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Group Read Discussions > June/July 2012 Group Read: Whiskey Sour

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message 1: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 2002 comments Mod
I'll be leading the discussion of Whiskey Sour by J. A. Konrath.

This is the first in the Jack Daniels series and it's the first book by Konrath that I've read - or actually listened to. I enjoyed both the story and the narration on the audiobook.


message 2: by Cindee (new)

Cindee (cindeeduong) The first novel that I've read by Konrath was Bloody Mary and it was just hysterical! I look forward to reading Whiskey Sour and all the other titles in the series.


message 3: by Linda (new)

Linda Boyd (lboyd5900attnet) | 332 comments I reqeusted the audio copy of this one from my library


message 4: by M. (new)

M. Myers (MRuth) | 99 comments I read Whiskey Sour because I'd read some of Konrath's blog posts & wanted to see what I thought of him as a writer. What is think is he's very good, has great pacing, and in Jackie Daniels I've found a new series/heroine to enjoy.


message 5: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 4425 comments ordered my copy from the bookstore and will pick it up tomorrow. looking forward to reading this!


message 6: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 59 comments If you happen to be an audible customer, I noticed it was on sale for $4.95 (as are all of Konrath's books). I'd already bought it on kindle, but thought I'd mention it here in case anyone was interested.


message 7: by Linda (new)

Linda Boyd (lboyd5900attnet) | 332 comments I started the audio on this one today, currently on disc 2. Not sure how I'm feeling about it, just so so, so far.


message 8: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 4425 comments Linda wrote: "I started the audio on this one today, currently on disc 2. Not sure how I'm feeling about it, just so so, so far."

i agree- i'm only about 50 pages in so i'm still on the fence on this one. ( i don't know if it's to early to comment on specifics)


message 9: by Connie (last edited Jun 21, 2012 05:59PM) (new)

Connie I had some difficulty with the graphic violence described in the beginning of the book, but it did ease up as the book progressed. I do like the main character Jack because she is such a strong, sassy, mature woman.
To be fair, I guess it would be a weaker book if Jack didn't have such a vile serial killer as an opponent. His violent acts just confirm him as sadistic and twisted.


message 10: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 2002 comments Mod
Hi Connie, I agree the opening graphic violence was a bit difficult but it is countered by Jackie's wry outlook on life which actually had me laughing our loud.

I actually picked up this book because a reviewer said it was an unusual mix of humor and violence and I wanted to see how it worked.


message 11: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 19848 comments I read this a while ago. I liked Jack's character. And I thought Konrath captured much of what is Chicago. Not sure why I haven't picked up a second one, yet.

I may have thought some of the early part was a little on the lame side, but then I got into the story. And I felt like it picked up.

I read it on the kindle.


message 12: by Connie (new)

Connie I agree, Donna, that the humor is a nice touch that you do not find in crime fiction very often. And the juxtaposition of the humor and violence was well played.


message 13: by Anne (new)

Anne (lchancey) | 62 comments I have enjoyed his books for many years. The creepy violence is balanced with the funny characters. I have all of his books on my kindle. If you read further books the people overlap and weave their own stories. The bad guys/girls are worse than any other books I have read.


message 14: by GlenK (last edited Jun 24, 2012 01:04PM) (new)

GlenK | 8 comments Just started this and am finding it a well-written and fast read with an engaging main character. On the negative side though the chapters from the killer's point of view are extremely off-putting. I'm not sure yet whether pluses outweigh minuses and if I would want to continue the series.

Follow-up:
Finished it today and over all found it to be a good mystery thriller. The early killer point of view chapters were - as I said - off-putting but that was toned down as the book progressed. One thing I did not care for was the depiction of the FBI agents - they seemed too buffoonish.


message 15: by Carol (new)

Carol | 152 comments I'm about a third of the way through reading this book. I agree with the comments on Jack. She's tough, independent and humorous. That helps the story because I do have a bit of trouble reading the violent parts and the chapters voiced by Charles. So creepy and sick.
I got a kick out of Jack's Mom. She's quite a character. I wonder if she is in any of the other books in the series.
At this point, I am getting hooked. It's going to be a very fast read.


message 16: by Linda (new)

Linda Boyd (lboyd5900attnet) | 332 comments I hope to finish this one over the weekend, I am on disc 4, I think.... I do like Jack, she is a tough cookie. I'm not turned off by the violence, of course the gingerbread man is a sicko, but I enjoy lots of action in my Mystery/Thriller books. There are a fair amount of funny parts as well, I have laughed out loud.

I think Jack reminds me a tinney bit of Kinsey, from Sue Grafton's alphabet series.


message 17: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 4425 comments finished this book, unfortunately it wasn't for me.


message 18: by Carol (last edited Jun 24, 2012 05:41PM) (new)

Carol | 152 comments Finished! I really enjoyed this book. I liked the writing, the humor which balances the violent subject matter, and the main character, Jack Daniels.
I would like to read the next book to find out how Jack's personal life works out. Her life seems so depressing and I ended up wanting to know how she does in the future.
The last half of the book had me wanting to keep reading. This group always helps me to find new authors to experience. If left to my own devices, I'd just stay within my known comfort zone and never have any new adventures!


message 19: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 2002 comments Mod
What does everyone think of Herb Benedict,
Jack's partner? Konrath describes him as "the easy-going yin to Jack's hard-boiled yang."


message 20: by Linda (new)

Linda Boyd (lboyd5900attnet) | 332 comments I like him, I like that he really cares about Jack and her well being. Also I like that he helps her see the big picture, that is not all about the job, that she also needs to enjoy life, and have someone to share it with.


message 21: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 59 comments I liked Herb too. At first I was worried he was going to be a "dumb fat partner who loves to eat" stereotype, and I thought maybe his eating was overstated, but he isn't dumb and I think he gives Jack a perspective she needs.

I agree the FBI people come across as total idiots. However, they do give Jack some funny lines.


message 22: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 2002 comments Mod
I've known one or two FBI agents personally and they are not total idiots. There is, however, that certain outsider coming in with the "I'm going to solve all your problems" kind of attitude that he was poking fun at. It happens in all professions.

I agree, they did give Jack some great lines.


message 23: by Linda (new)

Linda Boyd (lboyd5900attnet) | 332 comments I think the author was a little over the top with the FBI, I know, not personally, but just from reading, that the local police never want to have the FBI come in a take their case, but these FBI agents were a little ridiculous, no one can be that clueless!!


message 24: by Linda (new)

Linda Boyd (lboyd5900attnet) | 332 comments I finished this one today, it was my first book by this author and I did enjoy it. Anyone want to discuss it - im ready....


message 25: by Carol (new)

Carol | 152 comments I thought that the FBI guys were over the top. I just thought of them as straight men for Jack.
I liked Herb. I thought the constant mention of his eating went a bit over the top as well. He seems to act as the anchor in her life and definitely the yin to her yang. She works all the time, while he can leave it all at the office. He eats too much, she doesn't eat very often. He suggests the Lunch Date group, and makes her act on it. There are other examples.
They are a likeable pair of partners.


message 26: by Michael (new)

Michael Drysdale | 10 comments Just finished the book, which I really enjoyed. This is the first book by Konrath which I’ve read. It was a fast read and I liked the balance between humour and violence. I agree with GlenK about the FBI agents. I liked Herb, he was an easy going contrast to stressed out Jack, although the food angle was overdone. At times Jack’s actions and thoughts seemed to me too much like a man. Do female readers agree?


message 27: by Carol (new)

Carol | 152 comments At times Jack’s actions and thoughts seemed to me too much like a man. Do female readers agree?

I do if you compare her to most women, but she seems like a fairly typical woman in a physical job surrounded by men.


message 28: by Joe (new)

Joe Caldwell (unimpressed) | 2 comments Just finished it this morning in the parking lot of work. I enjoyed it and will probably pick up the next one in the series. I had a couple of issues with it.
-The first, as mentioned previously, was the characterization of the of the FBI guys. While I understand they were there for "comic relief" I found it VERY distracting and almost bitter.
-Second is a spoiler
(view spoiler)

So while those were negatives to the book, I enjoyed the fast pace writing and will read more of Jack Daniels.


message 29: by Rachel (last edited Jun 26, 2012 11:52AM) (new)

Rachel | 4425 comments Michael wrote: "Just finished the book, which I really enjoyed. This is the first book by Konrath which I’ve read. It was a fast read and I liked the balance between humour and violence. I agree with GlenK about t..."

i agree that jack seemed to act and think like a man much of the time-

also was anyone else bothered that

(view spoiler)


message 30: by Linda (new)

Linda Boyd (lboyd5900attnet) | 332 comments Rachel wrote: "Michael wrote: "Just finished the book, which I really enjoyed. This is the first book by Konrath which I’ve read. It was a fast read and I liked the balance between humour and violence. I agree wi..."

I totally agree with you on your spoiler, I mean, they don't even check it, my thoughts are cops are more aware then that.


message 31: by Linda (new)

Linda Boyd (lboyd5900attnet) | 332 comments Carol wrote: "At times Jack’s actions and thoughts seemed to me too much like a man. Do female readers agree?

I do if you compare her to most women, but she seems like a fairly typical woman in a physical job ..."


I didn't think about Jack acting more like a man then a women, she reminded me of Kinsey Millhone, the PI in the Sue Grafton books, I wonder if they come across like that because of their profession. Another similiarity to me is that both of these women don't have a significant other, I wonder why that is


message 32: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 2002 comments Mod
I didn't think Jack was more like a man because even in 2004 (when this book was written) woman often had to be "tougher" to advance in the more male dominated professions.

The fact that Herb had a normal home life is, unfortunately, not the norm for people who have very demanding jobs like homicide detectives, so it is not surprising that Jack's marriage suffered.

Rachel - I thought about (view spoiler)


message 33: by Carol (new)

Carol Connie wrote: "I had some difficulty with the graphic violence described in the beginning of the book, but it did ease up as the book progressed. I do like the main character Jack because she is such a strong, sa..."

I almost quit this book last night because of the sadism, but someone suggested that I just skip the nasty sections and enjoy the rest.


message 34: by Tracyk (new)

Tracyk | 7 comments I started this two days ago (after my husband finished it) and finished today, so for me it was a quick read and enjoyable. The chapters narrated by Charles were creepy and graphic, but I do find I enjoy novels that give us more than one point of view.

I liked the dynamic between the two partners, they reminded me of Jane Rizzoli and her partner in the TV show (not in the books). The portrayal of the FBI guys was off-putting for me; that should have been skipped entirely in my opinion.

If I read more books in a year, I would probably continue this series. As a slow reader, I have to pick and choose and I don't think I will find time to continue it.


message 35: by Carol (new)

Carol I agree about the FBI references, which I could do without also.


message 36: by Nancy H (new)

Nancy H | 37 comments I really liked this novel - I got hooked on it and couldn't stop reading. I've had it sitting on my shelf for years, and now I don't know why I put it off for so long, because it was quite enjoyable. I agree that Jack reminds me of Kinsey Milhone, or maybe V.I. Warshawsky from the Sara Paretsky novels. Either way, I've found a new heroine to read about.


message 37: by Kassandra (new)

Kassandra Lamb (KassLamb) | 12 comments Not quite finished yet but I agree with a lot of the comments here, A good read overall and I am enjoying Jack and Herb. I was more than a little put off by the FBI portrayal. As a psychologist, I know that there is a lot of science, as well as talent, involved in profiling. The over-the-top portrayal of the FBI agents as fools is really distracting for me.


message 38: by Krystol (new)

Krystol | 11 comments This book was difficult for me to get into at the beginning. I felt the humor was a little forced at first and not very funny but as the book progressed I did come to like Jack Daniels. She is one tough cop with plenty of sarcasm to go with it but you do find yourself cheering her on to catch a serial killer, the gingerbread man. Will I continue the series? No, I liked the story in the end but did not love it. I wouldn't want to keep reading about her. One thing that I did find driving me crazy during the story was you never really got a good mental picture of what she looked like! You could picture her partner and even the killer well but her face, body, coloring etc was not well described so I had a hard time conjuring up a mental image of her throughout the book. So all in all it was an ok read, I did laugh out loud in many places when she was interacting with the FBI duo etc but it wasn't enough for me to want to find out what happens to her in book 2.


message 39: by fivesunflowers (new)

fivesunflowers | 55 comments Just picked up this book at the library today - going to start on it soon :)


message 40: by Sherry (new)

Sherry Ward | 3 comments Connie wrote: "I had some difficulty with the graphic violence described in the beginning of the book, but it did ease up as the book progressed. I do like the main character Jack because she is such a strong, sa..."

I felt the same way loved the main character Jack but had difficulty with some of the graphic parts in describing the crimes


message 41: by Sherry (new)

Sherry Ward | 3 comments Krystol wrote: "This book was difficult for me to get into at the beginning. I felt the humor was a little forced at first and not very funny but as the book progressed I did come to like Jack Daniels. She is one ..."

I liked the book but I have to agree I would not read the series although I am a little curious about what will happen between her and Latham


message 42: by Sherry (new)

Sherry Ward | 3 comments Just finished Whiskey Sour. It was an enjoyable read and had suspense. I liked Jack and I am curious about what will happen between her and Latham. I did not like the graphic descriptions of the crimes. I do not think I will read the series at this point


message 43: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (Lola722) | 3 comments I feel like most:
I liked Jack, though she was a bit tough. However, I think she has to be to do that job.
I liked the writing and how humor and violence were used accordingly. I also laughed out loud a few times.
I didn't mind the violence. That's part of reading a book about a sadistic serial killer.
I thought the author made the 'Feebies' too simple. I didn't like how the profiles were so ridiculous.
Like someone else said- why in the world would two cops eat found candy? That was just silly.
I don't know that I will read another in the series. Maybe if it was free...I have a feeling Jack's personal life will be just one bad date after another.


message 44: by Kelly (new)

Kelly | 30 comments SPOILER ALERT

I liked the book. I would read another. I am glad that Latham decided to give Jack another chance even after her job nearly got him killed after one date. I agree with Lisa that the violence is part of reading a book about a sadistic serial killer. I would offer a different take on the FBI agents that I have not seen mentioned - they are intended to be comic relief. Obviously profiling in real life is a serious business, if not an exact science, but the author chose to buffoon the FBI agents to lighten the mood in the book overall. Lastly, I agree that the candy thing is the most unbelievable thing in the book. I mean, really, they aren't even going to have it checked out?!? No note, etc. But, I liked the book enough to try another in the series, so thanks, for a great recommendation!


message 45: by Kelly (new)

Kelly | 30 comments Oh, and I like the fact that the male partner is the one who tries to leave the job on the job and takes time out for his family, and the female is the one who is living the job. They compliment each other nicely, but the eating thing was a bit over done.


message 46: by Shannon (new)

Shannon (ShannonDIsbell) | 119 comments library didn't have this book in they put me on the list so when it comes in they will call me


message 47: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 2002 comments Mod
Kelly wrote: "Oh, and I like the fact that the male partner is the one who tries to leave the job on the job and takes time out for his family, and the female is the one who is living the job. They compliment e..."

I did like that bit of role reversal and it was probably even more unusual in 2004 when this book was originally published.


message 48: by C.R. (new)

C.R. Myers (CRMyers) | 4 comments Konrath can be graphic at times, but he's a good writer and I enjoy his books. Looking forward to the next one.


message 49: by M. (new)

M. Myers (MRuth) | 99 comments I'm loving everyone's comments on whether or not Jackie thinks & acts too much like a man. I'm mostly amazed that we're still having such a discussion in 2012. True, a majority of men may have certain predispositions in the way they think. The same is true for a majority of women. However, there are many, many exceptions.

I think women who have lived on their own and held their own in the workplace, especially in male dominated fields, are likely to be tougher, more self-contained and more dispassionate. Is that "like a man"? Not sure, since I'm much more comfortable with the concept of individuals rather than genders.

I like the character of Jackie D. and intend to read more of the series.


message 50: by Michael (new)

Michael Drysdale | 10 comments SPOILER ALERT
At the time I read it the candy scene didn’t bother me. Maybe because you already know what’s in the candy means that you can go with the flow of the story and not question the credibility too much. However in retrospect the scene does lack credibility. Donna said it may have been Halloween and Herb was being teased. I re-read that bit again and I don’t think Halloween was mentioned. I think the author could have added something like that to make the scene more credible.


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