English Mysteries Club discussion

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message 1: by Jean-Luke (last edited Nov 25, 2012 12:12PM) (new)

Jean-Luke (proteaprince) | 311 comments Mod
Any book suggestions for the first month of the New Year? Some people have mentioned that we should start 2013 with a double-book month? Check out the thread regarding his in the General Suggestions folder if you haven't already. Nomination will remain open until the 5th of December after which a poll will be created.


message 2: by Sharla (new)

Sharla Love the double book idea for January. What about some Anne Perry? I'll throw out the idea of reading the first books in her series featuring Thomas Pitt and the series featuring William Monk. The Cater Street Hangman and The Face of a Stranger


message 3: by Joan (new)

Joan | 293 comments I would like to hear from group members (if there are any of you out there!) who really want to start 2013 with a "new school" English mystery (James, Rendell, McDermid, Robinson, Dexter, Hill, etc.). Or two new-school English mysteries by the same author, if we adopt the double-book suggestion. I enjoyed re-reading "Hercule Poirot's Christmas" for December, but I am more convinced than ever that the genre has advanced since Agatha Christie's time.


message 4: by Kim (last edited Nov 29, 2012 12:47AM) (new)

Kim (KimMR) I'd be happy to read a "new school" mystery, Joan. I'll suggest Black Dog by Stephen Booth, which has been on my TBR list for a while and which is now available on Kindle.


message 5: by Lesley (new)

Lesley I am quite happy with either. We have had a run on 'old style' so it might be quite good to do new this time. Got nothing to suggest just now, but will think about it. Black Dog sounds good Kim, and I like all the authors you have suggested Joan. But then I like Anne Perry too! lol.


message 6: by Jay-me (Janet) (last edited Nov 29, 2012 05:37AM) (new)

Jay-me (Janet) Can I throw a new book into the hat?
Steve Robinson who wrote In the Bloodand To the Grave has a new book due out today - the third book in his Jefferson Tayte genealogical mysteries.The Last Queen of England


message 7: by Mike (new)

Mike Gabor (mikeyppl) | 193 comments I'd like to read something from Peter Robinson in his Alan Banks series.


message 8: by Sharla (new)

Sharla Anne Perry is a current author but of course writes very much in Victorian style. I can see where we might benefit from reading "new school." I'm not familiar with all the suggestions but that could be good. Something new for the new year could be just the ticket.


message 9: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Since I'm not such a big fan of the "new school" authors who've been mentioned here, I was wondering about maybe a double-book month with one new school and one old school.


message 10: by Joan (new)

Joan | 293 comments Leslie wrote: "Since I'm not such a big fan of the "new school" authors who've been mentioned here, I was wondering about maybe a double-book month with one new school and one old school."

@Leslie, are there "new school" authors whom you do like? I think we can consider the entire new-school range, given that we've read only old-school BOTM books so far. (Because, like Anne Perry, Caroline Graham writes old school.)


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

One of each sounds good to me too. For new age mysteries, I recommend either From Doon With Death (the first Inspector Wexford Novel) or An Unsuitable Job For A Woman.


message 12: by Joan (new)

Joan | 293 comments My favorite new-school BOTM to start with would be "The Distant Echo" by Val McDermid. (But at this point, I'd settle for anything truly new school!)


message 13: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Joan wrote: "@Leslie, are there "new school" authors whom you do like? I think we can consider the entire new-school range, given that we've read only old-school BOTM books so far. (Because, like Anne Perry, Caroline Graham writes old school.)"

I have asked before in some other thread what constitutes "new school", as I really don't know, so I have a hard time answering your question. I like PD James but absolutely hate Rendell and Barbara Vine... I recently read Peter James' "Dead Simple" which I liked - is that "new school"?


message 14: by Lesley (last edited Nov 29, 2012 04:09PM) (new)

Lesley Jay-me (Janet) ~plum chutney is best~ wrote: "Can I throw a new book into the hat?
Steve Robinson who wrote In the Bloodand To the Grave has a new book due out today - the third book in his Jefferson Tayte genealogical mysteries.The Last Que..."


Oooh I didn't know about this but I've been a bought a copy. Thanks!

I had the impression that 'new school' was detective/mystery written by today's authors and set in 20/21st Century, but maybe I need clarification too because I consider Caroline Graham to be writing in this age and not so much Victorian.

The only Ruth Rendell books I enjoyed were her Inspector Wexford mysteries. Her other books, including those written as Barbara Vine, tend to be more psychological type themes.

I agree with one of each type for the two book months being a good idea ... everyone is catered to then.


message 15: by Jean-Luke (last edited Nov 29, 2012 05:01PM) (new)

Jean-Luke (proteaprince) | 311 comments Mod
I'm just going to step in becuase I think we are missing the point of double-book months. As I had intended it it would be two books with some relation to one another. And anyone can continue to nominate whichever books they would like, new or old school. I would love for Joan to get her "new school" pick, but I don't want to restrict anyone in their nomination.


message 16: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (BrendaClough) How about one of the works of Peter Dickinson? He's mostly known as a YA author, but I love his mysteries.


message 17: by Joan (new)

Joan | 293 comments @Jean-Luke: So on to concrete suggestions of pairs of related books:

I like the suggestion that someone (you, I think) made (in another thread) of "An Suitable Job for a Woman" and "The Skull Beneath the Skin." (PD James)

I've already suggested McDermid's "The Distant Echo" for January. Could it be paired with the newest McDermid one-off, entitled "The Vanishing Point" and now available on Kindle? (It's the only one I've not yet read ... but I'm willing to re-read any McDermid that doesn't feature Carol Jordan and Tony Hill.)

Mike says he's interested in the Alan Banks novels. I think that the best one is "Close to Home" (published originally as "The Summer that Never Was" in the UK). Next best is "Strange Affair." But they're all pretty good!

Perhaps we want to read a book (or two) by an author who's less well known than PD James, Val McDermid, and Peter Robinson -- someone who'll be new to more of us than those three would be.


Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard (Lark_BookwyrmsHoard) | 7 comments For a less-well-known author, how about Deborah Crombie? Her series featuring police detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James is really wonderful. I think the series will appeal to fans of old school and new school alike, but it's set in present-day England.* Crombie's writing style reminds me of a pencil drawing, with delicate shading and a spare elegance.

All that said, I would recommend starting with the second book in the series, All Shall Be Well rather than the first. The second book is where the feel and structure of the series really take shape, while A Share in Death, the first book, feels a bit tentative, as though Crombie were still trying to figure out what she wanted to do with it.

Here's the blurb for All Shall Be Well:
Perhaps it is a blessing when Jasmine Dent dies in her sleep. At long last an end has come to the suffering of a body horribly ravaged by disease. It may well have been suicide; she had certainly expressed her willingness to speed the inevitable. But small inconsistencies lead her neighbor, Superintendent Duncan Kincaid of Scotland Yard, to a startling conclusion: Jasmine Dent was murdered. But if not for mercy, why would someone destroy a life already so fragile and doomed? As Kincaid and his capable and appealing assistant Sergeant Gemma James sift through the dead woman's strange history, a troubling puzzle begins to take shape -- a bizarre amalgam of good and evil, of charity and crime . . . and of the blinding passions that can drive the human animal to perform cruel and inhuman acts.

And you can read a better description on Crombie's website. Scroll down until you see the title; the novels are listed in reverse order, so it's toward the bottom of the page.


*To clarify - since Crombie began writing the series in 1993, technically the early books aren't quite present-day, but close enough.


message 20: by Jean-Luke (new)

Jean-Luke (proteaprince) | 311 comments Mod
I haven't read them but The Vault by Ruth Rendell is a non-Wexford novel that is a sequel to A Sight For Sore Eyes, a Wexford novel.

I will pick some stand-alone and some double book nominations for the poll.


message 21: by Leslie (new)

Leslie @Joan -- could you please give me your definition of "new school"?


message 22: by Lesley (new)

Lesley Jean-Luke wrote: "I haven't read them but The Vault by Ruth Rendell is a non-Wexford novel that is a sequel to A Sight For Sore Eyes, a Wexford novel.

I will pick some stand-alone and some double book nominations f..."


A Sight for Sore Eyes was a stand alone psychological thriller she wrote in 1998. In an interview Ruth Rendell described The Vault as a "sort of sequel" but written in the cosier, classic detective style of, and involving, the now retired Wexford.
She wrote The Vault to bring back Wexford after emphatically stating she would not be writing any further Wexford novels when she retired him in The Monster in the Box in 2009.
We had a large number of library patrons wringing their hands in anguish when we posted that news! Now I am wondering what has caused her to backtrack - did she miss him as much as those library patrons?


message 23: by Joan (new)

Joan | 293 comments @Leslie: I'm trying to use the terms "old school" and "new school" as they are used on the home page of this goodreads.com "English Mysteries Club." Really, I just mean an anglophone mystery novel written in contemporary style, not cozy style. As one of our club members put it: Tension and fear, not cardigans and furniture polish.


message 24: by Joan (new)

Joan | 293 comments @Jean-Luke: As Ella's Gran points out, The Vault is a Wexford novel. I loved it (and have loved all of the Wexford novels).


message 25: by Jean-Luke (new)

Jean-Luke (proteaprince) | 311 comments Mod
I must have mixed the two up.


message 26: by Shera (new)

Shera (goodreadscomShera) | 0 comments Jean-Luke wrote: "I must have mixed the two up."

I think you can be excused a little slip. After all, you only have to find a book for January that is reasonably priced, available as an ebook in every format in every library in every country, be first in a series, maybe new but not too new, make everyone happy and be British. No problem, right?

I think you do a great job. Thank You.


message 27: by Susan (last edited Dec 01, 2012 04:31PM) (new)

Susan Johnson How about Val McDermid's The Grave Tattoo? It's my very favorite. I also like the suggestion of Anne Perry's first Monk and Pitt book.
Or maybe a McDermid and an Atkinson and compare Scottish authors.


message 28: by Sharla (new)

Sharla I very much agree with Shera above. Thanks to Jean-Luke for taking on the task of moderating.


message 29: by Sharla (new)

Sharla Susan wrote: "How about Val McDermid's The Grave Tattoo? It's my very favorite. I also like the suggestion of Anne Perry's first Monk and Pitt book.
Or maybe a McDermid and an Atkinson and compare Scottish authors."


I like the idea of a McDermid and Atkinson and comparing. Have never read McDermid but really like Atkinson.


message 30: by Lesley (new)

Lesley Jean-Luke, my most humble and abject apologies for offer being so remiss as to offer correction on information you shared regarding The Vault by Ruth Rendell. It would appear that it has been seen as criticism of you and your abilities as moderator of this group.

There was no intention to criticise, nor do I see any implication of criticism in what was written, but be assured I shall not offer any further comment or information.


message 31: by Jean-Luke (last edited Dec 01, 2012 09:57PM) (new)

Jean-Luke (proteaprince) | 311 comments Mod
I am glad you pointed it out, Ella's Gran, so there is no need to apologize. It's good to keep me on my toes. And thank you all for participating and keeping things going!


message 32: by Susan (new)

Susan Johnson Sharla wrote: "Susan wrote: "How about Val McDermid's The Grave Tattoo? It's my very favorite. I also like the suggestion of Anne Perry's first Monk and Pitt book.
Or maybe a McDermid and an Atkinson and compare ..."

I like McDermid except her series starring Carole Jordan and Tony Hill. I think Joan will back me up here. It's the opposite of Ruth Rendell as I like her Inspector Wexford novels the best.


message 33: by Susan (new)

Susan Johnson Ella's Gran wrote: "Jean-Luke, my most humble and abject apologies for offer being so remiss as to offer correction on information you shared regarding The Vault by Ruth Rendell. It would appear that it has been seen ..."

We want you to speak up when we get novels confused. I do it all the time. There are just so many and it's so easy to mix them up. Please don't be offended. We are always looking for ways to thank our wonderful, Jean-Luc, for re-establishing the group and doing a great job moderating it. It's a thankless job. I'm sure no one meant it as a criticism. We are all friends bound by the most wonderful ties- a love of a good mystery.


message 34: by Joan (new)

Joan | 293 comments @Susan: Yes, I agree (about both McDermid and Rendell).

@Sharla: I, too, liked "The Grave Tattoo." From an earlier BOTM discussion, however, I recall that one of our fellow club members doesn't. (Sorry that I cannot remember who.)


message 35: by Sharla (new)

Sharla Ella's Gran wrote: "Jean-Luke, my most humble and abject apologies for offer being so remiss as to offer correction on information you shared regarding The Vault by Ruth Rendell. It would appear that it has been seen ..."

Please don't think any criticism of you was implied. In a group discussion we should make corrections when needed. I just wanted to take the opportunity to say thanks to Jean-Luke for moderating. I very much hope you will not stop contributing!


message 36: by Cynhope (new)

Cynhope | 1 comments Susan wrote: "How about Val McDermid's The Grave Tattoo? It's my very favorite. I also like the suggestion of Anne Perry's first Monk and Pitt book.
Or maybe a McDermid and an Atkinson and compare Scottish authors."


I like the idea of comparing two authors. I have not read "The Grave Tattoo" but do love Atkinson's books. I would also second Anne Perry's first Monk and Pitts' books.


message 37: by Judy (new)

Judy Goodnight I'll give a thumbs up to reading two by Deborah Crombie. Now that I'm up-to-date on Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks series, I want to get started re-reading & catching up with Crombie.


message 38: by Penny (new)

Penny Well being true to my roots howabout 2 solid mystery writers both writing in different areas of England?

Martin Edwards The Coffin Trail A Lake District Mystery by Martin Edwardsthis is the first in his Lake district series.
Stephen Booth Black Dog (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry, #1) by Stephen Booth the first in his Derbyshire Peak District series?


message 39: by Ann (new)

Ann | 102 comments If you want new style what about Ann Cleeves?


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