This post is late, but on Monday the virtual crime book club met and discussed Case Histories by Kate Atkinson as part of our Cold Case month.
It proved to be a popular book, with particular praise for Kate Atkinson’s finesse over character and her eye for the details of everyday life. It prompted a discussion over the current trend for a quick fix and the need to get into a story quickly, with members saying they enjoyed a slow burn, meeting characters, and learning who they were.
You can watch the meeting in the below video. Be aware there are spoilers.
For December we are reading a cosy crime. Something a little more relaxed for the festive period. And because it is Christmas the next meeting isn’t until Monday 8th January at 8 p.m. GMT.
Check out the blurbs of the books below and leave your vote in the comments. Due to the lateness of this post, you have until the end of Monday 4th December to vote. This still leaves plenty of time to read.
If you’re not yet a member of the book club, you can find all details HERE.
Murder at the Christmas Carols by Izzie Harper
A dead carol singer. Three women sleuths. Not your average village Christmas.
All Ellie Blix wants is to make it to New Year without any more disasters. She’s juggling jobs and looking after a sick daughter. Then her mother-in-law moves in and won’t stop interfering.
It’s the week before Christmas in the snowy village of Lower Wootton. When Andrea Burdett, Ellie’s estranged schoolfriend, collapses at the village carols, it quickly becomes clear she’s been murdered. Feeling guilty about the recent row she and Andrea had, and under suspicion herself, Ellie teams up with her daughter and mother-in-law to follow the clues and solve the mystery – much to the annoyance of Ellie’s detective inspector ex-husband.
Then a second villager is found dead. Can the three Blix women find the killer and return the community to safety?
Murder in the Village by Lisa Cutts
Meet Belinda Penshurst. Castle owner, dog lover… crime solver?
Belinda Penshurst loves her home village Little Challham, with its shady lanes, two pubs and weekly market. She’s lived there all her life, knows everybody, and feels proud of its charming, friendly nature. So when irritable pub landlord Tipper is found dead in his cellar, she’s shocked… and also perfectly placed to investigate.
Retired detective Harry Powell moved to Little Challham for a quiet life. He didn’t expect to be dragged into a murder investigation. But Belinda is a very persuasive woman, and there are strange things happening in the village. Particularly the number of dogs that have disappeared lately…
Is there a dognapper at work in Little Challham? Is Belinda right to be worried that her brother Marcus was arguing with Tipper on the day he died? Belinda and Harry interrogate the suspects: the rival landlord, the outraged barmaid, and the mysterious man in the black car. But are they on the right track… or is the killer already on their trail?
Mystery at Farfield Castle by Clare Chase
When novelist Julian Fisher buys Farfield Castle to turn the charming old building into a writers’ retreat, he wants the neighbours onside. But he has his work cut out: Saxford St Peter locals tried to buy the castle for the village, and are furious that only the very rich will be able to enjoy it.
At the lavish launch party, Fisher treats the villagers like royalty, but Eve Mallow is distracted by the tension in the air. She watches as Fisher’s wife Kitty argues with several guests, almost in tears, before she disappears altogether…
Later that evening, when Kitty is found dead in the castle’s icehouse, it’s quickly proved to be no accident. With dozy Detective Palmer on the wrong track, Eve can’t resist getting involved. Convinced the answers lie inside Farfield Castle, Eve questions an overly inquisitive journalist, Kitty’s less-than-loyal husband, and his prickly PA.
But when it emerges that a family heirloom and Julian’s computer both went missing on the night of the party, Eve is sure that solving the theft will solve the murder. Who is behind this deadly tale… and can Eve find the killer before she gets written off?
Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto
Put the kettle on, there’s a mystery brewing…
Tea-shop owner. Matchmaker. Detective?
Sixty-year-old self-proclaimed tea expert Vera Wong enjoys nothing more than sipping a good cup of Wulong and doing some healthy ‘detective’ work on the internet (AKA checking up on her son to see if he’s dating anybody yet).
But when Vera wakes up one morning to find a dead man in the middle of her tea shop, it’s going to take more than a strong Longjing to fix things. Knowing she’ll do a better job than the police possibly could – because nobody sniffs out a wrongdoing quite like a suspicious Chinese mother with time on her hands – Vera decides it’s down to her to catch the killer.
Nobody spills the tea like this amateur sleuth.
The Marlowe Murder Club by Robert Thorogood
Meet Judith: a seventy-seven-year-old whiskey drinking, crossword puzzle author living her best life in a dilapidated mansion on the outskirts of Marlow.
Nothing ever happens here. That is, until Judith hears her neighbor shot while skinny-dipping in the Thames. The local police don’t believe her story. It’s an open and shut case, of course. Ha! Stefan can’t be left for dead like that.
Judith investigates and picks up a crew of sidekicks: Suzie the dogwalker and Becks the vicar’s wife. Together, they are the Marlow Murder Club.
When another body turns up, they realize they have a real-life serial killer on their hands. And the puzzle they set out to solve has become a trap from which they might never escape…