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BathTubCake

Bath tub Cake

Crime & Beyond met this past Monday to discuss our latest book: Waiting for Wednesday by Nicci French. We welcomed our newest member, Jay, who had even read the book. Dave was our leader AND our snack bringer. Peg outdid herself on a wonderfully fudgy torte type cake with a bathtub decorated in frosting on top. I don’t know how Dave thinks of these things. It tasted and looked great. If you weren’t there, you’ll see a photo on Wiki when these notes are posted.

Since Nicci French was a new to us author, Dave gave us some background. It’s a husband and wife team made up of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. The both have written novels on their own, as well as standalones together. Waiting for Wednesday is the 3rd book in the series featuring British psychotherapist Frieda Klein. The books before were Blue Monday and Tuesday’s Gone. Thursday’s Children came out earlier this year. I wonder where they’ll go after Sunday.

A few of us were extra prepared, and had gone back to read Monday and Tuesday prior to Wednesday (I am starting to feel like I’m in that Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde). I don’t usually go back and read prior series books just because we’re jumping in mid-way, but for some reason this time I did. I was glad I did because I got a lot of information about the characters (and they were just freakin’ great books). However, most people in the club did not go back and read the first 2 books, but found it easy to jump in at #3. A few people felt a little lost or confused at not knowing who the people were who were mentioned, but everyone seemed to power through and do alright.

As I mentioned at the club, I have noticed that many authors try and write a series installment that can be as standalone as possible, so that readers who jump in can still follow along and can choose to go back if they want, but aren’t forced to. I think this series made each book enough of a standalone, but also had an undercurrent of events that made it interesting to go back (even if there were quite a few spoilers). I believe that several people mentioned that they plan to read Monday and Tuesday for this reason.

I usually start with the negative comments first, but there really weren’t any. This book was one of the most well liked books we have read in a very long time. The fact that there were so few copies available and we read it anyway goes to show that the bestsellers that the library stocks up on aren’t always the best books. I’m so glad we allowed this one to make the list and made due with the books available. It will give us incentive to suck it up on other occasions in order to read great mysteries. And as I said at club, I SOOOOOOO wanted to find fault with this book just to mess with Dave. But I just couldn’t, I loved everything about it. Curse you Dave!

Ok, so like I said, there weren’t many negative comments. I think the fact that a few were confused or slightly lost with the characters was the main thing. Someone said there were just quite a few characters to keep track of. Chris thought Monday was chaotic and I thought Wednesday was a bit (at least at Frieda’s house).

Now to the good, oh geez, this is gonna be a long paragraph. We decided that the book was an intelligent and smart book. It was both plot driven and character driven. Judy and Raj agreed that Frieda’s character is a well described “typical” psychotherapist. The authors have done a great job of the details and made her very believable. Most of us liked the 2 storylines that eventually came together in the end (R.I.P. Mr. Fearby). Each of the other books in the series do that as well. As Dave put it, there is chaos at the beginning and it’s pulled together in the end. There was both a male and female perspective. We see things from Frieda’s side, as well as Detective Chief Inspector Malcom Karlsson’s. Amy loved the saga of the bath and some of us agreed that if Frieda had been allowed her bath there probably wouldn’t have been a story.

There was a theme of water throughout the book. Frieda is always walking the city of London and she likes to follow the path of different rivers. The front of the book had a map of the river in question for this book. Both of the previous two books also had a map, each with a different river that was featured. I looked up the theme of water in literature and found that:

Water vs. Desert – Because water is necessary to life and growth, it commonly appears as a birth or rebirth symbol. Water is used in baptism services, which solemnizes spiritual births. Similarly, the appearance of rain in a work of literature can suggest a character’s spiritual birth.

Or you may like this:

Water is often used to symbolize things in literature. Water is a universal symbol of change and is often present at turning points in a story. Since water is often a sign of life, many times water represents life. Likewise, water can also represent death (such as dark murky waters). Water can also be up into two categories: fresh water and bad/polluted water. Fresh water can represent good health, and bad water symbolizes bad health. Water can also mean purity and cleansing. It also represents thirst, since people drink water to quench their thirst.

We had a lot to say about the guy who was having an affair for 10 years and then got so bored he had to have an affair on his affair. I mean come on, the guy wasn’t even attractive. Takes all sorts, doesn’t it? The character of Frieda was very well developed and Jeff commented on the fact that she was a recluse who couldn’t stop gaining friends.

The scores were as follows: there were technically two scores of 10 (Janice’s was a 2.5 x 4), four 9.5 scores, three 9s, one 8.5, one 8.25, and one 8. I think this pretty much sums up how much we liked the book. But unlike many times when we’re all in agreement, we actually had a lively discussion about it. It wasn’t just great, it was discussion-worthy great. What a combo. Sharon gave Dave a 10.5 for recommending this author and I think the rest of us agree.

We sometimes come up with questions for the author, and in this case “authors.” If Sharon is feeling adventurous she may just contact them for us, as she is our designated author liaison. We wondered which of them wrote the Frieda parts, or if they shared that. We also wondered who in the writing team is the poet.

The slap vote goes to Louise (don’t know if I’m spelling that right) the sister of the dead woman who came in to take over after the murder, baby attached to her. She bugged the crap out of us, as I’m sure she was meant to. I don’t envy those two young girls who will be brought up by her while their father and brother are in prison.

Next month will be action packed, I repeat action packed.

1. There will be a Halloween Costume contest – with prizes!!!! So dress up and we’ll vote on the winner or winners.

2. We will be voting on books for the first half of next year. You have until midnight on October 20th to get me your suggestions or post them on the Book Movement site. Otherwise they won’t be included on the vote sheet. We try to vote on books with at least 10 copies, but I will use my discretion if we have one with less and will let the majority decide if it’s worth reading.

3. We will be discussing Missing You by Harlan Coben. Even though this author is a bestseller we still haven’t seemed to score as many books as we normally do. So please read fast and return. I know Dave already returned his. I have my own copy that I will drop off at the library next week for anyone to borrow. I’ll put a note on it to let the library know it’s a private copy.

Happy Fall everyone, and I will see you in October (meeting on the 27th). Pat is down for snacks and Sharon L. is leading. She has even hinted to me that she is preparing a little fun contest type thing that may or may not come with a prize for the winner. You’ll have to show up to see what it’s all about.

Kerry

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