The East Bay Mystery Readers Group - 3 June 2003 Meeting Recap

THE EYRE AFFAIR (Fant, Lib. Fiction, Sci-Fi) - Jasper Fforde - EXCELLENT "Unusual, indeed; is Fforde's debut, set in 1985 in an alternate London, literature is (refreshingly) so important that you can get punished for forging Byronic verses. Then someone starts kidnapping literary characters Jane Eyre's disappearance is particularly traumatic and Special Operative Thursday Next must stop this before it's too late."

We all loved this! It is clever, literate and just plain fun. It does take some thought, but here are two websites for reference:
MURDER IN HELL'S KITCHEN (Police Fiction) - Lee Harris - Very Good "After twenty years of loyal service, Detective Jane Bauer is just two months and one case away from leaving the NYPD for a cushy desk job. Her last assignment: working for a special unit that tackles unsolved crimes. At a crossroads in her personal life, Jane relishes the chance to lose herself in a challenging investigation. Four years ago, Arlen Quill was found dead in the entryway to his apartment building-leaving no clues, no witnesses, and no leads. When Jane decides to interview Quill’s old neighbors, she makes a startling discovery: Every single occupant at the time of the murder subsequently disappeared. Like any seasoned New Yorker, Jane knows that mere homicide isn’t enough to drive people from their rent-controlled apartments. In Hell’s Kitchen, where a cold case suddenly heats up-Jane soon finds herself face-to-face with a killer. . . . "

We liked this very much. There were some very convenient plot elements, but felt it was well thought out and liked the twist at the end. We would definitely read another by Ms. Harris

SCAVENGER REEF (Det. Fiction) - Laurence Shames - Good "Key West artist Augie Silver's paintings are worth a fortune, if he is dead, but he may be still alive and ready to paint again; and there are those who want to make sure that he is dead."

The characters were a bit irritating but we liked the premise and the atmosphere. The ending, and bit of morality lesson, made the whole story.

Books for July 1st are:

ORCHESTRATED DEATH (British Pol. Proced) - Cynthia Harrod-Eagles "This British author's first mystery introduces Detective Inspector Bill Slider, taken advantage of at work and pummeled verbally at home by his incompatible spouse. His own dissatisfaction leads Slider to become immersed in solving the murder of a beautiful young violin player. With the help of best friend Sergeant Atherton and the sympathetic ear of newfound true love Joanna, Slider uncovers a far-flung conspiracy. Nicely detailed prose, approachable characters with very human problems, and comforting police procedure quicken the plot."

ANGELS & DEMONS (Thriller) - Dan Brown World-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. What he discovers is unimaginable: a deadly vendetta against the Catholic Church by a centuries-old underground organization -- the Illuminati. Desperate to save the Vatican from a powerful time bomb, Langdon joins forces in Rome with the beautiful and mysterious scientist Vittoria Vetra. Together they embark on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and the most secretive vault on earth...the long-forgotten Illuminati lair.

FIRE, BURN! (Classic Mystery / Time Travel) - John Dickson Carr "Here is another in Carr's entrancing series of historical mysteries. Complete with an exciting and puzzling plot, period romance, and accurate historical detail, Fire, Burn! is a captivating depiction of the early years of the world's first true police force: Sir Robert Peel's "Peelers."

Books for August 5th are:

FAMILY VALUES - K.C. Constantine
JUROR NUMBER ELEVEN - Terry Devane
COLD SLICE - L.T. Fawkes

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