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I hope everyone is enjoying Michael Connelly’s The Law of Innocence. We will meet in person at the Lone Tree Library on February 28 at 6:00 pm. Zoom for remote attendees.

Save the date: I am planning the outing to see Towards Zero, an Agatha Christie play at the Firehouse Theatre in the Lowry area (lunch at The Tavern before). The date is March 20 and we will be seeing the 2:00 pm matinee. Ticket price is $23 per person and there don’t appear to be any fees. Mark it on your calendar if you’re interested and I’ll get RSVPs next week. SOs (Significant Others) are welcome.

We had a great discussion via Zoom in January to discuss Anthony Horowitz’s A Line to Kill. Notice I didn’t say everyone loved it, I said we had a great discussion. Usually we need both ends of the spectrum to get a good discussion.

The scores were: three 9s, six 8s, five 7s, two 6s, and three 5s.

Horowitz’s book is the classic: invite everyone who hates one person to an event and when the guy dies you have a ton of suspects. I tend to love this plan for two reasons. #1 lots of people to suspect, and #2 if everyone hates dead guy he’s probably a horrible person, so it’s great when he gets bumped off. This book also contained my other favorite thing – a closed universe. Give me a murder on an island in a rainstorm, in a mansion in a snow storm, at a conference in a hotel, or on a cruise ship, and I’m happy. I think it makes it easy to transport yourself to that location because it’s not all over the place.

If this club can agree on anything is that we like our murder to happen soon and often. One of our Kindle readers told us that the first murder didn’t happen until they got to 31%. Come on Tony, step it up a bit, will you?

Those who liked the book thought it was good plotting, clever writing, an easy read, easy to follow characters (that says a lot), engaging, and was tied up in a neat bow by the end. We always have a good discussion about whether or not we like Horowitz as a character in the book. The high scores tend to either like it or not mind, and the low scores think it takes away from the story. Cindy made a good observation on the subject. She pointed out that she could feel the tension in the room because Horowitz was there. Being there himself, and describing it in first person. really works for that.

Those who weren’t so impressed with the book thought that maybe there were too many suspects, it was too long, the clues were there but not enough of them (this was Allie, not Jay BTW), it was ploddy, and some hated Hawthorne. It reminded Paige of the Kingfisher book by Sophie Hannah and I do not think that was a compliment.

Some of us saw the clues (the borrowing of the coveted pen) and some of us just followed the red herrings down the paths we were meant to and enjoyed the ride. We all agreed that the book had a slow start. Those of us who love British books and shows were like, meh – that’s normal, I like a good slow start and a cuppa. Those who aren’t such anglophiles were like, get a move on Tony!

We got some suggested shows to watch at the end of the meeting. People are loving the Harlan Cobens on Netflix: Stay Close, The Stranger, and The Match. PBS is playing Vienna Blood (Season 2 I believe). Reacher is out now on Amazon Prime. The Brokenwood Mysteries are awesome (it’s either Acorn or Britbox). And Netflix is playing something starring Ron Weasley (aka Rupert Grint) but I didn’t get the title. [Perhaps Sick Note? -ed.]

Thank you to everyone who went into the BookMovement website and added Christmas books. We will have an extensive list to choose from this year.

If you come across a book you want to put on the next book choice list (we will be choosing in May for our July-December reads) just login and put it on the list.

If you’re a new member and haven’t joined the BookMovement site, please do. If you need another invite, let me know.

We also have a Facebook page. You don’t need to friend me to get invited (although you certainly can). Just search for Crime & Beyond in Facebook Groups and ask to join. I know you can do it without being my friend because I get random join requests from people outside Colorado. We must be so cool that everyone wants to be a part of our club.

See you in February (tonight if you’re coming to Death on the Nile).

Kerry

Character List[]

Anthony Horowitz – Author
Daniel Hawthorne – Private detective
Graham Lucas – Editor
Hilde Starke – Agent
Tamara Moore – Publicity Director
Trish – Publicity Director Assistant
Elizabeth Lowell – Blind Medium and author
Sid Lowell – Elizabeth’s husband
Marc Bellamy – TV Chef and author
Kathryn Harris – Marc’s Assistant
George Elkin – Historical author and Member of Normandy-Alderney-Britain (N.A.B)
Georgina Elkin – George’s wife and Member of Normandy-Alderney-Britain (N.A.B)
Anne Cleary – Children author
Maissa Laman – French Poet and part of European anti-fraud office
Judith Matheson – Festival Organizer
Colin Matheson – Judith’s husband and Council member
Charles Le Mesurier – Sponsor and owner of online casino game
Helen Le Mesurier – Charles’s wife
Jean-Francois Berthold – Helen’s romantic interest and land surveyor
Derek Abbott – Charles’s business partner and previously convicted by Hawthorne
Terry Burgess – Taxi Driver
Tom McKinley – Minibus driver
Dr Henry Queripel – Member of Normandy-Alderney-Britain (N.A.B)
Susan Queripel – Henry’s husband and Member of Normandy-Alderney-Britain (N.A.B)
Nora Carlisle – Le Mesurier housekeeper
Wilson – Forensic Co-ordinator
Jonathan Torode – Deputy Chief officer of Guernsey
Jane Whitlock – Special constable
Emil Odoli – part of European anti-fraud office

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