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Murder Among Friends

Reading History

Previous Years BookList Bookmarks

Click on the Book Cover in the Title Column to go directly to it in the library’s catalog. Click on the Author’s Name to go to the author’s website. *Note: When the author does not have a site, the next best source we find is used. All discussions are on the 3rd Thursday of the month unless noted otherwise.

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Links To Each Year's Discussion Books: 

2019 2018 2017 2016
2015 2014 2013 2012
2010 - 2011



MAF Book List 2019 graphic

Murder Among Friends
2019 Discussion Books Already Discussed


*Click here for a printable copy of the 2019 Books


Meeting Date Author Title Link to LLD Catalog!
Jan. 17, 2019 Thompson, Victoria City of Lies Leaving Time cover
Our Murder Among Friends' New Year is starting on a high note: we're being joined by author, Victoria Thompson, when we meet tonight to discuss "City of Lies" the first book in her fascinating new mystery series set in 1920's Washington D.C. 
As the series title alludes, the heroine, Elizabeth Miles, is a "Counterfeit Lady" -- having assumed many roles in her life on the edge of respectable society. Victoria will share with us what inspired this new series, and how she came to create a heroine and setting so different from her classic Victorian mid-wife series that featured Sarah Brandt and policeman Frank Malloy. 
She will join us at 7:30 p.m. to add her personal touch to our discussion, and we'll celebrate her visit with our special cake -- which she will "stake"... in keeping with the group's tradition!
As for this story:
Like most women, Elizabeth Miles assumes many roles; unlike most, hers have made her a woman on the run. Living on the edge of society, Elizabeth uses her guile to relieve so-called respectable men of their ill-gotten gains. But brutal and greedy entrepreneur Oscar Thornton is out for blood. He’s lost a great deal of money and is not going to forgive a woman for outwitting him. With his thugs hot on her trail, Elizabeth seizes the moment to blend in with a group of women who have an agenda of their own.
She never expects to like or understand these privileged women, but she soon comes to respect their intentions, forming an unlikely bond with the wealthy matriarch of the group whose son Gideon is the rarest of species—an honest man in a dishonest world. She knows she’s playing a risky game, and her deception could be revealed at any moment, possibly even by sharp-eyed Gideon. Nor has she been forgotten by Thornton, who’s biding his time within this gilded orbit, waiting to strike. Elizabeth must draw on her wits and every last ounce of courage she possesses to keep her new life from being cut short by this vicious shadow from her past. ~ Summary courtesy of Goodreads
Meeting Date Author Title Link to LLD Catalog!
Feb. 21, 2019 Giordano, Mario Auntie Poldi & the Sicilian Lions Leaving Time cover
Warm up your February by visiting sunny Sicily -- the setting for this month's mystery novel: Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano! This international best-seller, is the first in Giordano's series featuring the fiery retiree who is a Bavarian former costume designer. The story is "narrated" by Giordano -- her nephew. Here's what Goodreads has to say about the book:
On her sixtieth birthday, Auntie Poldi retires to Sicily, intending to while away the rest of her days with good wine, a view of the sea, and few visitors. But Sicily isn’t quite the tranquil island she thought it would be ...
When her handsome young handyman goes missing—and is discovered murdered—she can’t help but ask questions . . .
Soon there’s an investigation, a smoldering police inspector, a romantic entanglement, one false lead after another, a rooftop showdown, and finally, of course, Poldi herself, slightly tousled, but still perfectly poised.
This “masterly treat” (Times Literary Supplement) will transport you to the rocky shores of Torre Archirafi, to a Sicily full of quirky characters, scorching days, and velvety nights, alongside a protagonist who’s as fiery as the Sicilian sun.
Meeting Date Author Title Link to LLD Catalog!
Mar. 21, 2019 Kate Carlisle If Books Could Kill If Books Could Kill cover
A lifelong fascination with the art and craft of bookbinding led this month’s author, Kate Carlisle, to write the Bibliophile Mysteries, featuring Brooklyn Wainwright, whose bookbinding and restoration skills invariably uncover old secrets, treachery and murder. We are going to be talking about the second book in this series, If Books Could Kill.

Here is what Goodreads has to say about this novel:

Book restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright is attending the world-renowned Edinburgh Book Fair when her ex Kyle shows up with a bombshell. He has an original copy of a scandalous text that could change history—and humiliate the beloved British monarchy.

When Kyle turns up dead, the police are convinced Brooklyn's the culprit. But with an entire convention of suspects, Brooklyn's conducting her own investigation to find out if the motive for murder was a 200-year-old secret—or something much more personal.

Please join us and ask Kate your questions about this story and the spellbinding business of binding books to murder! 


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MAF Book List 2018 graphic

Murder Among Friends
2018 Discussion Books Already Discussed


*Click here for a printable copy of the 2018 Books


Meeting Date Author Title Link to LLD Catalog!
Jan. 18, 2018 Picoult, Jodi Leaving Time Leaving Time cover

As our first book of the New Year, we're seeing how a well-known author from a different genre approaches the mystery genre. Jodi Picoult took a walk on the mysterious side with her novel,Leaving Time. Tonight we tackle a missing person case unlike any other. 

Goodreads has this to say about it:
For over a decade, Jenna Metcalf obsesses on her vanished mom Alice. Jenna searches online, rereads journals of the scientist who studied grief among elephants. Two unlikely allies are Serenity Jones, psychic for missing people who doubts her gift, and Virgil Stanhope, jaded PI who originally investigated cases of Alice and her colleague. Hard questions and answers.
Meeting Date Author Title Link to LLD Catalog!
Feb. 15, 2018 Scott, A. D. A Small Death in the Great Glen A Small Death in the Great Glen Book  Cover

This month we visited Scotland and a mystery written by a new mystery author, A. D. Scott. A Highlander herself, she offers readers an insider's look into life in a small Scottish village where a crime from the past still resonates in the present. 

Goodreads has this to say about it:
"In the Highlands of 1950s Scotland, a boy is found dead in a canal lock. Two young girls tell such a fanciful story of his disappearance that no one believes them. The local newspaper staff—including Joanne Ross, the part-time typist embroiled in an abusive marriage, and her boss, a seasoned journalist determined to revamp the paper—set out to uncover and investigate the crime. Suspicion falls on several townspeople, all of whom profess their innocence. Alongside these characters are the people of the town and neighboring glens; a refugee Polish sailor; an Italian family whose cafÉ boasts the first known cappuccino machine in the north of Scotland; and a corrupt town clerk subverting the planning laws to line his own pocket."

Together, these very different Scots harbor deep and troubling secrets underneath their polished and respectable veneers—revelations that may prevent the crime from being solved and may keep the town firmly in the clutches of its shadowy past.


Meeting Date Author Title Link to LLD Catalog!
March 15,  2018 Crombie, Deborah A Share in Death A Share in Death Book  Cover

Deborah Crombie will be Skyping with us as we discuss "A Share in Death" -- the first in her Inspector Duncan Kincaid/Sergeant Gemma James mystery series. We will be able to see and talk with her about this wonderful introduction to an outstanding series. 

Goodreads has this to say about it:
"A week's holiday in a luxurious Yorkshire time-share is just what Scotland Yard's Superintendent Duncan Kincaid needs. But the discovery of a body floating in the whirlpool bath ends Kincaid's vacation before it's begun. One of his new acquaintances at Followdale House is dead; another is a killer. Despite a distinct lack of cooperation from the local constabulary, Kincaid's keen sense of duty won't allow him to ignore the heinous crime, impelling him to send for his enthusiastic young assistant, Sergeant Gemma James. But the stakes are raised dramatically when a second murder occurs, and Kincaid and James find themselves in a determined hunt for a fiendish felon who enjoys homicide a bit too much."


Meeting Date Author Title Link to LLD Catalog!
Apr. 19, 2018 Harrison, Mette Ivie The Bishop's Wife  The Bishop's Wife book cover

Mette Ivie Harrison will be Skyping with us as we discuss "The Bishop's Wife" -- the first in her Linda Willheim mystery series. We will be able to see and talk with her about this unique perspective on a crime within a Mormon community in Draper, Utah, written by an author who knows and practices this faith. 

Goodreads has this to say about it:

Linda Wallheim is a devout Mormon, the mother of five boys and the wife of a bishop. But Linda is increasingly troubled by her church’s structure and secrecy, especially as a disturbing situation takes shape in her ward. 

One cold winter night, a young wife and mother named Carrie Helm disappears, leaving behind everything she owns. Carrie’s husband, Jared, claims his wife has always been unstable and that she has abandoned the family, but Linda doesn’t trust him. As Linda snoops in the Helm family’s circumstances, she becomes convinced that Jared has murdered his wife and painted himself as a wronged husband.

Linda’s husband asks her not to get involved in the unfolding family saga. But Linda has become obsessed with Carrie’s fate, and with the well-being of her vulnerable young daughter. She cannot let the matter rest until she finds out the truth. Is she wrong to go against her husband, the bishop, when her inner convictions are so strong?

Inspired by a chilling true crime and written by a practicing Mormon, The Bishop’s Wife is both a fascinating look at the lives of modern Mormons as well as a grim and cunningly twisted mystery.

Meeting Date Author Title Link to LLD Catalog!
May 17, 2018 Wisseman, Sarah Burnt Siena  Burnt Siena book cover
Illinois author, archeologist and artist, Sarah Wisseman joined our discussion by video conferencing!
MAF members and attendees will get a chance to ask the author how she came to write Burnt Siena, and what kinds of travels were involved -- geographically, historically and artistically.
Our book, Burnt Siena, is the first book in her Flora Garibaldi Art History Mysteries (set in Italy). Here's what Goodreads has to say about it:
"In the magical and historically rich city of Siena, Italy, old paintings are as common as cobblestones. But what if some of those paintings are forgeries? And what if your employers at Restauro Lorenzetti, a respected firm of art conservators, might be smuggling antiquities? After colleague and roommate Ernst Mann is found dead in the street below their apartment balcony, Flora Garibaldi suspects her bosses are crooks...
Burnt Siena is a suspenseful mystery combining a spectacular Italian setting with complicated art historical dilemmas. The story of Flora Garibaldi and the colorful Lorenzetti family will take the reader on a labyrinthine journey while probing family and professional loyalties that no amount of yellowed varnish can hide."
Meeting Date Author Title Link to LLD Catalog!
June 21, 2018 Harris Chalaine Real Murders  Charlaine Harris Real Murders Cover

Charlaine launched the lighthearted Aurora Teagarden books with Real Murders, a Best Novel 1990 nomination for the Agatha Awards and the book we’ll be discussing as a group – and with Charlaine! Charlaine will be video conferencing with us through Skype – and we invite all interested patrons of the library to come see and talk with her!

She wrote eight books in this series about a Georgia librarian. In 1996, she released the first in the much darker Shakespeare mysteries, featuring the amateur sleuth Lily Bard, a karate student who makes her living cleaning houses. Shakespeare’s Counselor, the fifth—and final—Lily Bard novel, was printed in fall 2001. By then, Charlaine was feeling the call of new territory. Telepathic barmaid Sookie Stackhouse works in a bar in the fictional northern Louisiana town of Bon Temps. The first book in the series, Dead Until Dark, won the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Mystery in 2001. This series, which ended in 2013, has been released in over thirty languages, and was made into the HBO hit series, True Blood by Alan Ball. Both the Aurora Teagarden series and the trilogy based on her series set in Midnight, Texas have also been made into TV series.

Meeting Date Author Title Link to LLD Catalog!
July 19, 2018 Kuhn, Cynthia The Semester of Our Discontent  Cynthia Kuhn The Semester of Our Discontent Cover

This month we will be joined by author Cynthia Kuhn, who writes the Lila Maclean Academic Mystery series! She will be video conferencing with us by Skype to talk with us about her novel, The Semester of Our Discontent, an Agatha Award recipient (Best First Novel). Like her protagonist, Lila Maclean, Cynthia is a professor of English – but at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Goodreads has this to say about this engaging, classic academic mystery:

English professor Lila Maclean is thrilled about her new job at prestigious Stonedale University until she finds one of her colleagues dead. She soon learns that everyone, from the chancellor to the detective working the case, believes Lila—or someone she is protecting—may be responsible for the horrific event, so she assigns herself the task of identifying the killer.

More attacks on professors follow, the only connection a curious symbol at each of the crime scenes. Putting her scholarly skills to the test, Lila gathers evidence, but her search is complicated by an unexpected nemesis, a suspicious investigator, and an ominous secret society. Rather than earning an “A” for effort, she receives a threat featuring the mysterious emblem and must act quickly to avoid failing her assignment…and becoming the next victim.

Both Laura DiSilverio and Maggie Barbieri gave this book an A+ while Catriona McPherson described it as “a box of delights”.

Aug. 16, 2018

Our 2019 Planning Meeting!!


What mystery titles will you bring to the Mystery table? We're picking our authors and books to read in 2019 at this meeting! So bring lists, books, and author names -- but most importantly, bring yourself!  Prior to the meeting, you can send ideas/titles to Patricia at  


Meeting Date Author Title Link to LLD Catalog!
Sept. 20, 2018 Peters, Elizabeth Crocodile on the Sandbank  Peters Crocodile on the Sandbank Cover
Each fall, we choose a literary lion of mystery to enhance our overall knowledge of the genre. This year, we have picked a special delight: Crocodile on the Sandbank by the redoubtable Elizabeth Peters, a.k.a. Barbara Michaels, and Barbara Mertz. This book introduces readers to 19th century female archaeologist, Amelia Peabody -- and the mystery world has never been the same! 
Amelia was Barbara's favorite character, and with the recent publication of The Painted Queen (started by Barbara and finished by her long-time friend, Joan Hess) there are 20 incredible adventures with Amelia to be had. 
We will also be joined by phone with another of Barbara's best friends, author Dorothy Cannell, who will share her experiences traveling with and knowing this cherished author.
Crocodile on the Sandbank not only introduces Amelia, but "the greatest archaeologist the world has ever known", Radcliffe Emerson. And they are quite the pair... here's what Goodreads says of it:
Set in 1884, this is the first installment in what has become a beloved bestselling series. At thirty-two, strong-willed Amelia Peabody, a self-proclaimed spinster, decides to use her ample inheritance to indulge her passion, Egyptology. On her way to Egypt, Amelia encounters a young woman named Evelyn Barton-Forbes. The two become fast friends and travel on together, encountering mysteries, missing mummies, and Radcliffe Emerson, a dashing and opinionated archaeologist who doesn't need a woman's help -- or so he thinks.
Don't miss this chance to see how this author masterfully mixes archaeology with mystery -- and hilarity! And share in Dorothy's memories of Barbara.
Meeting Date Author Title Link to LLD Catalog!
Oct. 18, 2018 Malliet, G.M. Wicked Autumn  Peters Crocodile on the Sandbank Cover

We'll be joined by G.M. Malliet to talk about her seasonally appropriate and enthusiastically received mystery: Wicked Autumn!  She will be calling in to the meeting around 7:30 p.m. 

Veteran members of MAF remember just how much fun we had talking to her about her first series, for which she won an Agatha award. We're so happy to talk to her again -- and about such a different character!

Goodreads has this to say about our current book, Wicked Autumn - the first in the author's second series: 

What could be more dangerous than cozy village life in the English countryside? Max Tudor has adapted well to his post as vicar of St. Edwold's in the idyllic village of Nether Monkslip. The quiet village seems the perfect home for Max, who has fled a harrowing past as an MI5 agent.  But this new-found serenity is quickly shattered when the highly vocal and unpopular president of the Women's Institute turns up dead at the Harvest Fayre. The death looks like an accident, but Max's training as a former agent kicks in, and before long he suspects foul play...

As the investigation unfolds, Max becomes more intricately involved. Memories he'd rather not revisit are stirred, evoking the demons from the past which led him to Nether Monkslip.

Meeting Date Author Title Link to LLD Catalog!
Nov. 1, 2018 Ide, Joe I.Q.  Peters Crocodile on the Sandbank Cover
This November MAF is giving thanks to author Joe Ide -- for agreeing to join us by video conferencing through Skype! 
We number many Sherlockian fans among us, and are eager to see what take Joe has done on the great Consulting Detective. Joe grew up in South Central Los Angeles. Joe’s favorite books were the Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories. The idea that a person could face the world and vanquish his enemies with just his intelligence fascinated him.
As a first novel, IQ won the Shamus award from The Private Eye Writers of America's, and the Best First from the Macavity Awards,​ and the Anthony Awards. It was also nominated for the Best First Edgar award, the Barry award and Strand Critics award. 
As for the story itself IQ, is set in East Long Beach. "The LAPD is barely keeping up with the neighborhood's high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, lost children unrecovered. But someone from the neighborhood has taken it upon himself to help solve the cases the police can't or won't touch.
A high school dropout, Isaiah Quintabe has an unassuming nature that disguises a ferocious intelligence.
Most people call him IQ. Word has gotten around: If you've got a problem, Isaiah will take care of it,
his rates adjustable to your income or lack thereof.
Because of his unconventional business model, cash is getting tight for Isaiah, forcing him to take on the case of a rap mogul whose life is in danger. The list of suspects includes a socially inept marksman who never misses, a crew of hangers-on that conceals at least one man with a dangerous agenda, and an attack dog the size of a horse. IQ finds his investigation encompassing much more than he bargained for.
No one expects a kid from East Long Beach to have what Isaiah's packing--a blistering intellect, an incredible sense of perception, and some serious skills behind the wheel. It all adds up to one major advantage: When you come from nothing, nobody sees you coming"  ~ Joe Ide's website
Meeting Date Author Title Link to LLD Catalog!
Dec. 13th, 2018 Goldberg, Leonard The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes  
Quite appropriately, the author of our December mystery discussion book, Leonard Goldberg, is both a medical doctor, and a medical professor. As the author of The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes, he is in keeping not only with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's chosen profession -- he is a professor -- as was Dr. Joe Bell, Doyle's model for Sherlock Holmes. There is a special link between his protagonist in this book and the heroine of his previous series -- a special twist we'll definitely want to talk about!
As for the story itself, here's the author's summary:
"1914. Joanna Blalock’s keen mind and incredible insight lead her to become a highly-skilled nurse, one of the few professions that allow her to use her finely-tuned brain. But when she and her ten-year-old son witness a man fall to his death, apparently by suicide, they are visited by the elderly Dr. John Watson and his charming, handsome son, Dr. John Watson Jr. Impressed by her forensic skills, they invite her to become the third member of their investigative team.
Caught up in a Holmesian mystery that spans from hidden treasure to the Second Afghan War of 1878-1880, Joanna and her companions must devise an ingenious plan to catch a murderer in the act while dodging familiar culprits, Scotland Yard, and members of the British aristocracy. Unbeknownst to her, Joanna harbors a mystery of her own. "
Can a 21st century doctor successfully create a Victorian woman who is also the daughter of the great detective? Is John Watson Jr. a worthy successor to his father? Read this book -- and come tell us what you think!

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MAF Book List 2017 graphic

Murder Among Friends
2017 Discussion Books 

*Click the MAF 2017 graphic to go to a printable list! 

Meeting Date Author Title Link to LLD Catalog!
Jan. 19, 2017 Hawkins, Paula The Girl on the Train The Girl on the Train cover

In the style of Gone Girl, our January selection, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, features an unreliable narrator and a suspense-filled story that many critics and authors have found to be “Hitchcockian”, “artfully crafted” and “utterly riveting”.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?  ~ Courtesy of Goodreads

Here's a chance to catch up with a wildly popular novle that suspense star Tess Gerritsen stated was "not to be missed"!

February 16, 2017

Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem


Mycroft Holmes Mycroft Homes Book Cover

When you think of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, does very successful mystery author come to mind? It should! Our February discussion book is Mycroft Holmes, written by Abdul-Jabbar. Barnes & Noble says of it: "If you’re only aware of Abdul-Jabbar’s skill on the basketball court, get ready—this is an assured novel that fans of Holmes stories (old-school and new) will love."


Fresh out of Cambridge University, the young Mycroft Holmes is already making a name​ ​for himself in government, working for the Secretary of State for War. Yet this most British of civil servants has strong ties to the faraway island of Trinidad, the birthplace of his best friend, Cyrus Douglas, a man of African descent, and where his fiancée Georgiana Sutton was raised.

Mycroft’s comfortable existence is overturned when Douglas receives troubling reports​ from home. There are rumors of mysterious disappearances, strange footprints in the sand, and spirits enticing children to their deaths, their bodies found drained of blood. Upon hearing the news, Georgiana abruptly departs for Trinidad. Near panic, Mycroft convinces Douglas that they should follow her, drawing the two men into a web of dark secrets that grows more treacherous with each step they take...

Written by NBA superstar Kareem Abdul- Jabbar and screenwriter Anna Waterhouse, Mycroft Holmes reveals the untold story of Sherlock’s older brother. This harrowing adventure changed his life, and set the​ stage for the man Mycroft would become: founder of the famous Diogenes Club and the hidden power behind the British government.


Join us when we meet to discuss a classic British mystery character’s journey from an unexpected source!

March 16, 2017

Ellison, J. T. 

Author Visiting Thru Skype graphic

No One Knows No One Knows by J T Ellison cover

We are so pleased to say that J.T. Ellison will be Skyping/Calling in for this meeting! Attendees will be able to ask her about her novel, No One Knows, the discussion book for this month, as well as questions about her career as an author, and what’s coming next!

The day Aubrey Hamilton’s husband is declared dead by the state of Tennessee should bring closure so she can move on with her life. But Aubrey doesn’t want to move on; she wants Josh back. It’s been five years since he disappeared, since their blissfully happy marriage—they were happy, weren’t they?—screeched to a halt and Aubrey became the prime suspect in his disappearance. Five years of emptiness, solitude, loneliness, questions. Why didn’t Josh show up at his friend’s bachelor party? Was he murdered? Did he run away? And now, all this time later, who is the mysterious yet strangely familiar figure suddenly haunting her new life?

In “No One Knows”, the New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Nicholas Drummond series expertly peels back the layers of a complex woman who is hiding dark secrets beneath her unassuming exterior. This masterful thriller for fans of Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, and Paula Hawkins will pull readers into a you’ll-never-guess merry-go-round of danger and deception. Round and round and round it goes, where it stops…no one knows.

 Publishers Weekly has said of it “Ellison's twists are fresh, though, and the novel's action-packed conclusion will shock”. Come share your thoughts on this suspenseful tale – with its author!

We are so pleased to say that J.T. Ellison will be Skyping/Calling in for this meeting! Attendees will be able to ask her about her novel, No One Knows, the discussion book for this month, as well as questions about her career as an author, and what’s coming next!


Join us when we meet to discuss a classic British mystery character’s journey from an unexpected source!

April 20, 2017

Haines, Carolyn

Author Visiting Thru Skype graphic

Them Bones Haines Them Bones Book Cover

Having enjoyed Carolyn Haines’ suspense novel, The Revenant, in a previous MAF year, we decided to start at the very beginning – and try the first in her long-running Southern mystery series:Them Bones featuring Sarah Booth Delaney...”an unconventional Southern belle whose knack for uncovering the truth is about to make her the hottest detective in Zinnia, Mississippi...if it doesn't make her the deadest.”

 No self-respecting lady would allow herself to end up in Sarah Booth's situation. Unwed, unemployed, and over thirty, she's flat broke and about to lose the family plantation. Not to mention being haunted by the ghost of her great-great-grandmother's nanny, who never misses an opportunity to remind her of her sorry state--or to suggest a plan of action, like ransoming her friend's prize pooch to raise some cash.

 But soon Sarah Booth's walk on the criminal side leads her deeper into unladylike territory, and she's hired to solve a murder. Did gorgeous, landed Hamilton Garrett V really kill his mother twenty years ago? And if so, what is Sarah Booth doing falling for this possible murderer? When she asks one too many questions and a new corpse turns up, she is suddenly a suspect herself...and Sarah Booth finds that digging up the bones of the past could leave her rolling over in her grave.  ~Goodreads

 Join us as we cross the Mason-Dixon Line, and see how a light-hearted mystery is served up Southern-style. Our guide will be none other than Carolyn herself – when we see and talk with her via Skype!

May 18, 2017 Keller, Julia A Killing in the Hills

In this powerful, intricate debut from a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Julia Keller, a mother and a daughter try to do right by a town and each other before it's too late.

What's happening in Acker's Gap, West Virginia? Three elderly men are gunned down over their coffee at a local diner, and seemingly half the town is there to witness the act. Still, it happened so fast, and no one seems to have gotten a good look at the shooter. Was it random? Was it connected to the spate of drug violence plaguing poor areas of the country just like Acker's Gap? Or were Dean Streeter, Shorty McClurg, and Lee Rader targeted somehow?

One of the witnesses to the brutal incident was Carla Elkins, teenaged daughter of Bell Elkins, the prosecuting attorney for Raythune County, WV. Carla was shocked and horrified by what she saw, but after a few days, she begins to recover enough to believe that she might be uniquely placed to help her mother do her job.  — Courtesy of Goodreads

June 29, 2017

Hank Phillippi Ryan Welcome Mat graphic
That's right! She's coming to join us!

Say No More

When Boston reporter Jane Ryland reports a hit and run, she soon learns she saw more than a car crash—she witnessed the collapse of an alibi. Working on an expose of sexual assaults on college campuses for the station’s new documentary unit, Jane’s just convinced a date rape victim to reveal her heartbreaking experience on camera. However, a disturbing anonymous message—SAY NO MORE—has Jane really and truly scared.

Homicide detective Jake Brogan is on the hunt for the murderer of Avery Morgan, a hot-shot Hollywood screenwriter. Her year as a college guest lecturer just ended at the bottom of her swimming pool in the tight-knit and tight-lipped Boston community called The Reserve. As Jake chips his way through a code of silence as shatterproof as any street gang, he’ll learn that one newcomer to the neighborhood may have a secret of her own.

A young woman faces a life-changing decision—should she go public about her assault? Jane and Jake—now semi-secretly engaged and beginning to reveal their relationship to the world—are both on a quest for answers as they try to balance the consequences of the truth.  — Courtesy of Goodreads

July 20, 2017 Susan M. Boyer Welcome Mat graphic
And Susan is coming to see us too!
Lowcountry Bombshell

Private Investigator Liz Talbot thinks she’s seen another ghost when she meets Calista McQueen. She’s the spitting image of Marilyn Monroe. Born precisely fifty years after the ill-fated star, Calista’s life has eerily mirrored the late starlet’s—and she fears the looming anniversary of Marilyn’s death will also be hers. 

Before Liz can open a case file, Calista’s life coach is executed. Suspicious characters swarm around Calista like mosquitoes on a sultry lowcountry evening: her certifiable mother, a fake aunt, her control-freak psychoanalyst, a private yoga instructor, her peculiar housekeeper, and an obsessed ex-husband. Liz digs in to find a motive for murder, but she’s besieged with distractions. Her ex has marriage and babies on his mind. Her too-sexy partner engages in a campaign of repeat seduction. Mamma needs help with Daddy’s devotion to bad habits. And a gang of wild hogs is running loose on Stella Maris. 

With the heat index approaching triple digits, Liz races to uncover a diabolical murder plot in time to save not only Calista’s life, but also her own.   — Courtesy of Goodreads

Aug. 17, 2017

Our 2018 Planning Meeting!!


One of our favorite meetings of the year! This is when we meet to pick out the mysteries we’d like to read and discuss in the next year. So line up your favorite whodunits, bring books or a list or help out with the group’s synergy as we determine which authors and books will be in our 2018 line up. Prior to the meeting, you can send ideas/titles to Patricia at  

Sept. 28, 2017 Georgette Heyer -- Mystery Masters graphic
This year's Maestra of the Mystery genre!
The Unfinished Clue

September is always our “schooling” on the maestros of mystery – and this year we’re celebrating Georgette Heyer’s 115th birthday by reading her classic, country-house murder mystery, The Unfinished Clue. While Heyer is rightly known for her incomparable Regency novels, she is also noted as a worthy member of what is now considered to be the Golden Age of mystery writers, along with Christie, Sayers, Stout, and company. It was actually her husband, George Ronald Rougier, who encouraged her to write the mysteries which quickly became popular as well. Noted for their lively dialog and clever twists, The Unfinished Clue is a fun introduction to these stories. 

The stabbing of irascible General Sir Arthur Billington-Smith fails to stir up grief in anyone - least of all his family, which is no wonder considering the way he had treated them all during the fateful weekend. He had disinherited his son, humiliated his wife, refused to help his financially stricken nephew and made no secret of his loathing for his son's fiancée, a cabaret dancer. Inspector Harding picks his way through a mass of familial discontent to find the culprit - and find much more besides. ~ Courtesy of Goodreads

Come join us for a trip to the English countryside circa 1930s, for tea, scones, and … Murder!!

Oct. 19, 2017 Catriona McPherson  Quiet Neighbors

We are so happy to announce that Catriona McPherson will be both seen and heard from during the discussion of this book: She is joining us by Skype!

In Quiet Neighbors, Catriona offers a classic bookstore mystery – which she stands on its head! An atmospheric suspense novel, it is yet another of her fine stand-alone novels.

It’s the oldest bookshop in a town full of bookshops; rambling and disordered, full of treasures if you look hard. Jude found one of the treasures when she visited last summer, the high point of a miserable vacation. Now, in the depths of winter, when she has to run away, Lowell’s chaotic bookshop in that backwater of a town is the safe place she runs to. 

Jude needs a bolt-hole; Lowell needs an assistant and, when an affordable rental is thrown in too, life begins to look up. The gravedigger’s cottage isn’t perfect for a woman alone but at least she has quiet neighbors. 

Quiet, but not silent. The long dead and the books they left behind both have tales to tell and the dusty rooms of the bookshop are not the haven they seem to be. Lowell’s past and Jude’s present are a dangerous cocktail of secrets and lies and someone is coming to light the taper that could destroy everything. ~Courtesy of Goodreads

Catriona is a multi-award winning author who will probably be nominated for even more awards for Quiet Neighbors. Don’t miss this chance to chat with a major star on the current mystery scene – and to hear her exquisite Scottish accent!

Nov.16, 2017 David Baldacci  Memory Man Baldacci Memory Man Cover graphic

For an author of 33 novels (and all have been national and international bestsellers), David Baldacci does not rest on his laurels. Our novel this month, Memory Man, is the first book in a new series with a remarkable, unique hero. 

Amos Decker's life changed forever--twice. 

The first time was on the gridiron. A big, towering athlete, he was the only person from his hometown of Burlington ever to go pro. But his career ended before it had a chance to begin. On his very first play, a violent helmet-to-helmet collision knocked him off the field for good, and left him with an improbable side effect--he can never forget anything. 

The second time was at home nearly two decades later. Now a police detective, Decker returned from a stakeout one evening and entered a nightmare--his wife, young daughter, and brother-in-law had been murdered. 

His family destroyed, their killer's identity as mysterious as the motive behind the crime, and unable to forget a single detail from that horrible night, Decker finds his world collapsing around him. He leaves the police force, loses his home, and winds up on the street, taking piecemeal jobs as a private investigator when he can. 

But over a year later, a man turns himself in to the police and confesses to the murders. At the same time a horrific event nearly brings Burlington to its knees, and Decker is called back in to help with this investigation. Decker also seizes his chance to learn what really happened to his family that night. To uncover the stunning truth, he must use his remarkable gifts and confront the burdens that go along with them. He must endure the memories he would much rather forget. And he may have to make the ultimate sacrifice. ~ Courtesy of Goodreads

Dec.14, 2017 Karin Slaughter Pretty Girls Baldacci Memory Man Cover graphic

A finalist for the 2016 Thriller Award, Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter is a stand-alone novel that has been highly praised by the author’s peers and reviewers. 

Sisters. Strangers. Survivors. 

More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia's teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that's cruelly ripped open when Claire's husband is killed. 

The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it. ~ Courtesy of Goodreads

 Pretty Girls has been called “a sophisticated and chilling psychological thriller of dangerous secrets, cold vengeance, and unexpected absolution”. Lee Child has said it is “a stunning family tragedy and a hold-your-breath pedal-to-the-metal thriller magically blended by Karin Slaughter’s trademark passion, intensity, and humanity.  Certain to be a book of the year.” Come share what you think of it!

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Meeting Date Author Title Link to LLD Catalog!
Jan. 21, 2016 Hannah, Sophie The Monogram Murders
‘I’m a dead woman, or I shall be soon…’

Hercule Poirot's quiet supper in a London coffeehouse is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered.  She is terrified – but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done.

Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at a fashionable London Hotel have been murdered, and a cufflink has been placed in each one’s mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman? While Poirot struggles to put together the bizarre pieces of the puzzle, the murderer prepares another hotel bedroom for a fourth victim...

Since the publication of her first novel in 1920, more than two billion copies of Agatha Christie’s books have been sold around the globe. Now, for the first time ever, the guardians of her legacy have approved a brand new novel featuring Dame Agatha’s most beloved creation, Hercule Poirot.. — Courtesy of Goodreads

February 18, 2016

 Rader-Day, Lori

The Black Hour
For Chicago sociology professor Amelia Emmet, violence was a research topic--until a student she'd never met shot her. 

He also shot himself. Now he's dead and she's back on campus, trying to keep up with her class schedule, a growing problem with painkillers, and a question she can't let go: Why?

All she wants is for life to get back to normal, but normal is looking hard to come by. She's thirty-eight and hobbles with a cane. Her first student interaction ends in tears (hers). Her fellow faculty members seem uncomfortable with her, and her ex--whom she may or may not still love--has moved on.

Enter Nathaniel Barber, a graduate student obsessed with Chicago's violent history. Nath is a serious scholar, but also a serious mess about his first heartbreak, his mother's death, and his father's disapproval.  Assigned as Amelia's teaching assistant, Nath also takes on the investigative legwork that Amelia can't do. And meanwhile, he's hoping she'll approve his dissertation topic, the reason he came to grad school in the first place: the student attack on Amelia Emmet. 

Together and at cross-purposes, Amelia and Nathaniel stumble toward a truth that will explain the attack and take them both through the darkest hours of their lives. — Courtesy of Goodreads

March 17, 2016 French, Tana In the Woods  
A gorgeously written novel that marks the debut of an astonishing new voice in psychological suspense.

As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children. He is gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a 12-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox (his partner and closest friend) find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past... — Courtesy of Goodreads

April 14, 2016

Hank Phillippi Ryan

What You See

Hank Phillippi Ryan weaves another taut and surprising tale in What You See, the fourth Jane Ryland novel of suspense

Why would a father abduct his own child? A wedding is planned in Jane Ryland’s family, but there’s a disaster instead. Nine-year-old Gracie—supposed to be the flower girl—has been taken by her stepdad. Where are they? Is the girl in danger? Reporter Jane Ryland learns there’s a limit to the bonds of family—and learns to her peril what happens when loved ones are pushed too far. 

Meanwhile, Detective Jake Brogan's got a doozy of a case. At Boston's historic Faneuil Hall, a man is stabbed to death in front of a crowd of tourists snapping photos of the murder on their cell phones. Solving the case should be easy, but the pictures and surveillance video lead him to a dark conspiracy of extortion and stolen lives.

Jane and Jake must explore where their loyalties lie—to each other? To their families? To their careers? If they make the wrong decision, the consequences could be fatal.. — Courtesy of Goodreads

May 19, 2016 Thompson, Victoria

1940s telephone graphic

Murder on Astor Place  


As a midwife in the turn-of-the-century tenements of New York City, Sarah Brandt has seen birth and death, suffering and joy. Now she is about to take part in something more unusual in the crime-ridden streets of the teeming city - a search for justice...
Early in the first book of this series, Sarah meets Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy of the New York City Police. Frank is a typical cop of his era, a time when the police were underpaid and only investigated crimes for people who could afford to pay them a reward. Frank has ambitions of becoming a captain in the force, a position for which he must pay a substantial bribe, so he’s saving his money carefully. He doesn’t have time to waste solving the murder of a girl whose family doesn’t want the crime solved, but Sarah Brandt won’t allow him to shirk his duty. Making such a man a sympathetic character was a challenge, but I think when you read the book, you’ll understand why Frank is who he is. Both Frank and Sarah have tragedy in their pasts. Both have lost a beloved mate and both are driven to succeed. In spite of the differences in their backgrounds and social class, they come to respect each other and learn they can work well together

. — Courtesy of the author's website


June 16, 2016 Tasha Alexander & Andrew Grant

And Only To Deceive by Tasha


Run by Andrew!


For the first time ever, Murder Among Friends is having "Double Up" month: where we not only are reading both Tasha's and Andrew'sbooks, they are generously coming to talk about them with us!

Emily agreed to wed Philip, the Viscount Ashton, primarily to escape her overbearing mother. Philip's death while on safari soon after their wedding left Emily feeling little grief, for she barely knew the dashing stranger. 
But her discovery of his journals nearly two years later reveals a far different man than she imagined-a gentleman scholar and antiquities collector who apparently loved his new wife deeply. Emily's desire to learn more about her late husband leads her through the quiet corners of the British Museum and into a dangerous mystery involving rare stolen artifacts. To complicate matters, she juggling two very prominent and wealthy suitors, one of whose intentions may go beyond matrimony into darker realms.  — Courtesy of Goodreads

Marc Bowman, a highly successful computer consultant and software designer, walks into his job at a major tech company one morning only to find himself fired on the spot, stonewalled by his boss, and ushered out of the building. Then things get worse: An explosive argument drives his wife away and a robbery threatens to yank a million-dollar idea—and his whole future—out from under him. In a matter of hours, Marc has gone from having it all to being sucker-punched by fate. But it’s only Monday, and before the week is over, he’ll be stalked, ambushed, wiretapped, arrested, duped, double- and triple-crossed—until he can’t tell enemies from allies.

Suddenly, the only thing standing between him and the wrath of everyone from the FBI to Homeland Security to his desperate ex-bosses is a flash drive full of data that might just be the holy grail of high-tech secrets—and a holy terror in the wrong hands. Now, as the gloves come off and the guns come out, turning back is hopeless and giving up is madness. The only person left for Marc to trust is himself. And the only thing left to do is keep running—or end up a dead man walking.   — Courtesy of Goodreads

July 21, 2016 Burke, Alafair Long Gone

After a layoff and months of struggling, Alice Humphrey finally lands her dream job managing a new art gallery in Manhattan’s trendy Meatpacking District. According to Drew Campbell, the well-suited corporate representative who hires her, the gallery is a passion project for its anonymous, wealthy, and eccentric owner. Drew assures Alice that the owner will be hands off, allowing her to run the gallery on her own. Her friends think it sounds too good to be true, but Alice sees a perfect opportunity to make a name for herself beyond the shadow of her famous father, an award-winning and controversial film maker.

Everything is perfect until the morning Alice arrives at work to find the gallery gone—the space stripped bare as if it had never existed—and Drew Campbell’s dead body on the floor. Overnight, Alice’s dream job has vanished, and she finds herself at the center of police attention with nothing to prove her innocence. The phone number Drew gave her links back to a disposable phone.

The artist whose work she displayed doesn’t seem to exist. And the dead man she claims is Drew has been identified as someone else.

When police discover ties between the gallery and a missing girl, Alice knows she’s been set up. Now she has to prove it—a dangerous search for answers that will entangle her in a dark, high-tech criminal conspiracy and force her to unearth long-hidden secrets involving her own family… secrets that could cost Alice her life.

Courtesy of the author's website

Sept. 22, 2016

 Rex Stout - this year's Master of the Mystery Genre

Welcome Mat graphic And we are Welcoming the current author of Nero Wolfe mysteries: Robert Goldsborough , who will talk with us about all things Nero & Stout!

As any herpetologist will tell you, the fer-de-lance is among the most dreaded snakes known to man.  When someone makes a present of one to Nero Wolfe, Archie Goodwin knows he's getting dreadully close to solving the devilishly clever murders of an immigrant and a college president.  As for Wolfe, he's playing snake charmer in a case with more twists than an anaconda -- whistling a seductive tune he hopes will catch a killer who's still got poison in his heart.  — Courtesy of Goodreads
Oct. 20, 2016 K. D. Larsen Liar, Liar The Blessing Way (Navajo Mysteries, #1)
Liar, Liar, the first book in the Cat DeLuca Mysteries, has it all: a strong plot, memorable characters, and an astonishing finish.

Cat DeLuca’s short, stormy marriage to run-around Johnnie Ricco was a crash course in infidelity. It taught her everything she needed to launch the Pants On Fire Detective Agency. Now armed with spy glasses, camera and chocolate, Private Investigator Cat DeLuca catches cheaters. She scales balconies and dangles from hotel windows to nail the 8X10 glossy that'll sweeten a client’s divorce settlement.

Life takes a strange turn when a reporter for the Chicago Tribune (Rita Polansky) masquerades as a client with a liar-liar husband. Rita retains Cat to follow Chance Savino, a seriously hot guy with a pocketful of smuggled diamonds. The detective is fast on his heels when an explosion hurls her out of her sling-backs and into the hospital. The FBI claims Chance Savino was killed in the blast but concussed Cat’s choppy memory plays a different scenario.

Cat escapes the hospital to meet with her client. When Rita fails to show, Cat finds her at home with a knife in her chest. Cat learns the reporter was researching a ball-buster case involving a gangster, gun smuggling, and a pocketful of diamonds. She discovers two clues at the murder scene: a clutch of Starburst candy wrappers and the “dead” Chance Savino rummaging through Rita’s drawers.

As no one else sights Chance, everyone around Cat believes she’s crazy. Everyone except a determined killer who’s added Cat to his “kill” list. A botched attempt puts ex-husband Johnnie Ricco on the short list of suspects. When the bullets start flying, Cat will need more than chocolate for back-up. This is Cat’s first big case and she’s determined to prove she’s more than a hootchie stalker. The question is can Cat, catcher of cheaters, catch a killer before he gets her?

Cat DeLuca is an unlikely heroine and her partner, a beagle named Inga, is quite likely to eat the evidence. K.J. Larsen’s characters sizzle to life. Liar Liar delivers steamy romance, intrigue, and laugh out loud humor for a wickedly delicious read. — Courtesy of Goodreads

Nov. 17, 2016 William Kent Krueger

1940s telephone graphic

Ordinary Grace  
From New York Times bestselling author William Kent Krueger comes a brilliant new novel about a young man, a small town, and murder in the summer of 1961.

New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. The Twins were playing their debut season, ice-cold root beers were at the ready at Halderson’s Drug Store soda counter, and Hot Stuff comic books were a mainstay on every barbershop magazine rack. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a summer in which death assumed many forms.

When tragedy unexpectedly comes to call on his family, which includes his Methodist minister father, his passionate, artistic mother, Juilliard-bound older sister, and wise-beyond-his years kid brother, Frank finds himself thrust into an adult world full of secrets, lies, adultery, and betrayal.

On the surface, Ordinary Grace is the story of the murder of a beautiful young woman, a beloved daughter and sister. At heart, it’s the story of what that tragedy does to a boy, his family, and ultimately the fabric of the small town in which he lives. Told from Frank’s perspective forty years after that fateful summer, it is a moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God.  — Courtesy of Goodreads


Dec. 15, 2016 C. J. Box Open Season
Joe Pickett is the new game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming, a town where nearly everyone hunts, and the game warden--especially one like Joe who won't take bribes or look the other way--is far from popular. When he finds a local hunting outfitter dead, splayed out on the woodpile behind his state-owned home, he takes it personally. There had to be a reason that the outfitter, with whom he's had run-ins before, chose his backyard, his woodpile to die in. Even after the "outfitter murders," as they have been dubbed by the local press after the discovery of the two more bodies, are solved, Joe continues to investigate, uneasy with the easy explanation offered by the local police. 
As Joe digs deeper into the murders, he soon discovers that the outfitter brought more than death to his backdoor: he brought Joe an endangered species, thought to be extinct, which is now living in his woodpile. But if word of the existence of this endangered species gets out, it will destroy any chance of InterWest, a multi-national natural gas company, building an oil pipeline that would bring the company billions of dollars across Wyoming, through the mountains and forests of Twelve Sleep. The closer Joe comes to the truth behind the outfitter murders, the endangered species and InterWest, the closer he comes to losing everything he holds dear. . — Courtesy of Goodreads

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Murder Among Friends 2015 Discussion Books

Meeting Date Author Title Link to LLD Catalog!
January 15, 2015 Perry, Anne Face of a Stranger
His name, they tell him, is William Monk, and he is a London police detective. But the accident that felled him has left him with only half a life; his memory and his entire past have vanished. As he tries to hide the truth, Monk returns to work and is assigned to investigate the brutal murder of a Crimean War hero and man about town. Which makes Monk's efforts doubly difficult, since he's forgotten his professional skills along with everything else... — Courtesy of Goodreads
February 19, 2015  Sharp, Zoe Blood Whisperer
The uncanny abilities of London crime-scene specialist Kelly Jacks to coax evidence from the most unpromising of crime scenes once earned her the nickname of The Blood Whisperer. Then six years ago all that changed. Kelly woke next to the butchered body of a man, the knife in her hands and no memory of what happened. She trusted the evidence would prove her innocent. It didn't. Now released after serving her sentence for involuntary manslaughter, Kelly must try to piece her life back together. Shunned by former colleagues and friends, the only work she can get is for the crime-scene cleaning firm run by her former mentor. But old habits die hard. And when her instincts tell her things are not as they appear at the scene of a routine suicide, she can't help but ask questions that somebody does not want answered. Plunged into the nightmare of being branded a killer once again, Kelly is soon fleeing from the police, Russian thugs and a local gangster. Betrayed at every turn, she is fast running out of options. But Kelly acquired a whole new set of skills on the inside. Now street-smart and wary, can she use everything she's learned to evade capture and stay alive long enough to clear her name? Here's what some of Zoe's peers have to say: "Zoe Sharp is a master at writing thoughtful action thrillers." -Meg Gardiner "Sharp is the best kept secret in crime fiction, it's about time that changed." -Stuart MacBride "Zoe Sharp is at the top of her game." -Harlan Coben — Courtesy of Goodreads
March 19, 2015 Armstrong, Kelley

1940s telephone graphic

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong begins her new series with Omens, featuring a compelling new heroine thrust into a decades-old murder case and the dark mysteries surrounding her strange new home. Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions. But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancé, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens. Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past. Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. Because there are darker secrets behind her new home and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.. — Courtesy of Goodreads
April 23, 2015 McPherson, Catriona

1940s telephone graphic

Dandly Gilver & A Deadly Measure of Brimstone

Perthshire 1929 and the menfolk of the Gilver family have come down, between them, with influenza, bronchitis, pneumonia and pleurisy. Dandy the devoted wife and mother decides it is time to decamp; Dandy the intrepid detective, however, decides to decamp to the scene of a murder she would dearly love to solve.
The family repairs to the Borders town of Moffat, there to drink the sulphurous waters straight from the well and to submit to the galvanic wraps and cold salt rubs of the splendid Laidlaw Hydropathic Hotel.
But all is not well at the Hydro. The Laidlaw family is at war, the guests are an uneasy mix of old faithfuls and giddy upstarts, and the secret of the lady who arrived but never left cannot be kept for long. And what of those drifting shapes in the Turkish bath? Just steam shifting in the air? Probably. But the Hydro was built in the lee of a Gallow Hill, and in this town the dead can be as much trouble as the living . . . — Courtesy of Goodreads

Note* - Since we are unable to get sufficient copies of the first Dandy book, Catriona has generously sent a character summary to us that should give us a feel for Dandy and her world. Click here to go to the summary.

May 21, 2015 Milchman, Jenny

1940s telephone graphic

Cover of Snow  
Waking up one wintry morning in her old farmhouse nestled in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, Nora Hamilton instantly knows that something is wrong. When her fog of sleep clears, she finds her world is suddenly, irretrievably shattered: Her husband, Brendan, has committed suicide. The first few hours following Nora’s devastating discovery pass for her in a blur of numbness and disbelief. Then, a disturbing awareness slowly settles in: Brendan left no note and gave no indication that he was contemplating taking his own life. Why would a rock-solid police officer with unwavering affection for his wife, job, and quaint hometown suddenly choose to end it all? Having spent a lifetime avoiding hard truths, Nora must now start facing them. Unraveling her late husband’s final days, Nora searches for an explanation—but finds a bewildering resistance from Brendan’s best friend and partner, his fellow police officers, and his brittle mother. It quickly becomes clear to Nora that she is asking questions no one wants to answer. For beneath the soft cover of snow lies a powerful conspiracy that will stop at nothing to keep its presence unknown . . . and its darkest secrets hidden. — Courtesy of Goodreads
June 18, 2015 Cannell, Dorothy

1940s telephone graphic

Murder at Mullings
In its 300-year history, there has never once been a scandal at Mullings, ancestral home of the decent but dull Stodmarsh family. Until, that is, Edward Stodmarsh makes an ill-advised second marriage to the scheming Regina Stapleton, who insists on bringing her family's 'ornamental hermit' to live on the estate. Suddenly everyone wants to visit Mullings to glimpse this mysterious figure. Strange but harmless, thinks Florence Norris, the family's longstanding housekeeper. But events take a sinister turn with the arrival of sudden, violent death - and suddenly the hermit doesn't seem so harmless after all. — Courtesy of Goodreads
July 16, 2015 Barclay, Linwood


No Time For Goodbye
Fourteen-year-old Cynthia Bigge woke one morning to discover that her entire family, mother, father, brother had vanished. No note, no trace, no return. Ever. Now, twenty-five years later, she'll learn the devastating truth Sometimes better not to know. . . Cynthia is happily married with a young daughter, a new family. But the story of her old family isn't over. A strange car in the neighborhood, untraceable phone calls, ominous gifts, someone has returned to her hometown to finish what was started twenty-five years ago. And no one's innocence is guaranteed, not even her own. By the time Cynthia discovers her killer's shocking identity, it will again be too late . . . even for goodbye. — Courtesy of Goodreads
Sept. 17, 2015  Ryan, Hank Phillippi

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 Truth Be Told
Truth Be Told, by Agatha, Anthony, Mary Higgins Clark, Macavity, and Daphne Award-winning author Hank Phillippi Ryan, begins with tragedy: a middle-class family evicted from their suburban home. In digging up the facts on this heartbreaking story—and on other foreclosures—reporter Jane Ryland soon learns the truth behind a big-bucks scheme and the surprising players who will stop at nothing, including murder, to keep their goal a secret. Turns out, there's more than one way to rob a bank. Boston police detective Jake Brogan may have a liar on his hands. A man has just confessed to the famous twenty-year-old Lilac Sunday killing, and while Jake's colleagues take him at his word, Jake is not so sure. But he has personal reasons for hoping they've finally solved the cold case. Financial manipulation, the terror of foreclosures, the power of numbers, the primal need for home and family and love. What happens when what you believe is true turns out to be a lie? — Courtesy of Goodreads
Oct. 22, 2015 Hillerman, Tony The Blessing Way The Blessing Way (Navajo Mysteries, #1)
This month we read our annual pick for a master of mystery -- and this year's is one of the genre's best: Tony Hillerman. We're discussing the first in his landmark Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee series,The Blessing Way When Lt. Joe Leaphorn of The Navajo Tribal Police discovers a corpse with a mouth full of sand at a crime scene seemingly without tracks or clues, he is ready to suspect a supernatural killer. Blood on the rocks...A body on the high mesa...Leaphorn must stalk the Wolf-Witch along a chilling trail between mysticism and murder. — Courtesy of Goodreads
Nov. 19, 2015 Hillerman, Anne

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Spider Woman's Daughter  
Legendary tribal sleuths Leaphorn and Chee are back! The supremely talented daughter of New York Times bestselling mystery author Tony Hillerman continues the popular series with this fresh new Navajo Country mystery-her debut novel-filled with captivating lore, startling suspense, bold new characters, vivid color, and rich atmosphere It happened in an instant: After a breakfast with colleagues, Navajo Nation Police Officer Bernadette Manualito saw a truck squeal into the parking lot and heard a crack of gunfire. When the dust cleared, someone very close to her was lying on the asphalt in a pool of blood. With the victim in the hospital fighting for his life, every officer in the squad and the local FBI office are hellbent to catch the gunman. Bernie, too, wants in on the investigation, despite regulations strictly forbidding eyewitness involvement. Her superior may have ordered her to take some leave, but that doesn't mean she's going to sit idly by, especially when her husband, Sergeant Jim Chee, is put in charge of finding the shooter. Pooling their skills, Bernie and Chee discover that a cold case involving his former boss and partner, retired Inspector Joe Leaphorn, may hold the key to the shooting. Digging into the old investigation with fresh eyes and a new urgency, husband and wife find themselves inching closer to the truth with every clue . . . and closer to a killer who will do anything to prevent justice from taking its course.


Dec. 17, 2015 Craig Johnson

1940s telephone graphic - May be calling...

The Cold Dish
Walt Longmire, sheriff of Wyoming's Absaroka County, knows he's got trouble when Cody Pritchard is found dead. Two years earlier, Cody and three accomplices had been given suspended sentences for raping a Northern Cheyenne girl. Is someone seeking vengeance? Longmire faces one of the more volatile and challenging cases in his twenty-four years as sheriff and means to see that revenge, a dish that is best served cold, is never served at all.. — Courtesy of Goodreads

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Murder Among Friends 2014 Discussion Books
Meeting Date Author Title Link to LLD Catalog!
January 16, 2014 Moore, Graham The Sherlockian The Sherlockian Book Cover
In December 1893, Sherlock Holmes-adoring Londoners eagerly opened their Strand magazines, anticipating the detective's next adventure, only to find the unthinkable: his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, had killed their hero off. London spiraled into mourning -- crowds sported black armbands in grief -- and railed against Conan Doyle as his assassin.Then in 1901, just as abruptly as Conan Doyle had "murdered" Holmes in "The Final Problem," he resurrected him. Though the writer kept detailed diaries of his days and work, Conan Doyle never explained this sudden change of heart. After his death, one of his journals from the interim period was discovered to be missing, and in the decades since, has never been found.Or has it?When literary researcher Harold White is inducted into the preeminent Sherlock Holmes enthusiast society, The Baker Street Irregulars, he never imagines he's about to be thrust onto the hunt for the holy grail of Holmes-ophiles: the missing diary. But when the world's leading Doylean scholar is found murdered in his hotel room, it is Harold - using wisdom and methods gleaned from countless detective stories - who takes up the search, both for the diary and for the killer. -- Courtesy of Goodreads
February 20, 2014 Ryan, Hank Phillippi

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The Wrong Girl The Wrong Girl Book Cover
Award-winning and Boston Globe bestselling author Hank Phillippi Ryan presents a spine-chilling, heart-wrenching suspense novel that explores a terrifying scenario striking at the heart of every family.Does a respected adoption agency have a frightening secret? Tipped off by a determined ex-colleague on a desperate quest to find her birth mother, Boston newspaper reporter Jane Ryland begins to suspect that the agency is engaging in the ultimate betrayal—reuniting birth parents with the wrong children.For detective Jake Brogan and his partner, a young woman’s brutal murder seems a sadly predictable case of domestic violence, one that results in two toddlers being shuttled into the foster care system. Then Jake finds an empty cradle at the murder scene. Where is the baby who should have been sleeping there?Jane and Jake are soon on a trail full of twists and turns that takes them deep into the heart of a foster care system in crisis and threatens to blow the lid off an adoption agency scandal. When the threatening phone calls start, Jane knows she is on the right track…but with both a killer at large and an infant missing, time is running out….The Wrong Girl is a riveting novel of familial relationships—both known and unknown—vile greed, senseless murder, and the ultimate in deception. What if you didn’t know the truth about your own family? -- Courtesy of Goodreads
March 27, 2014 Castillo, Linda

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Sworn to Silence Sworn to Silence Book Cover
A killer is preying on sacred ground....In the sleepy rural town of Painters Mill, Ohio, the Amish and “English” residents have lived side by side for two centuries. But sixteen years ago, a series of brutal murders shattered the peaceful farming community. In the aftermath of the violence, the town was left with a sense of fragility, a loss of innocence. Kate Burkholder, a young Amish girl, survived the terror of the Slaughterhouse Killer but came away from its brutality with the realization that she no longer belonged with the Amish.Now, a wealth of experience later, Kate has been asked to return to Painters Mill as Chief of Police. Her Amish roots and big city law enforcement background make her the perfect candidate. She’s certain she’s come to terms with her past—until the first body is discovered in a snowy field. Kate vows to stop the killer before he strikes again. But to do so, she must betray both her family and her Amish past—and expose a dark secret that could destroy her. -- Courtesy of Goodreads
April 17, 2014 Boyer, Susan M.

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Low Country Boil Lowcountry Boil Book Cover
Private Investigator Liz Talbot is a modern Southern belle: she blesses hearts and takes names. She carries her Sig 9 in her Kate Spade handbag, and her golden retriever, Rhett, rides shotgun in her hybrid Escape. When her grandmother is murdered, Liz high-tails it back to her South Carolina island home to find the killer. She’s fit to be tied when her police-chief brother shuts her out of the investigation, so she opens her own. Then her long-dead best friend pops in and things really get complicated. When more folks start turning up dead in this small seaside town, Liz must use more than just her wits and charm to keep her family safe, chase down clues from the hereafter, and catch a psychopath before he catches her. -- Courtesy of Goodreads
May 15, 2014 Lehane, Dennis

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Mystic River Mystic River Book Cover
When they were children, Sean Devine, Jimmy Marcus, and Dave Boyle were friends. But then a strange car pulled up to their street. One boy got into the car, two did not, and something terrible happened -- something that ended their friendship and changed all three boys forever.Twenty-five years later, Sean is a homicide detective. Jimmy is an ex-con who owns a corner store. And Dave is trying to hold his marriage together and keep his demons at bay -- demons that urge him to do terrible things. When Jimmy's daughter is found murdered, Sean is assigned to the case. His investigation brings him into conflict with Jimmy, who finds his old criminal impulses tempt him to solve the crime with brutal justice. And then there is Dave, who came home the night Jimmy's daughter died covered in someone else's blood.A tense and unnerving psychological thriller, Mystic River is also an epic novel of love and loyalty, faith and family, in which people irrevocably marked by the past find themselves on a collision course with the darkest truths of their own hidden selves. -- Courtesy of Goodreads
June 19, 2014 Pavone, Chris

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The Expats The Expats Book Cover
Kate Moore is a working mother, struggling to make ends meet, to raise children, to keep a spark in her marriage . . . and to maintain an increasingly unbearable life-defining secret. So when her husband is offered a lucrative job in Luxembourg, she jumps at the chance to leave behind her double-life, to start anew.She begins to reinvent herself as an expat, finding her way in a language she doesn’t speak, doing the housewifely things she’s never before done—play-dates and coffee mornings, daily cooking and unending laundry. Meanwhile, her husband works incessantly, doing a job Kate has never understood, for a banking client she’s not allowed to know. He’s becoming distant and evasive; she’s getting lonely and bored.Then another American couple arrives. Kate soon becomes suspicious that these people are not who they claim to be, and terrified that her own past is catching up to her. So Kate begins to dig, to peel back the layers of deception that surround her. She discovers fake offices and shell corporations and a hidden gun; a mysterious farmhouse and numbered accounts with bewildering sums of money; a complex web of intrigue where no one is who they claim to be, and the most profound deceptions lurk beneath the most normal-looking of relationships; and a mind-boggling long-play con threatens her family, her marriage, and her life. -- Courtesy of Goodreads
July 17, 2014 Gross, Andrew

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No Way Back No Way Back Book Cover
No Way Back is a thrilling page-turner from Andrew Gross, the New York Times bestselling author of 15 Seconds and The Blue Zone. One woman is framed for a horrific crime, and desperate to prove her innocence.A chance meeting with a stranger in a hotel ends in a shocking murder. Wendy Gould is an average mom--and the only witness. Nanny Lauritzia Velez knows a shocking secret that could prove to be deadly. Both of their lives in danger, this unlikely pair must work together against a network of dangerous men who want nothing more than to see them dead.A fast-paced, riveting tale with strong, compelling characters, No Way Back is an edge-of-your-seat read with nonstop action and a complex mystery. -- Courtesy of Goodreads
Sept. 18, 2014 Sayers, Dororthy L. Whose Body? Whose Body? Book Cover
The stark naked body was lying in the tub. Not unusual for a proper bath, but highly irregular for murder -- especially witha pair of gold pince-nez deliberately perched before the sightless eyes. What's more, the face appeared to have been shaved after death. The police assumed that the victim was a prominent financier, but Lord Peter Wimsey, who dabbled in mystery detection as a hobby, knew better. In this, his first murder case, Lord Peter untangles the ghastly mystery of the corpse in the bath. -- Courtesy of Goodreads
Oct. 16, 2014 Galbraith, Robert The Cuckoo's Calling The Cuckoo's Calling Book Cover
After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this.Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. -- Courtesy of Goodreads
Nov. 20, 2014 Ellison, J. T.

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A Deeper Darkness Cover For
As a medical examiner, Samantha Owens knows her job is to make a certain sense of death with crisp methodology and precision instruments.But the day the Tennessee floods took her husband and children, the light vanished from Sam's life. She has been pulled into a suffocating grief no amount of workaholic ardor can penetrate—until she receives a peculiar call from Washington, D.C.On the other end of the line is an old boyfriend's mother, asking Sam to do a second autopsy on her son. Eddie Donovan is officially the victim of a vicious carjacking, but under Sam's sharp eye the forensics tell a darker story. The ex-Ranger was murdered, though not for his car.

Forced to confront the burning memories and feelings about yet another loved one killed brutally, Sam loses herself in the mystery contained within Donovan's old notes. It leads her to the untouchable Xander, a soldier off-grid since his return from Afghanistan, and then to a series of brutal crimes stretching from that harsh mountainous war zone to this nation's capital. The tale told between the lines makes it clear that nobody's hands are clean, and that making sense of murder sometimes means putting yourself in the crosshairs of death.

Dec. 11, 2014 Yrsa Sigurðardóttir Last Rituals Last Rituals Book Cover
At a university in Reykjavík, the body of a young German student is discovered, his eyes cut out and strange symbols carved into his chest. Police waste no time in making an arrest, but the victim's family isn't convinced that the right man is in custody. They ask Thóra Guðmundsdóttir, an attorney and single mother of two, to investigate. It isn't long before Thóra and her associate, Matthew Reich, uncover the deceased student's obsession with Iceland's grisly history of torture, execution, and witch hunts. But there are very contemporary horrors hidden in the long, cold shadow of dark traditions. And for two suddenly endangered investigators, nothing is quite what it seems ... and no one can be trusted. -- Courtesy of Goodreads

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January 17th, 2013 7:00 p.m. Meeting Rm. B

In the Darkness by Karin Fossum

Eva is walking by the river one afternoon when a body floats to the surface of the icy water. She tells her daughter to wait patiently while she calls the police, but when she reaches the phone box Eva dials another number altogether. The dead man, Egil, has been missing for months, and it doesn't take long for Inspector Sejer and his team to establish that he was the victim of a very violent killer. But the trail has gone cold.

It's as puzzling as another unsolved case on Sejer's desk: the murder of a prostitute who was found dead just before Egil went missing. While Sejer is trying to piece together the fragments of a seemingly impossible case, Eva gets a phone call late one night. A stranger speaks and then swiftly hangs up. Eva looks out into the darkness and listens. All is quiet. Gripping and thought-provoking, In the Darkness is Karin Fossum's first novel featuring the iconic Inspector Sejer. The prize-winning series has been published around the world to great acclaim. (courtesy of GoodReads)

February, 21st, 2013 7:00 p.m. Meeting Rm. B

Adrenaline by Jeff Abbott

Sam Capra is living the life of his dreams.

He’s a brilliant young CIA agent, stationed in London. His wife Lucy is seven months pregnant with their first child. They have a wonderful home, and are deeply in love.

They have everything they could hope for…until they lose it all in one horrifying moment.

On a bright, sunny day, Sam receives a call from Lucy while he’s at work. She tells him to leave the building immediately. He does…just before it explodes, killing everyone inside. Lucy vanishes, and Sam wakes up in a prison cell. As the lone survivor of the attack, he is branded by the CIA as a murderer and a traitor.

Escaping from the agency, Sam launches into a desperate hunt to save his kidnapped wife and child, and to reveal the unknown enemy who has set him up and stolen his family. But the destruction of Sam’s life was only step one in an extraordinary plot—and now Sam must become a new kind of hero. (from the author's site)


March 21st, 2013 7:00 p.m. Meeting Rm. B

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Marriage can be a real killer.

One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around. (courtesy of GoodReads)

April 18th, 2013 7:00 p.m. Meeting Rm. B

Little Shop of Homicide (A Devereaux Dime Store Mystery #1) (Denise will be coming to the library!)

Little Shop of Homicide by Denise Swanson

Devereaux Sinclair is the happy new owner of the adorable old-fashioned shop in her small Missouri town. But when a revenge-crazed cop accuses Dev of murdering her ex's fiancée — and the murder weapon is found with her fingerprints all over it — Dev's store, and her life, quickly turn from charmed to troubled. If she doesn't find the real killer soon, this five-and-dime owner will be serving twenty-five to life... (from the author's site)

May 16th, 2013 7:00 p.m. Group Study Room

1st to Die by James Patterson

James Patterson, bestselling author of the Alex Cross novels Along Came a Spider, Kiss the Girls, and Pop Goes the Weasel, offers the first of a new series dubbed The Women s Murder Club, featuring a four-woman team that occasionally works outside the system. None of the gritty darkness or frenzied action is lost in 1st to Die, although the female protagonists offer an even deeper emotional context to this suspense thriller.

Inspector Lindsay Boxer of the San Francisco Police Department suddenly finds herself in the middle of two horrifying situations: The first is that she s just learned she has an often-fatal blood disease. The second is a double homicide case she s now heading up that involves the murder of newlyweds on their wedding night. Burdened with Chris Raleigh, a new partner reassigned from the mayor s office, Lindsay finds that she has too much to deal with and turns to her best friend, Claire, the head ME on the case. Claire offers helpful advice and human, friendly contact amid a job filled with violence, cruelty, and fear.

Soon a fledgling newspaper reporter, Cindy, makes contact with Lindsay looking for a career-making story. Although Lindsay can t officially comment on the case, the two women form a rapport, and Cindy joins Lindsay and Claire for their weekly meeting. When a second pair of newlyweds is murdered, and later a third, the investigation leads to a prominent crime writer, Nicholas Jenks, who has a history of spousal abuse and a predilection for kinky, dangerous sex games. With the help of an understanding assistant D.A., Jill Bernhardt, Lindsay tries to make a case against Jenks, who even had an affair with one of the slain women. Eventually Jill joins the Murder Club, and the four ladies share private interdepartmental information in an effort to track and stop the killer before he strikes again.

The major subplot -- Lindsay's facing up to her illness even while she learns to fall in love again -- carefully compensates for the novel s coarse scenes of brutality. Lindsay Boxer isn t merely an obsessed cop trailing a maniac; she s also a terrified woman confronting the onslaught of disease. The story lines balance out to show us the true mettle of someone who puts the safety of others before her own.

Again, Patterson s skill for producing furiously paced fiction are evident as the novel breezes by rapidly. The short chapters keep the narrative leaping with increasingly taut plot elements, but there s an emotional commitment that makes our protagonist even more amiable and involving. 1st to Die is a novel that works as an intense series of character portraits that will leave the reader touched and delighted.

--Tom Piccirilli (courtesty of GoodReads)

Fun Fact for our group: Our November 2013 author, Andrew Gross, co-authored the second and third books in the Women's Murder Club series!

June 27th, 2013 7:00 p.m. Meeting Rm. A/B
(Hank will be coming to the library!)

The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Jane Ryland was a rising star in television news…until she refused to reveal a source and lost everything. Now a disgraced newspaper reporter, Jane isn’t content to work on her assigned puff pieces, and finds herself tracking down a candidate’s secret mistress just days before a pivotal Senate election.
Detective Jake Brogan is investigating a possible serial killer. Twice, bodies of unidentified women have been found by a bridge, and Jake is plagued by a media swarm beginning to buzz about a “bridge killer” hunting the young women of Boston.
As the body count rises and election looms closer, it becomes clear to Jane and Jake that their cases are connected…and that they may be facing a ruthless killer who will stop at nothing to silence a scandal.
Dirty politics, dirty tricks, and a barrage of final twists, The Other Woman is the first in an explosive new series by Hank Phillippi Ryan. Seduction, betrayal, and murder—it’ll take a lot more than votes to win this election.

Summer Break in July -- Read Lots of Good Mysteries for our Planning Meeting in August!

Reading at the beach

August 2013 7:00 p.m.

Planning Meeting for our 2014 Discussion Books Date TBD

Making Our List


September 26th, 2013 7:00 p.m. Meeting Rm. B

Hound of the Baskerville Cover with Daniel Stashower & Conan Doyle Daniel Stashower, Edgar-winning biographer of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is calling in!Murder Among Friends & Just Between Frames will also be hosting a showing of the BBC TV Sherlock episode of The Hound of the Baskervilles - details are now up in the "Next Discussion" column on the right!

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Holmes and Watson are faced with their most terrifying case yet. The legend of the devil-beast that haunts the moors around the Baskerville families home warns the descendants of that ancient clan never to venture out in those dark hours when the power of evil is exalted. Now, the most recent Baskerville, Sir Charles, is dead and the footprints of a giant hound have been found near his body. Will the new heir meet the same fate? (courtesy of GoodReads)

October 17th, 2013 7:00 p.m. Group Study Room

Cover for The Face of Deception
The Face of Deception by Iris Johansen

An unidentified skull...

A trail of terrifying secrets...

And a woman whose talented hands could reveal the shocking truth...

As a forensic sculptor, Eve Duncan helps identify the dead from their skulls. Her own daughter murdered and her body never found, the job is Eve's way of coming to terms with her personal nightmare. But more terror lies ahead when she accepts work from billionaire John Logan. Beneath her gifted hands a face emerges from the skull he has given her to reconstruct—a face no one was ever meant to see. Now Eve is trapped in a frightening web of murder and deceit. Powerful enemies are determined to cover up the truth, and they will make certain that truth goes to the grave...even if Eve gets buried with it.

November 21st, 2013 7:00 p.m. Meeting Rm. B

The Blue Zone Cover with author Andrew Gross Andrew will be calling in to join our discussion!

The Blue Zone by Andrew Gross

From the number one "New York Times" bestselling coauthor of "Judge & Jury" and "Lifeguard" comes this electrifying solo debut, "The Blue Zone," Kate Raab's life seems almost perfect: her boyfriend, her job, her family . . . until her father runs into trouble with the law. His only recourse is to testify against his former accomplices in exchange for his family's placement in the Witness Protection Program. But one of them gets cold feet. In a flash, everything Kate can count on is gone.

Now, a year later, her worst fears have happened: Her father has disappeared--into what the WITSEC agency calls "the blue zone"--and someone close to him is found brutally murdered. With her family under surveillance, the FBI untrustworthy, and her father's menacing "friends" circling with increasing intensity, Kate sets off to find her father--and uncover the secrets someone will kill to keep buried. (courtesy of GoodReads)

December 5th, 2013 7:00 p.m. Meeting Rm. B

Horowitz_HouseofSilk We round our exploration of all things Holmes with the first book authorized by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's estate (in 125 years) to contain an original Sherlock Holmes story!

The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

Once again, THE GAME'S AFOOT...

London, 1890. 221B Baker St. A fine art dealer named Edmund Carstairs visits Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson to beg for their help. He is being menaced by a strange man in a flat cap - a wanted criminal who seems to have followed him all the way from America. In the days that follow, his home is robbed, his family is threatened. And then the first murder takes place.

Almost unwillingly, Holmes and Watson find themselves being drawn ever deeper into an international conspiracy connected to the teeming criminal underworld of Boston, the gaslit streets of London, opium dens and much, much more. And as they dig, they begin to hear the whispered phrase-the House of Silk-a mysterious entity that connects the highest levels of government to the deepest depths of criminality. Holmes begins to fear that he has uncovered a conspiracy that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of society.

The Arthur Conan Doyle Estate chose the celebrated, #1 New York Times bestselling author Anthony Horowitz to write The House of Silk because of his proven ability to tell a transfixing story and for his passion for all things Holmes. Destined to become an instant classic, The House of Silk brings Sherlock Holmes back with all the nuance, pacing, and almost superhuman powers of analysis and deduction that made him the world's greatest detective, in a case depicting events too shocking, too monstrous to ever appear in print...until now. (courtesy of GoodReads)


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2012 Discussion Books

January 19th, 2012 7:00 p.m. Meeting Rm. B

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

She's a product of the "burg," a blue-collar pocket of Trenton where houses are attached and narrow, cars are American, windows are clean, and (God forbid you should be late) dinner is served at six.

Now Stephanie's all grown up and out on her own, living five miles from Mom and Dad's, doing her best to sever the world's longest umbilical cord. Her mother is a meddler, and her grandmother is a few cans short of a case.

Out of work and out of money, with her Miata repossessed and her refrigerator empty, Stephanie blackmails her bail bondsman cousin, Vinnie, into giving her a try as an apprehension agent. Stephanie knows zilch about the job requirements, but she figures her new pal, fearless bounty hunter Ranger, can teach her what it takes to catch a crook.

Her first assignment: nail Joe Morelli, a former vice cop on the run from a charge of murder one. Morelli is also the irresistible macho pig who took Stephanie's virginity at age sixteen and then wrote the details on the bathroom wall of Mario's Sub Shop. There's still powerful chemistry between these two, so the chase should be interesting.

It could also be extremely dangerous, especially when Stephanie encounters a heavyweight title contender who likes to play rough. Benito Ramirez is known for his brutality to women. At the very least, his obsession with Stephanie complicates her manhunt and brings terror and uncertainty into her life. At the worst, it could lead to murder.

Witty, fresh, and full of surprises, One for the Money was among the most eagerly awaited crime novels of the season.

Originally published in hardback June 1994, Scribner (from the author's site)

February, 16th, 2012 7:00 p.m. Group Study Room

A Kiss Gone Bad by Jeff Abbott

First Novel in the Whit Mosley Series

A death rocks the Gulf Coast town of Port Leo, Texas. Beach-bum-turned-judge Whit Mosley is summoned to a yacht where the black-sheep son of a senator lies dead. Was it suicide, fueled by a family tragedy? Or did an obsessed killer use the dead man as a pawn in a twisted game? When Whit defies political pressure and conducts an inquest, he and Detective Claudia Salazar expose a nest of drug lords, con artists, and power-hungry sharks — all out for blood. With their careers — and their lives — at stake, Whit and Claudia must unearth a lethal trail of passion and deceit that lies buried not in the warm sands of Port Leo but in the icy recesses of the human heart. (from the author's site)

March 15th, 2012 7:00 p.m. Group Study Room

Roseanna by Maj Sjowal and Per Wahloo

The masterful first novel in the Martin Beck series of mysteries by the internationally renowned crime writing duo Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, finds Beck hunting for the murderer of a lonely traveler.On a July afternoon, a young woman's body is dredged from Sweden's beautiful Lake Vattern. With no clues Beck begins an investigation not only to uncover a murderer but also to discover who the victim was. Three months later, all Beck knows is that her name was Roseanna and that she could have been strangled by any one of eighty-five people on a cruise. As the melancholic Beck narrows the list of suspects, he is drawn increasingly to the enigma of the victim, a free-spirited traveler with a penchant for casual sex, and to the psychopathology of a murderer with a distinctive--indeed, terrifying--sense of propriety..
(courtesy of GoodReads)


April 19th, 2012 7:00 p.m. Meeting Rm. A/B

The State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy

Never let them see you sweat -- that's White House Assistant Chef Olivia Paras's motto, which is pretty hard to honor in the most important kitchen in the world. She's hell-bent on earning her dream job, Executive Chef. There's just one thing: her nemesis is vying for it, too. Well, that and the fact that an elusive assassin wants to see her fry...

The highly-trained Secret Service agents couldn't do it. Snipers swarming the White House grounds were no help. Only Ollie Paras was able to stop the intruder-hitting him with a frying pan. She'd like to wash her hands of the whole thing, but after she witnesses a murder, there's no going back...

Ollie's Secret Service boyfriend warns her that the killer is a world-class assassin. And Ollie's the only person alive who can recognize him. Still, guilt propels her to investigate, even if it means putting herself -- and her relationship-in hot water... (from the author's site)

May 17th, 2012 7:00 p.m. Group Study Room

A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton

This month we focus on our next "Mothers of Modern Female P.I.s" - the first Kinsey Milhone novel by Sue Grafton

When Laurence Fife was murdered, few mourned his passing. A prominent divorce attorney with a reputation for single-minded ruthlessness on behalf of his clients, Fife was also rumored to be a dedicated philanderer. Plenty of people in the picturesque Southern California town of Santa Teresa had a reason to want him dead. Including, thought the cops, his young and beautiful wife, Nikki. With motive, access, and opportunity, Nikki was their number one suspect. The jury thought so too.

Eight years later and out on parole, Nikki Fife hires Kinsey Millhone to find out who really killed her late husband.

A trail that is eight years cold. A trail that reaches out to enfold a bitter, wealthy, and foul-mouthed old woman and a young boy, born deaf, whose memory cannot be trusted. A trail that leads to a lawyer defensively loyal to a dead partner—and disarmingly attractive to Millhone; to an ex-wife, brave, lucid, lovely—and still angry over Fife's betrayal of her; to a not-so-young secretary with too high a salary for too few skills—and too many debts left owing: The trail twists to include every turn until it finally twists back on itself with a killer cunning enough to get away with murder. (from the author's site)

June 21st, 2012 7:00 p.m. Meeting Rm. B

Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger

Part Irish, part Anishinaabe Indian, Corcoran "Cork" O'Connor is the former sheriff of Aurora, Minnesota (population 3,752). Embittered over losing his job as a cop and over the marital meltdown that has separated him from his wife and children, Cork gets by on heavy doses of caffeine, nicotine, and guilt. Once a cop on Chicago's South Side, there's not much that can shock him. But when a powerful local politician is brutally murdered the same night a young Indian boy goes missing, Cork takes on a harrowing case of corruption, conspiracy, and scandal.

As a blizzard buries Aurora and an old medicine man warns of the arrival of a blood-thirsty mythic beast called the Windigo, Cork must dig for answers hard and fast before more people, among them those he loves, will die. (from the author's site)

July 2012

Summer Break! No meeting

August 8, 2012 7:00 p.m. Meeting Rm. B

Planning Meeting -- Help pick out what we read in 2013 !

September 20th, 2012 7:00 p.m. Meeting Rm. B

The Godwulf Manuscript by Robert P. Parker

This month we honor the Masters of Mystery, this year it is Robert B. Parker's first Spenser novel.

Spenser earned his degree in the school of hard knocks, so he is ready when a Boston university hires him to recover a rare, stolen manuscript. He is hardly surpised that his only clue is a radical student with four bullets in his chest.

The cops are ready to throw the book at the pretty blond coed whose prints are all over the murder weapon but Spenser knows there are no easy answers. He tackles some very heavy homework and knows that if he doesn't finish his assignment soon, he could end up marked "D"—for dead. (from the author's site)

October 18th, 2012 7:00 p.m. YS Activity Room

Running From the Devil by Jamie Freveletti

Emma Caldridge, a chemist for a cosmetics company, is en route from Miami to Bogotá when her plane is hijacked and spins out of control into the mountains near the Venezuelan border. Thrown unhurt from the wreckage, she can do nothing but watch as guerillas take the others hostage.

An endurance marathon runner, Emma silently trails the guerillas and their captives, using her athletic prowess and scientific knowledge to stay alive. Those skills become essential when she discovers an injured passenger, secret government agent Cameron Sumner, separated from the group. Together they follow the hostages, staying one step ahead by staying one step behind.
As news of the hijacking breaks in Washington, the Department of Defense turns to Edward Banner, former military and current CEO of a security consulting firm, for assistance. Banner sends a special task force to the crash site, intent on locating the survivors before it's too late.

But finding Emma and Sumner is only the beginning, as Banner starts to realize that Emma was on a personal mission when the plane went down. There is more to the talented biochemist and the circumstances surrounding the hijacking than anyone ever imagined. (from the author's site)

November 15th, 2012 7:00 p.m. Meeting Rm. B

The Skeleton Box by Bryan Gruley

Bryan is back! And will be joining us to discuss this latest book in the Starvation Lake series.

A series of mysterious break-ins is plaguing the small town of Starvation Lake. Someone is slipping into the homes of elderly people when they're out playing Bingo. Oddly, the intruders take nothing, despite evidence that they rifle through personal files.

Worry turns to panic when a break-in leads to the death of a beloved citizen. Phyllis Bontrager is found dead in the home of her best friend, Bea Carpenter, mother of Gus Carpenter. Bea, suffering from worsening dementia and under the influence of sleeping pills, remembers little of the break-in. Her son, editor of the local newspaper, must pursue a terrible story: the death of a woman he has known all his life, who also happens to be the mother of his ex-girlfriend, Darlene.

With the help of Luke Whistler, an ex-Detroit Free Press reporter who came north looking for slower days and some old-fashioned newspaper work, Gus sets out to uncover the truth behind Mrs. B's death and the "Bingo Night Break-Ins." What he doesn't know is that Whistler may have his own agenda, and the secrets he's determined to unearth—involving the long-ago disappearance of a nun—could forever change Gus's perceptions about Starvation Lake and even his own family. (from author's site)

December 6th, 2012 7:00 p.m. Meeting Rm. B

Skating Around the Law by Joelle Charbonneau

Rebecca Robbins is a woman on a mission--to sell the roller rink she inherited in her rural hometown and get back to her life in Chicago. Fast. What she didn't count on was discovering a dead body head-first in a rink toilet. Now Rebecca is stuck in a small town where her former neighbors think she's a city slicker who doesn't belong, relying on a police department that's better at gardening than solving crimes. With the help of a handsome veterinarian, a former circus camel, and her scarily frisky grandfather, Rebecca must discover the identity of the murderer before she becomes the next victim. (from author's site)

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Click on the Book Shelf by the author's names to go to the Lisle Library copies of the books.


MAF Booklist - Sept.2010 to June 2011


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