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By now some of you are deep into Scott Turow’s The Last Trial, right? Many of you may have finished it, and some of us have already forgotten what happens. Brush up on the story, we will meet on February 22nd to discuss (via Zoom of course). Info is below and I will send a reminder the morning of the meeting as well.

In January we met and discussed The Eighth Detective by Alex Pavesi. We had a great discussion of the book and lots of members really enjoyed it. Some compared it to Magpie Murders because of its story within a story (or in the case of the 8th Detective, stories—plural).

Yes, there were several short stories within this book, which had an editor (she wasn’t really an editor) talking to the author (he wasn’t really the author) about republishing a book of short stories called The White Murders.

Whether you liked the book or not, hopefully we can all agree that it took a lot of plotting and creativity to not only come up with each story—including the main story—but to write not one, but TWO endings to each. In addition to that, the author wove in lots of twists and turns that surprised us along the way.

Our designated Author Communicator (read Stalker), Sharon L., contacted the author to ask him some of our questions and has emailed everyone his responses. Well done Sharon for contacting him, thank you to Nicole for getting us his publicist’s contact info, and Kudos to Alex for not only answering all of our questions, but doing it so quickly.

The scores for the book were as follows, out of 19 scores we had: two 10s, two 9s, five 8s, three 7s, three 6s, three 5s, one 4.

The positive comments were that we loved all the math that they used to describe the different crime combinations and permutations, we liked the end and the surprises, and it was clever and original. I thought it was funny that several people said they don’t like short stories but loved this (and Sharon hates math and still gave it a 10). The ending really did it for us, it raised Jay’s score by 2 whole points because he liked the twists.

The negatives were that some got bored with the back and forth between the stories and the main plotline on the island between “Grant” and Julia. Some thought that the author didn’t leave enough clues to allow the reader to solve it and others wanted more of “Grant” and Julia and less of the short stories. As far as the alternate endings for each of the stories, it weighed some people down that the author gave us each full alternate ending. It was a lot and got a bit confusing for some.

We don’t just read for fun, we know that we also get life lessons from our monthly reads. I will leave you with a life lesson learned from this book. It’s simple and goes like this……don’t picnic on the edge of a cliff!

See you on February 22nd.

Kerry

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