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Book Club

Information and Reading Lists for book club meetings.

Reading List

It's a Mystery . . .

Looking to start a mystery series? Finding fascinating characters you can follow through a number of books and interesting situations? If so, this meeting is for you! Sandy Placzek will discuss some of her favorite "go to" mystery series. The Reading List below includes the author, the "main character", the first book, and the latest book in each series. The box on the left side of the page provides information on other series brought up and discussed during the meeting.

November 5 meeting.


Laurie R. King: Mary Russell

It's 1915. Mary Russell lost both her parents and her brother in a car accident, and is living in Sussex, England with an Aunt. Walking in the Downs, she meets Sherlock Holmes and thus begins an engaging series full of intrigue, unusual locales, and enchanting characters. If you love history, well developed characters, and well layered plots, this series is for you. The Beekeeper's Apprentice (highlighted below) is the first in the series; the most recent is Riviera Gold. Although it is not necessary to read the series in order as each book stands on it's own, the books are chronological and reading them in order is helpful.

For more information about Laurie R. King and the Mary Russell series, click on the blue text above to link to Laurie R. King's webpage.

Steve Berry: Cotton Mather

Bookseller and former U.S. Justice Department agent Cotton Mather continues to get pulled back to help the agency he left and Stephanie Nelle, his former boss. With tantalizing historical connections and conspiracies, a medieval castle building love interest, and lots of action, it's difficult not to the books in this series. The Templar Legacy (highlighted below) is the first in the series; the most recent is The Warsaw Protocol. Although it is not necessary to read the series in order as each book stands on it's own, reading them in order can be helpful to put some characters in context.

For more information about Steve Berry and the Cotton Mather series, click on the blue text above to link to Steve Berry's webpage.

Ian Hamilton: Ava Lee

Ava Lee is a forensic account, and her "accounting" work takes her from her home base in Canada to exotic Asian locales. Tracking hidden millions through intricate money trails, working with Uncle Chow Tung, and using her bak mei skills to get out of tricky situations, Ava's stories are hard to put down. The Water Rat of Wanchai (highlighted below) is the first in the series; the most recent is The Diamond Queen of Singapore. Although it is not necessary to read the series in order as each book stands on it's own, reading them in order can be helpful to put some characters in context. If you like Ava & Uncle Chow, Hamilton has a spin-off series featuring Uncle Chow.

For more information about Ian Hamilton and the Ava Lee series, click on the blue text above to link to Ian Hamilton's webpage.

Daniel Silva: Gabriel Allon

Gabriel Allon, art restorer and Israeli Spy becomes involved numerous international incidents. This deeply layered series builds on some intense themes, and is always thought provoking with deeply engaging installments. The Kill Artist (highlighted below) is the first in the series; the most recent is The Order. It is helpful but not necessary to read the series in order to enjoy the it; reading them in order does help put characters in context and explain certain situations.

For more information about Daniel Silva and the Gabriel Allon series, click on the blue text above to link to Daniel Silva's webpage.

Charles Todd: Bess Crawford

Bess Crawford is a nurse during World War I and her postings lead to some unexpected places, forcing her to puzzle through and resolve often tense or dangerous situations. Charles Todd, and mother and son writing team, have captured the feel of the United Kingdom and France during World War I, using the series to shed light on some of the heavy emotional issues faced by those involved in the Great War.  A Duty to the Dead (highlighted below) is the first in the series; the most recent is A Casualty of War. It is helpful but not necessary to read the series in order to enjoy the it; reading them in order does help put characters in context and explain certain situations.

For more information about Charles Todd and the Bess Crawford series, click on the blue text above to link to Charles Todd's webpage and scroll down the page to The History of Nurse Bess Crawford section.

Jacqueline Winspear: Maisie Dobbs

Psychologist and Investigator Maisie Dobbs had humble beginnings in pre-World War I England. Jacqueline Winspear's engaging series introduces Maisie in the first novel in the series and takes us through her life and investigations in the period up to World War II. A unique approach to investigation with an engaging cast of characters, this series does not shy away from some heavy social and emotional issues.  Maisie Dobbs (highlighted below) is the first in the series; the most recent is The American Agent. It is helpful but not necessary to read the series in order to enjoy the it; reading them in order does help put characters in context and explain certain situations.

For more information about Jacqueline Winspear and the Maisie Dobbs series, click on the blue text above to link to Jacqueline Winspear's webpage.

Janet Evanovich: Stephanie Plum

Plum Crazy.

With her trusty side kick, former prostitute Lula, Bounty Hunter Stephanie Plum somehow manages to get skips in for rebounding - while solving some pretty weird mysteries. With some "salty" and sometimes graphic language, and through often laugh-out-loud misadventures in "The Burg" (a suburb of Trenton, New Jersey) and a host of wacky characters, Stephanie's adventures are escapist reading at it's best. Janet Evanovich has a way of making the unbelievable seem believable. After the first in the series, One for the Money (highlighted below), chances are you'll want to devour the rest in the series just to see what Stephanie gets up to next. Twisted Twenty-Six is the latest in the series. Although you can start the series at any points, it's best to read it in order to meet the characters and get the backstory on certain situations. Bonus: if you enjoy books on tape, this series is an excellent listen.

For more information about Janet Evanovich and the Stephanie Plum series, click on the blue text above to link to Janet Evanovich's webpage.