Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Our Library has a brand-new website, and all of our discussion group blogs have moved!    We will leave this WordPress blog up, so that readers may read our archived posts — but starting on March 1, 2014, you may find this book group in our new home: http://www.lislelibrary.org/murderamongfriends .

We will continue to have information on the group, and what we’re reading, on that website.   So please update your information if you have this particular site bookmarked or in a feed reader.    We look forward to seeing you visiting our new site!

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Murder Among Friends News Flash Author Appearance LogoAuthor Signing logo  Stashower_Peril

Our good friend Daniel Stashower, will be at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville tonight!! at 7:00 p.m. to talk about and sign his outstanding non-fiction work, The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War, which curiously enough, reads like a mystery…

Very recently, it has also been nominated for an Edgar award and an Agatha award! This is not only a chance to pick up a great read, but to meet a great guy. Members are still telling me how much they enjoyed his call-in to our discussion on The Hound of the Baskervilles and its author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Stop by and let Daniel know that Murder Among Friends is rooting for him, especially during the mystery award season.

To borrow the library’s copy of The Hour of Peril, click on the photo of Daniel & the book cover. For details on his appearance at Anderson’s, click on the Anderson’s logo.

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Link to The Sherlockian on the LLD Catalog

Click on the book cover above to go to our catalog and reserve a copy!

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Cozy Mystery Christmas TreeThe following seasonal gifts just came to  my attention through the latest issue of Mystery Scene. magazine, and I couldn’t resist sharing a few with you! Click on the graphic that is with each item to go to the site where you can buy them. Merry Murderous Holidays!

I couldn’t believe it when I saw this one in the magazine! I just may have to pick one of these up myself!Hound of the Baskervilles T shirt

These dolls are so fun, and have such great details!  Dashiell Hammet Doll

And you can top off your holiday celebrations with a nice cuppa No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency teas! Cheers to all!
No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Teas

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Lisle Library is hosting Lisa Scottoline tonight at Benet Academy’s Daniel Hall at 7:00 p.m. Doors open at 6:30. The first 200 attendees will get a free copy of one of Lisa’s books!  Don’t miss this rare chance to hear a major New York Times best-selling author – both for her suspense novels and her semi-biographical non-fiction.Click on the picture to get details from our calendar about this event.

Author Lisa Scottoline

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The Face of Deception with Skeleton cupcakes Picture of author Iris Johansen

Skeletal cupcakes accompanied Iris Johansen’s The Face of Deception to last night’s mystery discussion – along with flyers for the upcoming Love is Murder mystery conference (the Chicago area’s only mystery conference!) that will be held at the InterContinental Chicago O’Hare on February 7th & 8th , 2014. The bookmarks on the right are for our final discussion groups cross-over event: the BBC TV show Sherlock episode of The Hound of the Baskervilles shown by our Just Between Frames film group on Nov. 7th, to follow up on the book-based discussions MAF and Fixed on Fiction members had on this classic tale by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. (Click the links to go: The Love is Murder conference site, The InterContinental Chicago O’Hare hotel information, or the Just Between Frames blog info on the BBC Sherlock event.) Click on the picture of author Iris Johansen above, to go to her website or these bolded words to get  Fantastic Fiction‘s list of all her books – and some fun information on the author!

Accompanying enthusiastic cupcake consumption, the group discussion on The Face of Deception was lively and forthright. One member stated unequivocally, that she found the billionaire, John Logan, to be a manipulative, unappealing character and wondered what Eve was thinking to accompany him to Tahiti at the end of the novel. This led to a discussion about the two male leads who are strongly interested in Eve: John Logan, and Lieutenant Detective Joe Quinn. We found that both men are not being completely straight with Eve and are still treating her as though she was still as fragile as she was when her daughter was kidnapped and murdered. This tragic event happened eight years ago, and Eve has come a long way since then, although her ability to connect with people beyond a work context is still shaky.

Patti shared background about the author, and how she came up from the ranks of series romance writing, to writing historical romance, and then trying her hand at the evolving genre of romantic suspense and thrillers. We talked about how the structure of the story is unusual, and could be considered a “who-is-it” versus a “whodunit”. Logan finesses Eve into working on the skull of an unknown man. Initially it is strongly hinted that the skull could be that of a famous and powerful politician. All Eve knows, is that the people who do not want her to identify who it is, are willing to do any number of heinous things to keep the identification from happening. Once this occurs, the story shifts into a “how will they prove it” as well as a “can they survive it” – both classic elements of a thriller/suspense story. We discussed how the era of the late 90s romantic suspense was becoming more thriller-oriented and less gothic-romance based (as it was with past read, The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart).

Other writers who traveled the path from category romance to the new romantic suspense/thrillers were: Tess Geristen, Jayne Ann Krentz, Nora Roberts, Tami Hoag, & Sandra Brown among others. From this base, female authors in particular have launched into the current straight thriller camp, bringing an element of deeper relationships to their fast-paced thriller plots. We also talked about how Johansen has been something of a trail-blazer in “developing the habit of following characters from book to book, sometimes introducing minor characters in one novel who then become major figures in another. She developed families, relationships and even fictional countries in her romance novels, which stretched the boundaries of the standard formulas, “according to Barbara E. Kemp in Twentieth-Century Romance and Historical Writers.” (quote from Fantastic Fiction’s web page on this author.)

The group was very appreciative of the plot twists, although a couple of elements broke their suspension of disbelief, in particular, the scene where Joe has gone into the woods after the major evil henchman, and Eve blindly follows him – accompanied by Logan – when neither one of them is anywhere near as skilled as Joe, and the outcome of the scene shows what a mistake it was for them to attempt to help him. MAF members found the strongest element in this story was the character development. One member commented on how she liked the fact that even a secondary character who didn’t play a large part of the story, had some depth to him. We all liked the way Johansen hinted at the troubled past that both Eve and her mother endured and how – through Bonnie’s existence and tragedy – the two women establish a strong, and loving relationship.

We are also highly curious as to who Bonnie’s father was, and debated how come Joe held back his feelings for Eve and married Diane. We’re hoping that there’s more detail about this piece of Joe’s and Eve’s backgrounds in the next story. We also agreed that Eve needs some form of counseling to help her to break free from her obsession with Bonnie and to develop a life beyond her work. It becomes clear by the end that there are a couple of potential sources for her to establish a romantic relationship. Again, there were strong feelings expressed about whether or not Eve should do (or will do) more with Logan in Tahiti than bask on the beach!  The scene in the hospital where Joe and Logan face-off in a very, territory-staking way, annoyed one member and we all agreed that Eve would have had words with both of them, had she been party to the conversation.

In group voting at the end of the discussion, all members were glad they had read this book, and all plan to read at least one more book in the series. Other handouts at the discussion will be made available in the Johansen “Author Docket” currently under construction. Patti will send out a post when it is live on this  blog!

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Monday, October 21, 2013 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM (CDT). Click graphic for link to tickets (required).

Monday, October 21, 2013 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM (CDT). Click graphic for link to tickets (required).

Nordic Noir genre graphic

Click on the graphic to learn more about the Nordic Noir mystery sub-genre.

Here’s a rare opportunity to get to hear and meet one of the stars of the whole “Nordic Noir” movement in mystery: Jo Nesbø. He will be appearing at Printers Row in Chicago on Monday, October 21st from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. As stated above, you can click the graphic of Nesbo and his books to go to the link for getting tickets to this event. The author will be talking about his latest book, Police, the 10th book in his Harry Hole series (that also includes best-sellers such as Nemesis, The Snowman, and The Leopard.)

Jo Nesbø (pronounced [ˈju ˈnɛsbø]; born 29 March 1960) is an Glass Key award winning Norwegian author and musician. As of September 2008 more than 1.5 million copies of his novels have been sold in Norway, and his work has been translated into over 40 languages, selling over 9 million copies (2013). Nesbø is primarily known for his crime novels about Inspector Harry Hole, but he is also the main vocalist and songwriter for the Norwegian rock band Di Derre. In 2007 Nesbø also released his first children’s book, Doktor Proktors prumpepulver (English translation: Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder). The 2011 film Headhunters is based on Nesbø’s novel Hodejegerne (The Headhunters). — excerpted from Wikipedia

The following is a current list of Jo Nesbø’s books in the Harry Hole series. Lisle Library has all of them! (With Police and Cockroaches on order)

Harry Hole
1. The Bat
2. Cockroaches (coming out in U.S. in Feb. 2014)
3. The Redbreast
4. Nemesis
5. The Devil’s Star
6. The Redeemer
7. The Snowman
8. The Leopard
9. Phantom
10. Police

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Hound of the Baskerville Cover with Daniel Stashower & Conan Doyle

There will be more on our meeting last week on The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but for now we want to offer up sincere praise and thanks to author Daniel Stashower. We now know why your biography on Doyle (Teller of Tales: the Life of Arthur Conan Doyle) is an Edgar winner! BTW Daniel — it went out to one of our attendees right after the program!


We are off to a fine start on following The Hound as he travels next to be read by the library’s fiction discussion group, Fixed on Fiction, who’ll be discussing it on Oct. 10th @ 7:00 p.m.  The book’s afoot! (Well, sort of… – Enjoy anyway!)

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Murder Among Friends had an outstanding visitor who came to join our discussion of her book. At our June discussion of The Other Woman, Hank Phillippi Ryan came, saw, and conquered us with her warmth, inclusiveness and fascinating insights to what the life of an investigative reporter is really all about, and her transition into award-winning mystery author. We also think that she ably demonstrated her unique take on how to “Stake the Cake” that we handed out while she signed copies of her books for attendees. A great time was had by all as the pictures below will prove!

Another beautiful cover cake from Lisle Jewel!

Another beautiful cover cake from Lisle Jewel!

We had some fun with the cake design - indicating that for MAF there is no other woman we'd rather read about than Hank's new heroine: Jane Ryland

We had some fun with the cake design – indicating that for MAF there is no other woman we’d rather read about than Hank’s new heroine: Jane Ryland

Hank as an official member of our mystery tribe...

MAF making Hank an official member of our mystery tribe…

.. And then pointed a finger at their choice of suspect for The Other Woman we like best.

.. And then pointed a finger at their choice of suspect for The Other Woman we like best.

In which Hank not only "Stakes the Cake" (a MAF photo op fave) - she takes it too! Veddy well done.

In which Hank not only “Stakes the Cake” (a MAF photo op fave) – she takes it too! Veddy well done.

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Ryan_AuthorpicAndOtherWomanAnd if you haven’t visited Hank’s website yet, check out her fun “scoop”  captured on video below:

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