The East Bay Mystery Readers' Group - 1 April 2003 Meeting Recap

WALKING THE PERFECT SQUARE (Det. Fiction) - Reed Farrel Coleman - Good "Moe, an ex-cop forced to retire because of a knee injury, is to find the son of another cop, a young man who left a party one night and hasn't been seen since. So many people have been searching for Patrick Mahoney in the 20 years since his disappearance that Moe doesn't expect to be successful."

Blaire felt the ending seemed contrived but liked that there was resolution to the disappearance after so many years. Charlotte found it took her awhile to get into the story, bit then liked it. I liked it best, enjoying the voice which was very New York, and feeling he balanced the two time periods of past and present very well. I have ordered the rest of this books and Libby read his previous book "They Don't Play Stickball in Milwaukee," which is from his Dylan Klein series, which she enjoyed.

THE ANALYST (Suspense) - John Katenbach - Very Good (Blaire, Libby and LJ) - Good (Charlotte) "Analyst Dr. Frederick Starks has just turned 53 and, on his birthday, receives a letter informing him that he has ruined the letter-writer's life and now his own life is about to be ruined. Starks must solve a riddle, he is told. He must find out whose life he ruined within two weeks. If he does not, he must kill himself. If he does not kill himself, then those nearest and dearest to him will be killed. The letter is signed, Rumpelstiltskin."

Blaire and Charlotte had trouble with the first 1/3 of the book, finding it too long and the character too weak, but were glad they stayed with it as it picked up after that. Libby and I were hooked from the beginning and found the character believable and the first 1/3 necessary to make the rest work well.

DEADLY NIGHTSHADE (Cozy) - Cynthia Rigge - NOT RECOMMENDED "In this series debut by newcomer Riggs, 92-year-old Victoria Trumbull's keen hearing results in the discovery of a mutilated body in the harbor at Martha's Vineyard. But granddaughter Elizabeth, who works in the harbor office, and her boss, an ex-New York cop named Domingo, realize that the murderer may now target Victoria as a witness."

The group was unanimous in its ranking of this book as one of the 10 Worst Books ever written. The characters were annoying; and the writing wooden amateurish, and rife with grammatical and editing errors.

Books for May 6th are:

A TERRIBLE BEAUTY (Horror): Graham Masterton THE WHITE CROW (Historical): Cynthia Peale
IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER (Amateur Sleuth - noncozy): Jill Spencer-Fleming

Books for June 3rd are: THE EYRE AFFAIR (Surrealism, Fantasy, Alternative History, Sci-Fic with Literary plots) - Jasper Fforde
MURDER IN HELLS'S KITCHEN (Police Fiction) - Lee Harris
SCAVENGER REEF - Laurence Shames

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