The Murder In The Afternoon Book Club will be discussing the first book in one of the past decade’s best series. With The Ranger, Ace Atkins introduced us to Quinn Colson, his corrupt town of Tibbehah, and his crazy family. This is crime fiction — Southern style.
Quinn comes home from ranger duty in Afghanistan, for his uncle’s funeral. The man, who served as the town sheriff committed suicide — or at least that’s how the death is reported.. Quinn believes it’s connected to Johnny Stagg, the town’s crime lord and political fixer. With the help of his friends, Deputy Lily Virgil and one-armed, muscle bound vet Boom, he sets out to make things right. he also has to deal with his drug addict sister and Elvis loving mother.
Part crime novel, part western, The Ranger is a mix of many of Ace Atkins’ influences. He plans to call-in to talk about them and anything else in the book. We will be meeting Monday, February 17th, at 1PM on BookPeople’s third floor. The book is 10% off to those planning to attend.
The first pick for the Murder In The Afternoon Book Club is in! We will discuss a book that takes us back almost a hundred years — Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear. This first novel, featuring the post-World War I London detective, is one of the most popular series in MysteryPeople.
The book, much like the series, is a mix of historical fiction and mystery with a unique and plucky heroine at its center.
Masie is a former housemaid who was taken under the wing of her socially progressive boss and given an education that was interrupted by the war. On return to service, she becomes a private investigator. Her first case takes her to an island for mutilated veterans that none of them return from.
The group should be bringing it to our discussion. We have a couple of hardcore fans of the series and a historian in the mix.
The Murder In The Afternoon book club continues the holiday tradition with a Mark Pryor book. His series character Hugo Marston, head of security for the U.S. embassy in Paris has been one of the most engaging creations in the last decade. The Button Man puts him in another time and place.
We go back to Hugo’s early days when he was stationed in London, killing time by looking into The Ripper Murders. His search in the past leads to him discovering a body of a young actress in the present. She and her movie star boyfriend are suspects in a hit and run that killed a farmer. The death leads to the actor being put in the embassy’s protective custody. When he gives them the slip, Hugo, with the help of an FBI agent and Merlyn, who he meets for the first time, follow his trail to a small village containing a conspiracy and a few more murders.
Mark is an engaging writer, so the discussion is well worth making time for. We will be meeting Monday, December 16th.
Our November Murder In Afternoon book club will be getting artsy. We will be discussing the anthology In Sunlight Or In Shadow, edited by famed writer Lawrence Block. Block had authors pick an Edward Hopper painting and write a story connected to it.
The list of talent, including Megan Abbott, Lee Child, and Stephen King is impressive. One of the best stories comes from the comedian Craig Ferguson. Block won an Edgar Award for his story.
In Sunlight Or In Shadow will give us a lot to talk about- Edward Hopper, creativity, art and how it’s interpreted. We may even have one of the contributors call in. Join us Monday, November 18th, at 1PM on BookPeople’s third floor.
I can’t wait for our Murder In The Afternoon to discuss George Pelecanos’ The Man Who Came Uptown, a rich, humanistic novel about the power of books and second chances. It was our Mystery People top pick for 2018. As soon as I knew the paperback was coming it got even when George Pelecanos agreed to join in on our discussion.
The story begins when, Michael Hudson, a man who has thrown away most of his life with petty crime and getting high, is released from prison when charges are dropped against him. Inside, he developed a love of books with the help of Ann, the prison librarian. Michael gets a dishwasher job, with a plan to go straight and discover more books, but is pulled back in. The private detective who got the witness to recant, has a sideline of robbing pimps and drug dealers and if Michael doesn’t agree to be his wheelman he’ll put him back in. It becomes even more complicated when he meets up with Ann on the outside.
Complex characters and simple virtues are what make this a great book. Everyone has their angels and demons. It is how they deal with both that leads to an outcome. It also celebrates the pleasure of reading and gives several great book recommendations. It is a perfect discussion book, even made more interesting by the author calling in to join us. The Murder in the Afternoon book club will be meeting up on BookPeople’s third floor October 21st, at 1PM.
You can purchase The Man Who Came Uptown in-store and online at BookPeople now and receive a 10% discount when you mention that it’s for the Murder in the Afternoon book club.
Our August Murder In The Afternoon book will have the club laughing to death. In Junkyard Dogs, Craig Johnson intended to write a somber novel about the effects of winter on the human condition. He ended up creating what many consider to be the funniest book in The Sheriff Walt Longmire series.
Walt finds himself caught in the middle of a land dispute between the local junkyard owner and a prominent town member. When one of them is murdered, the investigation uncovers rivalries and secret romances Walt wishes remain secret. He even has to contend with an Austin lawman who resembles one of our book club hosts.
Junkyard Dogs is a fun read that should make for a fun discussion. To make it even more entertaining, Craig may possibly be calling in.
Join us on BookPeople’s third floor, Monday, August 19th, 1PM. The book is 10% off for those planning to attend.
With June being International Mystery Month, The Murder In The Afternoon book club decided to go to Italy with one of its most acclaimed writers. Massimo Carlotto lived the life of a crime novel—on the run for a murder he was eventually cleared of. We will be reading his novel Bandit Love featuring his series character Marco “The Alligator” Burrati.
Burrati is an ex-blues singer, ex-criminal, ex-con, part owner of a blues club and part time private detective. A shadowy drug ring kidnaps his best friend’s lover. For her return, The Alligator and his cohorts have to look into the heist of a research pharmacy. If they want the crooks, the drugs, or the mastermind behind it, they are not told. What ensues is many dark reveals, skulking Rome’s back alleys, and Burrati using his criminal skills as much as his investigative ones.
Bandit love provides a lot to discuss from it’s setting, politics, morality, and view of both women and love. We will be meeting at 1PM Monday June 17th at BookPeople’s coffee bar. The book is 10% off for those planning to attend.
The May meeting for The Murder In The Afternoon Book Club will be have a special guest. We will be discussing David C. Taylor’s Night Work, the second novel featuring, postwar N.Y.P.D. detective Michael Cassidy. David will be joining us, live and person at our discussion.
Night Work takes place in the late late fifties, dealing with Cuba. First Cassidy brings multiple murder to Havana right before Castro and his rebels strike. He learns that Dylan, the KGB agent he fell for in Night Life, has been imprisoned by Batista’s men and hatches a plan to get her out. Months after he is pulled off a homicide case to protect Castro during his visit to New York, putting himself in the cross hairs of the mob, CIA, and others interested in seeing the leader killed. David masterfully weaves time, place, and plot together.
He’ll tell us how he does it among other things. He’s a great guy with a long writing history that includes the Rockford Files, Kojak, and the cult movie Get Crazy. Join us on BookPeople’s third floor Monday May 20th, at 1pm. The Book is at 10% off to those who attend.
You can also meet David the day before on May 19th at 2PM as he signs and discusses the follow up to Night Work, Night Watch.
The Murder In The Afternoon book club will discuss the second novel in one of current crime fiction’s more popular series. Tana French has been pulling more and more people into her tales of a Dublin precinct where in each book another member takes on the role of protagonist. In The Likeness, Detective Cassie Maddox moves front and center with a unique and personal case.
Cassie is called to the body of a young woman who looks just like her. Even more creepy is that her identity is of an undercover alias Cassie used when she worked narcotics. To find the killer, she must find out more about the victim and the connection to herself.
The Likeness will give us much to talk about. There are themes of identity, Dublin culture, and Cassie’s relationship with her fellow coppers to delve into. Join us Monday, April 15th at 1pm on BookPeople’s third floor. The book is 10% off for those planning to attend.
The Murder In The Afternoon book club will get a glimpse of current Detroit for our March discussion. Stephen Mack Jones got the attention of many with his debut, August Snow. The title character and his relationship to the city show great possibilities for a long-running series.
August is an ex cop returning to Detroit a few years after stirring things up. He won an eight million dollar lawsuit for being wrongfully fired after he blew the whistle on the mayor and some brothers in blue. He moved into his parents’ home in Mexican town, flipping other properties in the neighborhood as well as serving as its unofficial protector. When a finance magnate offers to hire him to look into questionable practices at her bank, he declines, but her suspicious “suicide” after draws him into a plot involving shady real estate and old enemies.
August Snow is a unique riff on the detective novel. We could talk about August himself for an hour. Join us Monday, March 18th, at 1pm on BookPeople’s third floor. The book is 10% off to those planning to attend.