Q&A with Josh Lanyon discussion

Somebody Killed His Editor (Holmes & Moriarity, #1)
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Book of the Month Club > July 2012: Somebody Killed His Editor

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Calathea | 2615 comments I hope it's okay to create a new topic...

Will start reading the first two chapters in an hour or so.


Antonella | 3978 comments It's more than ok!

I never started a topic in my life and I was wondering if I had to check how it is done. Now I can spare the effort ;-)

Just for the general information: chapter 1 and 2 are 14 pages in total, chapter 3 would be 10 pages more. Just saying...


Calathea | 2615 comments Sorry, I didn't want to prevent you from learning how to make a new topic! ;-)) You can find a small link 'new topic' above the list of all topics in 'discussions'.

Just for the general information: chapter 1 and 2 are 14 pages in total, chapter 3 would be 10 pages more. Just saying...

You're right. Chapter 2 is quite short. Let's go for three, then. :-)

Are you reading paperback or ebook?


Antonella | 3978 comments Paperback, of course, my dear! ;-).

I've got almost everything by Josh on paper and in fact most also as ebook. I still have to order CUTYS though...


Susinok | 3098 comments OK I'm ready. Downloaded it and All She Wrote back on to my Kindle. I can't read just one...


Antonella | 3978 comments I love the possibilities given nowadays by Internet, especially for people coming from another culture.

The reference to ''Unsolved Misteries'' and ''Robert Stack's God-like voice'' at page 10 (paperback) can become very real, see here:

Unsolved Mysteries TV intro
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_jMOV...


Calathea | 2615 comments Antonella wrote: "Paperback, of course, my dear! ;-)."

Me, too. Then we are on the same page, so to say... ;-)

I'll ask you how feel after the first three chapters, so be prepared and take notes!


Antonella | 3978 comments I thought we would do it s we read.

Anyway I've got something I don't catch at page 12: ''I was the victim of a kind of literary middle-aged spread- and I was barely forty''. Can someone give me a synonym for ''spread'' here?


Calathea | 2615 comments I thought something like 'range'.


Calathea | 2615 comments The first page was enough to remind me why I love this book (or Josh's books in general). It's the kind of humour I adore.

"It won't kill you to dress up for once."

Famous last words. Me and my career, both dead in one week.



Antonella | 3978 comments I found two new things, and I'm reading for the 4th time I think...

About ''the day would come when MissB. and I could no longer hoist ourselves over the transom'' (page 13). In the past I had interpreted ''hoist ourselves over the transom'' as ''overcome an obstacle''. Now I went to check and it means something different and strictly related to the publishing word, see here:
http://www.aboutfreelancewriting.com/...


And the other fact I didn't catch before is that ''Death Be Not Proud'' is a sonnet by John Donne: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_Be...


Hambel | 1054 comments Antonella wrote: "I thought we would do it s we read.

Anyway I've got something I don't catch at page 12: ''I was the victim of a kind of literary middle-aged spread- and I was barely forty''. Can someone give me ..."


Middle-aged spread is the weight we put on around our stomach and hips when we hit mid-life.


message 13: by Antonella (last edited Jul 14, 2012 01:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Antonella | 3978 comments Calathea wrote: "I thought something like 'range'."

Uh, thanks, but I still don't catch this...

ETA: Thank you, Hambel! Now it is clear!


Hambel | 1054 comments Calathea wrote: "The first page was enough to remind me why I love this book (or Josh's books in general). It's the kind of humour I adore.

"It won't kill you to dress up for once."

Famous last words. Me and my career, both dead in one week."


I know. I giggled at that, too :D


Antonella | 3978 comments I like the humor. It's never too much or stupid.

I noticed again this sentence: ''... it seemed to me that this area had once been populated by grizzly bears and cowboys and other antisocial carnivores'' (page 19).


Antonella | 3978 comments David Boreanaz and ''Bones'' (page 20)
http://sky1.sky.com/bones-david-borea...

The Donner Party (page 20)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donner_P...

Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore (page 22)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEM8Jg...

Mistery Scene (page 22): the magazine does exist, I first thought it was an invented name
http://mysteryscenemag.com/


We could suggest the interactive edition of SKHE! ;-)


Calathea | 2615 comments Hambel wrote: "Middle-aged spread is the weight we put on around our stomach and hips when we hit mid-life. "

Ups. That was far from anything I imagined!


message 18: by Calathea (last edited Jul 14, 2012 03:29PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Calathea | 2615 comments Antonella wrote: "David Boreanaz and ''Bones'' (page 20)
http://sky1.sky.com/bones-david-borea...

The Donner Party (page 20)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donner_P...

Michael, Row Your Boa..."


This turns into a lesson in culture and language. Thanks for the links, Antonella. I looked up the shoes and some other things, but I'm too lazy to post the pics.

And I now know what a 'covey of quail' is. It looked like some number of animals but I never got around to look it up...

I still wonder how I could miss on my other reads that we are given a time of year. It's November. I must have been blind...


Calathea | 2615 comments Some lines that make me grin.

"... You merely need another platform."

Platform? How about a window ledge?

---------------

I was out in the middle of nowhere with a corpse.
On the bright side, I was not the corpse.

---------------

Unbelievable to think I was struggling so hard to get someplace I hadn't wanted to go to begin with.

---------------

"....and there was a dead woman...lying there." As opposed to a dead woman doing what?



Reggie | 961 comments This was posted in the other thread, figured I'd re-post it here for anyone just joining us-

we will start reading (for those who want to go chapter by chapter) this Satturday (07/14) two chapters a day and wrap it up with a discussion of the whole book the last weekend of July (28th & 29th).

Let the Games begin!!!!!


message 21: by Reggie (last edited Jul 14, 2012 06:32PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Reggie | 961 comments Antonella wrote: 'And the other fact I didn't catch before is that ''Death Be Not Proud'' is a sonnet by John Donne: ..."



Death Be Not Proud by John Gunther is also a book commonly assigned to 9th grade students here in the States. I read it and my kids had it as extra-credit reading.

"President's Challenge" is a reference to the physical education tests we went through as kids. The most fit made it into the "President's Challenge" catagory. These were of course the "jock" or "cool" kids who could do this, very elite group.
https://www.presidentschallenge.org/a...


Reggie | 961 comments I'm so amazed at how much we learn about the MC's character and life in the first two chapters. It happens with out an info dump. It happens by the reader analyzing what his responses reveal about his character. I love the respect that Josh shows his readers. He believes they CAN figure it out. I Love It!


message 23: by Reggie (last edited Jul 15, 2012 01:55AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Reggie | 961 comments To give you an idea of Napa- My DH just got back from a lunch in the Napa Valley. (I told him I'm not letting him out again.) He and his friend spent $90 on lunch for the two of them (no wine just "fancy nose in the air" food). He went to BV winery and had the Premium wine tasting at $25 ea AND add $20ea for the wine making tour!!!! Then went to another winery for tasting the $160 bottle of wine for $15ea. This is definitely the playground of the rich and the want-a-bee's.(And then the rest of us who are laughing at the absurdity of it all.) This is hilarious, I'm glad he had fun.

The atmosphere in Napa is a departure from reality.
On another excursion, I was with my mom and we were doing the ladies shopping thing in the Napa Valley area. We ended up in this shoe store that was full of locals, with their groomed dogs, hitting the sale. The shoes were on sale for $300-$500. They were all dishing about how great the sale was, dog accessories and the local events. I seriously wondered if I'd happened on a TV sitcom in progress and didn't know it. Napa is in an alternate universe. I'm surprised it is not a cartoon strip.

The funny thing bout this area is that it also has the casual chic/Buddhist/Yoga crowd. Now how all this blends together is beyond me. The rich CEO's and their partners trying to relax and live forever, beautiful and happy? (and green)

Anyway, Napa totally plays into the importance of looks, labels and earnestly seeking....
Great setting for this story.


Antonella | 3978 comments Thank you twice, dear Reggie!

"President's Challenge" was another thing I noticed and I had not checked out before.

And your description of Napa Valley is very lively and probably different from what one would find in a tourist guide ;-).


Johanna | 7035 comments Thank you, Calathea, for starting this thread! I will definitely be joining your discussion as soon as possible! We just arrived to Chicago yesterday, there is so much to see and we only have three days here before flying home. :)


Reggie wrote: "I'm so amazed at how much we learn about the MC's character and life in the first two chapters. It happens with out an info dump. It happens by the reader analyzing what his responses reveal about his character. I love the respect that Josh shows his readers. He believes they CAN figure it out. I Love It!"

YES!!! I haven't even started to re-read the book yet, but I still clearly remember the very beginning of it when Josh describes Kit racing across the shuddering bridge that is literaly falling apart under him. Somehow it seems to me that the first pages of the book define perfectly the story of Kit's life and the chaotic, thrilling situations he is so dearly trying to avoid with such poor success. :) I, too, love the way Josh draws a picture of Kit without dumping too much info on us. And the atmosphere of the story is absolutely delicious right from the first page!


message 26: by Johanna (last edited Jul 15, 2012 09:50PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Johanna | 7035 comments I just had to open the book and read at least couple of pages, before starting to explore Chicago's parks and buildings. I loved this part (page 1... or 2):

I'd known this weekend was a mistake from the moment Rachel had suggested it. I'd known, but I had ignored my instincts. And now I was well in the lead for this year's Darwin Award.

The bridge returned, rippling beneath my clattering feet.

Clunkclunkclunkclunkclunkclunkclunk... My boots telegraphed panic.

Nobody was going to believe this. Hopefully. Hopefully nobody would believe that I was this stupid. Well, first off, nobody was going to believe I'd voluntarily gone to a writers retreat. ---"


Ha ha! These few words tell us so much about Kit! How he is cautious and very careful with what he promises to do. How he closely surveys everything around him and how he usually carefully listens to his instincts. How he tends to stress and panic about things and how he is always waiting the worst to happen. How he isn't very social at all. And while he isn't very merciful towards himself, he tends to use dark humor to get through rough times. All this and even more in those few words without actually saying them. This is precisely why I adore Josh's writing. :)

(If there are typos in the quotes, they are mine, not Josh's. Writing and copying with my iPad is a bit slower than with the computer at home, so I took a picture with my phone of the second page of the book and copied the text by typing it by hand. Does anyone know a better and faster way to do it?)


Calathea | 2615 comments Thank you, Reggie, for the inside view on Napa Valley!

I liked the virtual guided tour of SKHE yesterday!

@Johanna: Have fun in Chicago! Where are you going next? I'm fascinated by tales of your journey! :-)

One thing was on my mind after I logged out yesterday:

He was talking to a lithe and lean man dressed in black, sporting one of those dapper little mustache and beard combos like a young Spanish grandee.

Oh. Mah. Gah. As the natives say. J.X. Moriarity. How perfect. How... ironic. How perfectly ironic.


How did Christopher feel seeing J.X. at the conference? Was he really annoyed to meet him when his career was on a dive? Or was he secretely happy to see him because he still had feeling for J.X.? Or was he too stressed out to realise what he felt and he was just in his default setting of ironic comments? After all the events of his day it must have felt like the icing on a very bad cake to find J.X. there. On the other hand Christopher wouldn't be troubled by his presence hadn't there been any feelings left. What do you thing?

So, I'm off to read chapters 4 & 5. :-)


Antonella | 3978 comments I'm starting exactly now as well.

And I was wondering if I'm the only one ;-)...


Antonella | 3978 comments The virtual tour will be shorter this time. In fact it would be non existent if not for the fact that I re-read also chapter 6 ...


I found out that Mrs. Butterworth (page 53 paperback edition) is not an invented character of a series, as I had imagined ignoring the syrupy reference:
http://www.mrsbutterworths.com/


Frank and Joe Hardy, The Hardy Boys (page 54):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hard...

It's incredible that a series has been continuously in print since 1927 with 70 million copies sold! And I never heard of it ;-))...



Beautiful, sarcastic end to the chapter 6:

“Remember what we talked about, Christopher,” Rachel warned. “It’s also about The Look. It’s about the whole package. Platform and presentation.”
“And all these years I thought it was about the writing,” I said bitterly.



Calathea | 2615 comments You're too fast for me! I keep getting distracted...

Mrs. Butterworth is real?! Wow. And what kind of syrup is this, btw?

I wonder if we can assume that everybody reading along has already read the book at least once. It's such a different experience when you already know whodunit and there are some beeping, blinking arrows over some heads I wanted to mention.

Have you noticed how Kit and J.X. (literally) get in touch again? First Kit touches the jacket while they're walking in the arbor, then J.X. helps him into the truck and then this nearly intimate scene when they are talking in the truck cheek to cheek.


Reggie | 961 comments There are so many great lines creating atmosphere. Lots of references to cultural spooky-ness- like the Beatle's - Number 9.

I love the way he creates character through the snark and invokes reader involvement at the same time.

He looked at me, and I saw what he expected. I said—and it was God’s truth, but it sounded horrifyingly lame, “I’ve got a bad back.”

This line just cracks-me-up!! How much life we experience while aging and how little we've moved- from adolescents. =D

It just brings back memories from high school and adulthood. Embarrassment in front of the "cool" kids I had a "crush" on (because of "geeky/klutzy" me), to embarrassment of having to ask for help with the groceries because of an ailment/surgery.

Lots going on in my readerly mind all at once!


message 32: by Reggie (last edited Jul 15, 2012 03:56PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Reggie | 961 comments Calathea wrote: "Have you noticed how Kit and J.X. (literally) get in touch again? First Kit touches the jacket while they're walking in the arbor, then J.X. helps him into the truck and then this nearly intimate scene when they are talking in the truck cheek to cheek.
..."

Yeah, I noticed but I was like ???. So you think it is a reference to "getting In-touch" again? I thought that it was demonstrating the ex-lover still "like" each other thing,by reducing the personal barrier line?? {shrugs}


Calathea | 2615 comments I thought it might because it's only them touching. No touching Edgar. (yikes)
And then again JX shoots this barb about Kit getting his books more realistic. Reading it now it feels like a defense reaction.


Reggie | 961 comments Beginning Chapter 5

Murder is a lot more fun in books.


{smirk} Well, YEAH! Teases the character, the writer AND the reader. Home Run!!


Reggie | 961 comments Calathea wrote: "Reading it now it feels like a defense ..."

Oh, that's good! I can see that now, thanks. =)


message 36: by Reggie (last edited Jul 15, 2012 06:06PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Reggie | 961 comments Okay here is the reference to Inspector Appleby-


http://www.classiccrimefiction.com/in...

I'm getting an education in classic mysteries of the 1900's!


message 37: by Reggie (last edited Jul 15, 2012 06:27PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Reggie | 961 comments The silhouette of yew branches wavered in the dull yellow pool of the overhead lights, the patio tables and chairs formed a crisscross of bars and boxes like a shadow crossword.

From http://www.british-trees.com/treeguid...
Yew trees are taken as symbols of immortality in many traditions, but are also seen as omens of doom.
There has been a long association of yew trees in churchyards (eta:meaning Cemeteries).


Susinok | 3098 comments Also, Yew is very poisonous. Don't use it for tea leaves.


Calathea | 2615 comments An old saying is that who sleeps in the shadow of a yew never wakes up. (referring to the poison)


Anne | 3440 comments I had forgotten that we should start reading this weekend, something that shall immediately be remedied when I get home and can download the book to my Kindle. In the meantime it is very enjoyable to read all your comments and especially all the references. It shows me how much I really lose when reading a book in a foreign language even if I am fluent in it, all those cultural references and nuances I have no idea about. I did know the Hardy boys though. :)

And I agree with the one who said how this shows the respect Josh has for his readers, he actually takes for granted we have read a book or two before. That is one of the things I like so much about his work.


Hambel | 1054 comments Antonella wrote: "Calathea wrote: "I thought something like 'range'."

Uh, thanks, but I still don't catch this...

ETA: Thank you, Hambel! Now it is clear!"


You're welcome! :)


Antonella | 3978 comments Calathea wrote: "Have you noticed how Kit and J.X. (literally) get in touch again? First Kit touches the jacket while they're walking in the arbor, then J.X. helps him into the truck and then this nearly intimate scene when they are talking in the truck cheek to cheek.

And when the truck is fishtailing, J.X. braces an arm across Kit's chest, and then, when he removes it, Kit kind of misses the warmth...

And thanks to everybody for the information about yew. I hadn't a clue.


Hambel | 1054 comments Calathea wrote: "How did Christopher feel seeing J.X. at the conference? Was he really annoyed to meet him when his career was on a dive? Or was he secretely happy to see him because he still had feeling for J.X.? Or was he too stressed out to realise what he felt and he was just in his default setting of ironic comments? After all the events of his day it must have felt like the icing on a very bad cake to find J.X. there. On the other hand Christopher wouldn't be troubled by his presence hadn't there been any feelings left. What do you thing?"

I'm going with Christopher having feelings for JX but not admitting them to anyone, especially himself. His default setting is definitely dishing out scathing comments, in his head as well as out loud:

"Kit Holmes," said the only person in the world who called me Kit instead of Christopher. "As I live and breathe."

"Such a bad habit," I murmured.


(You notice how JX ignored the comment. He was obviously used to them.) I thought that his comment on shaking hands with Christopher (around 7% on the Kindle version) was very telling:

"Cold hands, cold heart," he said. 


The saying is, 'Cold hands, warm heart.' Doesn't this suggest that JX feels somewhat aggrieved towards Christopher?


Hambel | 1054 comments Around 8% on Kindle:

"Writers don't get anything done with internet access."

Oh, Josh! ;-P


Johanna | 7035 comments Hamble wrote: "I'm going with Christopher having feelings for JX but not admitting them to anyone, especially himself. His default setting is definitely dishing out scathing comments, in his head as well as out loud:"

I think you are right about that. Or at least that's how I felt it to be when I read the book the first time (now I'm only in the very beginning re-reading it). Kit has a habbit of not admitting his feelings (affection, love) towards J.X., doesn't he. ;) And he is definitely not showing his affection easily either. Not at least in the traditional way by saying it out loud. ;)

I also liked you pointing out how J.X. ignored the such a bad habbit comment, because he was so used to hearing something like that from Kit. LOL. :)


Johanna | 7035 comments @Hambel: How did you manage to use the cool typewriter font for the quotes? I wanna do it too... :)


Johanna | 7035 comments Hambel wrote: "Around 8% on Kindle:

"Writers don't get anything done with internet access."

Oh, Josh! ;-P"


Hah ha! :) This wasn't the only time I felt that there must be some Josh in Kit's character. I suppose you writers put a piece of you in everything you write, just like other artists do too with their work, but somehow I've felt Josh's presence the most with Adrien and Kit. Of course, I can be awfully wrong about it... In which case I'll just keep dreaming on... ;)


Johanna | 7035 comments Anne wrote: "I had forgotten that we should start reading this weekend, something that shall immediately be remedied when I get home and can download the book to my Kindle. In the meantime it is very enjoyable ..."

Yeah, this thread has already been very educational for me too. And I'm still trying to comprehend that Mrs. Butterworth is real... LOL.


Johanna | 7035 comments Reggie wrote: "The silhouette of yew branches wavered in the dull yellow pool of the overhead lights, the patio tables and chairs formed a crisscross of bars and boxes like a shadow crossword.

From http://www.br..."


Wow, that was interesting. I now realize I've been too lazy (or more likely too busy to wolf down the story when reading it the first time) that I haven't checked out that one before. And it turns out that I even have a yew tree Taxuc cuspidata in my back yard. :)

This is the wonderful thing about re-reading! You can really savour every word, peek between the lovely lines and just linger in the feeling of the story itself in no hurry. And all this in such a good and sharp-eyed company! I love it!!! :)


Reggie | 961 comments Johanna wrote: "I'm still trying to comprehend that Mrs. Butterworth is real...."

Mrs. ButterWITH is the character detective that is a play on Mrs. MARPLE who is the character detective from Agatha Christie fame.

Mrs. ButterWORTH is a MAPLE syrup, famous here in the states.

See? Confusing on purpose? Mmmm, is Josh that diabolical?




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Books mentioned in this topic

Death Be Not Proud (other topics)
Somebody Killed His Editor (other topics)
All She Wrote (other topics)
A Hole in God's Pocket (other topics)
The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

John Gunther (other topics)
Agatha Christie (other topics)