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Topic: Mysteries that make for good Book Group discussion

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Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Subject: Mysteries that make for good Book Group discussion
Date Posted: 3/8/2011 8:47 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 39,724
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I run the book group at my church. We pick all different types of books, but have not done many mysteries because some of the members feel there is not enough to discuss in a mystery book. We did Stll Life by Louise Penny last month and had a very nice discussion.

Can any one recommend a good mystery/thriller that could result in a lively discussion. Generally they like books 300-400 pages.

Thanks

Alice

Date Posted: 3/8/2011 9:41 AM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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I asked this same question last November when I wanted to choose a mystery for my book discussion group.   Here's a link to that discussion thread: http://www.paperbackswap.com/Recommendations-Mystery-Thriller-Book-Club/topic/219621/.  I thought there were some good recommendations there and have archived the thread for when I have to recommend a book for next year also.

We did end up going with Blood Hollow by William Kent Kreuger for my book club - and we discussed it at our meeting last week and had a pretty good discussion (not including the one woman who didn't read the book because she only reads books with good - ie literary quality - writing).   Blood Hollow was particularly appropriate for our group because we're a Minnesota group and this book is set in Minnesota, but it deals with issues that are universal like prejudice, faith and miracles.  So it might be a great book for a church book club.

Date Posted: 3/8/2011 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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You could look into The Way the Crow Flies by Canadian author Ann-Marie MacDonald.  I read this when it first came out and was immediately taken with the authors writing.  This is a multi-layered novel that is based on a real murder case from Canada in the 1950s.  I think you could find all sorts of things to talk about. (It's a huge book, though. The hardcover version is 700+ pages!)

Mary (mepom) -
Subject: TWO CHOICES
Date Posted: 3/8/2011 2:43 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 1,192
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I am almost finished (lack about 30 pages) with RIGHT AS RAIN by George Pelecanos. This book is described below at SYKM. I guess it depends on how "lively" you want your discussion to be. This has "race issues"   "drugs"   but both are  handled in a mild way. Also, I think a discussion about the 2 ex-policemen's friendship and how they are handling stress could be very interesting.

I COULD NOT PUT THE BOOK DOWN UNTIL MIDNIGHT, EVEN THOUGH I ONLY LACKED A FEW PAGES. QUIT ONLY BECAUSE I HAD TO ARISE AT 6AM AND DRIVE AN HOUR FOR WORK  AT 8AM. CANNOT WAIT TO GET HOME AND FINISH

 

George Pelecanos
George P. Pelecanos
[1957-]
 
   
  Derek Strange, black and successful, and Terry Quinn, white and barely holding on, ex-cops turned private investigators, in Washington, DC:  
 

Right as Rain (2001)
Finalist 2002 Barry Award for Best Novel
Finalist 2001 Gold Dagger Award

Finalist 2001 Hammett Prize

My second choice would be:

 THE TENDERNESS OF WOLVES BY Stef Penney. It is set in snowy Canada with lots of suspense and beauty. The author has a degree in philosophy and theology. She is a screenwriter and this is her first novel. It is set in late 1800. The book was  2006 Costa Book of the Year Winner. THIS IS MILDER THAN RIGHT AS RAIN. Lots of issues to discuss, such as "the religious community that was established" "gay son"  "trust and friendship of the Mother and the guide" "problems that were caused by solitude of the men"  etc.

Just my two cents.

Mary



Last Edited on: 3/8/11 2:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 3/21/2011 7:39 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 39,724
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Thanks for the recommendations. Mysteries are tough for a book group. Some folks just don't like them and deem them not as appropriate as Classic  lit may be. I will brign in a few recommendations.

Alice