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Crime & Beyond book club met this month to discuss a book that was a bit of a change for us. Although it featured a murder, it wasn’t a traditional mystery. I’m talking about Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.

Where the Crawdads Sing hit the top of the charts when Reese Witherspoon chose it for her Hello Sunshine book club list. It featured marsh girl Kya, who was abandoned by her entire family, one by one. She grew up alone and vulnerable in a cabin in the woods, living off the land and trying to stay away from the townspeople (everyone except Jumpin’ and Mabel). She starts a relationship with Tate, who also abandons her, and then Chase, who is a playboy who uses her. It’s Chase’s murder the police are investigating in alternate chapters.

This book got some of the highest scores we’ve ever seen in Crime & Beyond. It got: one 11, one 10.5, eight 10s, one 9.5, five 9s, one 8, one 7, and one 3 (yes, you read that right – Jeff hated the book). We thought that maybe Magpie Murders got similar scores, but I checked and this one outranked that book. Wow.

The Good:
We thought the writing was exquisite and the story intriguing and clever. It touched our hearts and Kya was a well-developed character who was a survivor. We loved it from page one. Chase got what he deserved. It’s a story we will always remember and one of the best books we’ve ever read. It was more of a character driven novel than a mystery but we really enjoyed it. Some may not have read the book if it weren’t for the club picking it and others would have picked it up on their own. Once it was over, we didn’t want to read another book right away because we wanted it to simmer.

The Bad:
Kya’s development was unrealistic and the trial was a farce. Dreaded reading it. We just didn’t care, had to force ourselves to listen to the audio. Too little too late.

Christina reminded me that she sent me a link to an article relating to the author and her time in Africa. Here it is, very interesting. A mystery in itself.

The Dark History of the Year’s Bestselling Debut Novelist

Many thanks to Tammy for bringing lots of great snacks. She covered all the food groups: chocolate, sugar, and cupcakes. The fish were straight outta the marsh, she done tol me.

In other news, Reese Witherspoon is working on making a movie out of the book. Stay tuned, there may be a field trip.

We will meet next on October 28, when we will discuss Lethal White by Robert Galbraith aka JK Rowling. The book is much like the final Harry Potter novel.....super long. If you don’t get a chance to finish the book, PLEASE COME ANYWAY. It’s our Halloween party and it’s going to be fun. We will have:

Costume Contest – you’ll want to dress up, there are lots of prizes, including best costume that relates to one of our books
Book Quiz – who doesn't love a test? There are prizes (see a theme here)
Pizza Party – The Lone Tree library is treating us to pizza and Kelly & I are bringing sweets too

PLEASE RSVP if you are coming to the party, you can reply to this email (no need to reply all – no one else cares). I realize that Book Movement asks you to RSVP, but for the life of me I have no idea where they store this information, so I never see when you reply to those emails. If they make you feel good, please continue to RSVP there, but for this once, I also need you to reply to me here.

Kerry

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