English Mysteries Club discussion

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Archive pre-2020 > What's next? (2015 group aims)

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message 1: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 1663 comments I have been missing this group. Even though it wasn't extremely active, when we were still doing a monthly book I made an effort to read it and there was regular activity. Now that the group books are on hiatus, the group has become almost defunct.

Does anyone else want to restore the monthly group reads? Or have any other ideas for where the group should be headed?


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ I'd love to have the group reads return. I liked the format too.

We had some discussion about alternating between older & more modern mysteries.

For me personally - I'm away for a month from the end of October, so I'm trying to avoid committing to any more group or buddy reads before December.


message 3: by Icewineanne (new)

Icewineanne | 115 comments Leslie wrote: "I have been missing this group. Even though it wasn't extremely active, when we were still doing a monthly book I made an effort to read it and there was regular activity. Now that the group books..."

Would love to participate in a group read. But as Carol said, I too, am booked for the next few months. Perhaps Nov or just start fresh in Jan :-)


message 4: by Ilene (new)

Ilene Harris (gahish) | 5 comments How about reading, Humber Boy B by Ruth Dugdall, what a great book.


message 5: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 92 comments Yes I'd be up for a group read. How about starting with a discussion on the type of book people would prefer - part of a series, stand alone, contemporary, golden age. Then progress onto compiling a list of suggestions.

This might get the group discussions going again with a view to restarting the group read itself in a couple/few of months time.


message 6: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 83 comments I am also in favor of restarting a monthly read - I discovered a few great books, others well worth the read and only a couple of losers (and that is just be my taste) thru this group. A discussion on genres is a good idea. I suggest rotating thru a variety, staying within the "English mystery" as defined on the home page. Perhaps aiming for a January read is a good idea - Nov and Dec are often busy months and a couple of people are not available earlier. The drawback: if we wait too long momentum could be lost.

One of the problems with the former monthly reads was that the books were not easily available. I limit myself to the library and cheap ebooks.


message 7: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Cortlund | 21 comments What is the definition on the home page? I like the idea of varying the type of book we read.


message 8: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 83 comments Kathleen wrote: "What is the definition on the home page? I like the idea of varying the type of book we read."

Quote: I define the "English" mystery style as heavy on plot, character development and, perhaps most importantly, detail. These are not formulaic writers and these are not books to be read in one sitting. Rather - they are books to be read slowly and savoured and they often leave you guessing right up until the end.

Old School? Think Ngaio Marsh, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy Sayers. New school? Think John Connolly, P.D. James, and Colin Dexter.


message 9: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Cortlund | 21 comments Don't forget John Harvey, one of my all-time favorites.


message 10: by Karen (new)

Karen I would vote to re-start the monthly books. I'm afraid I never contributed much to the discussion of the books, but I always enjoyed seeing people's recommendations for what to read. That and the "currently reading" discussion have been the most interesting parts of the group for me.


message 11: by Meg (new)

Meg Trager (mht07) | 20 comments Like Sandy, I'm limited to what's available at the library. If it's a new title, that means a waiting list so I always found myself out of step with the group read. Of course promoting book sales is a great thing but not everyone can afford $25.00 every couple of weeks, even for books. January sounds good w/ the book being announced at least 6 weeks ahead. I'll not be an everyday contributor but will stick my oar in if I feel I have something to contribute.


message 12: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Cortlund | 21 comments I agree with the 6 week (or more) notice so we can books from the library waiting list. Good idea!


message 13: by Icewineanne (new)

Icewineanne | 115 comments I agree with the readers above. I rarely participate if a group is reading a book just recently released. I will purchase a paperback copy of a book if it has had great reviews or by an author I enjoy, but I will not buy the hardcover.


message 14: by Diane (new)

Diane I agree with the above and am also a library devotee.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ Ilene wrote: "How about reading, Humber Boy B by Ruth Dugdall, what a great book."

I already have that on my to read list (sounds fantastic!) but it's not due to be published till October 2015. It may not be available in my country then. & even if my library decided to carry it, it takes at least 6 weeks before they get it on the shelves.

I'm limited to the 100 unread books of all genres I have at home, my library system, op shop purchases & kindle freebies.


message 16: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joannegw) Hello, I'm chiming in for the ideas mentioned above, especially avoiding new hardcover books and having 6 weeks notice. I joined this group in June, just in time for the start of the discussion hiatus, so am looking forward to monthly books. English mysteries are my favorite!!


message 17: by Meg (last edited Aug 25, 2015 02:59PM) (new)

Meg Trager (mht07) | 20 comments Looked up the book that has been suggested, Humber Boy B by Ruth Dugdall, and putting in my 2 cents. While every reviewer agrees it's very well written, a tense, psychological thriller about a child dying and others going to jail, doesn't sound appealing to me. I already have a busy, often tense life, so I read for pleasure. I'm a huge fan of Carola Dunn's, Daisy Dalrymple series and M.C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin books and cozies in general. Also the wonderful Maisie Dobbs period series from Jacqueline Winspear. Call me an escapist, but to each his own, eh?


message 18: by Lesley (new)

Lesley I would like to see the monthly read re-instated with a lead in time of around 6 weeks. That gives you time to find a copy of the book.

Like Sandy said, many of the former reads were not easily obtainable, or not obtainable at all. And, like Sandy and others, for me it is library, cheap kindle or secondhand books.

As others have said, selecting recently released books is also fraught where there will be differing release dates around the world, not to mention long waiting lists at libraries to factor in.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ I just sent Jean-Luke a message.

Hi

There is a interest in restarting the group reads & Leslie has started a thread.

Would love to have your thoughts!

regards

Carol

If we don't hear back I think we could maybe agree on a book by consensus.

I still like the idea of alternating old/new books. Before 2000/after 2000 might be easiest.


message 20: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 83 comments So glad we're getting Jean-Luke involved.
And I agree about alternating new and old. I would hate to give up Christie, Sayers, Marsh. I loved being introduced to both Delano Ames (old) and Elly Griffiths (new).


message 21: by Lesley (new)

Lesley Sandy wrote: "So glad we're getting Jean-Luke involved.
And I agree about alternating new and old. I would hate to give up Christie, Sayers, Marsh. I loved being introduced to both Delano Ames (old) and Elly Gr..."


I absolutely echo this.


message 22: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum Ella's Gran wrote: "Sandy wrote: "So glad we're getting Jean-Luke involved.
And I agree about alternating new and old. I would hate to give up Christie, Sayers, Marsh. I loved being introduced to both Delano Ames (ol..."


Me, too. I'm reading some Patricia Wentworth at the moment, so I'd like to see her during one of our "old" reads.


message 23: by Icewineanne (new)

Icewineanne | 115 comments Sandy wrote: "So glad we're getting Jean-Luke involved.
And I agree about alternating new and old. I would hate to give up Christie, Sayers, Marsh. I loved being introduced to both Delano Ames (old) and Elly Gr..."

The idea of new/old would be terrific. There are so many good books that were missed in the push to read the latest best seller.


message 24: by Meg (new)

Meg Trager (mht07) | 20 comments Old/new sounds great to me too.


message 25: by Lesley (new)

Lesley Karlyne wrote: "Ella's Gran wrote: "Sandy wrote: "So glad we're getting Jean-Luke involved.
And I agree about alternating new and old. I would hate to give up Christie, Sayers, Marsh. I loved being introduced to ..."


Patricia Wentworth... I have just re-discovered her again and been reading some of the older ones. Lovely.


message 26: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 83 comments Re: Patricia Wentworth - just what a need - a new 30 book series! Sigh!


message 27: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum Sandy wrote: "Re: Patricia Wentworth - just what a need - a new 30 book series! Sigh!"

Oh, you definitely need her! A few of them are masterpieces!

Ella's Gran, which ones are you reading? I'm just finishing up The Case Is Closed- definitely lovely!


message 28: by Lesley (new)

Lesley Karlyne wrote: "Sandy wrote: "Re: Patricia Wentworth - just what a need - a new 30 book series! Sigh!"

Oh, you definitely need her! A few of them are masterpieces!

Ella's Gran, which ones are you reading? I'm j..."


Grey Mask and The Clock Strikes Twelve are the two I've re-discovered her with. I was thinking of reading the case is closed next because I'm a little bit OCD and like to read books in order - even though in this case I don't think it makes a lot of difference, but... :):)


message 29: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum Ella's Gran wrote: "Karlyne wrote: "Sandy wrote: "Re: Patricia Wentworth - just what a need - a new 30 book series! Sigh!"

Oh, you definitely need her! A few of them are masterpieces!

Ella's Gran, which ones are yo..."


I pretty much just pulled one off the shelf that I didn't remember the title of, but now I'm thinking that I should do it a bit more consecutively. I'm terrible with titles, so often they seem almost new until I get into the book and read the characters' names. I remember really liking The Clock Strikes Twelve, but I'll have to look up who's in it!


message 30: by Lesley (new)

Lesley Carol wrote: "Quote: I define the "English" mystery style as heavy on plot, character development and, perhaps most importantly, detail. These are not formulaic writers and these are not books to be read in one ..."

I didn't know about Kindle Scout! I hope your book does well Carol.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ I had a reply from Jean-Luke

As I make an effort to read every message posted in the group, I am aware of that. I will follow the discussion and in time give my two cents :)


message 32: by Carys (new)

Carys (littlemonkey81) | 1 comments I've never actually contributed here before but have read many of the monthly books, and enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts on them. I just never have anything interesting to add!
There were a few I didn't read, either because they were hard to get hold of, didn't appeal, or weren't the first in a series (I like to read things in order!)
I like the idea of alternating old and new, and I hope this group is revived as I've found some really good books/authors through it.


message 33: by Meg (new)

Meg Trager (mht07) | 20 comments The funny thing is, now the link in Deborah's original message has magically "fixed itself". How does that happen? :)


message 34: by Icewineanne (new)

Icewineanne | 115 comments I wondered because both of the links appear to be exactly the same.


message 35: by John (new)

John Frankham (johnfrankham) | 209 comments Just re-joined. Have learnt of lots of new authors from this club in the past, incl Fred Vargas. So, glad to contribute if activity picks up.

Old/new sounds good but maybe dividing line should be earlier than 2000?


message 36: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Teller (deborahtellerscott) | 2 comments As long as it's working now, I'm a happy camper. Thanks again for sharing your expertise.


message 37: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 1663 comments John wrote: "Just re-joined. Have learnt of lots of new authors from this club in the past, incl Fred Vargas. So, glad to contribute if activity picks up.

Old/new sounds good but maybe dividing line should be ..."


*waves*

I agree that 2000 seems a bit late for a dividing line to me, but I still think of books that came out in the 1990s as new so I am not the best judge!

What about having different types of mysteries highlighted in some sort of rotating way: have all the nominated books be cozies one month, Scottish noir another month, police procedurals, golden age mysteries, etc.? That would be another way to prevent the books being too similar.

Or we could try taking a bookish tour of England - I know that lots of English mysteries are set in London but there are plenty set in other places such as Bath, Brighton, etc.


message 38: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Cortlund | 21 comments Some good ideas


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ For me after 1980 is new. Maybe one of the readers who has said in the past they only like the newer books could say what they think of as new.

I'm more of an older mystery reader myself.

The bookish tour sounds fun!


message 40: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum ☆ Carol ☆ wrote: "For me after 1980 is new. Maybe one of the readers who has said in the past they only like the newer books could say what they think of as new.

I'm more of an older mystery reader myself.

The boo..."


1980 is my cut-off, too, Carol! I like the idea of a bookish tour of England or maybe the whole U.K.?


message 41: by Lesley (new)

Lesley 1980ish forward = new; 1980is back = older style; 1900s to end 1930s = classic detective mysteries.

Really love the idea of a book tour of England or U.K.


message 42: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Cortlund | 21 comments That last post sounds like a great plan!


message 43: by Icewineanne (new)

Icewineanne | 115 comments Would love to read some classic mystery as well :-)


message 44: by Diane (new)

Diane Leslie wrote: "What about having different types of mysteries highlighted in some sort of rotating way: have all the nominated books be cozies one month, Scottish noir another month, police procedurals, golden age mysteries, etc.? That would be another way to prevent the books being too similar.

Or we could try taking a bookish tour of England - I know that lots of English mysteries are set in London but there are plenty set in other places such as Bath, Brighton, etc"

I like all of these ideas. Do we have enough active members to have two monthly choices? One of the book tour and one the traditional or a theme?


message 45: by John (new)

John Frankham (johnfrankham) | 209 comments 1980 sounds good, as does the tour. I'd commit to two per month to broaden my readings in this genre.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ one per month for me. I do group reads in 4 other groups & usually only read 6-8 books a month.

Highly unlikely to be able to take part in readings of books with very recent publication dates.


message 47: by Icewineanne (new)

Icewineanne | 115 comments John wrote: "1980 sounds good, as does the tour. I'd commit to two per month to broaden my readings in this genre."

Two per month is too many. So many other reading commitments that 1 book per month is all I can manage.


message 48: by Meg (new)

Meg Trager (mht07) | 20 comments Agree that one book per month is all I could handle. Although I read more than that, participating in organized discussion requires some thoughtful consideration if wanting to add anything of value. I like the 1980-ish cut-off. The British tour sounds interesting, tho' I don't really care about adhering to set theme beyond the British mystery.


message 49: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 83 comments I also agree that one per month is all I can commit to due to other group reads, series in process (at least two due to this group), and books that the library wants returned immediately. I like the divisions mentioned earlier by Ella's Gran: 1980ish forward = new; 1980is back = older style; 1900s to end 1930s = classic detective mysteries. The British tour is interesting but may be harder to develop - I wouldn't know where to start.


message 50: by Lesley (new)

Lesley We could do rotational book from each division and the fourth being from a tour of Britain; or alternating book from a division, then from the tour, then from another division...

The tour could be done by agreeing on a starting point and working down/up through regions/counties perhaps.


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