Crime & Beyond Wiki

Great meeting last night. We welcomed a new guest, Evan, who likes to read Scandinavian mysteries. Kim was really excited about this and I believe I heard her request a Jo Nesbo book be put on the list. Speaking of Kim, she was our master baker for the night and brought 2 kinds of cupcakes. I was a big fan of the screen cutter ones that had knives sticking out of the tops. Great tie-in to the book!

We discussed Michael Connelly’s The Wrong Side of Goodbye. For the most part, everyone really liked the book. I’m always secretly hoping that half the room will hate the book so we can get a good discussion going. As it was, Dave was calm and composed—what fun is that? We got a lot of “I really enjoyed it” comments and part of Jeff’s review was to point out that he agreed with what everyone else said. No one was blown away by the book, but no one disliked it either. That’s it, I’m putting Ruth Ware BACK on the list!

We were able to give Mr. Connelly quite a few compliments and decent scores. The book received six 9s, two 8.5s, five 8s, three 7.5s, four 7s, and one 6. The book was engaging, entertaining, interesting, enjoyable, well-written, and had well-drawn characters. But again, no one raved that it was the best book they’d ever read. Jay mentioned that it was entertaining and nothing more. Kim and Jennifer enjoyed the description of LA since they’re both from that part of California. Amy was heard to proclaim, “eh, I enjoyed it.”

Connelly thought he wrote a short, noir, Chandler type mystery. We disagreed on both the length—ok maybe it was 5 pages shorter than his others—and the comparison to Chandler. The title was a bit Chandler-esque, but that’s about all we could give him.

Most of us had a preference for one of the storylines. Some preferred the inheritance story that followed Whitney Vance and others enjoyed watching Bosch investigate the screen cutter cold case. No one really said that the two stories were confusing or disjointed, rather it seemed to follow what one would expect from a part-time, volunteer cop who continued to work on private cases.

One of the main “complaints” about the book was that a lot of the conspiracy sidelines with Vance’s company went nowhere. We all kind of wanted more mystery to the story. Either take the conspiracy somewhere or make the inheritance part more interesting. Someone mentioned that they thought maybe the son switched identities with another kid and didn’t die in Vietnam. There were a lot of things that could have been done with the helicopter deficiencies and drone following, but it all went nowhere. I guess that’s what happens when you write such a short book.

We had a few who were reading their first Michael Connelly book, and it doesn’t appear to be their last. Lots of people suggested they try the Lincoln Lawyer series. Which led us to compare Bosch and Haller. Bosch was described as gruff, but Haller as funny and conniving. Much more personality with a similar father daughter relationship, throw in 3 ex-wives for Mickey too though.

We will meet next on October 23rd to discuss Home by Harlan Coben. I think this is our first Myron Bolitar read in club. Should be exciting! I will lead and Amy will bring snacks.

Our October meeting will also be our Halloween meeting! Wear a costume, dress as your favorite book character, villain, author, or superhero. Anything goes and there WILL be prizes.

We will also be choosing 6 books for next year, so there are lots of reasons you won’t want to miss the meeting. Make sure to login to Book Movement to put your book suggestions on our list (make sure the library has 10+ copies first please).

A Few Additional Announcements & Field Trips:

Harlan Coben will be at the Tattered Cover bookstore on Santa Fe in the Aspen Grove Shopping Center on Thursday, 9/28 at 7 pm. I’m bummed that I can’t make that one.

Michael Connelly will be at the Highlands Ranch library on 11/3 from 7-9pm. Registration is required (link below). Pat and I are planning to do dinner beforehand and anyone who wants to join us is welcome. We will come up with a location and let you know when and where as the date gets closer. Plan for 5-5:15ish.

Murder on the Orient Express movie releases on Friday, November 10th. We’re going to plan a field trip on the 11th or 12th because Jeff likes to see afternoon movies. He’s also noted that he doesn’t just want to see the movie with me, so clear your calendars! We’ll pick a theatre down in Lone Tree or the Ranch and maybe do lunch or dinner afterward too (depending on the time). Stay tuned as that gets closer too. All are welcome, bring your spouse, a friend, a neighbor. Anyone who wants to see the movie. Here’s the trailer:

See you in October!