EBMRG - 2 December 2003 Meeting Recap

The East Bay Mystery Readers' Group - 2 December 2003 Meeting Recap

BLOOD JUNCTION (Amateur Sleuth) - Caroline Carver - G- When journalist India Kane travels from Sydney to the outback town of Cooinda for a reunion with her friend, Lauren, she has no idea of the town's appalling history. Forty years earlier an entire aboriginal family had been massacred there. Picked up by an off-duty cop when her car dies en route, India arrives in Cooinda to find that Lauren has disappeared. The next day Lauren's body, and the cop who helped India, are found murdered. India, the last person to have seen the cop alive, is arrested for murder. India knows that she has been framed for the murder, and resolves to find out why Lauren died. In time, she ties these deaths to the earlier massacre and discovers a beautiful, yet awful truth about her own history.

While we all liked the location, found the book entertaining overall and very readable, the consensus was that there were some major flaws. The basic plot was very farfetched. At times India seemed very savvy, other times she was definitely TSTL. The writing was fluid and moved along, but the ending was very weak. Only one of us said they might read another by Ms. Carver. We ranked the book Good for readability, but with a minus due to the flaws.

DON'T LEAVE ME (Police Procedural) - Clare Curzon - Okay Eight years ago, Caroline Winterton disappeared, a case that fell into the hands of ambitious Sergeant Mike Yeadings. However, the crime, if indeed there was a crime, was never solved. But now Caroline's eleven-year-old daughter, Julie is missing. And Yeadings, now detective superintendent, wonders if this episode of déjà vu will finally reveal what happened to the girl's mother.

The Group felt that while the writing was good, the plot was awkward and poorly crafted. It just rather plodded along. There was very good potential for suspense, but it never got anywhere and there was one rather long scene we felt was completely unnecessary to the story. We know Ms. Curzon is a prolific and popular author and can only assume this was one of her less compelling efforts.

TROPHY WIDOW (Legal Thriller) - Michael A. Kahn - Very Good Rachel Gold agrees to represent Angela Green, a convicted murderer who has been offered a lucrative book deal. In gathering background, Rachel discovers some inconsistencies in the murder case that cast doubt on Green's guilt and reveal a multilayered construct of greed, sex, and political finagling that involves some of St. Louis' most prominent citizens.

This was the favorite of the group and a series where I've read all the books. Mr. Kahn is a male author who has a very convincing female voice. The plot is well crafted, dialogue excellent and characters credible. The story holds together well. We all very much enjoyed this book.


BLUE MOON (Amateur Sleuth) - Peter Duchin and John Morgan Wilson
Two years after the unsolved murder of his pregnant wife, society pianist/band leader Philip Damon returns to the city where he first met her for a stylish fundraiser. San Francisco holds a rude shock: he sees his wife's apparent double at the Fairmont Hotel with a real estate tycoon's heir and the heir winds up murdered. With the help of a few well-placed friends, Damon figures out the connection between his wife's death and this present trouble.
GREEN GIRLS (Psychological Thriller) - Michael Kimball
A writer, a father, a husband, the owner of a strictly ordered life, Jacob Winter is not a man prone to violence -- until the day he walks in unexpectedly on his wife's affair. Awakening in a small-town Maine jail with no memory of his alleged rampage, he is bailed out by Alix Callahan, a mysterious ethnobotanist who claims to own a small piece of his past.
THE DEVIL'S HIGHWAY (Historical Mystery) - Hannah March
Set in Georgian England. Traveling to the country home of this new employer, private tutor Robert Fairfax arrives at a lonely stretch of road that has become known as the haunt of a notorious highwayman. But nothing can prepare him for the shocking discovery of a stagecoach tipped into a ditch--and the dead bodies within it.
Books for February 3rd are:
ONE GRAVE TOO MANY - Beverly Connor
REEF DANCE - John DeCure
NOT QUITE KOSHER - Stuart M. Kaminsky

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