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3rd quarter book group report

Girl Waits with Gun book cover
Mystery Book Group

The Lakeview Mystery Group had an eclectic mix of titles for our most recent quarter of reading. A classic, a thriller and an historical that's a fictionalized account of one of the first female detectives in the country.

Our classic title for July was Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey, a title I've long wanted to read and somehow never had (a nice fact about book groups is that you have to finally read that dang book). Tey, who has quite the fascinating life I have to say, explores the historical mystery of who killed the princes in the tower in the 15th century if not the man most people accuse, Richard III? Delving into the history is Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant who has been confined to a bed in hospital after injuring himself on the job. To pass the time he takes a deep dive into historical record to see if he can solve the crime that has challenged historians for centuries. I personally found this to be a fascinating and even fun book and for the most part the group felt the same, though some found it a bit dry and slow - a fact that actually helped make for a lively discussion and one that made many of us want to do more research.

In August we went with a thriller and read Dennis Lehane's Since We Fell. I'd say of our three titles for the quarter this was probably the most disappointing (and it's Lehane!). Lehane's protagonist in this standalone is Rachel Childs and the book starts with her shooting her husband and then flashes back to explain how she got to that point. So to say that this one started out with a bang is not an exaggeration. But then it bogged down for a good while only to pick up steam and end on a wild note that left some of the group shaking their heads in disbelief. For our discussion we ended up talking a bit more about the structure of the book and the plotting then we did anything else.

Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart was our September title and it was probably the favorite for the group, although some did think (including me) that it took a bit long to really get going. This one is not a mystery so much as it's a crime story. The crime here is one that really happened in 1914 New Jersey. The author was researching something else when she came across a newspaper article that talked about the first female detective in state history, Constance Kopp. Girl Waits with Gun is a fictionalized account of how that came to pass. Fun stuff and great historical detail led to some great discussion.

I'm a little late in posting this so we've already done our October title, After I'm Gone by Laura Lippman. For November we'll be heading to Sweden and meeting Kurt Wallander in Faceless Killers. Report to come.

Oct 22, 2019