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Just Desserts: The Results of our May "Series Share"

June 18, 2013 by sdc

In May, the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group sponsored by the libraries conducted an experiment. Instead of all the participants reading the same exact book and meeting to discuss it, all interested attendees were asked to read the 1st or 2nd book in ANY new mystery series (preferably a "Cozy" or "Amateur Detective" series) that has launched within just the past couple of years.

At our meeting, we went around the table, and each Just Desserts member was given a couple of minutes to describe the major characters, settings, style and tone of the series they sampled, plus to offer up their opinion as to whether or not they'd recommend the series.

In the list below, in no order whatsoever, we provide the titles and authors for each series sampled. We also offer up the Just Desserts reviewer's opinions -- LIKED, DISLIKED or SO-SO!

Killer Librarian by Mary Lou Kirwin -- SO-SO
The Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson -- LIKED
Rogue Island by Bruce DeSilva -- LIKED
Cat Trick by Sofie Kelly -- DISLIKED
That Old Flame of Mine by J.J. Cook -- SO-SO
The Tale of the Tip Off by Rita Mae Brown -- LIKED
Grace Under Pressure by Julie Hyzy -- LIKED
The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames -- LIKED
Crashed by Timothy Hallinan -- LIKED
Books Can be Deceiving, Due or Die, and Book, Line and Sinker by Jenn McKinlay -- LIKED
The Christie Curse by Victoria Abbott -- LIKED
Alive by Loren Estleman -- LIKED
Still Life with Crows by Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston -- LIKED
Whack and Roll and Shake, Murder and Roll by Gail Oust -- LIKED
Peach Pies and Alibis and Pies and Prejudice by Ellery Adams -- DISLIKED
Death by the Dozen, Going, Going, Ganache and Buttercream Bumpoff, all by Jenn McKinlay -- LIKED
The Last Wool and Testament by Molly Macrae -- LIKED
Tender Mercy of Roses by Anna Michaels -- LIKED
A Deal to Die For and 50% Off Murder by Josie Belle (a.k.a. Jen McKinley) -- LIKED
In Plain Sight by Lorena McCourtney -- LIKED
Gone by Mo Hayder -- LIKED
Ritual by Mo Hayder -- SO-SO
The October Killings and Those Who Love Night by Wessel Ebersohn -- SO-SO
Deadly Politics by Maggie Sefton -- LIKED, though it was poorly edited - lots of typos
Just Desserts by Mary Daheim -- SO-SO
Helsinki White and/or Helsinki Blood by Jack Thompson -- LIKED
The Inspector and Silence by Hakan Nesser -- SO-SO

Books that didn't quite fit our criteria for the series share meeting:

Waiting to Be Heard by Amanda Knox
Aunt Dimity and the Lost Prince by Nancy Atherton
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
Honeymoon by James Patterson
Calico Joe by John Grisham
Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland
The Artist (DVD)
Thereby Hangs a Tail by Spencer Quinn
The Submission (a One Book One Lincoln 2012 finalist)
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

Members of Just Desserts also wanted to share the following information of possible interest to fellow mystery readers:

The "All Seward Reads Together" selection for 2013 is Doc by Mary Doria Russell

Author Marie Bostwick will be appearing at Quilt Nebraska, at Concordia University in Seward, on July 27th


Tagged in: Just Desserts, mysteries, book group, discussion group, book discussion, recommendations, booktalk booklists,

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