theme was the moral rationale of 'the greater good'. The question of who is valuable... the dilemma of sacrificing a few for the benefit of the many...
The book accurately described historical medical practices and recounted several events in this pivotal time in the history of medicine. During the time period in which the novel was set, autopsies were very controversial and the fact that the doctors in the novel used autopsies to further their knowledge of the human body made them ahead of their time and ground-breakers in the practice of forensic medicine.
To listen to a filmed interview with the author, Lawrence Goldstone click here.
The lucky winners of the book draw for this month were: Betty, Kim, Marlene, and Lynne.