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Topic: 2010 Mystery Challenge - FAR, FAR AWAY - #10

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Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Subject: 2010 Mystery Challenge - FAR, FAR AWAY - #10
Date Posted: 12/4/2009 7:40 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 40,715
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FAR, FAR AWAY Read a mystery that takes place at a locale NOT on the North American continent, or in the British Isles.

All discussion of books or authors for this challenge will be conducted in this topic.

Date Posted: 1/4/2010 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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Hmmm... So for this part of the challenge, I picked Flower Net by Lisa See. Things are going along fine, starts in China. Quick flash to Los Angeles, with crime discovered, but it's determined that it happened in China. Back to Beijing. But now, halfway through, they've moved to Los Angeles again. Now I'm beginning to wonder if this book will really qualify for this challenge, since it moved to the U.S. halfway through. :-/

(And yes, I am retentive...)

Date Posted: 1/4/2010 10:37 AM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2008
Posts: 26,635
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I think I'm going to use  Black Ice  for this.  It's set in Antarctica.

I was originally going to use one of the  The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (Bk 1) books, but I just can't seem to get
into them.
 


 

Date Posted: 1/4/2010 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2008
Posts: 2,129
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Opps, jumped the gun! :(



Last Edited on: 1/4/10 7:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/4/2010 5:11 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Hey, I think that "Child 44" will work for this category for me.  It takes place all over Russia. I think I have another title on my list but...since I just started this one, I might change it out.

Date Posted: 1/4/2010 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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Jane, I admire you for sticking with Flower Net. I thought it was just not a good book at all. Made my list of "worst books I finished in 2009." LOL I did finish it though I'm not sure why...it started off kind of intriguing but the whole package was just...bleh. I would throw it at the wall and look for a better book. Not that it wouldn't necessarily meet the requirements of this challenge category, just...there's so many great foreign mysteries out there, don't get stuck with a subpar one.:)

I'm going to do the first in Tim Hallinan's Poke Rafferty series set in Thailand, A Nail Through the Heart. I've heard great things about this series and have actually acquired all 3 books so far, so if it sucks I'm going to be mad. LOL

Cheryl

Date Posted: 1/5/2010 9:50 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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Well, I'm halfway through it and intrigued enough with the storyline to finish. I was surprised that it had a more romantic angle going through it. I enjoy Lisa See's writing style, so that helps as well. (I like her distinct way of describing things, but not going overboard with tons of extraneous information.)

I'm going to count this as my foreign location book. It's not like I picked it out in bad faith! I did go and check some book descriptions, and none of them mentioned the investigation in Los Angeles. I have the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency as one of my 10 books that I've had for over a year, so it's not like I won't have read another one. :)

I'm reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as well, and I'm about 60 pages in. It's really great so far! It's definitely piqued my interest (plus it's also far away, LOL). :)



Last Edited on: 1/5/10 9:50 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 1/6/2010 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 40,715
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Finally starting this challenge. I am going to read Jason Goodwin's Janissary Tree. It was an Edgar Award winner. I have never read his books before. I was going to read Laura Joh Rowland's The Concubine's Tatoo but I bought it used and I realized someone wrote all over the last pages so I can't swap it out. I will hold on to and read it later, and put it as an unpostable. Grr I hate when people write all over the books. I'll keep you posted on how the Janissary Tree is.

Alice

Date Posted: 1/7/2010 5:34 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,465
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I 've started The Man on the Balcony (Sweden) by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo and since I haven't read any of these books in a while, I'm reminded of what great mysteries they are. Too bad that there aren't more of them.

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 1/7/2010 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 40,715
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I finished the Janissary Tree today. It was good but not great.  The discusion of turkey, its people and food was very good but the mystery was so so. This book was Jason Goodwin's first fiction book. He was writing non fiction first  The book was an Edgar award winner, but I have read better mysteries.

Alice

Date Posted: 1/9/2010 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,465
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Okay! I finished Man on the Balcony last night and it was really good. The characters were so vivid; plot was absorbing and a nice twist at the end. Love these books!

Date Posted: 4/4/2010 6:53 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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For this challenge I've read EIGHT books! OK, all eight books were in one series, so it's not as much of an accomplishment as it sounds. Because I was doing the Around the World Challenge, I needed to find a series set in Australia, and I picked the Phyrne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood from those recommended.

I thought that the first Phyrne Fisher book (Cocaine Blues) was OK. I liked the characters and it had a good mystery. But it also had a lot of composition issues and included too much 20's and Australian slang for my comfort. I only kept reading because the books are all relatively short and it was helping me rack up the miles in the Around the World challenge. The second book (Flying Too High) was an improvement, so I kept on reading the series.

By the third book (Murder on the Ballarat Train), I was totally hooked on this series. Phyrne (pronounce Fry-nee), is a totally unique character, and you can't help but like her. She's a member of society and independently wealthy, so she starts taking on detective work as a favor to a friend. It keepsher from being bored LOL.She frequently rescues people - from all cultures and classes - and becomes involved in their mysteries and problems. Most of those people end up becoming her frined - or her lover. You never know what she's going to do - from walking on the wings of a 20's bi-plane to becoming a trick rider in a small circus. Each book is an adventure and I've really come to love this series. I'm soooo thankful that the Hennepin/Minneapolis library has them all!

Date Posted: 4/4/2010 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Isn't that Phryne Fisher not Phyrne? Maybe I'm mistaken...

Date Posted: 4/4/2010 10:49 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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You're very possibly correct, LeeAnne.I could have switched a few letters in her name.

Date Posted: 4/5/2010 8:49 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I forgot to post here that I did finish A Nail Through the Heart by Timothy Hallinan...it was great!! Takes place in Bangkok, Thailand and is definitely not cozy...it deals with the issues of the child sex trade and is quite graphic and not pleasant in some spots. It's about a travel writer named Poke Rafferty who now lives in Bangkok who is trying to earn some extra money so he can formally adopt Miaow, a young street urchin that he's taken in, as well as help his girlfriend Rose, an ex-bar girl/prostitute, get a cleaning business off the ground. It's a bit of a different tone than John Burdett's series set in Bangkok but just as steeped in the culture, and very well-written! I have the next two in the series here already and I think I won't wait too long to get to them. HIghly recommended if you like foreign mysteries and are not squeamish.

Cheryl

Mary (mepom) -
Subject: FAR, FAR AWAY
Date Posted: 5/18/2010 7:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 1,192
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Edwin of the Iron Shoes by Marcia Muller

COMPLETE

Date Posted: 5/29/2010 1:15 AM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2009
Posts: 7,620
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Last Edited on: 10/15/13 10:38 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/22/2010 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 483
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I recently finished Death of a Lake by Arthur Upfield and I strongly recommend it! It takes place in the state ofNew South Wales inAustralia on a sheep station. The property has a lake that was created three years prior by flood rain. The lake is in the process of drying up due to drought. Apparently this is a cycle that happens about every 20 years on this spot. The employees of this station are waiting with baited breath because the evaporation of the lake should reveal the body of a young man who drowned in the lake a year or so before....and also a clue to his hidden fortune. What makes this book so enthralling is the description of the heat, wildlife and human interactions during a drought in this land.If you haven't read any of Upfield's books with the character Detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte or "Boney" as he is called by his friends, I strongly suggest you read The Bone is Pointed which is also excellent (or one of the other earlier books) to get some background on Bony, including how he got his unusual name.