Crime & Beyond Wiki

Blood Cherry Martini

I know you were all anxiously awaiting the meeting minutes from June’s Crime & Beyond, but I was off lying on the beach in Florida trying to get over the chill left by The Snowman. (The Florida part is true.) There really is something to be said for off-sight meetings. The library is great and all, but relaxing in Lorraine’s beautiful living room and drinking her excellent Blood Orange and Cherry Martini was a whole step above hard plastic chairs and institutional tables. Thanks so much to our host for opening her home to us (especially to those of us who spill) and making us all feel so comfy.


The Snowmen

Before I recap the snack situation, I need to preface it with the fact that you should not be afraid to sign up to bring snacks for fear of never measuring up. We all know that a bag of Oreos is perfectly acceptable. Ok, with that out of the way, boy did Nick wow us with his concoction. If you weren’t there to see them, Jeff took a photo for Wiki, but I’ll try and describe them anyway. Nick built 3 cream cheese based snowmen, complete with fruit rollup scarves and red jam blood splashed over them. They were not only great to look at, but tasty too (even if Judy got a little overzealous whenever she stabbed them with her cracker). Nick also brought homemade cookies and I think we did a great job of leaving him very little to take back home.


The Snowman

Then there was our leader for the evening. Sharon came decked out in all white, with 3 black buttons, a scarf, gloves, hat, and pipe. Yep, we were led in a discussion of The Snowman….by a snowman (er, woman). I love how creative everyone gets for club, and thank god for iphones or I’d have to keep a digital camera in my bag for all the photo ops you all provide.

Ok, now to the book. I think Jo Nesbo was very well liked on the whole. A few of us had a hard time getting into his writing and thought it was a bit dry, so he did get a low score of 4. But most of the members, even those who had a slow start, eventually got into the story to some degree. Many really enjoyed the book and it got quite a few high scores too – I believe 9 was the highest. I normally remember these numbers better, but you’ll have to refer to the above mention of martinis. Sharon gave us a lot of interesting background on the author and his writing, and Judy and Raj were able to tell us about their own experiences in Norway (Judy lived there for a year and Raj has visited).

We mentioned the fact that so many of the kids had different biological fathers than they thought, and that led to a discussion about other cultures having different concepts of fidelity and monogamy. I liked how the first chapter, may have been a prologue, contained the flashback of the kid catching his mom with the nipple-less guy (or as Jose has so eloquently dubbed him “no nips”). Then, when we got to the end, the author went back to it and you saw what happened right after. This kind of tie in always entertains me. He did a good job of wrapping everything up and intertwining all of the characters into the plot and it all made sense once you knew how they were connected.

No one seemed to believe Katrine was guilty and quite a few guessed that she was the daughter of the first cop who disappeared so many years before. A few of us, however, saw a red herring and followed it right off the pier. The mold guy was sufficiently mysterious, especially when Harry’s neighbor had no idea there was a mold guy, and thought he was the killer. I even went as far as thinking he was hiding the bodies behind the wall he was tearing down in Harry’s apartment. But I guess the morgue was a much better hiding place, especially considering the smell.

Many of us enjoyed Mr. Nesbo enough that we plan to read more of his books, which there are plenty of. A couple aren’t translated, so we’ll have to learn Norwegian for those, but it’s a small price to pay for good books right? FYI, Judy is reading the one that comes after The Snowman (The Leopard) and there’s a torture scene in the beginning that disturbed her. Yes, something disturbed Judy! I think that means proceed with caution.

I personally googled the disease the bad guy had and it does exist (although I didn’t read into the nipple issue, Jose). The photos were quite disturbing, though, and it’s a very unpleasant condition. I also googled the electric loop thing he used to cut people’s heads off, and it exists too. There are quite a few photos available.

We didn’t really compare Jo to Stieg (which Sharon informs us he hates to have done). They seem to be two very different authors, with the only similarity being the Scandinavian location. I mean, come on, there wasn’t one IKEA reference in the whole book.

Next month we are reading John Hart’s The Last Child. We will be meeting at Dave’s house. Dave, can you do a “reply all” and attach the directions you handed out? If not, I can scan it tomorrow and email it. I will also attach it to the reminder I send one week before the meeting.

Ok, now to snacks and leading. Oh crap, I just checked and they’re both me. Damn! Seriously? I have to follow Sharon and Nick? Great, just great. Oh well, see you on July 23rd at DAVE’S HOUSE.