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, October 29, 2013

Whodunit October 29, 2013

Twenty-one book lovers attended the October meeting of Whodunit.  It was great to see some familiar faces that we haven't seen in a while. 

Gaye entertained the group with tales and photos of her trip to Albany, N.Y. where she met many of our favourite authors at Bouchercon.

The novel under discussion this evening was "A Duty to the Dead" by Charles Todd.  Charles Todd is a pen name used by the American authors Caroline and Charles Todd, a mother-son writing team.  Some members of the club found this to be 'creepy', while others commented on the seamless narrative which made it difficult to discern the contributions of each author.

As is our usual custom, we went around the circle and rated the book out of a possible ten points.  With scores as low as 4 and as high as 10, this novel ended up with an average of 7.68 with fourteen members stating they would read another title in this series (which now numbers five titles with a sixth due to be published in early 2014).

Set during the first World War this historical mystery had a clear sense of time and place with descriptions that enabled the reader to 'see' and feel the setting.  It was obvious to the reader that the novel was well researched.  One member said it was like a modern version of a gothic mystery.
The protagonist Bess Crawford is a nurse who attends the war wounded.  Of an upper-middle-class upbringing, Bess was a gentlewomen and could have chosen an easier life, but her grit and determination made her an admirable character.  She befriends a dying British soldier while nursing and makes him a promise to deliver a message back to his family.  She is injured in the sinking of the hospital ship Britannic, and returns home to England to recover.  Whilst there, she makes good on her "Duty to the dead" and delivers his message.

The book spoke to the far-reaching effect that war has upon both the military and civilians.  

While some thought the mystery predictable, others enjoyed the characterization and setting so much that they thought this aspect was of less importance.
Members wondered at the ineptitude of the London police who would let a teenage murderer return home to Kent with his family...
Some found the narrative 'slow' while others did not.  Some found the ending to be a brilliant resolution while others thought it was all tied up to quickly at the very end of the novel.

Universal was the liking for the protagonist Bess, the empathy felt for the half-brother Peregrine and the animosity for the matriarch of the Graham family.

Lucky winners of the book giveaways this month were:
1. Jean
2. Marilyn
3. Heather
4. Cathy D.

At November's Whodunit meeting we will discuss the novel " Red on Red" by Edward Conlon.

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