Book Group - Murder Mystery 1
SHOREHAM & SOUTHWICK U3A HAS 4 MURDER MYSTERY BOOK GROUPS
Each group meets on a different day. All of the groups are home based and so the size of the groups is constrained by physical space. If you are interested in joining a U3A Murder Mystery Book Group please email by clicking on the bluebird message box on this page.
MURDER MYSTERY BOOK GROUP 1
Murder Mystery Book Group 1 usually meets at a member’s home on the 4th Monday of each month at 10am. We meet from September to June.
We are a friendly group which explores a different murder mystery novel each month over a cup of coffee.
One of our aims is to introduce group members to crime writers we may not have come across. We've been going several years now but have never read the same author twice, and that is our intention for the future.
Over time we've read books by crime writers from Australia, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the USA, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany and France - as well as UK. During the 2017/2018 U3A year we’ve added the Chinese writer Qui Xiaolong, the Singaporian author Ovidia Yu and the Danish author Steffen Jacobsen to our list.
We have an interesting range of books lined up to read during the 2018/2019 U3A year. These include one set in rural France during a sweltering summer and another set in New York which gives more than a passing nod to Hitchcock’s films, and which itself is now being turned into a film.
Purely for fun, group members score each month’s book on a 1 to 10 scale with a view to our declaring the highest scoring book our ‘Murder Mystery of the Year’. Our winner in the 2017/18 year was The Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee. Set in Raj India in 1919 it was a cracking good read that evoked a strong sense of both Calcutta at the time and the lives and times (and double standards) of the British and Indian characters in the book.
Mukherjee’s book narrowly pipped Lee Child’s Tripwire for the title. Having ignored this popular author over many seasons of crime reading, we felt his time had come – and decided he was well worth the wait.
What sort of things do we discuss?
Many of the things that any books group would discuss, but perhaps with a few additions. For example:
• First and foremost, did we enjoy reading the book!
• Was the book well written?
• Were the characters believable?
• Did we get a sense of place, be it another town, another country or a specific workplace or environment?
• Did it have a good plot and have something different to offer?
• Did we want to keep turning the page, or not?
• Were there ‘twists in the tale’?
• Was the book the right length with every page earning its keep - or was it padded?
• Was the perpetrator of the crime too obvious from too early in the book?
• Was any violence gratuitous, or any police procedure unnecessary to the plot - just for the sake of it?
• Were we provided with believable evidence of the perpetrators means, motive and opportunity?
• If by an established author, was there evidence of them taking their readers for granted – trading on their reputation and not producing ‘the goods’?
• Would we read another book by the same author?
Page last updated 01.11.19