Crime & Beyond Wiki

I totally dropped the ball on getting the meeting minutes out to you. Since we’re meeting a week early this month (because of Memorial Day) I should have tried harder to get this email finished so you had more lead time to read the book. I know BookMovement sends you a note about the next book after each meeting, but I noticed that something is wonky on their site because their reminder wasn’t correct this past time. I feel like it had the right book but the wrong meeting time.

The next meeting is Monday, May 18 at 6:30 pm via Zoom and we will discuss The Lost Man by Jane Harper. Zoom info is below and I have plugged it into BookMovement, so it should show up in their 1 week and 1 day reminders. If I see it doesn’t, I will send the Zoom again before the meeting. For those who are remote or not on BookMovement, save this email for the Zoom link.

In April we did our second Zoom call and discussed The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz. The zoom part went really well and we had 20 people on the call. Given that we absolutely loved Magpie Murders, I thought this book would be a slam dunk. It was not a slam dunk, though, and we got some interesting ratings for it.

The lowest score was a 5 and the highest was a 9, but we had a lot of 6s and 7s. So I would say that on the whole, we gave it a 7 out of 10. Due to the quantity of scores that contained decimal points, I won’t be reproducing them for this email. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

The lower scores seemed to stem from the fact that several readers didn’t like that Horowitz portrayed himself as a character. He came across as arrogant & it got old. I believe the word “annoying” was also used. Some of us had a slow start because it took a few chapters to get the hang of the fact that the author was a character and referring to real stuff, but then writing about a fictional murder.

Many readers didn’t like Hawthorne. He was definitely not painted as a likeable character and some of us liked that he was unlikeable. Others just found him objectionable….which he was. Jeff compared him to Sherlock – who wasn’t completely likeable either.

Those that enjoyed the book commented on the good plot and the fact that the ending wasn’t predictable (and no Daisies!!). Horowitz definitely creates non cookie cutter plots; I think that’s part of what we loved about Magpie Murders.

A few people who gave the book a decent score also called it ”forgettable.” This concept is interesting to me because I watch a lot of British mysteries and there are some that I will re-watch after a few years and they seem like totally new shows to me (clearly they were forgettable). Then there are ones that I’d love to re-watch, but I distinctly remember the murder, the twist, and whodunit. I suppose if it was entertaining, but forgettable, we can look forward to re-reading it again at some point in the future. I read the book when it first came out and then to prep for book club, I listened to it on audio. I specifically remembered that the husband was having an affair with the nanny because of the little boy saying “daddy” instead of “mommy.” I didn’t remember that the funeral director was the killer, though, or his acting connection.

All in all, it was a good discussion. I have put The Sentence is Death (second in the Hawthorne series) on the book list, so we’ll see if it gets picked. I remember not liking it as much as The Word is Murder, but a few others who also read both said they liked it better. I look forward to the May 18th discussion of Jane Harper. This is a standalone rather than an Aaron Falk mystery.

I will be sending out an invite to a Zoom Murder Mystery party, so watch your inbox for that. Costumes will be a must (from the waist up) and we will use Zoom’s breakout rooms to allow for smaller discussions/interrogations. I think it’ll be fun.